A new study on deer welfare confirms what stalkers already know about the best ways to shoot deer ethically and effectively.
The peer-reviewed report ‘Factors associated with shooting accuracy and wounding rate of four managed wild deer species in the UK, based on anonymous field records from deerstalkers,’ was published on 15 October in the international science journal PLOS One.
The report’s authors said they recommended shooting from a supported position at a stationary and unobscured deer, shooting without haste and preferably with a rifle rest. The report also recommended stalking in to within 100 metres before taking the shot, and aiming for the heart-lung area rather than taking neck or head shots. Stalkers often debate the value of stalking qualifications – but the report found in their favour, concluding that achieving a recognised qualification is beneficial to accurate shooting (as is regular practice).
BDS chairman Mark Nicolson said: “It is encouraging to observe that many current recommended practices are sound, and how important this study is for making further improvements to best practice.”
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