I appreciate the strong feelings many people have on this issue and as an animal lover, I share your concern for ensuring the welfare of our wildlife.
The Deer Act 1991 provides a robust framework for the protection of deer. It sets out how anyone hunting deer must not:
- Killing / taking / injuring a deer without the consent of the landowner / occupier
- Taking / killing any Schedule 1 species during the close season,
- Taking / killing any deer at night
- Use of a trap, snare, poisoned or stupefying bait, or any net to kill / take deer
- Use of any firearm / ammunition mentioned in Schedule 2, or arrow, spear etc
- Use of any missile carrying poison, stupefying drug or muscle-relaxing agent
- Use of mechanically propelled vehicle to discharge any firearm or drive deer
Finally, I am aware that police have the power to stop and search a person, and any vehicle, animal, weapon or other thing the person may be using, if there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence under the Deer Act has been or is being committed. Of course, if you do have concerns that illegal hunting is taking place, you should report these to the police or to the RSPCA who can investigate.