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Thread: Young Roe Doe in poor condition.

  1. #1

    Young Roe Doe in poor condition.

    I have to go up to one of my permission every day to check on some Fenn Traps I have running there. When I go up there I often take my .270 with me as I have permission to shoot deer on that permission and as yesterday offered reasonably fine weather wise it seemed like a perfect excuse for a steady and quiet stalk!
    I have a feeder set up on this permission along with a perfect vantage point to view the feeder close to where I park my car so it is an ideal chance to see what deer there using the feeder and what condition they are in!
    I have found through observation that when deer are near the feeder it is usually around lunchtime so yesterday at about 11.30 I got my self ready, packed my rifle, moderator and ammunition etc and off I went.
    The weather was reasonable with a light but cold breeze and a slightly overcast sky.
    On arrival I parked the car in it's usual spot and quietly got my coat and boots on, screwed T8 on the rifle, loaded a magazine, picked up my binoculars and made my way to my "viewing point"!
    On approaching my "viewing point" I could see that there were no deer near the feeder so I "glassed" the areas where I know that the roe on this permission often like to lie up. I spotted the shape of what looked like a roe lying up in a bit of a dip in the ground behind a very small spinney, so decided that a slow steady and quiet stalk was in order, even if it meant that to get anywhere near this deer and have it in a safe shootable position without making my presence known to it I would have to take the long way round - Even though this deer was no more than about 150 yards from me from my view point it would involve a stalk of around 400 yards and leave me without the wind being completely in my favour. However that was a chance I was willing to take as I had nothing else to do till the rugby came on!
    The ground in the woodland is extremely wet which makes the stalking hard, but no great hardship there although it was a little cold it was a pleasant enough day for a stalk.
    I took my time and spent around half an hour steadily making my way around the wood to get to where I would be able to see if the deer was still in the same position, stopping regularly to glass each area of the wood as I went. Eventually I got to about 60 to 70 yards from where I had first spotted the deer and saw that it was still in exactly the same place. However I did not have a clean line of fire from where I was standing so had to move a little to get into a better position to see the deer clearly and to decide if it was a shootable animal. This took me about 5 more minutes using a steady start, stop, watch and wait sort of movement so as not to alert the deer to my presence. Several times it did look straight towards me so I had to instantly "freeze on the spot".
    By now I was only about 50 yards from the doe so I knew that the slightest wrong movement could give the game away!
    Once I was in a position where I had a perfectly clean and unobstructed line of fire I watched the animal for a couple of minutes through the scope with my rifle on the sticks "at the ready".
    While I was watching the deer several times it looked straight towards me as if it "thought something might be not quite right"! At no time did it make any effort to get up to look around which left me wondering if something was wrong with the animal! The only way I can describe it was that the deer looked what I would describe as "very lethargic".
    Through the scopes I could easily see that this was a youngish doe but as she was still lying down I could not see if she was carrying any visible injuries. However she seemed didn't seem to be anywhere near as "alert" as I would have expected - She didn't even attempt to get up even when I made a bit of movement while she was looking straight towards me. With this in mind I made the decision that that this was a beast that warranted shooting!
    She was still lying down and not looking like she was going to get up and looking straight towards me so I had no option but to take a head shot - I know some might condemn me for taking a head shot but I am comfortable with head shots and in this case there was no other option so please remember that before trying to put me down for taking a head shot!
    I waited for what seemed like an eternity (In real time I guess it was just around 30 seconds, but it seemed a lot longer) till she turned her head sideways on to me and I gently squeezed the trigger and let the shot go.
    The crack of the shot rang out through the woods and the deer's head instantly dropped to the ground so I knew the shot had been good. The only movement was a little kicking and twitching of the legs which stopped after about a minute or so. I waited for about 5 minutes or so and then approached the deer and unloaded the rifle.
    On close inspection she was only a yearling but she was in very poor condition. (I'm not keen on shooting yearling does on this permission but in this case I believe it was well warranted) The shot had been perfect and hit exactly where I had aimed it, straight in the temple just behind the eye and had exited on the other side of the head and buried itself in the ground behind where she lay.
    I checked the feet first (After putting on a pair of latex gloves) and all looked normal, nothing to cause any concern there so I rolled her over and checked for any possible "unseen injuries". There was nothing visibly wrong with this doe except for the fact that she had no weight about her (And a damned big hole through her head) so I decided to bleed her out and do the gralloch there and then.
    The inspection of the gralloch showed nothing abnormal, no signs of anything wrong with the lungs, liver, kidneys or heart and the lymph nodes and everything else looked perfectly normal and there was no signs of any parasites! - There was nothing at all to suggest that there was anything at all wrong with this doe "health wise" except for the fact that she was very under weight and quite lethargic!
    With the gralloch completer I bagged up all the internals and the head and carried everything (Including the carcass) to where I could pick it all up with the car.
    She was then taken to a friends where we could do another close inspection of the gralloch etc and then do a "suspended skinning" and dress the carcass.
    After inspecting the gralloch again and found nothing wrong we then skinned the carcass and checked for any signs of bruising to see if maybe she might maybe have been clipped by a car or something - There was nothing showing to suggest this might have been the case - No bruising or bite marks or anything like that!
    With that done we both decided that there was no reason to not allow this beast to enter the food chain. We dressed it and washed and bagged all of the individual cuts. Some of the meat is now in my freezer (I'll be having some medium rare loin fillets for dinner some time this week - Which I am really looking forward to) and the rest of it has been given out to my friend and a few of my elderly neighbours who I know enjoy a bit of venison now and then.
    All in all it was a rather unexciting but steady and successful stalk with what I think was a good animal to cull out and some very happy neighbours, even though I missed most of the rugby!

