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Deer Week 2016... #4

"Stuck in a rut"

Phoenix park really is alive with deer right now. This time of year is known as "the rut". The male deer are all full of testosterone and are competing for the right to mate with the females. It is almost eerie to be walking in the woods and hearing the loud and deep bellows of the bucks calling for a doe. I visiting the deer a few weeks ago when every buck seemed to be without a harem. They were equally spread out on their own defending their right to control a small patch of ground. Last week, however, the scene was totally different. The largest males had gathered together large groups of females and were jealously guarding them against any invaders. They also seemed to employ younger bucks the help defend their prizes. This means that there were large numbers of younger/weaker bucks with no does. All of these bachelors seemed to gather in a big area and were working hard to prove that they were the strongest around. As I stood and watched the mortal combat going on around me I could hear the clashing of antlers in all directions. It really was a sight to behold.

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