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Hi, My name is Kate and this blog is all about my adventures of happy living. By that I mean crochet, chickens and cooking. Here's to the good life - and being a good wife! xxx

Monday, 22 October 2012

Deer Watching - The Rut



 Yesterday I went on an adventure. Me and Craig set our alarm for ten to seven, got on our clothes and drove up to Cannock Chase. We were going deer stalking in the hope of finding the rut.
 
 
The rutting season (deer mating season) happens from the first frost and is an exciting season where male deer fight in order to gather female deer. It is a visual and audio feast of nature at something that both me and Craig have been desperate to experience firsthand but have not yet been so lucky.


It was still dark and very very foggy. Although this meant we could not see more than five foot in front of us, it also meant the deer couldn't see us. Once up on the chase we walked to the spot where we thought they would be and instantly heard some barking and antlers smashing against each other.


We followed the sounds and after half an hour found the rut! Being careful not to make too much noise by crunching on stones underfoot or treading on twigs and branches (good exercise walking like this - I tell you!).



We were sat in a small coppice and it was very evident that this was the stag and his harems territory. We watched the stage pace up and down barking (see video below from YouTube which is a good example of the type of noise the deer make).


I cannot tell you how intimidating and scary it was sitting in a coppice with a stag completely charged on testosterone. It was incredibly exciting though and we sat behind a tree, quite a mouse, in complete awe! As it was so foggy, which let me add created this eerie atmosphere, I have videos but the photos didn't turn out right which is a shame.


This photo is the males "stand". This is where he paces and urinates which attracts females and brings them to oestrus. You can see the ground has turned to mud and has lots of deer prints in it.


We were not lucky enough to see male deer fighting but plan to adventure out again next weekend. Fingers crossed. If we had though this is what it would have looked like, minus the fog!



Here are a few shots of the deer we saw moving spot, there was a large stage and six doe's.



Have you ever seen any deer? If so where is your best viewing spot?

Just another video clip taken from Autumn Watch which shows the majestic beauty of red deer .....


Happy Rutting Season xxxxx

7 comments:

  1. Nothing quite so grand I'm afraid, but there are always lots of deer in the grounds of Chalke Abbey in Derbyshire! Happy Rutting! Ada :)

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  2. Very atmospheric pics. I think I'd be rather frightened. Hope you have success next week.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  3. How exciting and magnificent! Hope you see something next week :) x

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  4. Wow! What a lovely experience to walk in the woods and see those amazing deer......xx

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  5. Oh jeepers Kate .. were you not slightly terrified ... we have deer around where we live ... they cross the lough at the back of our house from Crom Estate, a National Trust property ... we have to be careful as they cross several roads we use ... sounds bonkers put when I picked the little ones up from school today as we drove home, my eldest little boy shouted "Mammy, a deer!" ... it was running along the road in front of us with a load of old blue rope twisted in its antlers ... I suppose it must have gotten caught somewhere ... they are amazing but I am always worried they might jump out in front of the car ... apologies for the long winded comment ... Bee xx

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  6. My most memorable sightings of deer were in the yard of our home on the West bank of the Hudson River about 100 miles north of NYC. One day a buck with a large set of antlers decided to feast on the crab apples on our tree in the front yard! Then just before Christmas we had six or eight deer grazing in our back yard, and our sons had a great time trying to convince their little sisters that we were hosting Santa's reindeer(: Here in Oregon I have seen very few deer but July4th this year a doe raced up our driveway and dashed into the woods behind our home! Your post was very interesting, Kate. Thanks!

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Thank you so much for your comments! I always read them and will be sure to check out your blog. Kate x