Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Stuck in a Rut...

This is the time of year that the Fallow Deer rut. Determined not to miss out on the spectacle, I headed off into the woods. Beyond the old military shooting butts the forest is thick and dark. The steep slopes are favoured by the deer and few people stray from the paths into the trees.

Of course that might be something to do with the hundreds of disused mine shafts. Dug over the centuries, many of these shafts were never mapped or filled in. Over the years some have collapsed in on themselves, while others remain hidden beneath the bracken. Unfortunately this is the best place to view the rutting stands, so I'd have to take my chances.

I wandered high and low. The Bucks were bellowing loudly. I'd head off in the direction of the noise, only for it to stop moments before I'd located the 'stand' and another one would start in the distance. It was frustrating, so I hung up the hammock and stopped for a spot of tiffin.
I took a photo of my picnic spot, viewed the picture, and switched my camera off. At the same moment I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A young Stag! It had crept up on me. I lifted the camera... Aaah! It was switched off... fumble, fumble. He was gone. They were playing games with me.

Eventually I discovered a stand. The ground was muddied from days of pounding, and the lower branches cleared from the trees by sweeping antlers. I ducked down below a steep slope to get my other camera from my rucksack. There was a deep bellow and the ground rumbled as two young Bucks leapt passed my head and on down the impossible incline...
I'd missed them I thought, but no. As I stood up there was a huge Buck like a black shadow in the forest.

I was soon spotted, but whether it was indecision or curiosity that delayed them, it gave me enough time to grab some video footage.

For a moment the Stag stared me in the eye, and I was worried that he was going to come crashing through the trees at me.

Luckily he had 'lurve' on the mind. They disappeared into the collage of trees with admirable stealth.




It was starting to get dark. The moon hid behind the clouds. The car was parked a long way away, over by a tree. Suddenly there seemed to be a lot of trees that all looked alike.

Still, it was no problem, it would turn up. Must be careful not to fall down any mine shafts...


I'll use the camera flash to see where I am... Oooh more trees... and eyes in the woods!
Nevermind, I have a cunning plan...

5 comments:

Lesley said...

That is crazy and awesome!

3D said...

Very cool...the last pic looks like something from "The Blair Witch Project".

Keep smilin!

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

You need a GPS thingy, then you cant get lost.
We have lots of deer but never seen the "rut", only the one I am stuck in.

barkfoot said...

I had my old E-Trex (9 years old)with me, but it isn't very sensitive by todays standards and was have real trouble finding satellites in the heavy woodland.

Elisa...life as we know it. said...

Great pictures and video.
Remember that night that we slept in your car in Cannock chase!