Blogging Up The Works

Monday, February 05, 2018

Tally Ho!

The annual cull of deer in Richmond Park is about to start. There will be the normal outcry that follows this announcement. It is an emotive subject. When I was young, late teens/early 20s I was very against hunting, culling, etc. Indeed, I was banned from Selfridges for harassing a woman in the fur department and telling her the coat she was wearing looked better on the animal than her.

My views now I am older seem to have mellowed or maybe swung the other way. Maybe I'm not as susceptible to a furry friend as I once was.

I used to drive through Richmond Park a few times a week. I got to recognise the differing herds. And I also got to spot the deer that weren't going to be there for much longer. Some were easy to spot. The white deer, those that were carrying injuries, those that were smaller. The deer are remarkably successful at breeding and increase their numbers by too large a percentage each year. So how do you keep the numbers down? You can't give them away because you will be giving the worst stock to someone. In the end, having heard the arguments I think culling probably is the best solution. And the restaurants of Richmond have venison on their menu for time. As does Buckingham Palace as HM owns the deer.

Down here in the South of France we have a similar problem but with Wild Boar. I've seen 3 or 4 whilst we've been here and I thought there were probably a fair number around. I wasn't sure what a fair number would be. Maybe a hundred or so in the near vicinity. I know there are many hunters and they might get one, they might not. On a good day they get a few. Over the season so far, which started in October, at a nearby town, Puivert, so far in the immediate vicinity they have culled over 3000. 3000!!! I'm surprised you can drive down the road without running the buggers over. And they can be vicious as well. Apparently they have bred exceptionally well this year. The hunters are having a field day. And all our restaurants and supermarkets are brimming with "sanglier". The French are a little more  sanguine about things than the good burghers of West London and Surrey.  There won't be many voices of dissent to the hunting down here.


  • It is an emotive subject.
    That said, I'm not sure where I stand on it, as I can see the arguments from both sides.
    I understand the reasons for not culling the deer.
    But on the other hand, they just taste so good.

    Don't the French use wild boar to sniff out truffles? Or was that one of those black & white April Fool spoofs that Nationwide used to do each year.

    By Blogger Masher, At 10:56 PM  

  • Masher - No they don't. There is one area of France that use pigs, (Perigeux, although that's more of a marketing exercise), but the majority use "truffle hound" dogs. I can see both sides but I'm not sure there is a better alternative for Richmond Park.

    By Blogger kennamatic, At 7:41 AM  

  • Hunting wild boar is a regular event in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains, where I used to live. I lost my dog for a week during one hunting season. He'd picked up with a small crowd of hunters and accompanied them for the week. When he came back he looked like a big fat roly-poly version of himself. I think he'd eaten all the boar

    By Blogger Brennig, At 9:02 PM  

  • Sounds like he had a high old time!

    By Blogger kennamatic, At 6:30 PM  

  • I wonder if there is a cull at Woburn Abbey, there seem to be lots there.

    By Blogger Toffeeapple, At 6:29 PM  

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