Index to all Guides

Deer ecology

Red deer

aspects of the ecology and behaviour of Red deer, a truly native species, present since the Ice Age.

Roe deer

aspects of the ecology and behaviour of roe deer to aid in the management of this native species

Fallow deer

Fallow are a naturalised non-indigenous species, having been introduced to Britain in the middle ages

Sika deer

A naturalised non-native species, imported from the Far East. Japanese sika (C. n. nippon) and Manchurian sika (C....


to assist in the identification of muntjac deer and provide guidance on control of the species in Scotland

Health & welfare

Deer Health

factors to consider and signs and symptoms to look out for when assessing the health of wild deer

Notifiable Diseases

There is a legal responsibility to act on “notifiable” diseases,and steps need to be taken if such a disease is...

Welfare: definition

Many guides in this series are highlighted with the yellow triangle symbol, denoting welfare implications for deer...

Welfare: culling

outlining welfare implications to be considered when culling deer

Use of helicopters

safeguards for welfare when helicopters are used in the presence of deer


Open Range Counting

assessing deer populations living on the ‘open range’.

Open Range Counting2

accuracy and efficiency of counts depends on detailed planningand good communication

Population: Dung counting

estimating deer populations in woodland

Age determination

the progress of tooth eruption and wear is used to estimate the age of deer

Setting Cull targets

setting sporting and damage prevention culls to achieve management objectives for population models

Cull records

cull records are either required by or useful for those who take or kill deer

Deer management plans

preparing  and implementing a Deer Management Plan

Biodiversity planning

the benefits of managing biodiversity are taken into account in any deer management planning process

Deer in Towns: Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges and opportunities concerning deer in and around towns

Deer in Towns: Responding to Situations

Guidance on responding to situations



risk assessment  involving the use of firearms and recognising the safety of the operator and public is paramount...

Safety 2

(cont'd from safety) ...ensuring that the firearm is handled safely at all times...

Maintenance & zeroing

Servicing and cleaning firearms

Maintenance & zeroing2

Zeroing firearms

Rifles and ammunition

Factors to consider when choosing rifle/ammo combinations, and use of expanding ammo

Rifles and ammunition2

(cont'd) ...technical capabilities of rifle/ ammunition combinations and consistent accuracy over a range of...


the ability to shoot a firearm accurately

Firing positions

appropriate firing position, stalking situations and consistent shot placement

Transport & storage

correct storage and transport prevents unauthorised access and use


Shot placement 1

the anatomy of deer and consequences of bullet damage when placing shots must achieve rapid death and minimise...

Shot placement 2

the disparity in size between large and small deer has a significant influence on shot placement.

Reaction & Follow Up

The response of a deer to being shot will vary depending on the physical and behavioural condition of the animal...

Humane dispatch

the most appropriate procedures for the humane dispatch of injured deer

Humane dispatch2

Specialist alternative methods; Dispatching DVC injured deer; Carcass removal

Use of dogs

to provide information on how trained dogs can be used to aid deer management. The guide also seeks to identify...

Use of dogs2

(continued from previous) most cases the deer will be found dead within 10-100m of the initial shot. Some...

High seats

This guide provides information on types, siting and use of high seats and deer hides, commonly known as doe boxes...

Team culling

The effectiveness of a cull operation may be increased by several rifles and support staff working as a team. The...

Mechanical & manual extraction

Where carcasses are being extracted, the aim is to use the most appropriate method available, whilst ensuring...

Mechanical & manual extraction2

(continued) Employers who provide their employees with sit-in vehicles are required to minimise the risk of injury...

Extraction by pony (1)

Safety considerations, Pony, Handler, Equipment

Extraction by pony (2)

Loading a pony

Helicopter support

The aim of this guide is to provide information and guidance on the potential uses of helicopters to assist in deer...

Carcass preparation

Carcass inspection

a proper inspection of culled animals minimises the risk of diseased or contaminated carcasses entering the food...

