Looking back at the roe reviews we have completed since the late 1990s, we seem to comment on each year having been busier than the preceding one. In this respect, 2006 was no exception and, though unlike 2005, in that it has not produced any Scottish-taken trophies in excess of 200 CIC points, it has seen some 78 gold medal trophies judged, ? of which three have achieved a score in excess of 170 CIC points. Trophies achieving scores of this level can easily be considered in the international class by any standard.

Taking the season as a whole, the Scottish team has judged 290 medal-class roe trophies, confirming the consistent quality of roe that Scotland is capable of producing. It is important to note the trends that were reported in 2006. The weather throughout the growing season for roe antlers in Scotland was, in general, milder than it has been in previous years. However, in spite of this, as winter gave way to spring there were widespread reports of poor physical condition being seen in both does and kids, with some low body weights being recorded.

Earlier in the winter, late casting was reported from a number of areas and stalkers confirmed that they were encountering more animals in velvet in April and May than they would have expected. This led to a number of heads shot early in the season achieving medal status without the benefit of a good score for colour. Indeed, one trophy that eventually achieved gold medal status was shot while in full velvet, resulting in considerable preparation prior to being presented for judging.

Individual trophy judges observed that some heads appeared to show a check in development, which was characterised by a falling-off in quality above the brow tines. One can only speculate the causes of such arrested development, but it is likely that both weather and available food sources played a part. As we have recorded in recent years, some specimens with very large skulls were promoted into higher medal categories than their actual antler volume would have merited ? indeed, it is more common to see large skulls with smaller antlers than it is to see small skulls with large antlers.

Throughout central Scotland there is increasing anecdotal evidence of triplet fawns being observed year on year, and we would be interested to hear of any sightings or occurences of this phenomenon from stalkers during 2007, together with the location and month when they are sighted. Turning to gold medal trophies, as in previous years, the majority have come from the favoured east coast counties, with Fife, Perthshire, Angus and Aberdeenshire sharing the honours. It would seem from the specimens we recorded last year, that ?the early bird caught the worm?.

A total of 12 gold medal trophies were taken on 1 April 2006. Of these, three were taken in Fife and three came from Aberdeenshire. In terms of more unusual areas, on the opening day, Mr Johnstone shot one in Dumfriesshire, while Alan Linstead took one in Ayrshire. In all, 20 trophies out of a total of 78 were taken in April, making it the most prolific month of the year. May was almost as successful, with 18 trophies recorded. Another notable day was 1 July, with four reported. Subsequent months, however, saw a marked reduction in the number of gold medal trophies, with surprisingly few taken from mid-July onwards, particularly during the period normally considered to represent the height of the rut.

While the majority of trophies presented for judging conformed to the norm and had the expected six points, some 12 heads exceeded this, though four had fewer than six points. Of the latter, one taken by Mr Gilmour in West Lothian had only four points, but achieved a CIC definitive score of 143.4 points. Trophies with fewer than five points rarely figure in the gold medal tables ? this particular example was helped on its way to its total with a volume of 224cc.

At the other end of the scale, a 10-point trophy was obtained in Perthshire, while one with nine points, taken in Aberdeenshire by Mr Davie, made a CIC score of 150.8 points. An eight-pointer taken in 2005, also from Aberdeenshire, returned a score of 163.8 points for Mr Kruse. Bandiran estate submitted a trophy of 163.35 points, which was found dead on the estate and was described by the assessing judge Allan Allison as ?magnificent?. A female stalker, Senora Lopez de Ayala, got her name into this year?s record with a massive trophy taken in Angus in early May, which achieved a provisional score of 168.35 points.

The animals we saw generally reflected the established view that mature, well-managed populations will produce the best quality heads, though, as we see every season, there will always be exceptions to this. Stalkers will be familiar with the classifications of middle-aged, late middle-aged and old, used by the measuring team on official forms. This year, of the 78 gold medal standard heads, we recorded that 39 were middle-aged, 22 were late middle-aged, and 12 were old or very old.

Four animals were classed as being on the young side of middle-aged, while one was recorded as being young. However, this animal was the victim of a traffic accident as opposed to being shot. In general, the same age profile held true for the trophies assessed that achieved either bronze or silver medal standard, though some comments were made during judging that some animals were culled well before they had reached full maturity. In helping to determine an accurate estimate of age, it would be useful if stalkers could retain the lower jaw and provide it when the head is being judged.

The past year has seen an increased focus of attention in the mainstream media of deer involved in road traffic accidents, and increasingly trophies are being submitted that have been collected not in the field but either en route to the stalking ground or on the way home. An interesting aspect of this is that it has seen significant trophies turning up from unexpected locations. In addition to the trophies that achieved medal status, 2006 produced an interesting crop of malforms, antlered does and other

hard-to-distinguish roe trophies. The measuring team is always interested to see unusual heads and to speculate with their owners on the causes of deformity.

