By Tony Gussin
The grisly discovery of 11 stag heads at South Molton has triggered fears illegal poaching is spiralling out of control in the area.
Police have confirmed the find was made at the lay-by in Folly Lane during the weekend of September 28-29.
The North Devon Gazette understands all the heads of the red deer stags had been shorn of their antlers.
There are unconfirmed reports of similar incidents and the discovery of wounded deer shot by illegal or irresponsible hunters.
With the rutting season underway, Exmoor’s red deer stags are now crowned in all their glory - antlers of 12 points or more can sell for several hundred pounds.
Local police have linked in with a new campaign to tackle poaching called Project Trespass, which aims to co-ordinate action across the country.
“We are now into pre-Christmas prime poaching time, although it has been going on probably most of the year,” said PC Martin Beck, wildlife crime officer who is based at Lynton.
“We get regular information from people who suspect they have poaching taking place on their land.
“I cover Brendon to Parracombe, Trentishoe, Heddon Valley and down to Arlington and Loxhore – all areas where we have received intelligence about it going on. More....