In search of the Red Deer Rut

The weather is starting to turn now but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! We headed up to one of our favourite places to go walking, Glen Doll, only this time we were on a mission...our mission (should we have chosen to accept it – which we always do if it involves a good walk!) was to take Katherine to see the Red Deer stags who are currently in the rutting season...

Joining us on our mission was Agent Brodie (AKA from Channel 4's Homeland), he lives with Katherine’s parents but was staying with us for a few days. Like us he came from a rescue, but his background is unknown as he was picked up as a stray. Now though he lives the life of luxury and sometimes joins us on our adventures! (See Brodie below).

Our search for the stags took us to Glen Doll where we had decided to take the Dounalt Trail, the longest of the marked trails.

However, we had a little issue to start with. You see, Katherine really doesn’t like cows. And what was following us along the path? Yup, a cow! Why there were cows wandering loose we have no idea, it certainly isn’t normal!  We all walked really fast until the cow was left far behind us and then we could start to relax and enjoy the scenery.  

It wasn’t long until we heard the first bellows in the distance, the red deer stags were definitely around but we were in the middle of the forest and couldn’t see anything but trees. As we ran along the forest track sniffing here there and everywhere (and losing Brodie for a few minutes after he wandered off following his nose!) the roars became louder and louder (look closely at the images below to see the Red Deer).

We reached the open part of the walk and there high up on the hill was a group of stags. It seems we caught them on their lunch break as they were just busy grazing, though we still heard a few roars!  There were loads of them, and further along we saw a stag surrounded by a nice group of hinds. We had found the stags! Okay, so we never saw them actually locking antlers known as deer rutting but this is nature and they only resort to fighting if they really have to!  At least we saw them and that was the main thing and that meant MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Besides, there are still a few weeks of the rutting season left so we could always have another couple of walks up that way see if we can catch some in combat...

Our walk followed a river for most of the way but we were told no swimming as it was too cold, but that didn’t stop Brodie taking a dip! The river runs right passed the car park, and we know how to make sure we get to go swimming at the end of our walk...shhh we shall share our secret with you...our secret to getting to go swimming is...MUD. Yup, lots and lots of mud!  That pretty much guarantees a play in the water at the end of our walk!

Joining in our water games were Snappy and Jaws, two of our Chuckit! toys (Shark Fin and Gator) and we had great fun finishing our walk with a splash around in the water. Though Katherine was right, the water was very cold and the weather was turning against us so it was soon time to call a retreat!

Back into the nice warm car it was and home we went! Glen Doll though is one of the places we visit all year round, so no doubt we will be back there and maybe next time there will be snow as that can’t be far away now! We probably won’t be doing any more swimming there until the spring now though!

Millie, Fly and Katherine T


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