WILDLIFE crime officers in the Highlands are carrying out anti-deer poaching patrols to clampdown on the illegal activity.
Operation Moon is ongoing and will take place throughout autumn and in the run-up to Christmas.
It will include patrols in hot-spots for deer poaching, visits to game dealers and targeting out of season and unauthorised shooting of deer.
Operation Moon follows on from initiatives during the summer which resulted in one individual being charged and reported to the procurator fiscal for shooting out of season deer.
Deer poaching can pose implications for public health as there can be poor food preparation hygiene when animals are taken for human consumption.
Police Scotland wildlife crime officer Constable Daniel Sutherland said: "Deer poaching is a national wildlife crime priority for Police Scotland.
"Those involved in poaching are quite often involved in other areas of criminality and this is another avenue to target criminals and disrupt their activities."
Colin Shedden, Scottish director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, added: "Those who poach deer care little for their welfare and may resort to inappropriate firearms, illegal snares or even use dogs.
"Nor will they respect the close seasons which are designed to offer protection for dependent young.
"We would encourage all responsible deer Scotland know of any suspicious activity or evidence of deer being taken illegally."
Any information about illegal deer poaching can be passed to Police Scotland on 101. Alternatively information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.