The competition heats up for deer rut season
We spoke with Charles Harding, deer warden at Holnicote Estate. During deer rut season, he comes face-to-face with the action. He explains more about how you can also witness this spectacle, and discusses the finer details of what goes on.
What happens during a deer rut?
The stags round up the hinds and make sure everyone knows that they’re ‘theirs’. They try and make themselves look bigger to opponent stags by charging around, rolling on the ground and in mud – this is to ward off their rivals.
They’ll put on loads of weight to store up energy from August to September, but while the ruts are happening in October they won’t eat for a month as they put all their energy into winning as many hinds as they can.
What can we look out for?
You’ll see stags running back and forth, usually parallel to one another, bellowing out as a challenge to each other. There can be bust ups when they lock horns and physically challenge one another, which can be a sight to see.