Today I was lucky enough to see Red Deer out on the moor. We were on our way over the moor by car towards Simmons Bath and as we came to a low valley we spotted a herd of Red Deer. Stopping at a suitable spot I made my way over the road an up the bank to be greeted by the sight of a herd of hinds and a large Stag. They were no more than 200 yards away across the moor.
Whilst we stood and watched through binoculars two younger stags approached the herd of hinds, the larger stag came running down through the parcel of hinds to challenge them. He stood there majestic with his full royal head, stuck out his neck and roared to ward of the young hopefuls. They stopped in their tracks and watched the larger stag for some time. A good five minutes passed before the large stag roared again and the younger animals turned away and started to saunter off.
The master stag slowly rejoined his hinds and they stood for a while as we watched them.
We got back in the car and headed up to a lay by to watch the herd, from here we could see several groups of hinds with stags and watched them for some time as young stags tried to challenge the master stags. Each time the youngsters were seen off with loud roaring and chasing from the master stags.
It was amazing to hear the roaring and see the behaviour of the younger males and the older, bigger stags as the contest for hinds took place.
It was very interesting to watch the behaviour I had read so much about in the flesh and see the stags ensuring their hinds were kept safe.
It was superb to see the stags, only about 200-300 yards away through binoculars, roaring away, their necks stretched out and their mouths formed into an O shape, roaring loudly and showing their dominance.
It really was a superb sight and I was very glad to have made it down for the rut and seen such excellent examples of the classic activity I have read so much of, a truly superb couple of days.