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Thread: Possible rutting stand'behaviour

  1. #1

    Possible rutting stand'behaviour

    About a week ago whilst sitting in a highseat just as it was getting dark I heard a lot of thrashing of branches in amonst the trees about 40m away. By this point it was too dark to see so gave up went home but returned the following morning to investigate. I found a patch of bare earth in the wood (where I'd heard the thrashing) about 2 square metres. No obvious tracks but smelt quite strong of urine/BO so I stuck up a trail cam to see what was going on as I thought probably a fallow.

    Checked the footage tonight and confirmed a small fallow (guessing buck from this year) mooching around smelling the ground. He hangs around for 10 minutes or so then leaves and a mature buck appears. He then sprays p1$s everywhere, rolls in it, thrashes the branches with his antlers then sits down and chills out for a bit. After a while he leaves and the little one comes back.

    Now what I'm not sure of is this a rutting stand he is preparing or is he just getting himself ready in peace and safety priorto heading to his proper stand? The reason I say this is these woods have never been shot before and are very quiet so would be a safe (apart from me) place to be. He's not the biggest buck I've seen but still pretty big.

    Opinions welcome.

  2. #2

    If he's going to bring in some females then I don't want to scare him and them off but if he is just prepping himself and going to leave and not come back for months (or at all if he gets shot) then I would probably take the young buck with him.

  3. #3
    In my experience with fallow these 'wallows' (not as pronounced as with red or sika) are generally found dotted around the rutting stands, aye. They can be communal or just used by one buck.
    I would say take the pricket and leave the big lad to rut, if he's not disturbed he will do so again on your ground next year etc.

  4. #4
    Cheers Nick, I was pretty much thinking along those lines already as I was under the impression that a proper rutting stand would be larger and not quite so hidden. Think I'll try and get the young lad and leave the mature one.

  5. #5
    Some stands (I have known) only have marks on the ground where they have been fighting, bit of vegetation kicked up - if any at all. In my experience the best indication of a stand is simply where a master buck takes up residence, groans from, chivvies his does around and takes on any challenging bucks from.

    How important rutting stands are to the particular herd seems to depend on the population density and the history of them in that area, in the New Forest some of the stands go back many generations yet 20 miles north where I stalked in East Wiltshire there were no definable stands really even though we had over 25 bucks on the census.

    Finally, the majority of (wild) fallow rutting stands I have encountered are in some form of cover rather than right out in the open, in the New Forest under beech canopies was favoured often but also in some dense younger woodland. I know as I have tried to photograph the master bucks but the boles and branches thwarted me!
    Good luck with that pricket!

  6. #6
    Cheers, when (if) I get him I'll stick a pic up.

  7. #7
    In my experience this is typical of the rutting in my area ( East Sussex ) Plenty of scrapes , some deeper than others , and thrashing nearby. The bucks move between them whilst doing plenty of grunting. After some deliberation and asking the question in a previous thread. I am leaving the bigger bucks and only shooting lone prickets who are away from the rutting areas. DI best practice advises on not shooting on or near rutting stands as it disturbs the does too much. Regards Ff

  8. #8
    Cheers FF think I'm going to try and get the prickett but maybe I'll wait until he is further from this little wallow/stand and the buck. The place doesn't usually hold deer they just pass through as its only a 20-30 acre wood with plenty of deer paths crossing it so I'll see if I can get him coming or going.

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