Our 3 year old stag, has grown his new antlers and is looking to loose his velvet. Once the Velvet has been shed, the “rut” will begin.October is the most exciting time of year to watch our deer as they engage in fierce mating battles.Rutting activity is most intense soon after dawn, though some activity occurs throughout the day. Deer are interesting to watch because their behaviour changes as the rut progresses.But remember that male deer are pumped full of testosterone and highly aggressive; in parks, attacks on dogs are not uncommon and sometimes people are also injured. So don’t get too close.THE DEER AND THEIR MATING STRATEGIES:Fallow
- The mating strategy of fallow deer is very variable, depending on habitat, time of rut and deer density.
- Fallow deer may form harems with many does. Or there may be several bucks with a few does (as in a lek). Individual bucks may wait for does on a rutting stand under large (often oak) trees or pursue oestrous does.
- Fighting behaviour is similar to red deer.
- Of all the deer you can see in the UK, red deer most often form harems, with one large stag and several hinds.
- Stags often appear very dark from wallowing in their own urine – the odour helps bring hinds into oestrus.
- The biggest stags hold harems in the middle of the rut, when most of the hinds are in oestrus.
- Smaller stags on the edge of the harem try to mate with the hinds when the dominant stag is in battle or exhausted following a fight.
- Rival stags roar then parallel walk to assess their opponent’s size and strength. They may also thrash the ground so that vegetation caught up in their antlers makes them look larger.
- Fights are a shoving match, with each stag trying to gain the advantage by being uphill.