I was out on a patch tonight in the South of England and saw a Buck in velvet with a cracking head, it was already 8-9 inches tall, tines were not fully developed but the head was already looking spectacular. I watched him from the high seat he passed me just 15m away. I could hear his hooves on the dry leaves.
I have been stalking the North of England for the last 2 weeks and the tallest I saw was 4 inches of growth. Is this a bit of an exception for the south or does it tend to be the norm this level of development at this time of the year?