Best Practice Guidance - Deer

Wild deer management and issues arising from the presence of deer encompass a wide range of sometimes highly technical or involved subjects. It can be difficult for even experienced deer practitioners to keep abreast of developments. The purpose of the best practice project is to provide a single source of information to help make practitioners aware of:

  • The aims of deer-related tasks and procedures for carrying them out effectively or better, based on best current information.
  • The procedures that are required to safeguard personal and public safety, and animal welfare and legal requirements.

England and Wales

Currently there are some 65 guides available, with more being added monthly, and another 16 still in development. The guides should help practitioners to feel that when following the guidance they are acting humanely, responsibly and effectively, carrying out their activities in a rational and considered way based on the best current information. The guides are compatible with the NatureScot Best Practice guides, are designed to support the Deer Stalking Certificate levels 1 and 2 and reflect the National Occupational Standards where applicable.

The guides are available to download here. 


A revised set of 74 best practice guides was published in July 2008. The guides have been developed by Scotland’s deer sector to provide the best information available on wild deer management in a format that is easy to access. At the heart of the guides is the need for clarity on the law along with three central aims:

  • Safeguarding public safety.
  • Ensuring food safety.
  • Deer welfare.

Public confidence in these three issues is essential if wild deer management in Scotland is to maintain the respect of a wider audience at home and abroad. The guides are dynamic and practitioners are encouraged to debate and share ideas to help develop future editions. Revision will also be made in light of new research, changes to policy and new legislation.

To subscribe or download the guides click here.

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