Deer me…

A Red Deer Stag during the October rut in 2011. The rut is a period when the biggest and strongest male (stag) rounds up a group of females (hinds) for mating. Certainly all of the other male deer want to do the same, but there are only so many females to go around. To maintain control over a group of females, the stag must constantly drive away rivals. The stag announces his superiority over other males by constantly bellowing out an echoing roar.

Sometimes shouting is not enough, so when contenders approach the females they need to chase them off. Sometimes fights between males can break out, and this can lead to some serious clashing of those magnificent antlers, though sometimes the battles are eerily silent and intense.

Red deer are our largest native land mammals and can weigh up to 190kg. They are one of only two native species of deer in the UK, the other being the Roe deer.

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