Rutting Stags. Red Deer stags locked in combat for control of a group of hinds. Although my preference is to photograph my local population of wild deer in the Peak District National Park, I do occasionally visit the deer parks for images that are too dangerous or difficult to attempt in the wild. One of the issues with photographing wild red deer rutting is that their heads are often obscured by long vegetation not a problem in the much more manicured deer parks.
Rutting Stags – More About Red Deer:
Red deer are the largest of our native mammals having migrated to Britain from Europe over 11,000 years ago.
Due to vast scale deforestation and overhunting the red deer population was once confined to the Scottish Highlands and ‘the Deer Parks’ of England. In recent times the population has recovered considerably and without any natural predators to keep the population down, they have become so abundant they are considered pests in some regions.
The wild population on the Peak District’s Eastern Moors are thought to have originated from the nearby Chatsworth Estate. The feral population exploded from just a few in the 1980s to around 40 by the early 2000’s. The most recent estimates put the population at 400 plus and deer can often be seen in the outskirts of Sheffield.
October ’til early November is the best time of year to watch our British deer as they participate in the rut, with the stags engaging in fierce and often fatal battles to exert their right to mate with the hinds.
You can find more on Red Deer here.
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