To get the great shots you need to be an early morning trip to Richmond Park. Today was one of those mornings where it so worth it. When we arrived…yes, we!… I was treating Mrs S to another fun day out!! The morning mist was hanging across the fields. As we were still in the Rutting Season, the large Stags were in full voice bellowing through the fog, claiming their territory way off out of sight. It was like a scene from Jurassic Park. We made our way down to Pen Ponds as the sun started to rise above the trees & then across towards Isabella Plantations. When we were greeted by the sight of this majestic beast.
The large red stag was in no uncertain terms letting everybody know who was in charge around here, & it wasn’t us! During rutting (breeding) season, red stags and fallow bucks compete for females. The large males roar, bellow and violently clash antlers in an attempt to fight off rivals and attract as many females as possible. The large red stag fights can go on for some time before one will suddenly concede, to then be chased away by the victor.
As photographers you need to keep fully aware of where you are & what is behind you at all times. It’s easy, once your eye is up to the viewfinder to be lost in the moment, trying to capture all the action in front of you, to then find yourself in a tricky situation with the UK’s largest wild animal. Their testosterone levels are pretty high at this time & so you need to keep a safe distance from them as they can become stressed and behave unpredictably if they feel threatened by people standing close by trying to take pictures.