Police Scotland Operation Wingspan

Operation Wingspan is a Police Scotland led campaign to deter and detect wildlife crime. It is being conducted over a year and the current phase includes a focus on poaching.

Police Scotland Operation Wingspan

Deer can only be hunted at specific times of year, and this varies between the four species found in Scotland and between males and females. It is also a crime to hunt deer during the hours of darkness, to use anything other than a rifle to kill them, to pursue deer using a vehicle, to shoot deer from a moving vehicle or to hunt deer without the permission of the landowner.

Indicators of deer poaching might be deer heads, legs or innards discarded at the roadside or in woodland, or vehicles being driven slowly on rural roads frequented by deer, especially if torches are being used as if searching for deer.

Poachers are unlikely to consider hygiene practices or examine the carcass for diseases such as tuberculosis. If this venison enters the food chain public health is put at risk.

Permission is required to fish on Scotland’s rivers, lochs, reservoirs and ponds.

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It is an offence to fish for salmon or brown trout in the close season. The close season for brown trout is 7 October – 14 March across Scotland. The close season for salmon and sea trout varies from river to river. Fisheries Management Scotland can provide further information regarding this.

It is an offence to catch salmon and freshwater fish by means other than a rod and line or legal net fishery ie gill nets, prohibited baits or lures, electrical devices and other implements prohibited by law.

If you see anything suspicious please report it to police.

If you are witnessing an ongoing crime call 999. If you have information then please contact Police Scotland on 101 or make a call anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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