Petworth, West Sussex Dominant bucks had established rutting stands in close proximity to one another, each stationed beneath one of the park’s ancient trees

As we strode across the Mansion Lawn towards the lake, bathed in the golden marmalade light of the setting sun, it felt as though we had stepped into Turner’s painting, Sunset, Fighting Bucks. Surprisingly, the view differs little from the idealised landscape depicted by the artist in the early 19th century. Some 800 fallow deer still roam freely in the park, and we could see that the bucks and does had begun to congregate, having spent most of the year in single-sex herds.

During the red deer rut, dominant stags manage large harems and vigorously defend them from rival males. But it was immediately obvious that the fallow deer had a different mating strategy, displaying lekking behaviour.

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Source: Guardian Environment