Nature Watch Spectacle: Rutting Season

Photo Credit: Hohe Tauern National Park/Gressmann

What could be better than watching stags lock antlers in a head-to-head battle? Rutting season is the most exciting time of year to view wildlife in Tirol as they engage in fierce mating battles.

Human desires are tied to survival and reproduction, our basic instincts. But there is also love and lust in the animal kingdom… It happens once a year, when antlers and egos are fully grown and testosterone runs high: The rut is the deer’s mating season—it is a time when male deer vie for the hearts of their female counterparts. They assert their dominance by fighting each other with their antlers. The stronger the stag is, the more likely he is to father children. The rut begins and ends in a matter of days, so competition is fierce. They roar, grunt and clash antlers in an attempt to fight off rivals and attract as many females as possible. The eerie calls echo through valleys and over mountains and can be heard for far distance.

Rutting season is above all important to hunters, who are waiting for stags to compete for mating rights with the females in their raised hides. Locals and visitors can now head out on guided Nature Watch Tours. ‘Armed’ with a pair of Swarovski Optik Binoculars you can watch one of nature’s great spectacles—deer rutting. Just follow the soundtrack to the rut, bellows, grunts, roars and whistles. Woodlands and clearings are great places to witness the rut and the scramble for territory, known as ‘stands’. You can get a close-up view by using Swarovski Optik binoculars and spotting scope and observe wildlife from a safe distance—safe for you and safe for the animals.

It is important to always keep a safe distance from the animals as they turn into testosterone fuelled, crazed males during the rut. Move slowly and casually and do not surprise them. An experienced and trained Nature Watch guide will help you make the most of your wildlife viewing experience.

Foto: Nationalpark Hohe Tauern/Hafner Franz

Photo Credit: Hohe Tauern National Park/Hafner Franz

Nature Watch Tour guides will take you to places with good odds for spotting animals during their rutting (mating) season:

  • Roe Deer: July through Mid-August
  • Red Deer (Stags): Mid-September through Mid-October

Join a Nature Watch event to learn about deer rutting, a fascinating natural spectacle.

Have fun!


Aside from work, Michael Walzer is super-passionate climber, constantly trying to reach new heights by finding the most challenging and most gorgeous climbing spots in these incredibly breathtaking landscapes.

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