Muntjac are proliferating

Q: Muntjac are spreading into 
the area where I live and starting to cause problems in 
local gardens. A near neighbour with a large garden has asked 
me if I can do something about controlling them, but I am wary 
of shooting close to houses. Should 
I offer to help or should I decline?

A: You are right to be cautious. 
A great deal of care must be 
taken when shooting in gardens or 
close to houses with a deer-legal rifle, and this is not something that can be done without a great deal of thought, planning and preparation. If there 
is the slightest chance that your preferred shooting position can 
be overlooked by other properties, 
then it is best to decline.

muntjac deer

Use a sound moderator to reduce the noise of your shot

A risk assessment

If, however, the garden in 
which you are proposing to shoot 
is sufficiently large and well screened 
by trees so that it is completely secluded and private, I would recommend that you make a full inspection of the area and conduct 
a risk assessment.

  • Identify a place that offers a totally safe shot and use a high seat to prevent any risk of your bullet travelling beyond the property boundary.
  • Use a sound moderator to reduce the noise of your shot.
  • Telephone the police control room using the non-emergency number 101 before you go out. Explain who you are, what you are proposing to do and where you are doing it, give a start time and a stop time, along with your vehicle registration.
  • Give your mobile phone number to the police and carry your phone with you, along with your firearm certificate.
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Muntjac stalking

Generally a 6 ft 6 in fence (2m) will keep deer out

How can you keep deer out of a garden?

A lot depends on the species of deer . Obviously, red deer can jump much higher than muntjac or roe, just as a 17-hand hunter can jump better than a Shetland pony. The actual height they can jump will also depend on the incentive – like boys scrumping apples, the prospect of a free meal can increase the level of effort.

I have heard that deer will test a fence by standing on their hind legs. If their chin reaches the top of the fence, over they go.

Generally, a fence six foot six inches (two metres) high will keep deer out. It must be fairly small mesh because they can wriggle through an astonishingly small hole and it must be tight against the ground to stop them pushing under.

Sometimes a wooden fence topped with trellis will also do the job.