October is the month of the red deer rut in Richmond Park where the stags fight for control of harems of hinds. It’s a noisy time as the stags roar a lot. It’s also a great time to see lots of activity – for most of the year, the deer simply graze. Nice life.
But in the autumn during the rut, the stags have stand-offs against each other with the bigger, older males chasing off the young pretenders.
The stags do fight and have been known to kill each other, so at this time of the year, when they are running with testosterone, it is especially important to keep your distance. They can be unpredictable and you really don’t want to come between two stags! You will also find stags lying down, exhausted after clashing with another stag and that can make a great photo – like the first below, taken in the morning mist today.
This stag was exhausted. He was standing guard over a sizeable harem in the woods but his eyes were closing. It was the hinds who were alert. There is bracken hanging on his antlers and a wound on his nose.
It was the hinds who were alert.