Deer Wardens are on call 24/7/365– (contact via 101 or 999) There are 27 volunteer Deer Wardens spread around East Sussex.
They are all trained in Deer ecology and have an in depth understanding on how a healthy deer is supposed to react when in contact with humans. The animal’s welfare is of primary concern to us and second only to when humans are injured at the same scene. We are trained by the police and other agencies to make risk assessments based on the known facts at the time. All of us have 10’s of years of experience in working with deer. We are liability insured and have conditions on our firearms licenses signed by the Chief Constable! to humanely dispatch animals at the roadside (a public place after all) should this action be required. I cannot stress enough, the animal’s welfare is our primary concern, the decision to humanely dispatch is really hard on us, I can recall every single deer which I have been committed to dispatch, but I know that it’s been the right decision.
We are called upon by Sussex Police when;
(i) Deer are involved in DVC’s (Deer Vehicle Collisions) on a public highway and are positioned in such a way on the highway that a further collision and or daanger is possible.
(ii) Deer are suspected of being hit by a vehicle and lying inured at the edge of the highway
We do not publicly publish our contact numbers, this is for obvious reasons, remember call 999 if there is an immediate danger to other road users, this even applies on Ashdown Forest. The Forest Rangers Number is 01323 823583 if you have a non-urgent concern over animal welfare.
Ashdown Forest Rangers – They will (or should only deal with injured deer within the confines of Ashdown Forest – see attached image showing boundary) if the deer/animal is a danger to other road users then call 999 and have the What3Words app (https://what3words.com) loaded on your phone to give a precise location.
Animal Rescue Organisations – There are a few which I think probably most folks are well aware of eg Kit Wilson Trust, WRAS / Folly’s etc, these people do a sterling job and definitely have their place in terms of preserving life and animal welfare. What I will say here that experience tells in the case of a DVC, the deer’s injuries are ‘usually’ unsurvivable. Consider please the animals welfare and how long will it be before help arrives?? You have to make this judgement call, remember there are 27 Wardens strategically placed across the county.
When To Call Animal Rescue?
1. Deer stuck in fences on private land (if Highway land call 101 / 999 depending on proximity to highway)
2. Deer seen on private land tangled up in rope / football netting / fishing line / washing lines (I kid you not!)
3. Deer seen on private land and you have concerns for its welfare e.g. underweight, damaged legs, visible injuries eg dog attack, head hanging low, lying down and not attempting to move when you are seen at distance by the deer
Dead Deer At The Roadside – I use the enclosed form a lot (sadly) you will need a postcode of a nearby business or property, and if you can give a What3Words location in the comments then this will ensure the pickup crew find the deer quickly.
Fawns – This has been posted and mentioned before – Fallow Deer at least are about to give birth but all species of deer leave their young alone hiding in usually long grass, for long periods of time whilst the mother goes away to feed. It is very important to observe the animal, from a safe distance, before assuming a fawn has been abandoned.
What 3 Words for exact location – providing this will enable whoever is attending to get there quicker as they can pinpoint where you are – Select this link for the What3words website
Remember –if there is immediate danger to other road users dial 999