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Thread: Deer Cluedo. Who can decode this info?!

  1. #1

    Deer Cluedo. Who can decode this info?!

    Hi all,

    I'd like to know if anyone here can give me an idea of species and numbers with the following set of poorly gathered intel. Like deer Cluedo.

    I am new to all this and have not got an FAC or permission yet but am making steps in that direction. I was a bit disheartened that the local area I live in (far West Cornwall) is not known for having much in the way of deer but this weekend I have found some definite sign whilst on a boat based camping trip within 20 mins of home.

    My girlfriend has pretty much lost patience with me scurrying up animal tracks when we go for a walk. Fortunately on this occasion she had a camp chair and a book so I was able to blunder into the undergrowth without the usual 30 second time limit.

    Here's what I found:


    • I walked up an overgrown permissive footpath today accessible only by boat so very undisturbed except by the odd kayaker
    • The woods were mostly beech and stunted little oak trees (it's very exposed to coastal winds and is thin soil on granite).
    • VERY thick vegetation, I don't think anyone has walked in there for a long time. Even the footpath was completely overgrown and almost impassable in places
    • Quite a big area - about 300 acres in all backing on to arable / daffodil farmland
    • Lots of bluebells and ivy - no sign of deer browsing on any of it
    • I came across a hazel sapling which had been heavily frayed. It didn't look that fresh (no green bark or sap) but there were still hairs caught in it
    • The fraying marks came up to just beneath my hip (I'm 5'11) at their highest
    • No tracks so I'm unable to give any info on this front
    • No droppings
    • Within 400 yards of here I found 5 areas of scraped bare earth amongst bluebells / leaf litter all covered in deer hair, and a tree with deer hair all over the trunk up to about 2 feet high. This was all within 5 yards square and just off the footpath
    • Despite the temptation I didn't want to go traipsing through the woods to find more as it's private land
    • Here's a photo of the hair - it's grey along the shaft, fading to a short creamy ginger section with a dark tip. The longest is about 45mm
    • I also walked along the field which bordered the woods and there was no sign of deer walking there or leaving the woods. A couple of rabbity looking runs but nothing noteworthy


    My questions are
    1. What species do you think they are?
    2. Roughly what density given the lack of droppings or browsing but multiple areas where they've been couching down
    3. I have asked around and now know which property owns the land. How do you rate my chances of gaining a permission (of course after I get my DSC1 and FAC?)


    Any insight, advice and detective work would be hugely appreciated. Cheers!

    Mike
    Last edited by csl; 18-05-2014 at 19:22.

  2. #2
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	deer hair.jpg 
Views:	179 
Size:	444.1 KB 
ID:	42242Ooos, here's the photo

  3. #3
    I only read as far as West Cornwall

    There are fallow about and you don't say where exactly... but my guess is Roe

    (I spend about a month a year in/around Falmouth)
    Last edited by csl; 18-05-2014 at 19:43.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeakc View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	deer hair.jpg 
Views:	179 
Size:	444.1 KB 
ID:	42242Ooos, here's the photo
    Borrelia spirochetes under electron microscopy
    bad do-do

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Can I suggest you put the hair between your fore finger and thumb and roll it. Come back and tell us what sensation you felt. i.e. did it feel as though it vibrated?

  8. #8
    Yes, it does vibrate. The only deer hair I've examined in detail before has come on a patch for tying fishing flies so I know it's not red deer but can't get any closer than that! What does the vibration tell me?

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    Can I suggest you put the hair between your fore finger and thumb and roll it. Come back and tell us what sensation you felt. i.e. did it feel as though it vibrated?

  9. #9
    Its Badger hair. Its the only real way you can tell it apart from dog, deer etc.

  10. #10
    Yep, badger hair is triangular in cross section so when rolled between the fingers is is not smooth......
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

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