Monday, 14 March 2011
A Numbers Game
Well that will be the heather burning jiggered for a while!
We had a foot of snow over the weekend, with more forecast for tonight. Hey ho.
However, every snowcloud has a silver lining it seems. This sudden return to winter has, at last, given us the conditions we need to do our deer count.
The principle is that all the estates in the area go out and count on the same day. They also liaise with each other if there is any movement of deer between estates. This negates the chance of deer getting counted twice.
From the results of the count we get a picture of the population and its distribution. And from that each estate can tailor its cull depending on what it's wanting to achieve.
When there is total snow cover, the deer are easier to find, easier to count (remember they can be in herds of hundreds), and less likely to move far if they are disturbed.
There is a downside.
I spent 6 hours plunging through snow up to my knees. Leaving no stone unturned on the whole beat. It took me an hour and a half to climb/crawl out this looong, steep slope at the head of my glen.
I got back to base, ready to drop. Only to be sent out on the snowbike to another part of the estate that hadn't yet been covered.
This heavy, fresh snow is far from ideal conditions for the 'bike. I wrestled and fought it all the way 'oot the hill'.....and all the way home again.
I can tell you now, it's not just the heather burning that's jiggered. At least I wont need to be counting sheep when my head hits the pillow.