The fallow deer rut at Dinefwr

Two bucks rut at Dinefwr Park

Every October at Dinefwr Park the fallow deer bucks battle it out in a bid to attract the females (Does). They divide their time between resting and fighting so don’t be surprised if you see our bucks head to head in a ferocious fight or laying down around the parkland.

Battling bucks

The annual deer rut helps decide the hierarchy of the herd, with a master buck and the tougher bucks attracting the females for mating.

Witness the rut

The rutting season commences in early October and lasts for around two to three weeks. The battles can take place throughout the day and into the night, though here at Dinefwr, the best time to witness the rut is in late afternoon. We recommend you follow is the Capability Brown Trail on the Dinefwr estate to get the best views.

Fallow deer graze in the deer park as the sun shines through the overlooking trees

‘Capability’ Brown walk

Discover ancient trees and wildlife on this walk designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown when he visited Dinefwr in 1775.

The first signs of the rut

You can often hear the sound of the big males belching and bellowing as they strut around their teretory. If you listen carefully, you can even hear the clash of antlers echoing through the valley of the mediaval deer park.

As well as the deep belching noises, which indicates fitness and maturity, the males will walk side by side in a bid to 'size eachother up'. If niether one has already backed down by this stage, they'll turn to face one and other and clash antlers.

The two males will go head to head until there is a clear victor. Only the strongest will get to mate with the females and father the next generation of fallow deer.

After the rut

After the rut, the males are exshausted and tend to isolate themselves and rest of the herd – you’ll often see them sitting alone during the rutting season. Later, thier huge antlers will drop off and grow back in time for the next rutting season.

If you have never witnessed a deer rut before you're in for a real spectacle. It's one of the most exciting wildlife encounters in the British Isles but we ask that you respect the animals and keep a safe distance.