The Chilterns host three of the six UK deer species
The Chilterns are a great habitat for roe, fallow and muntjac deer. Roe and muntjac are regular visitors to some gardens in the area, much to gardeners dismay. Fallow meanwhile are responsible for much of the browse line evident in our hanging woods and cause farmers considerable distress and cost through their habit of lying, in significant numbers, on crops, reducing yields- local herds run to 100 beasts per herd, and it's not unknown to see two such herds either side of a road around here, with those kind of numbers it becomes a biodiversity and economic issue to manage numbers.
How do you manage deer numbers?
With an eye on deer welfare- seems paradoxical to some, but any true hunter will be able to tell you in great detail about the life of their quarry, and this informs when and what we cull, for the long term health of deer in the UK.
The aim is never to eliminate deer locally, they are vital to the ecosystem, only to balance their numbers with what the landscape can support
We're aiming for a balanced population- equal numbers of males and females (known as "bucks" and "does" in our local species) to prevent genetic bottle necks- and fewer old beasts than younger beasts.
Any animal identified as injured or suffering is prioritised as a matter of course.