Read his story here:

Egbert Beens the Ranger

Spotting dear in the spring, wonderful to be able to enjoy all the new life. The birds return from their winter residence from Africa. The first marsh marigold flowers color the freshly cut reed lands yellow. The deers show themself fully. Talking about deers. Often people assume deers only live in the forests of the Veluwe of the forests in Drente, but that's not true. You can encounter deer everywhere, even on an industrial estate where there is a bit of greenery, cover and tranquility, you can spot them in every corner of the swamp of the Weerribben-Wieden National Park.

Visitor center Ossenzijl

Discover the beautiful area

Come and have a look inside to see more outside. In the outside center of Staatbosbeheer is a touristic informationpoint and a lot of information about the nature area. There are regularly fun activities like a boat trip with the local Ranger. Taak a look at the virtuel tourof the outside center.

Enjoy the nature

Spotting deer in the Weerribben

In the Weerribben are about 300 to 350 deers. Every year the rangers of Staatbosbeheer, volunteers and hunters go out to count the deer population.

This always happends in the end of march/beginning of april. Seperated in groups the participants go out with a boat and/or car and count the present deers in different counting areas. To get a good visual of the present deers, we count the same area three times in a row. We start with a evening count, then the next morning a morning count, and then an evening count again that same day.

The reason we do it this wat is because this way we have the best shot at getting the right number of deers. What do you pay attention to if you really want to see a dear. As a ranger you come to the area quite often and you know where they appear. But such a counting round is always a matter of waiting. The weather can influence whether they show up or not. When it is wet, bleak and cold, they often stay in the shelter of the forest. When the weather is warm and nice, they often lie back and relax in the grass or reeds and their heads and / or antlers stick out. So searching carefully with your binoculars over the fields is a must, because you can easily overlook them. Deer need rest, space and food. There is plenty of food in the Weerribben, they eat buds from shrubs and trees, juicy grass blades, herbs, mosses and mushrooms. They are real nibblers, they eat all day long. Deers are the most active at night and early in the morning. The chance to see a dear is the best at those times. When the humans wake up they withdraw and seek peace and cover.

The first fawns are born in May. Sometimes the mother leaves her calf alone, chased by a stray dog, she presses the calf to the ground and flees.

If you as a visitor come across such a bambi, do not touch it, let it lie. Mother is always around. What is important is that you keep the dogs on a leash, not only in the spring but all year round.

Staatsbosbeheer organizes special deer excursions every spring. For more information, please contact Buitencentrum De Weerribben, Hoogeweg 27 in Ossenzijl or the website of Staatsbosheer.