led by Darren Rolfe
Autumn heralds one of the most dramatic events of the year at Knepp. As fallow does and red deer hinds prepare for winter by gorging on acorns, the fallow bucks and red deer stags prepare for battle. The woods resonate with the sound of clashing antlers and guttural roars, and the air is charged with a pungent hit of pheromones.
With the males preoccupied with displays of machismo this is one of the best opportunities to observe these spectacular beasts at close range. The red deer are the first to enter the rut around early October as mature stags defend their harem from younger contenders with roars and posturing and battles for supremacy.
From around mid-October until the beginning of November the fallow bucks stage their rut. We’ll guide you to known ‘lekking grounds’ – or mating arenas – marked out by the mature fallow bucks in the deer park around Knepp Castle. The award-winning antlers of our fallow are amongst the biggest in the world.
This is a wonderful chance to hear the master bucks attracting females with constant roaring, and watch the phenomenon of ‘parallel walking’ – two bucks strutting together, sizing each other up before clashing together in pitched battle.
We’ll round off the evening with hot venison or veggie sausages, hot chocolate and a tot of homemade Knepp sloe gin.
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Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund or alternative date for your safari booking. We also cannot guarantee the great British weather, or that you will see your target species. Nature is unpredictable! However we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience with us, come rain or shine, and there’s always plenty of wildlife to see. Our safaris are suitable only for children of 12 and over