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Rut. The deer started dating. Their characteristic sounds echo through the forests

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The deer have already started their mating season. In Roztocze (Lublin region), the rut has been going on since the end of August. The characteristic sounds made by males will probably be heard there for a few more weeks.

The deer rut, i.e. the mating season of these animals, has begun in the Roztocze forests. The loud call of the deer is intended to scare away potential rivals in courting the hinds. There are approximately 11,000 red deer in the Lublin region.

Deep, bass sounds

Karol Jańczuk, a forest service specialist in the Tomaszów Forest District (Lublin Voivodeship), said that this year the deer rut in Roztocze began at the end of August, along with cooler nights. – In the summer before the mating season, red deer feed intensively, gaining weight and strength, and then start the rut – explained the forester.

Referring to the biology of deer, he emphasized that at the turn of August and September, bulls start looking for hinds, and the hinds look for partners. – Bulls begin to announce their presence and dominance over the surroundings. Through a deep, bass call, the deer communicates that “this is my territory and any ladies that are nearby are mine too.” If another deer speaks, it means: “Hello, not yours, because I’m here too and these hinds are mine,” Jańczuk described.

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Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Shutterstock

Usually, a deer that roars weaker and less impressively – as the forester said – simply falls silent. If two bulls who consider themselves equals start to hear each other and approach each other, they start staring at each other. – I myself witnessed a meeting of two bulls calling to each other and suddenly it turned out that one of them was much younger and weaker. When he saw a larger competitor, he immediately started running away from it, deciding it was better to retreat, and the older rival started chasing him – said the forest service specialist.

It happens – as he pointed out – that neither of them wants to give up, stating that he will dominate after all. – Then comes the moment of antler fighting, you could say wreath to wreath. It doesn’t necessarily look like a corrida, they just rub each other with their antlers. I didn’t see it live, but I heard bulls fighting several meters away and the crunching of antlers clashing. Eventually one of them weakens and starts to run away, he added.

He noticed that the sound of roars and fighting also attracts the does itself. – The deer that dominates the area takes in the girls – often more than one doe, you could say it’s like a harem. And from these rut unions, calves will be born in the spring – explained Jańczuk.

A roe deer is not a deer’s “wife” (State Forests)National forests

They are interrupted by rainfall

Jańczuk said that during the rut, deer eat very little and are able to lose several percent of their weight. The rut lasts several weeks and is usually interrupted by rains. – I think that by the end of September you will be able to hear the roar of deer in the forest area, which is intended to scare off any rivals and attract does. Then, elks approach the forest site in a similar way, the forester noted.

He explained that deer start roaring from the evening when the sun goes down until the morning. – It is an extremely interesting natural spectacle, it provides a lot of emotions, but you should be careful when observing it closely. It’s the hunting season now, so if someone plans to spy deer, they should put on, for example, a reflective vest, Jańczuk advised.

According to data from the Central Statistical Office as of March 2022, approximately 11.6 thousand people live in the Lublin Voivodeship. red deer.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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