This morning around Wollaton has certainly shown that the groups are anything but peaceful. The young males are trying their luck with the big guns, the females are undecided on which buck to join, and the golfers aren't too happy either!
Yesterday morning was incredibly grey, and one of our biggest and oldest males had certainly had a rough time. As the first individual I found that day, whom I affectionately named Odin, looked really quite sorry for himself. This great old man lay in front of the hall, with a recent injury to his eye, muddy turf on his antlers, and a general moth-eaten look about him. The clue stood to who may have caused this trauma in the next field, in the form of an even bigger and bolder male.
I remained quite a distance from this next male I encountered, as he really did look like he was up for a fight. After leaving these two tired fellas, I took a stroll to the lake, and wandered back towards the golf course to find what I had really been looking for - a the males and their ladies!
It took me quite by surprise to see such a small male with a poor excuse for a pair of antlers, one of which had been broken in half, with four ladies under his command! I recognised him from a few days ago, belonging to the all male group on the golf hill. The ladies tottered around the golf course with him nonetheless and I presumed there must have been something quite attractive about him that I was missing. Shortly after, I realised what this young bucks game was.
It soon became apparent that the largest male of that all male group had was in charge of quite a substantial lek, and the young buck had perhaps just been lucky enough to lure a few ladies away with him. This larger lek was also under the protection of the larger broken horned male from that same male group.
It was highly entertaining observing large broken horn make desperate attempts to mate a few of the ladies - they were having none of it. After a few failed attempts at attracting if not chasing the ladies into a mating, the big man decided it was enough and gently ushered him away.
Sadly my morning was cut short when I was informed to buggar off the golf course. I must add here that we are not allowed on the course, and that the deer can be safely observed out the way of the golfers on their morning jaunt. It would seem they are more dangerous than the deer...