Concern over poaching in Derbyshire's Peak District in the run-up to Christmas has prompted a police appeal.
Officers said they were worried increased demand for venison and game in the festive season could put wildlife at risk.
They believed a herd of red deer which live in the Goyt Valley was especially vulnerable.
Officers have asked residents to be alert to any suspicious vehicles or activity in the High Peak area.
PCSO Pat Findlay-Wilson said: "Every year there are hundreds of deer which are lawfully and professionally culled by trained deer stalkers.
"Unfortunately, there will be others which may be cruelly killed by poachers, who do not have approved arms or ammunition, looking to sell meat on the black market.
"We urge the public to contact us should see anything suspicious in the countryside such as, lamps being shone from vehicles, or if they hear gun shots in these places at night."