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Thread: Red deer mortality

  1. #1

    Red deer mortality

    Was anyone else seeing pneumonia signs in the red calves at the end of the cull? seeing a fair bit of winter mortality already especially among calves . It usually peaks with us just as winter relents but if it carries on like this will be a bad year.
    Took a tracked gator up into the white to clear ice from a hydro intake today. A lot of deer just standing around , passed a jaggy looking calf that clamped when it saw us , worked for a couple of hours at the intake and it was dead when we passed back down the hill, It hadn't got up from where it clamped . A different world up above 1000ft Not really anywhere deer can drop lower to winter these days they seem to be fenced out of everything now.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by pitiliedon View Post
    Was anyone else seeing pneumonia signs in the red calves at the end of the cull? seeing a fair bit of winter mortality already especially among calves . It usually peaks with us just as winter relents but if it carries on like this will be a bad year.
    Took a tracked gator up into the white to clear ice from a hydro intake today. A lot of deer just standing around , passed a jaggy looking calf that clamped when it saw us , worked for a couple of hours at the intake and it was dead when we passed back down the hill, It hadn't got up from where it clamped . A different world up above 1000ft Not really anywhere deer can drop lower to winter these days they seem to be fenced out of everything now.
    They are having a hard time of it at the moment, a number of deer down in the village every night hammering the gardens poor bu@@ers are starving, calves in really poor condition, very loose droppings, first time I have ever seen them eat daffodils which are poison as you will be well aware

  3. #3
    The current spell of wind & rain/sleet is really going to give the reds a beating.
    Here we haven't seen too many down so far but I expect the numbers will rise soon.
    It brings to mind the perennial argument of the balance of the whole environment up here in the Highlands & the place of deer in it.
    It sickens me that we as supposed guardians of it all can be as mercenary & selfish as to put animal welfare so low on the priority list.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    The current spell of wind & rain/sleet is really going to give the reds a beating.
    Here we haven't seen too many down so far but I expect the numbers will rise soon.
    It brings to mind the perennial argument of the balance of the whole environment up here in the Highlands & the place of deer in it.
    It sickens me that we as supposed guardians of it all can be as mercenary & selfish as to put animal welfare so low on the priority list.

    Ian
    In the seventies through quite a bit of highland Perthshire reds could still access some lower ground and woodlands to winter on when things were rough up high. I remember deer wintering in behind Bolfracks house in the hardwoods there.
    I spent most of the eighties planting trees on deer wintering grounds, strathyre , glen ample, ardtulllerie, loch striven. Now if deer break down into grazings they are hammered hard and either driven out or carried out . How sustainable is the current"sustainable deer management" much vaunted by SNH if the much acclaimed iconic scottish wild forest animal, is the only species we will not tolerate in woodland?

  5. #5
    The deer dont have many friends now .This wet snow isnt doing them any favours ether . I expect to find a few dead when the snow goes. During the last week of the season we shot a couple of "fluffy" calves still with spots on, 35lbs INTO the larder, these probably wouldnt have seen the spring.

  6. #6
    Whilst shovelling the snow off the path this morning I had a chat with the local estate worker who feeds the deer in the glen. He told me that he is seeing more dead just now & that it is often the big ones that expire when the scrawny ones manage to hang on.

    Ian

    Booooogr it's just started snowing again! LOL

    Just had a thought - At least the raptors will have something to chew on that is unsullied with poisons.
    Last edited by Yorric; 03-03-2015 at 09:55.

  7. #7
    Was it pneumonia, or just thin, dying deer? I'm not aware that pneumonia is that common as a cause of mortality.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Buchan View Post
    Was it pneumonia, or just thin, dying deer? I'm not aware that pneumonia is that common as a cause of mortality.
    We are seeing the usual winter deaths,late calves or orphaned piners , all jaggy and bags of bones , old hinds dead at feed , but a significant number of bigger calves , with well fleshed, dead where they couch. We have split a few of them and checked the workings, stomach full , sometimes on the watery side, liver clean but lungs sometimes , a bit solid with signs of damage from infection and adhesions to the diaphragm / ribs. If we keep on like this I;m guessing possibly double our usual annual mortality is likely. Praying for a dry spring , a wet one could prove costly on this seasons recruitment especially in light of significant deer culls

  9. #9
    Thanks. If you've time, some pictures would be interesting. There were a cluster of deaths in South Lakes a few years ago, that I'd have been happy to open up and have a look; although by the time I heard, they'd have been a bit nibbled

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