Earlier this week in the gorgeous morning sunlight we embarked on our last deer hunt of the season. Throughout the summer the guests have loved taking the well trodden path up through the bracken and granite outcrops to our ancient woodland in the hope of flushing out the deer. In June and July there is the excitement of finding a fawn hiding in the bracken; while in August the fawns create an “Aw” when they are spotted out running with the adults. By autumn their field and woods are full of natures treats and the deer are looking at their best ready for the mating season, called the rut, and preparing for the harsh winter ahead.
Going on a deer hunt
As October arrives we know our deer hunt days are coming to an end. Rudolph our dominant stag, whilst looking magnificent, becomes very protective of his ladies. Deer are naturally shy animals and rarely approach us; however we wouldn’t want to chance upsetting them in their mating season and so when Rudolph begins to ‘strut his stuff’ we know it is time to watch from behind the fence. I captured these photos last week on the last deer hunt of the season. The grace with which they move and speed they can take off at make it very hard to catch a good photo. I let the deer hunt enthusiasts go head and waited behind to photograph the deer as they flushed them out of hiding.
As those on a deer hunt approach, Rudolph and his ladies turn and run.
Just enough time to stop and pose for a photo and check if we had left some cornflakes for his breakfast.
Bringing up the rear on their charge past is Ginger, one of this seasons fawns
A Second Stag.
For the first time this year we have allowed one of our younger male stags to stay in the herd. He is one of our London four who joined us in the spring. While he is growing into a fine stag, and less shy than Rudolph, he will be no competition for the ladies and stays well out of Rudolph’s way when Rudolph summons his girls.
Next year could be different and we may need to think about retiring Rudolph to avoid a challenge by the time the rut returns. We also have a concern with inbreeding having had Rudolph for 3 years. If you know anywhere looking for a new stag next year please let me know.
If you are out in any of the parks with wild deer this month please give them a wide birth and admire them from afar for your own safety.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.
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