Ask the experts: Collaborative culling?

Q I’d like to organise a collaborative culling day on my ground this winter. Is it a good idea?

A Dominic says: In most forms of stalking, there is an exponential increase in success when the stalker brings in help. The return on labour means that the time spent in hours per cull reduces dramatically and makes the entire operation much more productive and efficient.

The main rule is not to overdo it. Far better to plan a single collaborative event, which guarantees a significant contribution to the cull, than to go at it many times and permanently alter deer behaviour.

Done correctly, collaborative events can work as an alternative method of achieving the cull. In my view they represent a low-stress approach to deer management in that large culls can be taken quickly and efficiently, leaving the deer largely un-stalked for the rest of the year.

A couple of tips for achieving a collaborative cull: Set targets and ensure they are not exceeded. Those targets should include both the total number to be culled and a division between the age classes. Only invite rifles with sufficient experience to understand these ratios. Get a sense for the number of rifles required, and do not exceed this.

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