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Thread: 206 Roe Rut in Full Flow - warning VERY photo heavy

  1. #1
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
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    206 Roe Rut in Full Flow - warning VERY photo heavy

    Well, I headed out on Sunday morning with the dogs and the camera to see if I could catch up with the roe, as from the action on Saturday it looked like the rut was pretty much imminent.

    Arriving at the field where I've seen roe before, this buck was standing by the hedge. He looks to be the same buck I had seen with the doe on the Saturday, but standing there on his own my first thought was that the rut had "gone off". A quick call on the Buttolo saw him step out into the sunlight:

    He seemed reluctant to come any closer, and kept looking towards the wood to my left rather than at me and the squeaking. This was explained a few seconds later when a much larger buck, accompanied by a doe, came tearing out of the woods to see off the intruder.

    The smaller buck was soon dispatched, whereafter the "new" buck turned his attention to the doe. He pursued her (or perhaps she enticed him) around the field for pretty much the next hour and a half, interspersing the chasing with periods where both would lie down and recover. What was noticeable was the buck's rasping breath - he was clearly being put to the test by the doe. It was fascinating watching him chase her, cutting her off as she tried to evade him. They reminded me of a lurcher pursuing a hare, jinking this way and that. This chase, though, would end quite differently to that of the hare!

    Eventually the buck chased the doe through a hedge and into a hay meadow that had only been cut the day before. Giving it a couple of minutes in case they returned, I then decided to go with the four dogs to the path that bisects the field I originally looked into and the hay field. Sure enough, there was the buck and doe at the far end of the field, adjacent to the path. Going along on hands and knees, holding both the camera and monopod together with the dogs, I used the long grass by the side of the path as cover in order to get closer.

    No sooner had I taken a quick photo than the "happy couple" then ran through the hedge you can see behind the buck and into the field beyond. Fortunately there is a Permissive Path here, so gathering the dogs I took them into the next field. I could see the buck standing in the corn, clearly nonplussed as he'd lost the doe from sight. However he put his nose down and followed the scent until the doe appeared and bounded down to the far end of the corn field. This was still accessible from the path, so collecting everything again I cautiously made my way down the path. As I neared the end of the field I could see the buck hidden behind some longer grass. I was taking very slow, deliberate, steps until I could get close enough to get him in my viewfinder:

    Then the doe's ears appeared, and the buck decided to follow her:

    My luck was in, as the buck moved into a clearer position for a shot.....err, a photo.

    The doe was now very close, and mixed tempting the buck with tempting me!

    Just then the buck's head went up - glancing around I could see a dog walker.

    This was not just any dog walker, but instead one of the owners of the estate on whose land I was lucky enough to be watching the roe. She had a pack of dogs, including two hound pups, but from 80 yards away she could see me standing on the grass track with my camera trained on the roe. She waved and moved on, but the roe had been interrupted and bounded away into a small wood beyond.

    Although there was another path that I could take that would get me near where the roe had disappeared, I decided I'd had enough luck for one day and so gathered my kit (and the dogs) together and headed back along the path. The owner reappeared, waved again, and took her dogs back towards their home.

    Passing back through the hedge to get to the path next to the cut hay meadow, I glanced to my right and saw the last thing I expected to see - the same buck and doe now lying by the hedge, clearly in recovery mode.

    Tying the dogs to a post, I stood just by the hedge to see what would happen. Sure enough, this was to be my lucky day as the doe got up and made her way towards me, quickly followed by the buck:

    As 6pointer mentioned on Saturday, this is a much bigger buck and has clearly usurped the youngster

    He was constantly testing the scent and never let the doe get too far away from him

    The doe was also scent testing - or perhaps spreading scent to make sure the buck kept his wits about him.

    They came closer and closer, offering some great photo opportunities.

    The doe could see me, but fortunately the dogs were just out of sight

    Eventually they tired of "taunt the human", and the buck decided it was time for a bit more pursuit:

    He then stood nicely broadside on for about the 100th time that morning

    The buck then took the decision to head back through the hedgerow, at which point - after three hours close observation - I decided to call it a day myself.

    It had been fascinating to watch the scene unfold before me, and other than not actually seeing them mating, it had been a real privilege to behold the rut in action.

    Hope you enjoyed the sequence above.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 25-07-2016 at 06:20.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  2. #2
    Brilliant, thanks for taking the time and patience to post this .a good read and fantastic pics.

  3. #3
    Cracking photos and great write up. Has brightened up my Monday morning no end. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Just gets better and better. Your writings add wonderfully to the photographs. How you can take them while attending to everything else speaks volumes of your four dogs. Thank you,obviously a labour of love.

    When you were down on all fours while holding everything together, would have been worthy of at least one picture. The link will be one many of us will remember and want to show others as I did.
    Now how do I get these dam videos downloaded
    I do hope the star of the show survives another season, I whispered...

  5. #5
    Great write up Dom so that is three bucks in the area. This is why everyone loves the rut. I hope to be out over the next few days looking over the ground and taking some pictures my self. I am sure you would have removed a few had you had the permission Dom.

  6. #6
    My favourite pic this time round, is the head and shoulders of the doe looking alert through the wheat...
    6pointer, trouble with me I took a video of twin fawns in wheat m&f a few years ago. They are quite ordinary growing up. They have had a couple of passes but one of these days...honestly one of these days...
    Last edited by Highlandsjohn; 25-07-2016 at 07:45.

  7. #7
    Fabulous Photos they are the best I've seen capturing the Roe at the start of the rut, some of those could win competitions look out for the right comp.

  8. #8
    Great pictures thanks for sharing them.

  9. #9
    very well done!.....that would not have been easy with all the dogs and the photos are excellent.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    Brilliant, thanks for taking the time and patience to post this .a good read and fantastic pics.
    WG as usual up to your very high standard!!, well done, brilliant pics & write up

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