Apply for an authorisation to shoot deer (Scotland)

NatureScot has a statutory responsibility for the sustainable management of deer in Scotland.

Any control of deer must be carried out in line with the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, and certain activities require a specific legal authorisation.

You can use this service to apply for permission to:

  • shoot female deer out of season
  • shoot deer at night (from one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise)
  • shoot female deer over one year old between 1 April and 31 August

If you have an existing authorisation, you can apply for a renewal.

Before you begin

We will ask you to provide:

  • contact details
  • property grid reference and map (if applying for the first time)
  • details of fit and competent controller(s)
  • details of any prevention measures you have tried
  • your objectives for the site(s)

For further information, read our authorisations guidance.

General authorisation for deer

The General Authorisation allows the owner or occupier of land to cull deer out of season to prevent damage to agricultural land or enclosed woodland.

You do not need to apply for the right to use the General Authorisation but you must ensure that all conditions are understood and followed.

Abuse of, or failure to comply with, the conditions of the general authorisation could constitute an offence.

Find out more about the general authorisation.

Contact us

Contact our licensing team if you need help completing this form.



01463 725 364

Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm (except public holidays)

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