The stag hunting season is finally over for another year.

The stag hunting season is finally over for another year.

It's hard to believe people gain pleasure from watching a deer being chased to exhaustion before being blasted with a shotgun; but that's what happens five days a week between August and April around Exmoor and the Quantock Hills.

It's sickening to watch as deer that know they are safe on the League’s reserves try desperately to reach sanctuary, but are turned away by a howling mob of hunt supporters, whooping and hollering. Unfortunately, the deer don't often  make it, but sometimes they break through the cordon to safety and then the vitriol of the hunt supporters is turned onto anyone who dares to oppose them.

Animal Charity

Three packs of hounds start in August by picking out the biggest and best mature stags to chase and kill. They continue killing these marvellous creatures right through the breeding season to the end of October.

Sadly, there is no rest for the deer, as the staghounds change to hunting females throughout November, December, January, and February. Many of these hinds will still have their young calves by their side and they often have to choose between saving themselves and their offspring.

When March comes, the hunts swap back to hunting stags, but this time it’s the young stags that haven’t even had chance to breed. Chases can last for hours before the exhausted stag is run to a standstill and the gleeful hunt member puts it out of its misery.

Animal Charity

The hunt is followed by a rabble of hunt supporters in vehicles that block roads and drive across protected areas in their insatiable desire to see the tortured deer. As the hunt reaches its end, vehicles are abandoned as people rush forward to be there at the kill and maybe take home a trophy cut from the still warm body of the victim.

To make matters worse, all of this cruel activity takes place within Exmoor National Park and the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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