Autumn Rut

29th September 2012
A collection of Red Deer Stag shots which I will add to during the next month.



The "season" for watching Red Deer Stags has started as the Autumn rut gathers pace.



The Red Deer is the largest animal to be found in the UK countryside.

During the months of September and October the stags begin to round up the hinds.



They can gather quite a large "harem".



Then the business of keeping the hinds together begins, and defending them from other stags.



It is a busy time for the stags who are now in their prime, with thick red coats, which really look their best in the "golden" hours of the day.

Roaring competitions begin, grass and branches are quite likely to be seen adorning the antlers as the stags goar at the ground and low level branches.



Much of the "combat" is done in terms of the roaring "competitions" - if that fails to impress or deter other stags then usually there is a great deal of posturing.

The stags will walk side by side shoulder to shoulder - effectively showing their size and strength.

Lesser stags who "fancy" their chances will stand their ground until a bigger animal will approach usually roaring and within feet of each other, the larger stag will flick it's head and antlers towards the challenger. In most cases the challenger will bow it's head, and turn slightly - challenge over !



When all else fails, there will be a locking of antlers - these combats are amazing to watch and have to be one of the UK's top wildlife spectacles. There is a display of real raw power and it is not uncommon for one or other of the stags to pay the ultimate price and die from either exhaustion or wounds received.



The obvious location for watching and or photographing Red Deer Stags is Scotland, but the UK does offer other opportunities for those who are not fortunate to be out and about in the Scottish countryside during the autumn months.

Below are links to areas, including a couple of deer parks where stags can be seen.

One thing that has to be said about the deer parks is that although they are there in the park you do have to look for them !

Lymme Park - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme-park/

Tatton Park - http://www.tattonpark.org.uk/

Grizedale Forest - http://visitlakelandforests.co.uk/index.php/your-forests/grizedale/wildlife

Leighton Moss - http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/leightonmoss

Bradgate Park - http://www.bradgatepark.org/index.php?ID=1

Richmond Park - http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park/richmond-park-attractions/deer

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