I walked my dog this evening (6.15-7.15 p.m.) within the Oxford ring road. There is an area of ground split by the Cherwell River from a very populated part of town - i.e. houses just the other side of the river. There are about 14 roe deer hefted to a relatively small number of fields, which are not grazed due to the poor quality of grasses. There are, however, abundant dense hedgerows. I am not giving precise details as, although every SD member I have met (quite a few) have been great, I don't want to publish the exact location as one never knows who is trawling forums.
Anyhow the point is that I normally see 8-12 deer on any outing to this location, with a banker field that usually shows 6 or so deer at this time of night (given quiet, downwind approach). Tonight I saw one roe doe and none in the field in question. I haven't been for a 6 weeks so I am not in touch with current circumstances, but I was still surprised. Anyhow I did see some vehicle marks from a field leading off the ring road - probably the farmer who does graze adjoining fields I thought.
Then exploring some unusual (non vehicle) tracks that deviated from going into the field though the open gate to shirting though cover, I find a crossbow bolt (not bloodied). Putting 2 and 2 together and perhaps making 5 I fear possible attempted poaching, but apart from a crossbow bolt there is no evidence whatsoever. I took the crossbow bolt back with me and my wife suggested I call the police to notify them of my suspicions.
I feel I have nothing concrete to justify calling the police and I would be interested in getting some, ideally better informed, views from SD members. What would you do?