It's been a busy time since my last blog. We are all trying to take advantage of the snow and catch up with our deer numbers. (Haven't I read that somewhere before...?)
And we're doing just that. I haven't counted them but we must have had about 100 deer in the last week. More to the point, with an awful lot of them, we've been doing them a favour. I dont think I have ever seen a winter where there have been so many calves without mothers. We keep coming across little groups of them. I dont know why it is, but I suspect they just dont have the energy left to keep moving with the herd. Whatever the reason, most of them would be dead by the end of the winter anyway.
We're also catching up with a lot of old and thin hinds too. I have to say we're all feeling sorry for the deer but this is a job that has to be done.
I was asked what vehicles we use in this weather. In the pics is a shot of our Snowtrac. It's an ex-military vehicle dating from about 1960. It's powered by an aircooled VW Beetle engine and-interestingly (for the driver, anyway) has the Beetle gearbox too. Mounted backwards. It certainly makes you concentrate when you get to a steep bit and are relying on engine braking.
(We also have a skidoo and an argocat that we put tracks on in winter. And all these machines have the same weakness- they are rubbish in soft snow. Crap. Better left at home. And that means most of them haven't turned a wheel/track/...er..skid(?!) in the last 3 years. Very frustrating when you're plunging about in snow and sweating like a bastard.)
The rest of the pics are just general snaps taken over the week. You can see from some of them we've had some dismal weather. These heavily overcast or misty days coupled with the mosaic of snow patches and black ground make for some of the most difficult conditions we encounter.
The forecast for this week is for colder weather. Bring it on!