Saturday, 19 October 2019

Deer Rut

It's that time of year when our deer are really putting on a show!.. Rutting season is in full flow and at the moment there seems to be a clear winner for our reds.

Albus (Dumbledeer) has been putting on a real good show, posturing around the park and roaring away. The sound is incredible, and easily heard around the Centre, but what always gets me every year is the smell!.. You really have to come and experience the musty smell to appreciate what I mean.

So far Albus has managed to keep the other stags away from the heard, and he is clearly still larger than our second stag Olivander, and so I think he will comfortably be in charge for the mating season.

The rut is a real test of stamina. The stags rarely eat or sleep during the rut while trying to keep the other males away, and the females with them. Their necks fill out and scent glands become more obvious below their eyes. We have not seen much clashing of antlers this year, but this hasn't stopped the frequent roaring and posturing of Albus, clearing showing everyone he thinks he is in charge!

Fallow deer tend to follow the red deer rut by a few weeks, and they are beginning to strut about and bellow out there bark! It seems our younger buck Vinny has decided to try and take control. He has pushed our older white buck Norman out of the group, and got all the females grouped up with him.

This youngster will be too young to try to take control, but our much more experienced white buck is likely just biding his time. He knows the females aren't ready yet, and will probably put up a good challenge when the time is right and the newbie Vinny has wasted a lot of his energy.

Time will tell who will be master buck this year, it will be a close call I think, and possibly some good actual antler clashing rutting going on over the next couple of weeks.

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