Driving around & looking in all the old favourite places, i was struck by the lack of roe. Now, the maize is growing up nicely & no doubt hiding a few, but surely not that many?
A scout around the levels reserves, turned up a few, but not as many as i would have expected.
I have a few tricks up my sleeve to coax them out of hiding & was dismayed at the lack of response in the hotspots of the past.
When i did eventually see some, they were nearly all does or yearlings. Bucks were even more scarce & all were youngsters, the oldest was estimated at around 2-3 years old.
So the question is, where have they all gone?
Have all the mature bucks been shot out or poached? Has the overall local population suffered from a couple of hard winters? Has the good weather during the spring led to early grass cutting when newborn kids are left hiding out while mum forages?
The truth is that i just dont know the answer. Its probably a combination of all these & perhaps other reasons. Was i just unlucky? I personally believe there are not the amount of mature animals around the area that there were perhaps five years ago......but i hope i am proved wrong.
|A proud buck!|
|A doe bounds through the summer growth.|
|Classic roe pose!|