|Roebuck during a bout of rutting|
|Roe deer scrape done to leave scent from glands in feet|
|Tree 'frayed' by roebuck to leave scent from gland between antlers|
Yearling does usually come into season first and the older does, with their new kids born during April and May, a few weeks later. When in season the doe will be closely accompanied by the buck and they will endure bouts of chasing and games of 'follow the leader'. The doe leads these chases followed closely by the buck, often nose to tail, and often on reaching an object such as a tree, bush or hillock they will often chase around it in circles many times forming a well defined ring known as a 'Roe Ring'.
|Roe doe with new kid|
|Roe deer ring around tree|
All this rutting behaviour can take its toll on the bucks and between bouts they can sometimes be observed taking a well-earned rest.
|All this rutting is tiring work|
As you walk around Gibside or your own local woods you may be lucky to witness some of this behaviour or come across some of these signs.