When the days get shorter and the temperatures sink, and when autumn paints the bracken on the hills brown, the red deer rut starts. 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 and in the meanwhile contenders need to be chased off which causes occasional fights.
On an island like Jura, with almost 7,000 deer, the rutting deer can’t be missed, both by vision and sound. On Jura you can see almost anywhere small groups of deer which usually consist of a stag and a couple of hinds. The mating season for the red deer starts late September and ends at the end of October which makes this one of the best periods to visit the island. Friends of mine were on Jura last week and they sent me a lot of beautiful images of the landscape and the impressive stags and hinds which you can find below.
Images courtesy Teresa Morris of Islay Wildscapes