Police and wildlife groups have joined forces to tackle a rise in deer poaching in Cumbria.
It is thought the increase is being driven by demand for Christmas venison.
The North West British Deer Campaign Group claims the situation is putting the Lake District's deer population under increased pressure.
A group spokesman said despite poachers facing fines of up to £5,000 if they are caught and prosecuted, stag carcases are being sold for £150 each.
Peter Robson, chairman of the Kendal-based campaign group, said: "Poachers are reacting to a greater demand for the meat at this time of the year.
"The animals are being shot with illegal calibre weapons and also being chased with dogs at night.
"It is worrying because some animals escape wounded and then die a lingering death.
"We have actually seen video of a gang who filmed themselves chasing a deer in a vehicle until it was too tired to go on and then releasing dogs to finish it off.
"These don't care at all for the animals, or whether they are killed in or out of season or humanely."