Deer rescue at golf course

A section of golf course was closed today in order to keep a deer safe and allow it’s rescue to take place.

East Sussex National Golf Course had to temporarily close a section of the course after a golfer discovered a young fallow buck attached to a tree by rope.  Grounds staff reacted quickly, kept people away and called East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service.

A team of five rescuers in two veterinary ambulances attended on site and were driven by grounds staff to the location. “All credit to the grounds team for keep people away, allowing the deer to stay as calm as possible till we arrived. This makes a huge difference in our ability to release them in these situations” said Trevor Weeks MBE WRAS’s founder.

The team of 5 rescuers use a walk-to-wards net to approach and restrict the movement of the deer before performing a leg grab to secure the deer.  A rescuer was then able to safely pin the shoulders to the ground and the team set about cutting the rope free from the antlers.

“There were several iron poles which were attached to the rope which were close to the head and face. We had to be very careful that these did not cause the deer any injury. It really important that we cut away everything so the deer doesn’t run of with anything attached which could cause the deer to become entangle again or even during the rut become attached to another deer as we experienced at High Hurst Wood only a couple of months ago” said Trevor.

The speed and co-ordination of rescuers in these situation is critical. They must adapt to the ever changing approach and work well as a team thinking on their feet. Deer need to be cut free within 30 minutes of rescuers initial approach to avoid the risk of the deer suffering a heart attack or the long term effects of capture myopathy. Within 6 minutes of WRAS’s rescuers starting their approach, the deer was free and running back off to the wild!

“We are often asked why we don’t sedate such casualties, this would only be used as a last resort or for safety reasons. Sadly this doesn’t help much and will cause additional delays prolong the rescue, require ear tagging on release and add to the stress on the deer, as well as encouraging capture myopathy” explained Trevor.

East Sussex WRAS is a community charity which relies on donations to fund such rescues.  The charity will be operational all over Christmas but with a reduce crew looking after around 125 casualties which will still be in care on Christmas Day, Boxing and into New Year.  If you are able to make a donation to help fund this vital community service please go to or call 01825-873003.

These video are for use by local media only for all other use please contact East Sussex WRAS 01825-873003.

An untitled media version is available at

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