Out this morning walking the dogs and spied a buck and doe on the far side of the field. I've seen them here earlier in the week, chasing away another doe, but they didn't seem to be showing much interest otherwise.
I thought I'd experiment, so i grabbed a couple of leaves from the hedge and tried squeaking the buck. I normally use a Buttolo, so I tried to mimic the same sound. After a few abortive attempts I managed a reasonable fiep, at which the buck immediately put up his head and tried to locate the sound.
With the doe trailing behind, the buck made his way over the field towards me in double-quick time, jumping and running in the classic style of a buck during the rut.
Eventually he ended up about 75 meters away from me, where he stayed for probably 5 minutes trying to figure out what was going on. I was partially hidden by the hedge, but he could tell something wasn't quite right. I'd had to take my gloves off to squeak, and each leaf was only lasting for half a dozen attempts, so there was enough movement to make him suspicious.
Eventually he lost interest and ambled back to the doe, but not before I'd had a chance to grab the photos you see here.