The Deer Preservation Society is calling for new legislation to protect the deer population in Ireland.

The Wicklow mountains are home to Red Deer and descendants of the Japanese Sika Deer which were brought to Ireland over a hundred years ago by the then Lord Powerscourt.

Down there in patches of scrub and forest and plantation, there are deer.

At present, there are no laws to protect these deer and anyone can hunt them. They can become a target when in bad weather they descend the mountains and eat farmer's crops. In addition, their meat, venison, is highly prized. However, deer are not easy to find for the deerstalkers.
They have an acute sense of smell and it takes a fine woodsman to get near enough to them to get a clean shot. Stalkers need patience as well as the right rifle and a lot of ammunition. 

Deer in Ireland have until now been totally unprotected meaning that you can shoot deer wherever you find them as they are not covered by the 1930 Game Protection Act. The Irish Deer Society is now calling for new legislation to include deer. 

Chairman of the Deer Preservation Society Andy Morrissey feels that this legislation is vital. He wants deer to be classified as game and for a closed hunting season to be set up. 

As the law stands anybody can shoot a deer.

This episode of 'Newsbeat' was broadcast on 19 February 1969. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.