Monthly Archives: February 2014

Tirgearr Publishing

Tirgearr Publishing

Anniversary Sale!
Tirgearr, the company that is publishing Leaving the Pack, my first novel, is having a sale. While you can’t buy MY novel there yet, there are lots of other great authors.

Comments on my recent deer management article, from the Wild Deer Association of Ireland

I posted a link to my article on deer management in Ireland on the Wild Deer Association of Ireland facebook page and they had the following comments, to which I also posted a reply.
http://iwt.ie/2014/02/oh-deer-what-to-do-about-our-four-legged-friends/
An article just published on IWT.ie discussing the deer population and ways to achieve a better ballance.
Oh Deer, what to do about our four-legged friends? | Irish Wildlife Trust

 

David thank you for sharing, though well written and some interesting discussion points on poaching, respect for our wild deer and experiences in Spain, we have a number serious concerns about this article such statements as “that at the moment little is done to hold back deer population increases, and that even mostly it is denied that the increases are taking place or that they are a potential problem” also the reference to increased populations resulting in increased culls with no reference to the corresponding increase in hunting licenses, ignore the current reality of those who work with deer in Ireland.Of further concern is the quote from Andrew Doyle TD as a reliable source of information on deer populations in Co Wicklow. In the same article, but not referred to, Andrew Doyle makes misleading comments by claiming to know Co Wicklow’s deer population and blames deer for the spread of TB while again ignoring the significant decline in section 42 permits by landowners, that we have significant increases in the number of deer hunting licenses but a reducing national cull, research which shows less than 1% deer damage to commercial Irish forestry from deer and less than 2% TB detection in deer carcasses.
    • There are some things we disagree about. The increases in harvest numbers since the 1990s was associated with the spread through the country as reported by Carden et al., so it’s unlikely they were due primarily to the increase in hunters – though of course, if there are deer in new areas there are new areas to hunt and more hunters. The hunters are (were) not cleaning out deer populations and deer were still spreading. As many have reported when describing the poaching problem, there were deer in their areas a couple of years ago. The number of deer hunters in areas with deer over decades can’t have increased that much – there are only so many hunters in a syndicate that can be accommodated on a piece of land, regardless of how many deer there are. The numbers increased over the last decade and more, simple as that. Now… the last two or so years does seem to have shown a decrease, or at least a leveling off. I’ve said that. The reduction in section 42s is a good thing, as it shows that there are fewer problems now with a stopping of the population increases and that the requests for them were not just spurious attempts to extend the hunting season. How we got that halt to the previous increases is also discussed. The fact that the national cull is reducing is not, in my opinion, a problem. It is a good thing for deer and all deer enthusiasts in the long run. I don’t want it to happen because of poaching, though. Nor does anyone else. Andrew Doyle TD was quoted to show someone in the Dail seeing deer numbers as a concern. He doesn’t know the deer numbers, nobody does. But in some areas they are too high. I recall a forester saying on this webpage that he knew the deer numbers had been reduced by poaching recently because he used to see lots of damage. 1% nationally does not mean no problem hotspots, which give deer (and their managers) a bad name. That’s my point here. We can agree to disagree but when someone who doesn’t care about deer comes in and starts telling us that deer need to be sorted out because there hasn’t been sufficient control, then we have let deer and ourselves down

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deer management going forward in Ireland

Above is a link to an article I wrote for IWT the Irish Wildlife Trust recently, and posted on their website, discussing the problems facing deer and deer managers in Ireland and our responsibilities going forward.

Trees and George Monbiot

A post I had on my former google site… I wanted to repost and the recent (ongoing) floods across the British Isles made George Monbiot’s recent posting about denuded hilltops due to sheep grazing practices reminded me of this connection between a post of his and a Poem I wrote years back.

Below is the poem and the original post….

            The Secret of the Thorn Trees

Why do the hawthorn and sloes carry such barbs

Across an Irish hedgerow, as if they were scrub

Bushes upon the dry savannah? Against caterpillars,

Or our diminutive deer and domestic livestock?

Or do they betray the absence from our landscape

Of what belong: buffalo, megaloceros andmastodon?

A poem I wrote in May of 2010, when observing some thorn trees in a park in Boston along the orange-line train tracks near Green Street.

I was reminded of it just this last week when I was reading through some blogs by George Monibot, a writer I have huge respect for:

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/05/27/a-manifesto-for-rewilding-the-world/

He explains that our hedgerow and woodland trees are designed for the megafauna that he’d like to see return to Western Europe and the British Isles, rather than the roe and other deer species we have.

I can only concur with George  (I’d never claim to have had the idea first!)