I have received a lot of queries lately on when our red deer are likely to start rutting... the short answer is soon!
I have not seen any locking of antlers, nor posturing from the younger stags, but Albus is beginning to strut around and make a noise.
I imagine he will be successful this year again. We do have two younger stags, the one above is still way too young to challenge and I doubt will even attempt it, but Olivander below may well give it a go.
This year Olivander has really matured, and grown in size for this season. He has a wider spread of antlers this year too and so he may fancy his chances. I imagine not much will happen in the early stages, but when Albus starts to tire Olivander may try to assert himself as a challenger.
But at the moment... and who my money is on for this year... it is still Albus Dumbledeer. He is certainly making himself known, stamping around, chasing off the younger males and roaring. Side by side he still is a little bigger than Olivander, but watch out next year... they will be more evenly matched then.
If you want to see them strut and roar, now is a good time, and one thing I can;t express over this blog is the smell! A real strong musty scent that the males cover themselves in this time of year, it really hits you out by the paddock. I wouldn't say it's particularly pleasant, but well worth experiencing.
As for actual locking of antlers... if that occurs, I will try and get some pictures and of course let you know to come and see for yourself.