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Back to the red deer rut on Rum

Simon King Simon King | 18:35 UK time, Thursday, 1 October 2009

It's been three years since I was last on the Scottish island of Rum to witness the red deer rut. This year, I just had to return.

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At the end of September and through October, female red deer - known as hinds - come into season. The males or stags gather to fight for the chance of mating with them. We've set up our cameras on a hill overlooking one of the best grazing areas in the Glen called the Village Green. The hinds have moved in to feed, quickly followed by the stags.

This year, our main contenders are: Titus, a big male who's already gathered a harem of hinds. Caligula, not the most handsome fellow, with eyes that seem to be popping out of his head, but strong all the same.

Then there's Attila - with only one scrawny spike for an antler. You wouldn't think he had any chance in a fight but his antler is long, thin and dagger-like, and could easily get through an opponent's guard. He's killed competitors in the past, and could do so again.

But the Lord of the Glen - for the moment at least - is Percy. He may be old (perhaps 14 years, which is really getting on for a red deer stag) but he's managing to hold a large area of territory, and lots of females.


One of Rum's younger stags

The scene is set, and the greatest wildlife spectacle of autumn is about to begin.


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