November

Key behaviours / activities to look out for this month are:


  • Continued, moderate reduction in roe deer activity

  • Mothers keep fawns in close attendance

  • Towards the end of the month (and early into December) adult bucks shed their antlers

November can be one the quietest months for roe deer.


Any autumnal, 'false rut’ (which is a very brief affair anyway) that did occur in October, will be finished, and with the nights are now significantly longer than the days, the deer can become quite nocturnal.


The bucks' testosterone level will be at around its lowest at this time of year, and the chances of observing any physical combat is correspondingly remote.


As a consequence of the greatly reduced testosterone concentration in the blood, decalcification occurs where their antlers are attached to the skull, meaning sooner or later, they will fall off. And for the oldest bucks (who cast first), that will happen during this month.


If you’re lucky enough to find one of these jewels, they do make for a wonderful personal keepsake.


But intentionally locating discarded antlers is not easy. Once weakened by the decalcification process, they can come off at any time and any place, within the deer's home range.


However, there are one or two locations where the chance of finding one is slightly elevated.


The first of these is a spot where the deer frequently cross a fence line, or a boundary, where the antler could get knocked off as it brushes against the fence material, or surrounding trees and bushes.


Also, if the deer leapt over the fence, rather than pass under it, the physical jolt passing through the body when they hit the ground, could possibly bump off a weakly attached antler.


The other location where there is a slightly higher chance of finding a cast antler, is near to where the buck has laid down. When the deer gets up after a protracted rest, it’s likely he will shake his head after having a bit of stretch, and in doing so, could possibly throw off an antler.

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