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Key behaviours / activities to look out for this month are:

  • Fawns become more visible, as they increasingly frequently accompany their mother around her home range

  • Savage battles occur between territorial males, as testosterone levels spike prior to the rut

  • Males and females seek mutual proximity for the peak in the mating season

July is the month when the males' testosterone levels reach a peak and they behave most aggressively. Correspondingly, this is the month when the greatest number of savage battles occurs.

If you've never seen two roe bucks properly fighting before, this is the month to try your luck. It's actually quite a difficult behaviour to witness and photograph for a few reasons.

Firstly, the adult roebucks are at least three years old, meaning they've got a fair amount of life experience, telling them to stay well away from people.

Secondly, they are most aggressive at either end of the day, so an early or late finish (or both!) is required to maximise your chances.

Thirdly, the vegetation is normally quite long in July, meaning it can be difficult to make a clear image of their heads, as they often tend to clash antlers near to the ground.

The best place to position yourself is along a boundary between two adjacent territories. Sooner or later, the bucks will see each other whilst carrying their territorial patrols and, at the very least, you'll see them displaying aggressively at each other. And every now and then, they will have a proper set-to.

Towards the end of the month, it's possible the annual rut could start to take place. The first signs will be the females being persistently chased by the master / dominant buck.

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