Join me as I try to sneak up on a small group of wild Roe Deer. This is the second time I have seen them near to Norwich and my the best British deer footage I have managed to film. The field where I had seen the deer was wide an open so I would have to stick to the tree line if I wanted to creep up on them. Despite my bright blue jeans and clumsy footwork, I managed to sneak into a position where I could stay hidden but also get some good albeit distant views of them laying at the edge of the field.
I could only see two heads at first but my cameras zoom is pretty good and after taking a closer look I noticed four heads poking above the grass. These are Roe deer, 3 females or does and one male which is also known as a buck. In the early spring Roe deer bucks have just finished growing a new set of antlers and they are still covered in a furry skin known as velvet. He will rub this off by May when the breeding season begins and he will need his raw antlers to fight other bucks for breeding rights. Suddenly something startled the deer and they were on their hooves and across the field. Often their oval shaped white rumps are the only thing you will see as they disappear into the distance. Only four deer ran across the field but once they got to the other side a 5th emerged from the trees and joined them. It was another Buck and the original was not very happy about it. The roe deer mating season is known as the rutt, which runs from July to August and this is when fights between the bucks can get really serious. Sometimes they will fight to the death. For now it is a matter of personalities and it seems the original buck isn’t here to make friends. Roe deer have a very interesting breeding cycle. They mate during the rutt but the fertilized eggs don’t start developing until 3 to four months later and the young aren’t born until May or June. This is thought to be an adaptation that stops the does from giving birth during the winter when there is less food available. Unlike the other species of deer that live in the UK, twins are very common and it is not rare for the doe to have triplets. These young are known as kids and are born covered in white spots. The deer gradually made their way back across the field towards where I was blending in seamlessly with the vegetation but apparently it wasn’t good enough. They had spotted me, so after getting these few seconds of footage I made a hasty retreat and let them pass by.
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