For today's #30DaysWild post I am simply going to share a couple of photos of a beautiful Wild Buck Roe Deer with you, that I was lucky enough to capture yesterday.The Roe Deer is one of two truly native deer of the British Isles, the other being the Red Deer. Records of them date to before the Mesolithic period (6000 to 10000 years BC). However, the species became extremely scarce in medieval times. and by 1700 was considered extinct in southern and central England and all of Wales, only surviving in the Highlands of Scotland. The Victorians re-introduced the species to England, and today, roe deer occur through most of southern England, all of northern England and Scotland, and they are continuing to spread into the Midlands and Wales.
Only the males have antlers, and their first two sets are un-branched and short, so we can tell that this is a mature Buck in at least his third year. Their breeding season, known as the rut, is from mid July to the end of August, so I imagine he is focused on building his condition for that. During this time the males become very aggressive in defending their territories, and fight other males by locking those antlers, and pushing and twisting.
Watching him, motionless, waiting for me to make my move, it's hard to image him in a duel that could result in injury, or even death.