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Herding European red deer?

Michael in Tx

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Has anyone tried to do this, either with BCs or any other breed?


Some good friends and clients have these animals tresspassing on their

property from a neighbor's herd. They have built fences, but the deer

are getting over or under the fences. My friends are improving the

fences, but are trying to find a way to "encourage" the deer to leave

without harming them.


Red deer, also called red elk, are a Europen species that is raised

here as an exotic game animal. They are domesticated, and these

particular deer are habituated to people and will allow you to

approach as close as 10-20 feet at times. They are larger than the

native white tails, about 200 lbs for hinds to 500 lbs for mature stags. I would

compare them to large goats; certainly smaller than cattle. The

reason my friends want them out is that there are way too many deer

for the size of the property (150 on 30 acres!) and they are grossly

over-grazing the native plants. The land has a very nice

intact prairie and woodland mix, and my friends are managing it for

wildlife habitat.


I have "herded" these deer a little on foot. (My own dog, an Aussie, is

untrained.) They do flock and move as a group, reacting much like

sheep. And they respect dogs, but do not panic.


There are gates between the properties that the deer are acustomed to

using. Our idea was to move the deer off my friends' propety through

these gates. It probably would be matter of doing this repeatedly

until the deer learn that my friends land is not a good place to be.

I know it is bad herding practice, but frankly a dog that would

harrass the deer and make them very uncomfortable would probably be

effective. The work would be similar to the geese removal services that are done in some parts of the country


My dog and I don't have the training and knowledge do this. Is anyone

interested, or have any advice? You can answer on the list or email

me privately.





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Most of the airports that have deer problems simply bring in professional hunters. :rolleyes:


You might want to look into a guarding breed instead. Either a livestock guardian, or something like an English shepherd with strong farm guarding instincts, would instinctively chase these deer off but not want to follow them off the property or run them for the fun of it. So you wouldn't need to be around every time you removed them.


Or alterately, what you describe would probably work fine, though it would be a lot of work at first, and probably for a long time. It might take a couple years (two reproductive cycles) to convince the deer that this property isn't any good for any purpose! You'd have to push them at variable times of day, though consistently at their prime feeding and settling time.

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I captured fallow deer for the City of Detroit a number of years ago. Simply getting the deer to move off the dogs was no problem. Getting the to go to a particular point took many days and several attempts. We never did get the whole herd (approx 300) into the capture system, but we did get the majority of the bucks, which was what they were really looking for.


ETA: Fallow deer are much smaller than white-tails (or at least the inbred population of Belle Isle was). Bucks were probably 150 lbs, does 80 to 100, if I were to guess. They were like a cross of the nastiest goats that satan ever put on earth and St. Croix sheep.

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Thanks for the comments!


Two of the gates between the properties are located at fence corners, so it would be relatively easy to move the deer toward them. Now if I can find someone who wants to take this on! The property is located in far northern Collin County (Texas, north of Dallas), just south of the Grayson County line.



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