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Thread: Deers In Germany Question.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Deers In Germany Question.

    I've been meaning to ask this question for about five years now.

    and I always get distracted by something else.

    This happened to my friend and adventure companion Ol' Weird Bob. Ol' Weird Bob went into the Army as a young man and the Army and him were not a good fit I must say. He would have been one hell of a sailor though, I tell you true.

    Bob was in signal intelligence, and was what they used to call a "tape ape" back then. Something to do with no longer used teletype machines, I believe. An indoor job, as it were.

    So overland navigation exercises were always a thrill for him. In winter with snow on the ground even more so. So the powers that be decided to help Bob out and teamed him up with a regular infantryman. And being the Army, they just assumed the guy they stuck with Bob knew enough to get him to where they needed to be. Instead of the E-4 they gave Bob, who had been promoted faster than his skill sets had evolved. (Which isn't the E-4's fault technically.)

    So, of course, they both got hopelessly lost in the winter woods.

    This is in Southern Germany, near the city of Augsburg. Back in 1979.

    Bob and his "guide" came across a large group of deer. The stags were doing some incredibly stylized behavior that seemed to be for the benefit of a few pockets of on-looking does. The stags were walking in a big circle about 4 meters across, then they would pause, then dip their heads in synchronicity to the outside of the circle. There was more to the deer dance but I don't want my faulty memory of a second hand story insert false details to an already outlandish tale.

    I've seen the smaller, more gracile African antelopes do the sideways head dip instead of butting heads, but that's all I could give Bob.

    I don't even know what kind of deer live in Europe as a whole.

    Any new information would be appreciated.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    15,999
    Red, fallow and roe in Germany. Of these it sounds very like fallow deer. When population density is low, fallow bucks do all the usual parallel-walking, head-butting and harem-gathering stuff, but when the population density is high they switch to lekking behaviour - a group of bucks will stand around making competitive displays while the does take their pick.
    I haven't seen it happen myself, but it certainly sounds like a deer lek.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #3
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    The area around my village in the Rhineland Pfalz was crazy with "Reh" or roe deer, Capreolus capreolus. I never saw any courtship behavior though...just the mad dash across the road, en masse and usually at night. I once hit one and nearly at the full posted speed. To my shock, there wasn't a lick of damage to my little Honda but the deer didn't fare nearly as well.
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  4. #4
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    Well thank you!

    I will be sure to tell Bob next time I see him!
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    So, after not seeing Bob for over three months, the very next day after you guys answered this he showed up for a visit.

    He was quite delighted to have an answer. Also, I had him retell the story of the deer lek.

    I was hesitant because I thought my memory of the story was faulty, but there seemed to be TWO circles of fallow deer. One inside the other and moving in opposite directions. Then they stopped, dipped, then hopped sideways three times, expanding the circle outward.

    We hoped to find something on YouTube but no luck. Except a link to a hunting blog and the poster was complaining that everytime he used the fallow deer call, the bucks all started walking in circles! That was too funny. He thought it was a flaw in the call.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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