Three species of deer occur in the Strathbogies – Sambar (Cervus unicolor), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) and Fallow (Dama dama), as far as I know. Evidence of deer (droppings, wallows, tracks, rubbing trees) is very common in forested areas (State Forest and pine plantations) and the last few good years may have seen them breed up even more.
We rarely see deer in the vicinity of our property on Boundary Hill, perhaps four or five sightings in the last 10 years (one Red Deer, the rest Sambar). My guess is they are usually passing through, as their preferred habitat of gullies, wetlands and dense thickets is not extensive on Boundary Hill. But the other day, around 6 pm, I drove into our drive way to find a large Fallow Deer at the gate post. It’s the first time I’ve seen this species anywhere near Boundary Hill. After being initially startled, it trotted further into our garden, before turning around and running full speed back toward the gate, jumped the fence and disappeared into the vineyard below the road.
A few days later I found these droppings (pictured) up in the forest, though I can’t say which species they are from. Perhaps there are more deer on our hill than I’d realized.