Autumn is the season to watch one of nature's great
spectacles - deer rutting.
Woodlands and country estates are great places
to witness the rut especially during the first two weeks in October.
Deer rutting - an autumn spectacle.|
places for deer watching:
Forest Park, Ashridge
worth visiting: The New Forest, Argyll Forest, Jura, Rum, the Perthshire Highlands
and the Highland Wildlife Park (Kingussie, Scotland).
could be better than watching some of our largest mammals as the stags lock antlers
in a head-to-head battle?
During the autumn the stags start fighting each
other, as they pursue the females.
A doe is only in her fertile phase for
a day or less each year so competition to mate is incredibly high.
top stag will mate with as many females as possible.
for Deer watching
* Watch out
for tell-tale signs of the animals including tracks, damage to trees, eaten autumn
fruits, and deer poo.
* Use your nose to detect the scent of deer and
* Once you've located the
deer's favourite habitats, be patient and watch quietly for the action to unfold.
The best time to watch the deer is just after dawn and at dusk when they are most
* Listen for the bellow of this herd's
dominant stag during the rut. Whistling is also common.
The Forestry Commission runs rutting events in some areas where you're guaranteed
to see the deer locking antlers.
* Keep quiet
and wear camouflage colours when watching the deer because they are easily disturbed.
The fiercest fights can happen towards the end of the rut when the Alpha male
stag becomes weaker and others may try their luck.
Remember to keep a safe distance from the stag and his females!
There are four main types of deer in the British Isles:
The Red Deer is our largest deer is characterised by its large, ginger rump. The
male stage has impressively large antlers which appear in spring. Mainly seen
in Scotland, the Lake District, South West England and Ireland.
Fallow Deer are medium in size and distinguished by their dappled coats and white
bums with a black stripe.
Often seen in parks across the British Isles
- except in northern Scotland.
* The Roe Deer is a small-medium sized
deer with an attractive reddish coat. The male has small antlers whilst the female
Mainly spotted in southern England and Scotland - unlikely to
be seen in Wales and the Midlands.
The Sika Deer is small in size with a white powder puff rear.
has narrow antlers with little branching. Grey-brown in colour, becoming redder
Most common in woodland areas across England and Scotland.
The Muntjac is the smallest British deer. with its reddish brown coat, this deer
is barely the size of a large dog. The male has short antlers and tusk-like canines.
Mostly seen in southern and central England.