Ollie’s stag hunt

Out walking with Ollie yesterday, I was not surprised to see that the river had flooded its banks, after the heavy rain earlier. I set off over to Hoe Rough, but it was hard going, diverting around the deeper flooded parts once again. As is my habit, I eventually settled down for a rest on my favourite log, tired of splashing around in the mud, after over an hour of walking. Ollie stood nearby, having some drinks from the different pools of rainwater that had formed around the trees.

After ten minutes or so, I heard some excited yapping and barking. It seemed to be coming our way, and sounded like a fair number of dogs were responsible. Ollie’s ears pricked up, (or in his case, moved forward) and he stood looking in the direction of the sound. I was startled to see a large stag appear, a fully-grown animal with a full set of antlers. It was running at a good pace, and glanced in my direction as it passed, seemingly unconcerned. Ollie looked around at me, as if to say “Can I?” The yapping grew in intensity, and two Springer Spaniels crashed through the shrubs, in hot pursuit of the deer.

From the noise they were making, you would have thought that there were at least ten of them. Ollie saw them running, and needed no further permission to join in the chase, quickly overtaking the tired spaniels. I stood up to see where he was heading, knowing I had no chance of catching up. I began to follow, and soon passed the two Springers, who had given up, and were returning to their shouting owner. Ollie continued into the corner of Hoe Rough, and disappeared from view. Despite his stocky frame, he can move very fast, when he wants to.

I found him about ten minutes later. He was pacing back and forth along a fence line, sniffing intently. I assumed that the deer had easily jumped the fence into adjoining private property, leaving the hapless Ollie with no option but to try to trail him by scent. We didn’t see any more of the noble stag that afternoon, but he provided a moment of excitement, and some good exercise, for my dog.

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24 thoughts on “Ollie’s stag hunt

  1. I should have loved to have been sitting on the log with you with the stag burst forth. I can well imagine Ollie enjoyed the chase immensely. Of course, the stag was in mortal fear. None-the-less what a moment. We have deer walk in the drive and back yard very often. Seldom do we see a buck—but once in while one shows up. They are magnificent creatures. If one only knew when these things were going to happen one would be ready with a camera.

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    1. I would have had to have had the camera to my eye, and been ready for a ‘just in case’ shot, Theo. These things almost never happen when you are prepared, as you say. It is the possibility of such contact with nature that makes living here, and all the walking around, so enjoyable.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I purposely avoided that comparison, David, but I will forgive you it. I am sure that the episode, and the Vegas parties, will provide sufficient material for an entertaining limerick one day soon.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I wouldn’t want him to have caught up with it either, Jude. One of them would surely have been injured, and Ollie is unlikely to have a clue what to do with a cornered and frightened stag. It was perfect, just the way it was. No doubt it will provide some excellent material for Ollie’s dreams..x

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  2. You sure take a lot of long walks. Good for you. Stags are majestic! Did you take a picture? I’m frequently mad at myself for forgetting to bring a long a camera. I’ve been growing lazy, taking pictures with my phone and hoping for the best and they are surprisingly clear.

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    1. I didn’t have the camera, Cindy. It had been raining earlier, and I left it behind. Mind you, even if I had carried it, I doubt I would have been quick enough at the time.
      The walks are usually 2-3 hours long, every day, in all weathers. I cut that down only if I am unwell, but increase it to 3-4 hours, in good weather.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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