This morning I took the dog for a walk on the boundary of a farm where I have permission to shoot. On driving back I saw three Roe running towards the road from a neighbours spinney. The spinney is 1km away from the single wood on 'my' farm. We were pretty much on a collision course so I slowed down to a stop and took the opportunity to see what they were up to. The deer themselves stopped about fifty yards away in the field, and were two clean bucks plus a doe, one of the bucks was noticably a big mature animal.
The deer then started running again and it was soon obvious that the bucks, in particular the big lad, were chasing the doe, the doe was trying to get away by crossing the road but each time the bucks cut her off, almost as if they were trying to turn her back towards the spinney. Eventually the doe ran parallel with the road for a couple of hundred metres before managing to cross with the two bucks still in hot pursuit. They carried on with these antics in the next field, straight runs, circles, figure of eights and occcasionally stopping to regain breath before carrying on the chase. Again the doe made a headlong dash to cross a road but stopped just short.
At this point I realised there was real chance of them getting embossed into the tarmac so I got out of my car, walked over a bit and shouted to scare them off, this succeeded and they ran off into another of the neighbours woods. This wood was about equidistant between the wood on my permission and the origainal spinney.
I went back to my wood this evening to check a few tunnel traps I run. I saw a buck in velvet on the woodside as I approached who soon saw me and ran off into the trees. I checked a couple of traps and rounded a corner to to walk up the far side of the wood. With that three Roe come running out a couple of hundred of metres away. They then ran straight down the woodside towards me before cutting back into the trees just infront of where I was stood. They were a doe being chased by two clean bucks, one of them a nice mature animal! Obviously I cannot be certain but they looked alot like the same three Roe I had seen a first a kilometre away that same morning. So what are they playing at at this time of year??