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I have photographed red deer in the rutting season before and without any fear but today was different.
Suddenly this magnificent beast came up the incline from a depression in the ground and there he stood in a threatening mode.
Fight or flight has been the options to such stags and most will slowly walk away but not this fellow.
My mode of operandi in this situation is to stand statue still as did my husband who was with me and do not make eye contact.
This worked but only after he gave a demonstration of his feelings by thrashing and sending soil and turf in all directions before walking very slowly away.
We did not fancy being charged by a beast weighting between three hundred and four hundred pounds running at possibly twenty miles an hour with spikey horned head gear such as he had.
We thought of that lady who was hit by a charging stag at Fort William not so long ago and we did not want to suffer the same fate.,
If you are tempted to have a go yourself at these deer do please be very careful.
Closest ever to a Free deer ...This is the Scotland I love..Looking back on 2011 ,Not a Bad year ,good fishing and breathtaking Nature..Bring on 2012 ..
This chap is the epitome of a chauvinist as he is single minded about spreading his genes and nothing else and once the rut is over he will have nothing to do with the does or his offspring.
He will join a bachelor group until next October when the rut performance starts all over again.
He has no responsibilities at all other than to father the next generation and to be strong to hold a group of does during the rut. That should guarantees the strong blood line and the survival of the herd.
The consistent challenges by other bucks during the rut ensures no chance of inbreeding.
Kamera Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Belichtung 0,003 sec (1/400)
Brennweite 500 mm
These deer were well into the rut and the air was full of the deep belching sounds that the bucks make as they round up their does.
This chap was taking a break hence bucking the trend but he was more than aware that threats could come from other amorous bucks and his small gathering of hinds could be lost.
Clearly this chap was considering his position as he stamped the ground is a threatening manner as they do when they are challenging another stag.
I stood perfectly still about seventy five yards away but clearly had he charged I would have had little chance of escape as even Usain Bolt would have been made to look sluggish.
The moment passed allowing me these few clicks. as the drizzle fell
I think these are magnificent beast possessed of great strength and present a formidable challenge to other stags and humans who venture too close in the rutting season.
What I also find amazing is the fact that this magnificent head gear .that impressive set of antlers will be lost next spring.
There is at the base of each antler a ring of cells that deteriorate in late March and as a result the antlers will be cast resulting in some strange sights as both antlers do not get cast together so stags can be walking around with just one antler. The casting is usually completed by late April early May
Then when both are cast new antlers begin to grow as buds covered in velvety skin with a rich blood supply.
When fully grown by August the blood supply closes down and the velvet deteriorates and shreds and the stag will rub it off to clean the new bone antlers ready for the autumn rut. During the period when the antlers are covered in this soft tissue it is called “being in velvet”
The calves that he fathered will have been dropped in June and the hinds that dropped them will be ready for covering again during the rut.
You know there is an unseen and generally unrecognised order of things that drives these events among so many others, it is immaculate and to contemplate all this lifts the spirits momentarily only to be dashed when reality crashes in with the realisation that humans are ruining the environment and habitat of wildlife not just in this country but worldwide and there is not a country that is exempt.
Habitat is being lost to building houses, roads. deforestation to grow essential crops while building absorbers valuable productive land. all to house and feed an over populated world. It is I submit insoluble in human hands. Here in the UK we have finite resources but short sighted politicians refuse to see that fact.
Are the stag roaring in protest as if they can see what is happening in the world?
There had been really thick fog in the early morning and all we could do was to listen to the roaring of the red stags and the 'belching' of the rutting fallows,
However the fog started to clear and this allowed me to try a few shots despite the air being heavy with droplets of mist and fog.
The conditions certainly fired up the stags and this one having threatened us a few moments ago moved off and then started to paw the ground and to thrash seriously giving vent to his pent up passion and frustration as you can and will see in the following images.
It was an awesome sight but one best viewed from a reasonable distance - seventy five yards in our case.
Deer: "Hey pal, please tell me venison isn't on your Thanksgiving menu !"
Me: "As sweet as you are, venison is never, ever on our table !!"
Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all who celebrate,
Best wishes for a happy Thursday to everyone else.
And may you all have something and/or someone to be thankful for.
White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) doe resting in the woods in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
I spent a couple of hours observing the behaviour and movements of this and one other doe during my visit to the park last fall.
27 October, 2016.
Slide # GWB_20161027_7544.CR2
Use of this image on websites, blogs or other media without explicit permission is not permitted.
:copyright: Gerard W. Beyersbergen - All Rights Reserved Worldwide In Perpetuity - No Unauthorized Use.
location: Nara Park Nara city,Nara Prefecture,Japan
Nara Park (奈良公園, Nara Kōen) is a large park in central Nara. Established in 1880, it is the location of many of Nara's main attractions including Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum.
The park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara's nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city and have even been designated as a natural treasure. Nara's deer are surprisingly tame, although they can be aggressive if they think you will feed them. Deer crackers are for sale around the park, and some deer have learned to bow to visitors to ask to be fed.
She came here ...and ... :D
White tail deer at Haley Farm. Spotted it at the far side of a field, and it wandered up to where I was standing - until it heard the shutter!