Discover red deer on Exmoor
Red deer are one of only two deer species native to the British Isles, and the largest land mammal to be found in the country.
The rut is the name given to the process used by the deer to assert dominance and decide which males have the right to mate with the females. The dominant male will take possession of a large group of females, but his position at the top of the heap will not go unchallenged.
Other established males, and any young males who think they have what it takes, will be constantly challenging him, linking antlers in a high stakes shoving match. The prize, of course, is to be the father of the next generation.
To prove themselves fit, prospective combatants bellow. A loud, guttural, primeval sound, a red deer bellow cannot fail to impress anyone who hears it.
When combined with the clattering of antlers, the rut is a spectacle that everyone should see at least once. During this season, the deer need to establish their own space to fight, mate and recover.
Please pay attention to ‘Deer Only’ signage and keep dogs under close control. Please only enjoy the deer from a safe distance.