School Programmes / Group Activities at Russborough HouseAugust 29, 2019
What happens during Rut Season..
Rut Season in the Phoenix Park is closing in! In general, throughout the year in the Phoenix Park you will find the male and female deer separated at different ends of the park.. The Male deer can usually be found somewhere in the east side of the park, a common grazing area would be the football fields, while the female stay over the west side (a good place to locate the females would be the west end of the 15 acres).
Coming up to the Rut season, male deer will start heading over to the female quarters in the park and will spend some weeks with them. The best location to find the Rut is around Furze Road, to the west of the American Ambassador Residence.
It’s that exciting time of the year when the male deer engage in fierce battles to win over the females. For these few months leading up to October, sexually mature stags prepare for the most important contest of their lives – access to a harem of fertile females!
The fight starts vocally, and if this is not enough to ward off a competitor, you will see rivals parallel-walk before locking antlers and engaging in battle. If you see rivals parallel-walk they are assessing their opponents size and strength. They may also thrash the ground so that vegetation catches in their antlers making them look larger. Fights are a shoving match, with each stag trying to gain the advantage by being uphill.
The biggest stags will hold harems in the middle of the rut, when most of the hinds are in oestrus (in heat). Smaller stags on the edge of the harem try to mate with the hinds (female deer’s over 3 years old) when the dominant stag is in battle or exhausted following a fight.
It’s always important to remember that at this time of the year, male deer are pumped full of testosterone and highly aggressive. They are wild animals. Always remember to use common sense and Don’t get too close!