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Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby StewF » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:35 am

Yesterday was coming down from Creag Leacach and noticed lots of crows, investigated and found 3 dead stags in a shallow hollow.
Stags appeared recently dead , no obvious gunshot wounds , vehicle tracks , only a little damage from crows.
My brother a vet said they had cows killed by lightening strike. Wondered if if may have happened in the bad storms during week or is stalking allowed that close to ski centre or something else ?
Attached photo please don't zoom in if would upset you
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby jmarkb » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:45 pm

I think stalking is very unlikely - the estate there (Invercauld) don't start until mid September, they don't tend to leave carcasses on the hill, and besides, once you have shot one the rest don't just stand around waiting! Lightning strike a definite possibility, otherwise poisoning by something?
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby rabthecairnterrier » Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:57 pm

If it were a lightning strike I'd expect to see visible signs of that on the ground around and about.
Unlikely to have been disease or some form of heatstroke/ dehydration or anything of that sort given that it would be next to impossible for three animals to succumb at the same place at the same time.
A mystery indeed.
Alien intervention?
(Cue scary Outer Limits soundtrack.)
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby KatTai » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:11 pm

Possibly worth reporting to the estate, they may wish to investigate as it does sound unusual. If it was from stalking they'd have been taken off the hill not left. Was there any sign of a landslide higher up? Wondering if they could have got caught in a landslip.
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby CharlesT » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:58 pm

They all look to be in fair physical condition and roughly the same age. They will have been together perhaps with others in a bachelor group. The only thing I can think of which could be fatal to three together would be poisoning. As ruminants you can probably rule out inadvertent consumption of poisoned baits for vermin, and it would be very unlikely for three together to do so. There are reports of digitalis poisoning in farmed deer and of perennial ryegrass staggers in Ireland. Maybe they ingested something together that was toxic enough to kill them and there could be more carcasses so far unobserved. Certainly the estate should be informed.
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby Scraggygoat » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:37 pm

As mentioned before most likely a lightening strike. See https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/aug/29/300-wild-reindeer-killed-in-lightning-strike-in-norway-video

A much bigger mortality event.

Lightening does not necessarily cause ground damage, nor does it have to have struck directly between the deer, it could have struck to one side. Yes, I've seen significant ground damage as a result of lightening, but where the strike has hit resistive material, e.g granite with blocks blown out, or saturated frozen ground where it was like a giant pig had been rooting with its tusk as the current tried to find its path to earth. But if lightening always caused damage the top of every hill would be a right mess.

Wouldn't bother informing the estate, they will just say thank you very much and then count the mortality against thier cull targets, and we are trying to get the blinking deer numbers down!

Anyway did you cut yourself a steak or two?
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby Giant Stoneater » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:11 pm

We came across 3 dead deer on the path in Glen Dessary on the way to Sourlies,i contacted the estate and gave them a rough grid reference and they said they would remove them,they also stated that due to the heavy rain at the time the oils would have been washed out of their coats and the weight of their coats would have drained them of energy,whither this is true or not, it did seem a reasonable explanation at the time and they did say it was quite common.
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Re: Dead Stags near Creag Leacach

Postby MountainTrail » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:39 pm

I was up on Glen Lyon about 5 years back and came across about 30 dead deer of all age and sizes , up at the end of the reservoir behind Stuchd n Lochan
Turned out they had been cut off by snow and had all starved go death
A sad scene it was
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