Just worth a short update on the roe buck which I have been watching for the past few weeks in a turnip field at the bottom of the road to the Chayne. I posted about him on the 21st January, noting his rapid antler growth, but much has changed in his world since then.
He was always in the field with a doe, but I found her lying dead a fortnight ago. Ravens got up and clattered away from the turnip shaws which had turned brown and soggy under the snow, and I hopped out of the car and over the dyke to see what the fuss was. Sure enough, she was curled up and stone dead with her ears chewed off and her eyes away. Inspecting her teeth, I found that she was a very old deer, but while the snow had lain for some time, I found it difficult to imagine that the cold weather alone had killed her. It was something of a mystery, but her death signalled the end of the buck’s perpetual presence in the field. The two had been inseparable, and now a new doe moved in with her young doe follower.
A short distance away over the burn, a much finer buck (pictured below, yesterday) started to attract my attention, and soon I found that I was hardly looking for the beast in the turnips anymore. That was until last night, when I came off the hill on the darkening and found him out on his own in the shaws. His antlers have come on a great deal, and his tops have now grown well above his brows. There is no sign that he is planning to grow back points this year, and when compared with his neighbour (below) it now seems like my enthusiasm for this buck’s head was misplaced.