Red Deer Mating at Richmond Park

Date: Monday 10th October 2011

Location: Richmond Park, London.

Rutting Season…

The Red Deer Rut was an event that was always on my calendar and this year I was going to make sure that I would get the opportunity to shoot it! Not just the once either as I ended up in Richmond Park three weeks running during the season!

The first week we planned to get up early and get there before sunrise to take advantage of the unusually good weather for some good early morning light. As usual, we got up later than planned and just missed some terrific early morning mist!

It wasn’t a wasted day by a long shot though as we saw plenty of deer bellowing and the occasional rut, whilst also learning the best locations for a future visit. As I had missed the mist I decided that I would have to go again the following week!

Week 2…

The following week saw me getting up earlier to make sure I was at the park before sunrise to not miss that early light as I had some shots in mind that I really wanted to get. My planning got the better of me again though as I went on a Monday and completely forgot about the traffic on the M25!

Still, I intended to make the best of it and with fewer photographers around it was easier to get a better spot. It didn’t take long to realise that one stag in particular was definately more active than the rest, winning ruts and chasing off any other stags in the immediate area so I decided that I was going to follow him hoping to get some action.

Very nearby was his harem of ladies and it was obvious that this guy was definately feeling randy as he was constantly sniffing around them. As the does had settled in one location I decided to set up camp at a safe distance, camera on tripod at the ready, just in case.


As we had some unseasonably good weather I decided that I was just going to sit there, all day if I had to as it was pretty likely that I could get some shots of him mating with one of his harem. Quite often with nature photography, sitting in the same spot all day can see you get nothing at all but today, within an hour I had struck lucky.

This one particular doe wasn’t running away as fast as the others had been, so I grabbed the camera and got shooting. It was a good job I did as I didn’t realise that it would be all over so quickly! Four seconds, one thrust and 10 pictures later, it was all over!

The Images

Other Showcase episodes:-

Duckling for Breakfast!

Red Kites Mating

Red Kite Fishing