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Thread: Deer playing with toys

  1. #1

    Deer playing with toys

    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'?
    KevinF -

  2. #2
    I have the pleasure of watching on numerous occasions, a fairly old Red Hind, she is quite alone as the animal escaped from a compact fenced in stock, ( for meat ), this facility ceased to exist a good while back, anyway to the subject in hand, I was completely stumped as to who or what was moving the traffic cones around in the quarry turning circle, (where the trucks are loaded with product), one morning very early 04.45 ish, I spied this old Hind chucking the cones about & mock fighting them, mystery solved!.......... A sand quarry is a fantastic place to learn signs & tracks of the creatures that go about their business while some of us are asleep, as long as they keep to the sand!.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  3. #3
    Fallow seem to this quite a bit, often seen prickets playing with feed bags and bits of stick,
    seen fallow does kicking and butting a old feed bucket I used for mollases at one point ,
    they had taken the bucket out to about 50 yards into the field
    shame you never got any pics, as they would of been fantastic to see
    better luck next time

  4. #4
    Great for you to be able to watch that Kevin, I think deer are naturally quite playful. Obviously we get to see a bit more of it on the farm cos they're not bothered about us. Hinds here take a delight in diving in and nicking the horses food bowl and rushing off with it.
    Used to have one hind who would follow me around when I was hedge laying and lick all the oil etc off the chainsaws and fuel cans.
    But also watched a hind one day who stuck her head through the fence and pulled some bale wrap off a silage bale, quite a long length which got stuck in her teeth. She ran off, looked over her shoulder and saw this black streamer "chasing " her and went into panic mode and slipped into overdrive. She disappeared over a rise and I heard the bang as she hit a fence. Did a lot of damage to the fence and one of her front legs but recovered eventually. Mock fights between calves are also great fun, even at 6 weeks old they know how to use their heads as though they already had a set of antlers. It's probably why we don't have a television; I can just look out of the window.

  5. #5
    Enjoying these responses. Do keep 'em coming.
    KevinF -

  6. #6
    Slightly off track but...... I have a 16 year old red hind (captive) who chases a quad bike, once the bike has stopped she pulls off the fuel tank breather pipe, discards it then sniffs the petrol vapour !! After a couple of minutes of doing this she then rockets around like a yearling.

  7. #7
    Established Poster
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    Jul 2010
    Bathgate, West Lothian
    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Slightly off track but...... I have a 16 year old red hind (captive) who chases a quad bike, once the bike has stopped she pulls off the fuel tank breather pipe, discards it then sniffs the petrol vapour !! After a couple of minutes of doing this she then rockets around like a yearling.
    Ha ha ha, absolutely brilliant

  8. #8
    Ok, here we go again. You know how at school you sometimes got a year group that were all characters and really kept the staff on their toes, well a few years ago I had a paddock of red deer calves that were the class from hell. A bit like Stick's hind they would mob the quad bike and do their best to reduce it to a pile of component parts while you were putting grub in the troughs. One day in winter after a lot of rain the field was in a real mess, 3 or 4 inches of mud. I filled up the troughs as quick as I could and got back to the quad. Yes the petrol breather pipe was gone, no big deal they always do that. Went to start the quad, **** no keys! 120 weaners all trying to look innocent and pass the blame. I thought I was going to have to get the tractor to pick up the quad but out of the corner of my eye I just spotted a stag calf dangling the keys from his teeth and then he dropped them in the mud and started stomping them with front feet. Always took the keys with me after that.

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