Deer hunting is meat hunting or sport hunting for deer, which dates back tens of thousands of years. There are many types of deer around the world that are hunted.
On average, a stag hunt lasts 3 hours and covers around 12 miles. When the stag is finally caught by the hounds, it is at the point of total exhaustion. Scientific analysis of blood samples taken from hunted stags reveals a litany of suffering. In the early stages of the chase, glycogen and blood sugar levels fall sharply. As the hunt progresses, fatty acids in the blood rise, indicating high physiological stress levels. Red pigment in blood plasma increases, caused by ruptured blood cells. In the later stages of the hunt, high levels of muscle enzymes appear in the blood, indicating life-threatening muscle damage.
The cruelty involved in hunting deer with hounds does not justify its ineffective role as a means of culling populations.
Deer in the wild are accustomed to being chased; it is not clear what extra stress, if any, they suffer as a result of being hunted. But probably the hunt's most important contribution to the welfare of the deer is the preservation of the moorland and woodland in which they live. Hunting plays a vital role in preserving the habitat on which the deer depend and in securing the goodwill and cooperation of landowners and farmers in managing deer numbers. Without hunting, such land could be ploughed up for crops or grazed by sheep.