Groups of Roe Deer

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25 Sharps

Well-Known Member
Mate just sent me a video of a group of 10 Roe deer all standing together in a grass field, l personally haven’t witnessed as many together in one group ,curious to know if this is a normal occurrence, what’s other people’s experience ?

I’ve seen 20+ and a buddy has seen 30+ on a farm where they have a ‘stalker’ who ‘looks after’ 10s of thousands of Acres, but in reality takes Dutch clients out after medal bucks only.

On my ground I took 2 out of a group of 9 recently, they normally reside next door where there is no stalking but the weather conditions had pushed them over.
 

Oldstalker

Well-Known Member
Like @gixer1 and @Brittany boy the first time I saw a large aggregation was 14 in a turnip field adjacent to the mansion house on the Haddo House estate[ Over 40 years ago]. Many years later [mid 90's ??] driving down to beyond Geneva in January first two friends and I saw over 20 in the centre of one of the big French fields (S end of Champagne) many years later again [2010ish] my late wife and I saw over 30 in a field a little further south in the north end of Burgundy. These winter aggregations of family groups are also easily visible in much of the rest of Western Europe and I have seen them from Poland in the east, Austria in the south and Spain in the west always in the winter.
I agree with @bogtrotter about the 50:50 split of kids BUT I do remember reading some research paper which said the roedeer themselves can vary the proportion by a statistically significant amount so that does are favoured if there is spare capacity in the area or more buck kids if the population is pressured (because the bucks kids get spread out). IF I remember correctly the ratio shifted by between 5 and 10%.
 

Brittany boy

Well-Known Member
The ratio thing is interesting a new shooter has the permission bordering my own divided by a railway line, he is a fair weather shooter and only goes out in the warmer months and shoots any Buck he can find, the does he tends to leave alone but I'm aware of a couple of anter less bucks he has taken🙄 I wondered if the removal of the Bucks had prompted the roe to replace them with more Buck kids.
 

ChrisWill184

Well-Known Member
Pretty normal yes. Usually this only happens in late winter and early spring when food sources dry up, they won’t be moving as one group as such, it’s more a case of they all gravitate to the best most nutritious feeding area. A farmer on one of my permissions saw 11 last year thinking the population had exploded, whereas the reality is that was likely most of the deer in the immediate area.
One area I shoot in particular is like this. Had 16 congregating on a rape field one year and half of them would gravitate over to the other farmers neeps. The surrounding area was almost void of deer.

Frustrating situation though because when the farmers are unhappy you have to do what he wants. I certainly don’t want him telling anyone how many roe he has to any old person, especially surrounding farmers.

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by a farmer ‘well if that’s how many I’m seeing, imagine how many there must be!’ In some cases, that really is about all of them!
 

PeteL

Well-Known Member
Many years ago (at least 25 or more), I was out with the Head Stalker on a well-known West Country Estate. He wanted to take a fallow for the Big House. We stalked into more or less the centre of 4 adjoining fields, probably totalling around 4-500 acres almost completely surrounded by woods . There was no wind and, spotting a group of fallow in the field to the East, we decided to wait until they grazed to within about 100 yards or so.
However, what took our attention during this wait, were the roe which kept on popping out of the surrounding woods in small groups. Over the period of about an hour or so, we counted 57, yes 57 in those four fields. My companion had been in the business for many years and he admitted that he had never seen so many roe at once in all that time. Eventually, approaching darkness necessitated that I take one of the fallow which had now grazed to around 120 yards. The rifle report broke the spell of a magical evening which I felt privileged to have witnessed. Happy Days!.
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Quite normal to get large groups in Winter. When I stalked for a certain Lord D on his Cotswold estate, one particular wood of 30 acres or so would hold up to 25 Roe. One could quite easily have been duped into doing a large cull. The fact was that this wood was particularly sheltered and very warm. As such it drew deer in winter from other smaller woods and plantations where they would return to in Spring. They always congregated there from some 1000 acres of ground. I always concentrated my main doe cull on the large woodland areas where other groups were resident all year.
 
We get groups of 20+ in some of the larger field areas. The problem then comes when the Government departments start to count at the same time. This is then multiplied by the area and figures are classed as high and a need for higher culls.
 

NickJ

Well-Known Member
My record seen is 16 in Wiltshire and I agree those areas with big arable fields get bigger 'herds.'

I know an author (I think Richard Prior) once quoted a group of 27 but he felt that could have been a concentration of two or three loose groups coming together to feed and then bunching up when disturbed.
 

HairyHaggis

Well-Known Member
I seen a group of 6 at the bottom of the field snd another group of 7-8 at the top of the same field a few weeks ago when i was out checking my trail cameras
 

Roebuck9

Well-Known Member
Quite normal to get large groups in Winter. When I stalked for a certain Lord D on his Cotswold estate, one particular wood of 30 acres or so would hold up to 25 Roe. One could quite easily have been duped into doing a large cull. The fact was that this wood was particularly sheltered and very warm. As such it drew deer in winter from other smaller woods and plantations where they would return to in Spring. They always congregated there from some 1000 acres of ground. I always concentrated my main doe cull on the large woodland areas where other groups were resident all year.
I think this is the reason roe deer congregate will always find the most sheltered spot to rest up and then go out and feed together.
 

PaulCat

Well-Known Member
Mate just sent me a video of a group of 10 Roe deer all standing together in a grass field, l personally haven’t witnessed as many together in one group ,curious to know if this is a normal occurrence, what’s other people’s experience ?

Edit.

Note to self, RTFQ :rolleyes:
 

Freeforester

Well-Known Member
Go to Austria and what was Yugoslavia and places like Hungary. You will see large fields with 50 or more Roe.
There's places where they aggregate this side of the water too. Have watched a bevy of 20 plus most years here for years, good for the soul to see. On Fyn, Denmark, they also do the same in big rape fields - safety in numbers. A Spanish guest once went to Hungary in a deal to shoot a medal buck; told me it was a mistake, as they drove round looking at literally dozens of animals, checking the heads with telescope, and when the guide found a suitable one, he was obliged to get out, lean over the bonnet safety off, bang - kerr-ching! Absolutely no stalk or hunting experience worthy of the name, he felt.
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
Mate just sent me a video of a group of 10 Roe deer all standing together in a grass field, l personally haven’t witnessed as many together in one group ,curious to know if this is a normal occurrence, what’s other people’s experience ?
Normal , usually around Feb/ early March.
I have seen up to 17 Roe in a group, and 6-10 is quite common.
 
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