A DEER found killed by dogs near Stone died weeks before peak poaching season, a wildlife crimefighter has said.
The death, which happened in the deer park at Moddershall, was reported by Staffordshire Police’s Online Watch Network last week.
But it is unlikely to have been caused by poachers, Faye Burton from the Rural Policing Liaison Group, who founded the Poacher Watch scheme, said.
“The poachers won’t go after deer yet because the stags are out of condition and the meat is not going to be good.
“The poaching will start in November, leading up to Christmas when people want a bit of venison.
“Farmers will need to be more vigilant in November too because of sheep and turkey rustling.”
Stags are currently not in the best condition for meat because of the rut, she added.
Males lose weight because they are expending energy competing with one another for females.
She warned visitors to deer habitats such as Cannock Chase that the rut can be a dangerous time to watch the animals.
“People are standing there watching them but you have these really big stags that can just charge at them.
Once they start you can’t stop them.
“People need to be very careful because they are really aggressive at the moment.”
On October 6 suspected hare coursing was reported, after men with lurchers were seen in the Chartley and Fradswell areas.
Ms Burton said this was an ongoing issue in the county and anyone who sees suspicious activity in rural areas should report it to Staffordshire Police, noting any vehicle registration details or descriptions of the people involved provided it does not endanger their own safety.