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Not Deterring Deer!

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Not Deterring Deer!

Postby Wendelspanswick » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:39 pm

After the recent post on deterring deer I had the great privilege in witnessing a pair of red deer stags rutting in the meadow next to the our wood.
We have one stag, whom we christened One Horn as he lost one of his antlers early, and his harem resident with us all summer but today a young pretender with a full set of magnificient antlers appeared, bellowing, on the other side of the combe.
I stopped the work on my cabin, got my flask out and settled back for the show, and what a show it was.
The two stags were smashing heads and antlers for around 5 minutes, not more than 100m from where I sat. The young pretender looked good but didn't seem to have the stamina of One Horn who won the battle.
Thinking about all the churned up grass I had noticed before today I guess this has not been the first conflict for One Horn this autumn.
Last year we found half a set of antlers, hopefully we might get a full set this year, especially if the young pretender sticks around.
Ours is a mature woodland so we enjoy the deer and if they continue to put on shows like this they will be even more welcome.
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Re: Not Deterring Deer!

Postby smojo » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:53 am

Fantastic. It's good to get a balance on nature and enjoy the beauty of these animals even if they do cause us concern. I guess it's good to remember too, that it is us that are the visitors to this natural environment. Maybe you should take a camcorder or something next time and see if you can get some vids of it. Did you keep the antlers last time. You could make some walking stick or knife handles with them.
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Re: Not Deterring Deer!

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:55 am

I dislike it when deer damage a tree I like, but they are just trying to survive and personal encounters can be very uplifting. One of the reasons I've hesitated to go ahead with a cull this winter is I've had a couple of moving encounters with a young newborn deer this year which really made my day.

Myself and Mrs Paws were doing one of our daily circuit of the wood in August (I go at least once a day, every day), accompanied by our two 'hunting' dogs, who must be half blind as they usually charge straight past any quarry. The dogs had gone ahead and we were making our way along one of my brush-cut paths through the dense centre of the wood, where its a mix of tall oaks, hazel and patches of bramble. I glanced to my right, then tapped Mrs Paws gently and hand my finger to my lips in a 'ssshh, be quiet' gesture. I pointed to a spot about fifteen feet away. There was a bright orangey-ginger object with white spots, lying on the ground, head raised. The young Roe fawn looked straight at us in the eye, staying quite rigid. We looked at it for a second or two without talking, then moved quietly on, so it could see we were no threat and just stayed where it was to wait for mum to return.

It felt really good to have had such a close encounter. The dogs never saw it and were oblivious. Next day it wasn't there, so clearly it wasnt hurt, just 'chilling'. I did see it once again in a slightly different spot, again freezing as a defence. In my two encounters I came to think of it as 'our little friend', and wouldn't like to think it would come to any harm on our account. If it was tame enough, I'd probably have grabbed some of my hazel shoots to try and feed it ! Observing, learning about, and shooting wildlife with just a camera can indeed be very enriching.
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