Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by gentle lemur, 13 Oct 2018.
From tomorrow's Observer £7,000 to bag a rare deer … how trophy hunting came to the home counties
I was in Woburn Park two weeks ago. Some of their Red Deer Stags have unbelievably complex antler development. I can believe people would pay to shoot them as 'trophies'. Woburn have always managed their Deer Park as a commercial business. On their website they advertise Red Deer stags for sale, to improve the antler development in other herds, as if they were stud racehorses... I know they cull even the Pere David deer and this perhaps provides a more lucrative way of doing it. Perhaps they won't welcome this report though.
They've always taken a venison crop off their deer herds, and culled Bison for meat back in the day too (read between the lines of The Years of Transition) as I'm pretty sure Whipsnade did in less politically correct times.
Not sure why this is news worthy. All deer herds are managed and usually results in stock being killed at some point. What is the endangered status of Pere David?
Extinct. However the deer are Extinct in the Wild I believe.
Apologies, couldn't resist!
Surely there is a difference between culling surplus animals (then using the meat) and breeding stock specifically for commercial trophy hunting.
So you choose, let supervised amateurs shoot the ones that would need to be culled anyway, with a professional on standby, then the head (normally discarded or in any case low value) being taken as a trophy and the body going off to meat processing.
And the money goes towards keeping a Pere David herd viable.
I'm not a hunter and if I were I can not imagine why I would want a "canned" hunt. But is it a bad thing worthy of a news papers column inches. Not really.
I eat meat and I have worked in several slaughter houses and I can assure you if I had the choice I would rather be in a field eating grass then BAM dead, than travel in cramped frightening conditions to go through a noisy scary process.
Is this a bambi issue?
Found this easily.
Every year in the UK approximately 2.6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds are slaughtered for human consumption
Not news apparently. How many deer shot? 5? 10? 200?
Its interesting that Countryfile show meat animals being raised then going off for a drive, then arriving at the butchers prepacked. Slaughterhouse visits should be on the curriculum.
What if you do both in the same animal so you get twice the value from it?
I agree with your point. I assume we are all against pheasant and grouse hunting?
Breeding carnivores for trophy hunting always seemed wrong to me. But then if the income allows you run a reserve where endangered fauna can thrive? Its complex. I know I don't have the answers.
The only issue I have with it is that the hunter should be able to deomostrate a level of expertise in shooting to maximise the chance of a clean death.
I agree that this is a complicated issue. I don't think that trophy hunting has much connection with conventional livestock farming or with Bambi. Commercial deer farming is much more similar and I believe that some deer farms actually shoot their animals in their fields, to avoid the stress and danger of capturing and transporting them to a slaughterhouse (but I am no expert on this, and would welcome correction if I am wrong).
There are obviously parallels with deer stalking in Scottish deer forests, but I think those animals are managed much less. Perhaps it is more like shooting pheasants hatched and raised in captivity and then released.
I am sure that deer farmers select their breeding stock for desirable traits, which might include temperament, growth rate etc. I can see that it is likely to be good business to selectively breed a stag that will produce a good set of antlers and then keep him for as long as it takes to become a 14-pointer, probably using him for breeding in the mean time, then finally allowing an amateur hunter to buy the right to shoot him and mount the trophy. There is a difference between this and killing younger bucks for meat or culling inferior animals to maintain the quality of the stock: but it is a matter of opinion whether you consider this difference significant or not. I started this thread to make people aware of what is happening. I am not going to advocate any position, beyond saying that I only shoot things with a camera.
I mentioned Bambi as I believe it is the angle the news papers approach it from.
You were right to share the article, it is interesting and useful to know where the next attack will come from.
I too prefer to use a lens to shoot.
Whilst working at Sainsbury's, for many years, all of the game meat I had to deal with came with the warning May Contain Leadshot. This appeared on wood pigeon, pheasant, partridge, rabbit, and venison, so I'm guessing you might be on to something there GL.
As for this canned hunt controversy, I'm just surprised it's Woburn doing this and not Longleat. And Woburn cull their deer herds regularly, I'm not surprised that they are trying to make a bit of extra cash. Not sure I agree with a conservation themed organisation putting this in to practice but it's definitely food for thought.
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