Letter: The humane hunt
Friday 09 October 1998
The scientific definition of stress is any activity above basal metabolic rate, ie if the heart rate increases. So yes, the deer are stressed. The non-scientific have hijacked the term and equate it to distress.
The deer have to be culled. The only two practical methods are hunting and stalking. Hunting is a selective cull which is an organised, monitored and disciplined procedure carried out by hunt staff. The followers are the supporters who finance the operation. They go to watch the battle of wits between hounds and deer. The selected deer are the old, infirm, injured and slow, resulting in a healthier breeding herd.
Stalking is only selective in that the deer is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The stalker has the deer in his sights and fires.
It is not recommended that the stalker aims at the head - where death is instant - because the target area is too small and there is a possibility of smashing the jaw, the deer dying of starvation days later. The recommended area is the thorax or abdomen. The deer may or may not fall immediately. The advice is that it should be left undisturbed for 10 minutes plus (in case it is stimulated and runs off).
The bullet causes massive damage to the internal organs. The deer haemorrhages; when insufficient blood reaches the brain it becomes unconscious. This can take up to 10 minutes.
The above is the ideal scenario - an expert, well-practiced marksman under good conditions. With less-skilled marksmen or indifferent conditions the deer are more likely to be injured and escape, to suffer possibly for life. The hunt is frequently called in to find such deer and dispatch them. A conservative estimate of 5 per cent of the deer are injured by stalking.
With hunting there is an end point to the suffering, the deer being shot at the end of a hunt. Those that escape are tired but unharmed.
There are two sides to every story.
D J B DENNY BVet Med MRC.S
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Winnie the Pooh banned from Polish playground for being 'inappropriate hermaphrodite'
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
Willow and Jaden Smith talk duality of apples, holographic realities and the melancholia of the ocean in incredible New York Times interview
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'