Out last evening here in West Berkshire for what turned out to be an armed ramble, but a magical outing nontheless. Looking for roe and muntjac, but in a mature deciduous woodland found myself almost in the midst of a group of six fallow does that simply walked in to me as I sat quietly scanning from the base of a tree. Four had followers and it was a real treat to see them from just twenty or so yards. By pure fluke, the wind was favourable and light perfect, and I watched for about then minutes or so before one of the followers became uneasy about the 'lump' at the tree base and rang the alarm bell.
All standard stuff so far, and I am sure that most who get out often enough have had something similar happen to them at some point. What made my evening was that one of the does spied a discarded game feed sack on the ground, grasped it in her teeth, and ran around in circles, seemingly taunting her companions to chase her. The challenge was accepted, first by one, then another of her companions and over the time I watched ownership of the trophy changed hands several times. The does tossed their heads to make the sack flutter, and seemed to be enjoying the noise it made. Play came to a halt when I drew the attention of the youngster as I tried in vain to steathily extract my camera phone from a pocket.
A magical outing for me.
Anyone else have anecdotes to offer on deer playing with 'toys'?