For 2007, the Scottish roe reviewing team will be present at the Game Conservancy Scottish Fair, at Scone Palace, in Perthshire, on 9 and 10 June, as well as the Moy Highland Fieldsports Fair, in Inverness, on Saturday 4 August.

NAME LOCALITY DATE POINTS AGE Ave Antler(cm) INSIDE SPAN (CM) Volume (cc) WEIGHT

(GRAMS) Ded (grams) FINAL SCORE COMMENTS

W. Michie East Fife 01/08/05 3+4=7 LMA 30.15 7.2 242 654 90 156.575

M. Murdie Perthshire 01/07/06 3+3=6 YMA 29.65 10.3 270 664 30 174.225

D. Corrigan Aberdeenshire 28/06/06 4+3=7 MA 28.65 10.67 242 646 90 157.52 Almost perfect

G. Harris Stirlingshire 01/08/05 3+3=6 MA 28.65 16.5 192 564 90 135.825

S. Keay East Fife 22/04/06 4+3=7 MA 28.4 12.82 208 578 70 139.9 CIC

Y. van Onsum Perthshire 30/05/06 3+3=6 VOld 27.75 11.2 220 582 90 145.07 Provisional

W. Hogan East Fife 01/04/06 3+3=6 LMA 27.5 13.68 198 536 60 140.75 CIC

C. Anderson East Fife 01/08/05 3+3=6 LMA 27.3 9.4 218 568 60 141.35

W. Michie East Fife 01/08/05 3+4=7 MA 27.3 6.8 258 686 90 163.15

M. Van Doren Fife 01/05/06 3+3=6 LMA 27.2 7.7 216 652 90 148.6

Sen. Maca de Ascanio y Lopez de Ayala Angus 02/05/06 3+3=6 MA 27.1 13.89 270 648 80 168.35

R. Johnstone Fife 01/04/06 3+3=6 OLD 27.1 4.2 232 524 0 145.05

A. Cameron Inverness-shire 01/06/05 3+3=6 MA 27.05 6.2 206 508 65 130.625

Y. van Onsum Perthshire 02/06/06 3+3=6 LMA 27 11.88 214 614 90 149.6 Provisional

S. Scobie East Fife 03/04/06 3+3=6 LMA 26.75 13.22 254 710 80 167.52 CIC

C. Anderson Fife 01/05/06 3+3=6 MA 26.65 8.7 220 628 90 146.125

C. Anderson East Fife 01/05/06 3+3=6 MA 26.6 8.5 216 578 90 140.9

J. Allan East Fife 27/05/06 3+3=6 MA 26.55 15.7 208 536 70 140.77 CIC

Mr Johnstone Dumfriesshire 01/04/06 3+3=6 MA 26.5 10.6 188 548 90 130.45

D. Rutherford West Lothian 01/07/06 3+3=6 LMA 26.45 9.1 196 562 90 131.225

Mr Strachan Aberdeenshire 01/05/06 3+3=6 MA 26.35 10.1 230 650 80 155.175

P. Anderton Aberdeenshire 27/04/06 3+3=6 LMA 26.2 12.18 198 544 75 140.9 CIC

C. Johnston East Fife 01/07/05 3+3=6 MA 26.1 11.22 193 588 90 135.75 CIC

C. J. Staples West Lothian 17/06/06 3+3=6 LMA 26.05 7.36 216 516 80 132.65 Provisional

R. Munro Ferguson Fife MAY 06 3+3=6 MA 25.95 9.17 198 490 30 132.87 CIC

R. Johnstone Fife 01/04/06 3+3=6 MA 25.95 7.7 184 618 90 133.475

M. Kelman Stirlingshire 01/07/06 4+3=7 MA 25.95 5.6 228 660 90 152.375

Bandiran estate Perthshire Found dead 05 3+3=6 MA 25.9 8.3 266 655 90 163.35 Magnificent CIC

