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Rivalry

April 18, 2011

Father and son rivalry is back in the parish. The return of grass growth over the past week has drawn the Roe deer out of their winter quarters. Last year’s offspring have turned out to be, as I suspected, one of each sex.

The young buck, with this year’s antlers still covered in velvet, is annoying his father just by being there. In the soft morning light, the youngster generally keeps a respectful distance, but when he strays too close his father runs at him making him jink, swerve and put a few more yards in between. Over the next few weeks both bucks will scratch the velvet from their antlers and the competition will start in earnest.  It will be interesting to see how long the youngster is tolerated within the family group.

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