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Deer stalking and hill access

Deer stalking in Scotland takes place during the summer and autumn on estates in many popular hill walking destinations. Over the last few years, there has been a significant amount of work carried out to improve the information that is available to walkers and climbers during the stalking season to help plan routes and minimise disturbance.  


During the stag stalking season (1 July to 20 October) and the hind stalking season (21 October to 15 February) anyone heading to Scotland's hills and mountains should ensure that they have sought information on where stalking might be taking place. Stalking does not usually take place on a Sunday, but this is not the case on all estates and therefore information should be sought for every day of the week.

Deer stalking is an essential part of sustainable deer management in Scotland, supporting biodiversity in the mountain landscapes we cherish. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code calls on us to help minimise disturbance during the stalking season by taking “reasonable steps” to find out where stalking is taking place and by “taking account of advice on alternative routes”. 

The Heading for the Scottish Hills website has enabled improved communication between estates and walkers. It is the main source of information on stalking activity in mountain areas across Scotland. Though not fully comprehensive, many estates provide it with up-to-date advice on restrictions and alternative routes for walkers and climbers, or, contact details for further enquiries. Work is continuing to expand this service.

If information is not available via Heading for the Scottish Hills then please follow any local information signs or proceed with caution during the stalking season. 

If you consider that information (whether on location or on websites) is contrary to the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, unclear, unhelpful or unreasonable, let the relevant Local Access Officer know and copy us in. We are working with Scottish Natural Heritage, local authorities and Deer Management Groups to improve the situation for all hill goers.