It always feels special on our walks when we spot a roe deer, and we’re seeing more of them than ever before around Appleton. It’s probably due to us walking more due to lockdown, and also there being fewer people around.

The best time to see roe deer is usually early morning. It’s also far easier to see them when leaves aren’t fully out in the woods, or the crops in the fields aren’t fully grown.

Our tips for spotting deer are to go out early, and tread quietly, especially when walking through the woods. If you’re following a footpath that takes you into a field, pause to look around as you enter the field, particularly at the hedges where they can be feeding.

Deer have good eye sight for seeing movement but not all colours (luckily, as Ian’s favourite jacket is bright red) They have an amazing sense of smell, so if you are down wind of them (you can feel the wind on your face) and stand as still as you can, you can watch them for some time if they haven’t spotted you. We’ve had deer head straight towards us and get incredibly close when the conditions are right.

Here are our top 5 Roe deer facts:-

  1. Roe deer don’t live in herds. During the summer months, they are often spotted on their own or as a mother and her offspring. However, in the winter they do form small but loose groups for comfort.

  2. The males are called bucks and the females are called does. Remember the Sound of Music song “Do, Re, Mi”?

  3. Mothers normally give birth to twin kids or fawns. The mother then keeps them apart for their first week, visiting and feeding them separately. And although breeding season is July and August, the pregnant does don’t give birth until summer. This delay is thought to have evolved to avoid conflict for breeding territory and giving birth in harsh winter months.

  4. Roe buck have short antlers, typically with no more than 3 points. These are shed in the winter and are usually fully grown back by the end of the spring for the breeding season.

  5. When startled, both sexes of roe deer make a dog-like barking sound.

If you ever find a young deer that looks as though it has been abandoned – leave it alone and creep away quietly. A mother deer normally leaves her babies hidden while she goes off to feed and will return later when nobody is about.

Let us know if are interested in deer spotting when you visit the Long Barn, and we’ll make sure we give you where/when our latest sightings have been.