Deer Species : Red Deer
Possibly the most familiar of all UK Deer due to its appearance in many parks the native Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) is our largest species of deer growing up to 115cm at the shoulder and up to 250kg in weight.
Most people will have seen images of the classic twelve pointed antlers of a "Royal" stag and be aware of its characteristic "bellow".
Although traditionally thought of as purely a Scottish Deer, herds can also be found in Exmoor whilst a few examples can also be found in counties elsewhere in the UK due to accidental escapes from Parks.
Red Deer spend most of the year in single sex herds however in September the Stags become increasingly aggressive to one another after which the 'break out' takes place, it is at this stage that both Hind and Stag herds come together for the rut which takes place at the end of September and continues until the end of October. The stag typically rounds up a number of Hinds which he then aims to defend against other stags.
Hinds will have single calves around May and June however in highland areas not all Hinds will be sufficiently well nourished to have calves every year. These barren hinds are called 'yelds'.
Antler casting by the Stags is in late March - May with the velvet being shed by late August - September.