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Deer carnage at Mybster road lay-by

By David G Scott

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The remains of at least two deer have been discovered at a lay-by on the Watten-Mybster (B870) road in what appears to be a wildlife crime.

Deer poaching is said to be on the rise across the UK, with as many as 50,000 deer killed illegally each year by criminals.

At the roadside close to Watten there are the remains of at least two deer that have clearly been butchered with one fairly fresh head and hooves along with a rib cage. Together with these are skeletonised pieces from at least one other animal. Among the remains are fly-tipped bottles and other litter showing that this site may be used as a regular dumping area.

The lay-by on the Watten-Mybster road where the discarded remains were discovered. Picture: DGS
The lay-by on the Watten-Mybster road where the discarded remains were discovered. Picture: DGS

Poachers often use bright torches at night (lamping) to dazzle the animals who are then shot. They also utilise thermal imaging rifle scopes.

According to Neighbourhood Watch, deer are routinely chased down by dogs at night or are killed out of season, even when they are close to breeding.

It adds: “Poachers are often involved in armed trespass [and] regularly intimidate and threaten landowners and members of the public when challenged. [They] have no regard for private property, driving across farmer’s fields and destroying crops.

What to do if you encounter poachers:

• If you witness poaching, call the police immediately. Do not approach the poachers.

• Mention that you are witnessing a wildlife crime, and if applicable, that some of the perpetrators are armed.

• Make a note of any vehicle number plates.

• Make a note of the incident number and make sure you mention that this is ‘poaching’ so that the incident is recorded in rural crime statistics correctly.

• Describe the location as best as possible.

Police Scotland has been informed of the crime location.

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