29
Mar
11

Red Deer, king of the Austrian alps

October in Austria sees the start of the rutting season for red deer.  The rut is a period when the biggest and strongest male (stag) rounds up a group of females (hinds) for mating. 

Of course every other male deer wants to do the same, but there’s only so many females to go around. In order to maintain control over a group of females the stag must constantly drive away rivals.  The stag announces his superiority over other males by constantly bellowing out an echoing roar, which sounds something like a cross between a chainsaw and a burp.

Sometimes shouting is not enough, and when contenders approach the females they need to be chased off.  Occasionally fights between males can break out, and this can lead to some serious clashing of those magnificent antlers. Red deer are the largest native land mammals in Austria.  They can weigh up to 190kg. 

If you go to watch the rutting deer make sure you keep at a safe distance.  You definitely don’t want to get between the stag and his females.  Getting charged by an angry stag can be bad for your health.  Those antlers are sharp!

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1 Response to “Red Deer, king of the Austrian alps”


  1. March 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    The 6th photo is awesome! I wonder how long you had to wait for that moment. Great pictures!


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