Carcass inspection2

Procedure in the larder

Hygiene principles

Reducing the potential of a food hygiene hazard covers the whole process from culling through to processing and...

Gralloching 1

the initial stages of preparing a carcass immediately after the deer has been shot and death confirmed.

Gralloching 2

Initial stages of preparing a carcass (cont'd), together with inspection, disposal of waste, extraction and data...

Lardering 1

the various stages involved in the lardering process to enable efficient and simple carcass processing and minimise...

Lardering 2

The various stages involved in the lardering process (continued): pelvic area and legs

Lardering 3

The various stages involved in the lardering process (continued): hanging; removing the pluck; removing the head;...


Provides practical guidance on how to systematically skin a deer whilst minimising contamination of the carcass...

Butchering 1

The aim of this guide is to provide a basic introduction to venison butchery covering the primal breakdown of a...

Butchering 2

Further guidance on butchering a carcass: splitting the aitch bone; breakdown of the hindquarters

Butchering 3

Further guidance on butchering a carcass: haunch preparation

Larder hygiene

To provide practical guidance on how to achieve a hygienic environment within which to larder carcasses

Venison supply 1

An outline of the appropriate legislation associated with the supply of venison, together with information on ways...

Venison supply 2

Guidance for stalkers supplying in-skin carcasses to others ( not to an Approved Game Handling Establishment)”...

Larder design

to outline the basic design and equipment specifications for a larder used to dress and store deer carcasses

Handling Exceptional Numbers of Carcasses

An outline of some of the key factors to consider when planning and undertaking the handling of large numbers of...

Trophy preparation

Providing practical guidance on the preparation of trophy heads

Trophy Head Mount Preparation

Describing  the skinning or ‘caping’ process required to produce a full-head trophy mount



deer managers need to consider undertaking habitat impact assessment using baselines and habitat trends over time...

Principles in practice

establishing a habitat monitoring baseline and plots and what other factors to consider.


how to go about analysing and interpreting the data collected to see which way the habitat is ‘going’.


Native semi natural woodland includes a range of  species such as Scots pine, silver and downy birch, sessile oak...

Dwarf shrub heath

methods of assessing Dwarf Shrub Heath relevant to deer managers

Blanket bog

assessing Blanket Bog habitats

Flushes and springs

methods of assessment for flushes and springs

Willow scrub

methods of assessing Willow Scrub habitat

Tall herbs

methods of assessing Tall Herbs habitat relevant to managers

Woodland Damage: Recognition of Cause(1)

Woodlands may be susceptible to a number of damaging agents. Identifying the cause of damage an early stage is...

Woodland Damage: Recognition of Cause(2)

(cont'd) ...recognising causes of damage

Crop & habitat protection

Woodland Design

design and planning aspects need consideration to incorporate correctly controlled areas in new or restructured...

Tree Protection

establishing tree species in the presence of deer and the method used to protect them


points to consider before, during and after the erection of deer fencing.

Fencing 2

(cont'd) planning considerations and impacts

Supplementary and Diversionary Feeding

the effectiveness and possible disadvantages of using supplementary/diversionary feeding

People & resources

Risk Assessment

Assessment of risks, with measures and controls

Health & Safety

Health & Safety issues and the activities these cover

Lyme disease 1

Raising awareness of Lyme disease and methods of prevention

Lyme disease 2

Raising awareness of Lyme disease (cont'd), including a post-infection condition, termed “Post-Lyme Syndrome”

Working with clients

Providing clients with a high quality deer management experience

Letting stalking

identifying different models of letting deer stalking

Deer Management Groups

the working principles behind Deer Management Groups (DMGs) and what they do

Public Access

the legal aspects of managing public access and how to encourage cooperation between everyone

Public Signage

The use of signage to manage public access together with sign templates

Assessment & Support

How to assess whether you are operating to Best Practice, and identify training opportunities to address any...

Lone working

Deer managers working alone require specific information on Health and Safety


Guidance on training: who is it aimed at; associated responsibilities; benefits; identifying and sourcing training...