Sunday, February 20, 2011


Roe deer very much in evidence in this period. I like roe deer and the more people hate them, the more I like them. But the numbers are getting surprising. 12 deer in the field the other night, 4 bucks and four females from this year, 4 older does and generally in the area another 3 possibly 4 young males and two at least older males. That’s a staggering minimum of 18. We see them every day taking the kids to school  so I suppose you’d call them our deer. Their territory is quite small defined by a sort of boundary with another numerous group to the west and seems to be centered around our bit of private road.
I keep getting roped in to saving the critters (with little success), two separate fawns, a  male with a broken back, a young female rescued from a mill stream,  a male stuck in some bars, one hit by a car and  the other day two dogs attacked a fawn and together with a woman I had to wade in to save the poor animal but it’s back leg was almost bitten off and it had some nasty gashes and after some pretty rude treatment from it’s rescuers, including  lifting by its broken leg and, having past experience, probably even more cruel and heartless treatment from the professionals supposed to take care of these wounded animals I doubt that it would have survived till the evening and if it did it probably ended up on a table somewhere. Each time what is sickening is not the cruelty of nature, that’s distressing but can’t be helped, it’s  the cruelty and disregard with which they are handled by people, that’s disgusting. It’s shameful but as a convinced misanthrope, totally expected. Trouble is being a small village you can’t even kick up a stink when you see two ignorant professionals triumphantly holding a deer with a broken back aloft by its antlers after they have rolled down a mountain for ten minutes and having to see it start screaming again because it wasn’t dead, you just have to pretend you don’t see. If the curse has any power at all I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes; nasty way to die.
Of course the deer population is destined to rise terrifically as now the hunters can drive their jeeps up into the mountains legally they are all now going up high to get in a bit of macho off roading and shoot a few chamois, which of course do sooooo much damage don’t they. This year’s hunting season was characterised for the first time since I’ve been here, by a total lack of guns going off. I didn’t hear one.  Normally, every year,  it’s like WW3. This year, everybody is off to kill things that don’t have an excessive population leaving the deer to proliferate unchecked, unless it’s of course lack of low level hunting and free access to previously inaccessible roads is just  a coincidence.  And they say hunters are usefull? Do me a bloody favour. This is just sport.
I’m in favour of hunting, done properly for the right reasons,  populations need controlling considering we have screwed up the ecosystem so royally, but you need to oblige the hunters to do a job that’s usefull. not let them go rampaging about the mountains wherever they want. Roe deer have a high mortality and the more of them there are about obviously the more  we’re going to find them in distress. Someone needs to start discussing policy, not just ignoring the problem hoping it will just go away.

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