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Deer Stalking Scotland

Red Deer Stalking in Scotland

All you've ever wanted to know about red deer stalking in Scotland

Red Deer Stag in Scotland

The Red Deer is one of the largest deer species and can be found across most of Europe, and in other parts of the world too. The meat of a red deer, venison, is widely used as a food source to the extent that red deer farming now exists.

In Scotland, there is a healthy red deer population. Figures vary, but there are estimated to be between 500,000 - 750,000 red deer in Scotland. Although red deer traditionally lived in forests, they have adapted their habitat and behaviour in Scotland as the forests declined. They are now found mostly in glens and on mountains across the Highlands, Islands and Lowlands of Scotland.

Stalking Red Deer

Red Deer Stag in the Highlands of Scotland

Red deer stalking plays an important part in rural lifestyles in Scotland. As well as helping control the red deer population, it provides valuable economic benefits to isolated communities across Scotland, especially in the Highlands and Islands.

Red deer stalking is a traditional field sport, and the stalkers who take clients stalking are steeped in tradition. A stalk often takes most of the day as you hike through the mountains to find the deer. The stalker will then select which deer is to be shot, taking account of the health of the herd. After the kill, many estates still use the traditional method of bringing the deer back to base, by strapping it to the back of a pony and walking it back down.

A red deer stalk in Scotland is certainly a special experience, and one which you will never forget.

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Deer Stalking in Scotland with Monarch Sport
Experience Deer Stalking in Scotland with Monarch Sport

Further Information:

Where to go Red Deer Stalking in Scotland

Red Deer Stalking Seasons

Stalkers, Gamekeepers and Ghillies

Identifying Red Deer

Costs for red deer stalking in Scotland

Red Deer Stalking - FAQs

Red Deer Stalking in Scotland - The Experience

Visiting Scotland - Useful Information & Links

Red Deer Stalking in Scotland

Deer Stalking in Scotland and Public Access to the Mountains

There is a public right of access to the hills, but this freedom of access comes with responsibilities. This includes having regard for essential land management activities, which in many of Scotland's hill and mountain areas includes deer stalking. Deer stalking is a traditional way of managing the red deer herd and plays an important role in conserving habitats and ensuring the long-term health of the wild deer population, as well as providing a valuable source of income for Highland estates in Scotland.

During the stalking season, and especially the stag stalking season, visitors must be prepared to use alternative walking routes, which are often suggested by Highland estates. These routes often provide access to Munros, so should not provide too much inconvenience to hill-walkers. 

During the deer stalking season, walkers can help to avoid disturbing deer by:

  1. checking with the estate or appropriate hillphone service (see links) to find out about stalking activities before you go;
  2. on the day, follow any advice on locally posted signs about preferred routes;
  3. keep to established tracks where they exist;
  4. on the hill keep to the ridges and avoid cutting through corries particularly when descending as this disturbs the deer less.

Both recreational users and land managers must apply goodwill and common sense in order that deer stalking and hillwalking can continue to share the hills at these times of year.

Deer Stalking in Scotland - Deer Stalking Information - Deer Stalking Estates - Red Deer Stalking - Roe Deer Stalking