  2. #2
    Great report with excellent description. Well done, most enjoyable read. I would have taken the animal out too, not a good do'er.

  3. #3
    There are poor offspring in every walk of life (most of the human versions breed like rabbits). This is why, as deer managers we should try to set a cull plan to take out these poor versions. They aren't necessarily ill, they're just poor. You don't want those ones breading that's for sure! As for taking the head shot. It was 50 yards off sticks, laying down and relaxed. If ever there was an ideal time to take a head shot then that was it!

  4. #4
    Good call Pete, excellent write up and good shot, I'm in the middle of building an extension on our house and haven't been out since beginning of January!!!!!!!!!!

    but im up in the borders at the end of Feb for 3 days, I can't bleddy wait,

    its reports like like this that warm my cockles / makes me look forward to getting out stalking when I can't get out as much as I'd like

    keep at it mucker,



  5. #5
    Great write up.
    I think you did the right thing with the head shot!!
    Last edited by Gunner1985; 15-02-2016 at 11:08.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the positive comments.
    With regards to the head shot - As the report said there was really no other option in this particular case, it was either a Head/High Neck shot or nothing!
    I know that some do not agree with head shots but as far as I am concerned there is a time and a place for them and this was that time and place.
    I personally do not have a problem with anyone who takes a head shot as long as the shooter is sure that his/her rifle/scope combination is well set up and they are confident in taking that type of shot. However I agree that a head shot is not always the best/most favoured shot to take as there are a multitude of disastrous things that can go wrong and no-one should be pressurised into taking a head shot if they are not comfortable taking it.

    Edit: I'll give you one guess as to who is having lightly pan fried (Medium Rare) loin fillets of venison dressed with a Cranberry Sauce, garden peas, mushrooms and chips for tea tonight?
    I'll give you a little clue - I can't wait, my mouth is watering already!
    Last edited by FrenchieBoy; 15-02-2016 at 13:04.

  7. #7
    the reason the deer was in poor condition is that up hear in rossendale the weather
    has been cold n wet for months and i also have permission on some of the same land!
    the deer population in my opinion does not need culling i have been helping them by
    feeding wheat and old apples from the super market on a daily basis,
    perhaps frenchiboy should do the same?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by captain ken View Post
    the reason the deer was in poor condition is that up hear in rossendale the weather
    has been cold n wet for months and i also have permission on some of the same land!
    the deer population in my opinion does not need culling i have been helping them by
    feeding wheat and old apples from the super market on a daily basis,
    perhaps frenchiboy should do the same?
    I do exactly the same as you!
    I have a feeder out in the woods on my permission which is visited on a regular (Almost daily) basis by the roe deer around my area which I make sure is topped up regularly. I also put out a good few pounds of chopped apples every couple of days (Which I pay for out of my own pocket) This not only helps the deer out, it also helps me to see what deer there are around my permission and of course what condition they are in.
    The deer around my permission are quite healthy and carrying a reasonable amount of weight. As it is I am in the process of making up another feeder which will make two available for the deer on my permission.
    I only cull any that are necessary in order to keep healthy animals around my permission, and this one (In my opinion) warranted culling!
    On the land where I culled this doe I have sole written permission from the landowner (Who refuses point blank to allow anyone else permission to shoot there) and I do whatever I can to help to keep the deer in healthy condition including feeding them and watching for any illness or injuries amongst them!

  9. #9
    Hi Frenchie,

    Good write up mate, seems the feeder is doing it's job then and well done for culling out the doe, if you need any more wheat just let me know and I will drop some off at yours mate. As for captain ken you are right about the weather and the effect it has on the deer but I know personally that Frenchie has the only permission on that land after having met the landowner myself and having a chat with them.


  10. #10
    Great write up and result for your cull. I have culled some "small" roe does in my cull down in Hampshire. My instinct was also that "something was wrong" but after the usual observation, inspection, gralloch etc. all was fine. The earlier post about the weather must be a factor. The mild weather has left plenty of browse / food but the endless cold, wet and windy weather must have effected body mass and condition of the younger deer. As for the head shot, you can only take what is safe and you are presented with based then its down to confidence and your ability.

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