Deer 2012 First thoughts

I have spent more time on Big Moor in recent days than I have done for some time.  The new lens is ideal for photographing the deer and the rutting season has just begun.  My first trip this year to autumn was on the 22nd September and I was surprised to see over 80 deer gathered on a slope near the old Barbrook reservoir.  They were mostly hinds but with 4 or 5 big stags around them.  Within a couple of hours they had split up into about 4 main groups, each with their own stag.  On the hills around other stags sat, chewed or just stood around showing a complete disinterest in the process.  Either the testosterone wasn't flowing yet or they were too young - or more likely, they were just playing a waiting game.  I have been up there 6 or 7 times since then and the main groups have dispersed into different areas of the Moor but the size of each family is still too big for any one stag.  Things are bound to change!!  There are too many big stags with no hinds at all so they have something to fight for.  Last year I photographed stags fighting on the 20th October so I think we have plenty of time yet.  In the meantime some stags are honing their skills and taking out their frustrations on the bracken and heather!So far I have taken over 1000 photos of the deer and their surroundings over a space of 20 days so I intend to post the best of them here in the very near future.

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