Deer Management used to be a straightforward affair. The Deer population was left to the Estate to manage and the herd was the Stalkers responsibility. I did the management here on Rona after we took in the 6 hinds and two stags from John Fletcher of Auchtermuchty. Since we are such a small place and there are no ‘surrounding’ Deer Management Groups (DMGs) I was on my own.
Habitat assesments had been carried out not in the way of to-day models but through Wildlife Reports (by Richard Cottis) and the ongoing assessment of the regeneration through the Woodland Grant Scheme. The annual growth is recorded and noted although no formal method is employed. As it is we are legally bound to return our cull figures to SNH (now NS). This we do and have done since day one.
We are getting up to date with all aspects of the Island’s work schedule since the house build and are now catching up on deer Reports/Cull returns.
We are now publishing our Deer Returns on line via our blog. We will publish the complete cull data since we started our Deer Management plan for Rona in 2003.
We will set out our plans from this time and the records we have kept.