What a fright

Wed 9th November 2011

I promised to tell you about the red deer rut and I have to say that this years rut hasn’t been as good as last years. It seems like some of the big stags aren’t around any more. I don’t know where they’ve gone. Maybe they’ve been shot. I hear stories from various people but don’t know anything for sure. If that’s the case they’ll have been shot for their heads, not even for their meat, which is very sad.

There’s been more fighting between the stags this year. Again, I don’t know why. Maybe with some of the dominant stags gone the competition has opened up a bit.

However, I’m pleased to say that there are still some nice stags out there. At the beginning of the rut I saw a stag with a lot of the points on one his antlers broken off. There was another stag with his antlers broken clean in half. That must have been some fight. It just shows how dangerous stags can be at this time of year. I hope you have the chance to get out and see some before the rut is over. Even if you only hear them roaring you’ll be in for a treat. Just don’t be getting too close.

I think it’s going to be a long rut this year. It started back in September but stopped for a bit when we had that hot weather at the end of September. It soon got going again and isn’t finished yet. There are still some small calves around which means many of the hinds won’t be ready to mate yet. My guess is that the rut will run on through November and maybe even into December. I’ll let you know.

I’ve managed to do some good filming and am putting together on a new DVD. I let you know how it’s going next week.

Something funny happened the other night that I must tell you about. It was the evening after bonfire night and I went out to film the deer using infra-red. I set myself up in my hide and waited for the deer to come. Sure enough they soon showed up. Then, blow me, some fireworks started up and frightened them off.

Deciding to call it a night I climbed back down the ladder of the hide. The moon was just coming up and as I turned around I saw a figure looking at me from slope to my right. It gave me quite a fright.

I only had a small torch with me but I turned it on and walked toward this person. As I did so they started coming towards me all glimmering like in the moonlight. I said, “What are you doing here on my land?” I didn’t get an answer and as I got closer I realised why. The figure was a big balloon shaped like a witch. Just imagine seeing that coming towards you in the moonlight. What a fright. It must have flown there on Halloween night.

I told my friend Fred about it and he said if it had been him he’d have runned like hell. I went back in daylight and took a photo of it which you can see below. So if you’ve lost a witch balloon and recognise it, let me know.