Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Just unlucky? Or fewer Roe?

I have been out a few evenings during the latter part of July & early august looking for Roe deer. These charming mammals are a little bit odd in that this is the time of the rutt, not during the autumn like red or fallow.
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!
Young buck 
A doe bounds through the summer growth.
Classic roe pose!
Yearling buck.

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