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Thread: Late winer mortality

  1. #1

    Late winer mortality

    I share a stalking lease in Dumfrieshire, nice place, 3000 acres of which approx 500 is woodland (both commercial conifer forestry and smaller mixed plantations), 800 acres grass fields and the rest heather and white grass open hill ground.

    We only have Roe on the estate and they were present in reasonable numbers. This spring we have so far found 8 roe carcasses which appear to be victims of the winter weather, (plus a ninth hung up on a wire fence), all were last years kids, and in two cases twins were foud dead together. I suspect we have found only a fraction of what has actually died. The carcasses were found mainly between 100 and 150m altitude. 5 were in the wooded areas, a pair of twins in a game crop and a single on the edge of the heather moor.

    I am particularly concerned about the dead twins in the game crop, I shot a doe which had two well grown doe kids with her in that game crop (only an acre) on the 10th of February. This was after the worse of the weather and the snow was rapidly thawing. I checked the cover again over the next couple of days to see if they had returned but were not to be seen. I would have thought that by February any kids would be well able to look after themselves if deprived of mum? Another couple of dead kids were also in the general area where adult does were culled in February

    I was on the ground last week and found three carcasses, all of which looked less than a month old. There are still adult Roe to be seen and some of last years kids have survived, I also saw the first new kid of the year.

    Has anyone else found a much higher than normal mortality after this winter? Do we have a missing generation?
    Last edited by mudman; 26-05-2010 at 00:30.

  2. #2
    Hi Mudman

    The reports off the hill are indeed much higher than normal deaths coupled with hinds absorbing foetus'. I think we all have our fingers crossed when we start spotting new born calves over the next few weeks.

    The hinds we shot in the highlands in the woods seemed in good nick, some fat and normal bodyweight, however on my patch in Galloway we've found 2 roe and 2 sika carcasses when usually none, all on the more open hill areas. I'm not sure if you saw it but there was a very good piece on winter mortality in the last edition of 'Deer' the BDS magazine.

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