I was prowling around in dense vegatation the other day when I spotted this tiny roe deer kid couched down among protective nettles only one step ahead, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).
Sneaking a photograph I retraced my steps and left the kid in peace once more.
Roe deer kids are left to lie like this for three weeks or so after being born, until they are agile and fast enough to follow their mothers.
Meanwhile, she only visits them infrequently to suckle them.
Be sure she would know I was there and would be listening and scenting my every move as I neared the kid, ready to defend it with her sharp hooves if required.
In summer when young deer, hares and ground nesting birds are helpless on the ground. It is most important to keep dogs under close control when out in the countryside.
Whether your dog is friendly and kind is neither here nor there, dogs can cause animals and birds to abandon their young simply by being there.
I have even heard people proudly state that their dog is “always chasing deer!” as if it a great laugh and can do no harm.
Take my word for it, a dog running loose and out of sight is not “playing” – it is hunting.
It may have no idea what to do with it’s prey when it finds it, but by then the disturbance has been caused.
It amazes me how so many people take care to control their dogs around lambs, yet let them chase deer and hares with no conscience at all.
I even heard a nature reserve warden tell recently of a very rude and irate response he got from a visitor when he politely asked that they keep their dog on a lead while on the reserve.
Do these folk really have so little regard for animals other than their own dog?
Or is it just a case of out of sight, out of mind?
Oh, to be so carefree!