Well I set my alarm for 5.30am and, in spite of the pouringrain, dragged my frame out of bed and out the door. I decided to visit the ground with the mystery deformed roe deer.
As I got nearer the ground the rain got heavier and heavier but the forecast was for it to stop between 7 and 8 so I decided this could be ideal as the deer should start moving as the rain stopped.
I took a slow walk along the end of the wood and then sat against a tree for 30 minutes. At least I got less wet that way. The rain then started to ease so I gave it another 10 minutes and then went to look onto the wheat field that the roe had been on. Nothing!
I then glassed across the net field to the next wood and could see a roe feeding on the wood edge. Using a thick hedge as cover I got to 150 m and could see a doe feeding and what looked like my malformed animal just inside the wood. They both jumped as another deer approached. This was another doe and they both fed together and into the hedge and towards me.
After about 10 mins the other deer emerged. Its gait was very strange and it clearly had a leg missing. I took the shot. It was a doe but I decided it was for the best as at distance I could not tell how bad the wound was.
To be honest I have never seen a 3 legged roe (plenty of fallow) and I have never seen any deer that has lost a leg so high up. I can only assume this was the deer I saw the other day as she fed on her knee and moved very low to the ground. Time will tell I guess.
Next I took a slow walk along the wood edge and after about 400m there was my 1st buck of the season grazing on a bank. 210m but prone and with a nice rising backstop. He jumped to the shot and fell forward, moving no more. He is quite a nice head, very upright with a very dangerous looking spike on one side. Also starting to moult.
As I commenced the gralloch I noticed that his lungs were stuck to his chest on one side.
Other than that his lungs were fine. I then realised I couldn’t get my knife through his ribs. When I got home I struggled with a saw. His breast bone is about an inch thick so I guess he’s been tapped by a car at somepoint.
Then finally I noticed this on his kidney;
All his glands were fine. I have pictures of his good lung condition and unswollen glands but I thought you would take my word for it.
So all in all a good mornings work. I also suspect that the landowners decision to have the roe thinned out is a good one as I have taken 4 so far and 3 of them have had abnormalities!!