P. Anderton Aberdeenshire 03/03/06 3+3=6 LMA 25.7 8.8 260 636 60 160.45 CIC

Mr Baird Angus 01/05/06 3+3=6 MA 25.55 5.5 202 562 90 132.075

B. Stuart Aberdeenshire 01/04/06 3+3=6 YMA 25.45 10.7 214 588 90 140.725

N. Kruse Aberdeenshire AUG 05 4+4=8 Old 25.4 13 256 608 25 163.8 CIC

Y. van Onsum Perthshire 01/06/06 3+3=6 LMA 25.25 13.34 194 586 90 131.42 Provisional

Anon East Fife MAY 06 3+3=6 Old 25.2 7.48 210 534 30 135.4 CIC

P. Perrin Fife 25/07/06 3+3=6 LMA 25.1 10.23 188 614 90 135.9 Provisional

Mr Dawson Aberdeenshire 01/07/05 3+3=6 MA 25 11.1 222 598 90 146.4

R. Langster Perthshire 01/04/06 3+3=6 MA 24.9 9.7 224 598 90 145.45

Mr Pinkerton Stirlingshire 01/05/06 3+3=6 LMA 24.85 10 210 600 90 144.425

A. Linstead Ayrshire 01/04/06 3+3=6 (Plus offer) MA 24.85 7.3 202 606 90 134.625

J. Dubeare Perthshire 28/04/06 3+3=6 LMA 24.8 12.67 202 608 90 141.8 Provisional

T. Holland Aberdeenshire 05/06/06 n/r MA 24.8 9.4 n/r 535 90 134.4 CIC

P. van Rijckeghen Perthshire 26/04/06 3+3=6 MA 24.75 7.9 200 512 50 132.07 Provisional

Anon East Fife 01/08/06 3+3=6 MA 24.75 11.52 180 582 90 131.07 CIC

G. McPherson East Lothian 01/04/06 3+2=5 MA 24.75 10.4 218 574 90 141.675

A. B. Davie Aberdeenshire 01/04/06 3+6=9 LMA 24.6 9.27 248 656 90 150.8 CIC

I. Dawson Aberdeenshire 01/04/06 3+3=6 MA 24.6 11.9 207 582 65 142.1

W. R. Hardy Angus 01/06/04 3+3=6 OLD 24.35 6.5 235 527 0 145.875

P. Anderton Aberdeenshire 09/06/06 4+3=7 LMA 24.35 15.8 208 536 50 137.27 CIC

W. Michie East Fife JUNE 05 3+3=6 LMA 24.3 8 195 565 90 130.15 CIC

J. Talboom Perthshire 05/05/06 3+3=6 MA 24.2 8.59 278 698 80 172.8 CIC

Mr G. Barclay Aberdeenshire 01/05/04 3+3=6 MA 24.05 12.8 198 538 65 133.725

Mr Wilkie Angus 01/06/06 3+2=5 MA 24 23.4 200 552 80 134.2

D. McRea Angus 14/06/05 4+3=7 LMA 23.8 9.3 208 548 50 139.1 CIC

Mr Black Angus Found dead 3+3=6 OLD 23.8 7.1 293 648 50 173.6

A. McPherson East Lothian 21/04/06 6 VOLD 23.7 10.1 220 590 90 144.35 CIC

K. Duncan East Fife 11/08/06 3+3=6 LMA 23.65 8.63 220 636 90 147.92 CIC

N. Gilmour West Lothian SEPT 05 2+2=4 OLD 23.6 5.12 224 644 90 143.4 CIC

P. Foggin Stirlingshire 1/5/05 3+3=6 LMA 23.6 10.4 198 532 90 131.4

J. Allan East Fife 28/04/06 3+2=5 OLD 23.55 9.28 208 576 75 135.22 CIC

C. McRae Angus 02/04/06 3+3=6 MA 23.45 13.2 217 545 90 137.33 CIC

E. Goffinet East Fife SEPT 01 3+3=6 OLD 23.4 11.36 206 506 0 141.6 CIC

C. Johnston Perthshire APRIL 06 3+3=6 VOLD 23.4 6.96 236 698 90 154.3 CIC

K. Goodman Perthshire 01/04/06 7+3 MA 23.3 12.7 n/r 451 n/r 130.05 CIC

R. Gordon East Lothian 01/04/06 3+3=6 YMA 23.25 14.2 206 576 90 135.025

L. Lemaire Perthshire 05/05/06 3+3=6 MA 23.2 11.52 206 533 65 135.2 Provisional

Mr Geddes Angus 01/05/06 3+3=6 YMA 22.85 8.4 192 562 90 130.225

I. Docherty Lanarkshire 01/05/06 3+3=6 MA 22.7 9.3 212 574 90 139.35

S. Alexander Banffshire 01/05/05 3+3=6 MA 22.65 11.5 194 490 0 130.53

D. Wilson Easter Ross 2004 3+3=6 LMA 22.55 9.73 200 518 45 134.07 CIC

S. Sloan Aberdeenshire 01/07/05 3+3=6 MA 22.55 7.2 196 566 90 131.175

D. Rutherford West Lothian 01/04/04 3=3=6 MA 22.45 6.8 202 554 50 131.23 CIC

K. Krogner Banffshire 01/08/05 3+3=6 MA 22.15 14.4 216 570 50 143.375

R. Johnstone Fife 01/05/06 4+3=7 MA 22 9.9 220 610 90 144

A. McKewan Aberdeenshire 01/07/06 3+5=8 MA 21.9 10.1 232 518 50 139.35

J. Dele Revelliare East Fife 15/04/06 3+3=6 OLD 21.8 14.34 192 560 90 131.4 Provisional

G. Fenton East Fife JUNE 06 3+2=5 LMA 21.6 10.7 180 610 90 130.3

M. McLeod Aberdeenshire 01/05/06 3+3=6 MA 21.6 12.5 192 624 90 136.8

R. Gordon East Lothian APRIL 06 RTA 5+3=8 YOUNG 21.35 9.3 222 550 90 131.275