The Red Deer Rut

As soon as my beloved Ospreys have migrated, my mind is already starting to focus on the Autumn and the next main event is the Red Deer Rut. Without doubt one of the most exciting wildlife spectacles of the year, it is the time that the normally placid Red Deer Stags are overtaken with testosterone as they compete with other males to mate with the hinds that come into season at this time of year.

Red Deer hinds only come into season for a short window of time, and the Stags try and round up as many as possible and be ready for when they come into season and they can breed with them to pass on their genes.

This is where the posturing, bolving (roaring) and fighting comes in, as they do whatever it takes to retain or steal groups of hinds.

It really is an exciting time to observe their behaviour, and also quite dangerous as the Stags become very unpredictable and it is not wise to get too close.

I have been photographing the Rut for a while now, and generally know what to look for and can normally predict behavioural patterns, but I always take the side of caution, and a lot of the images following are taken at a safe distance with a 500mm lens.

This year I struggled to get images of Stags fighting, visits were limited to early mornings, but I did try and get some ‘different’ images…. see what you think and as always I welcome your comments and feedback.

Thank you for dropping by and taking a look.

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