The deer rut is a spectacle of nature – one that's best viewed with binoculars at a safe distance so you don't miss a thing. It's best to leave your dog at home during deer rut season, and please take special notice of any signs put up around parks where we care for deer.
The competition heats up for deer rut season
Deer Warden at Holnicote Estate, Charles Harding, often comes face-to-face with the action during deer rut season. He explains how you can witness this spectacle too, and discusses the finer details of this impressive autumn activity.
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 antlers and physically challenge one another, which can be a sight to see."