5 places to see rutting red deer

Where to witness the displays of dominance during the annual rut.

Red deer


October is the most exciting time of year to watch stags as they intimidate other males, defend territory and keep their harem of hinds in check, both in the wild and in parks.

The annual rut is all about display – complex visual, acoustic and olfactory posturing between rival stags to gain dominance and the chance to mate.

Rutting activity is at its most intense at dawn, when a resident stag needs to be on guard to fend off new males
that arrived overnight.

See the displays of dominance for yourself at these key locations:

Cairngorms National Park

Take a guided tour into the Braes of Glenlivet to watch rutting stags in a glen near Kymah Burn.

Exmoor National Park

National park rangers and other experts guide walks and 4WD safaris.

Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria

Stags rut out in the middle of this wetland.

Richmond Park

The stags here can be easily observed among open woodland. 

 RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk

Join guided tours of the rut on the heath.


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