ANNUAL SPRING DEER COUNT

Ever since 1991 QDM&CG has organised an annual deer count usually on a morning in early March. The count focusses primarily on assessing Red deer numbers and is undertaken by around 50 - 60 volunteers, each allocated to survey all or a part of one of the 44 different count blocks covering the Quantock Hills and adjacent lower lying land. Other deer species such as roe, fallow or muntjac deer are also recorded if seen, though the large scale nature of the count is less well suited to census the smaller deer species. It is important to note that we do not pretend ever to achieve a complete count of the entire Quantock red deer herd, as some proportion of those within the count area will always be missed in concealing cover, and others - not least some older stags - tend to move well off the hills from late winter onwards until rejoining mixed sex herds in the autumn. The main value of the count undertaken in the same way year on year lies in identifying minimum numbers that remain and as an index of long term population trends. For further background and history of the count and how you may be able to assist - click here.

The most recent count took place on Sunday 5 March 201 7 . After exclusion of probable duplicate sightings of deer noted to move between count blocks, 571 different red deer were recorded on the day. The overall figure for red deer is very close to the previous year (578), but some reduction was noted in the proportion of prickets and young stags, and numbers of older stags of over four years old remains rather ow.
Although the count is primarily designed to record red deer, other deer recorded included 124 Roe (incl. at least 23 bucks), and 3 Muntjac deer were spotted near Holford - the first time this species has been noted in northern sections of the count.

Red Deer  seen: 571 (450 Hinds & calves of both sexes / 62 Prickets / 42 Young stags / 16 Older Stags 4yrs+)

Other deer seen during the 2016 Spring Count included 124 Roe Deer ; 0 Fallow; Muntjac seen!

For overview see graph below, or click relevant year for pdf versions and additional details by year.

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

(Click graph to view at full size)

Deer Count 2017