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Autumn Deer

  • Autumn Deer

    The warmth of summer is passing and the splendour of Autumn is upon us with the warm red hues of the falling leaves and the smoky grey skies of October and November. If you are close to a wooded area and find the time or the inclination to get up early, just after dawn you may just see autumn deer on the move.

    hinds - silver basket

    If you are persistent you may even witness the annual deer rut that happens in the Autumn months.  At this time of year stags are strutting and bellowing; proving themselves to be the biggest and the best to the hinds.  The stags attempt to gather a harem of female deer and drive other competitors away.

    The actual locking of antlers occurs much later in the rutting season when up and coming stags recognize the alpha stag growing weaker from posturing, mating and shoving.

    After assessing and strutting around the alpha stag and his harem, the younger stags will engage him in antler to antler combat.  Steer well clear at this point and keep all dogs on leads.  There is an awful lot of testosterone about !

    deer- silver basket

    Stags thrash around in the undergrowth, catching vegetation in their antlers in order to look bigger and more menacing.  They also play at strategy games; the highest stag on the hillside has the advantage.  All this is done purely for mating rights.  Once the rutting season is over stags and hinds more often than not live separately.  The females and their young form a unit, the calves suckling for 3 – 4 months and the female calves remain with their dam and her group.  Young stags leave after a year or so and join bachelor groups.

    I always think a silver stag makes a fabulous, worthy gift for the groom, grooms men or best man at a wedding after a bit of bonding and posturing on the stag night!


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