This is very likely true, I know several places where there are too many deer for the habitat to support so not only is the habitat deteriorating but the deer are getting sickly too. Back in the Ice Age and for thousands of years after we had wolves and other large predators in Britain who lived largely on deer so keep the populations healthy. They have found similar benefits in Yellowstone and other places where they have wolves and large predators.

Venison – wild venison in particular – is superb meat, I eat it whenever I can.

However … I am concerned about he devious ways of our bloody ConDem’d government – this could be a slithery back door to allow hunting again! Hunting deer with dogs is bad for the meat as well as cruel – indeed anyone who thinks killing something is “fun” should be shot themselves! But on the meat side, when you are terrified and running you pump yourself full of adrenalin, the blood moves out of the limbs and concentrates around the heart and organs both to reduce blood-loss if you are wounded and to increase your  ability to run. This makes the meat tough and sour.

Shooting and stalking by well-trained people is kind in that the beast is gone with one shot – hence you need really good shots not a bunch of rich assholes who want to kill something to prove their man/woman-hood. The other beasts in the herd are not frightened or disturbed. you get exactly the beast you want and not the one who decides to run. You can also take out sickly and elderly beasts so helping the herd to be healthy – this is what the wolves do!

So I’ll be watching this to see where it goes. In principle, it’s a good idea … but politicians always make a hash of principles, let’s try to keep a leash on them this time!

StagAround half of the UK’s growing deer population needs to be shot each year to stop devastation of woodlands and birdlife, a group of scientists says.

A study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management says this would keep numbers stable.

The deer population is currently estimated at around 1.5 million.

The researchers from the University of East Anglia suggest creating a venison market to make a cull ethically and economically acceptable.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) commented that any cull must be carried out in a humane and controlled way and be supported by “strong science”.

There are now more deer in the UK than at any time since the last Ice Age.

Stag Deer numbers in some areas appear stable only because thousands are being pushed into surrounding countryside

via BBC News – Deer: 50% cull ‘necessary to protect countryside’.