I posted before about mange in Roe deer, I have now shot 5 deer with extensive hair loss all in the same area and a big thanks to Alex Barlow at VLA Langford for his help with finding out the cause-Demodex. Here are a few photos, some of a doe I shot on the 28th Feb and some of a young buck I shot today along with a doe from earlier in the winter and a buck from the summer:
Another doe from Jan (I suspect she was the mother to the buck I shot this morning):
Earlier buck from the summer:
There are several Roe in the area and a few Munties but I wouldn't say there are so many that it's over-populated, I have taken been fairly hard on the Roe and last year's cull was 42 from this area.
The mite is apparently present in deer naturally but for some reason these seem to be suffering hair loss as a result of large numbers of Demodex. The worm counts were relatively high on the deer examined by Alex although the body weights are good on the affected animals unless they have really bad hair loss which would obviously cause a drop in body weight as they waste energy trying to keep warm. The buck I shot first which is not shown here went silver when measured so the food supply through the winter is obviously good.
I'm adopting a shoot on sight policy if I see affected animals although I did leave a doe last summer that showed a small patch of hair loss as she had a healthy kid at heel and did not seem too badly affected, I think that is the really bad doe from Jan shown above and the kid was most likely the buck I shot today.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who's seen this although the only other recorded case was in Tadcaster last year.