Deer people – a new book that explores and illustrates the lives and interests of 24 individuals and what red deer and deer management means to them

This beautiful new book Deer People is a collaboration between artist Ian Macgillivray, photographer Glyn Satterley, and Richard Cooke, the long-time former chairman and secretary of the Association of Deer Management Groups in Scotland.

The hardback glossy publication explores the thoughts, work and the interests of 24 people in Scotland whose lives in one way or another have been or are dedicated to the UK’s largest land mammal, the red deer.

In commentary quotes and anecdotes, individual portraits and black and white photography the book paints a picture of the breadth of involvement of these 24 individuals in the world of the wild red deer. As Richard Cooke writes in his introductory paragraphs:

Those portrayed in its pages include professional stalkers and deer forest owners across the age range, the managers of conservation land, a forester, a crofter and community representative, a scientist/professional adviser, a venison dealer, a rifle maker, a chef and a Government official.”

But he admits that these are just a handful of the numerous characters on whose lives and interests the book could have drawn.

The book will be launched at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace on Friday 1 July 2022 and following that will be available by mail order or by contacting the authors (price £30.00 + £6.00 p&p)

Note: Deer People is now out of stock/out of print.

Richard Cooke says that it was firmly the objective from the outset to make this a work about people:

“Deer, red deer especially, are constantly in the news and are always at the centre of the debate about our upland environment and what needs to be done to improve it in the light of the new imperatives – climate change and the biodiversity crisis. So much is heard about red deer numbers, densities and negative impacts that we felt it important to offer a reminder that the management of deer involves people, deer people.”

Proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to start an educational fund (see below). This will support a range of projects such as providing travel grants for young deer managers to experience wildlife management in other countries of the world and supporting educational initiatives within Scotland to take deer and their management into schools.

ADMG ‘Deer People’ Training and Education Fund
ADMG curates a fund initially raised from the proceeds of the book Deer People that provides support for overseas work experience placements for professionals working in the Scottish deer management sector.  More information about the fund is available on page 12 of the Spring 2024 issue of our magazine SCOPE and an application form is available here.

Forestry and Land Scotland out of season culling: Statement from ADMG Chairman Richard Cooke

“Forestry and Land Scotland, in responding yesterday (3 September) to criticism in a press statement by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, stated that ADMG “supported” its plan to cull hinds and calves from 1 September.  This is absolutely not the case.  We were advised of this proposal at a meeting on 31 January and accepted that the Deer Act permits this under the general authorisation and under Section 5(6).  We responded that any early culling must be in accordance with Best Practice and should not result in the orphaning of any dependent calves. 

“While ADMG acknowledges that FLS has responsibility for protecting Scotland’s woodlands and plantations from damage by deer we regard out of season culling as a regrettable necessity which is unpalatable to many in the deer management community.  FLS is an important participant across most of the DMGs and has made an excellent contribution in supporting the development of the venison industry, but we really cannot afford to have misunderstandings such as this.”