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Red Deer Rut and Photo Safari, Scotland

Red Deer Rut and Photo Safari, Scotland

Red Deer Rut and Photography Safari in Scotland

The Red Deer is the UK’s largest land mammal and undoubtedly the best place to view these magnificent animals is the Highlands of Scotland. During the summer months, they are usually high in the hills and good sightings are really restricted to those willing to walk the mountains to find them. However, throughout September the stags and hinds start to gather lower down in preparation for the rut, which is the red deer mating season.

From the end of September and throughout October the glens resound to the roaring of the stags, competing to mate with as many females as they can. Often the sound of the strongest stag is sufficient to dispel any competition, but occasionally a determined challenger emerges and the resultant duels, where the animals lock antlers in a bid to determine superiority produce moments of high drama. Whilst most are quickly resolved and a victor emerges, they can occasionally result in serious injury or even death.

As the rut activity comes to a close the animals move to their winter feeding ground. The stags congregate close to the road where the estates provide supplementary feeding to keep them in good condition through the harsh winter. This gives us the opportunity to get close with our cameras to photograph them against some of the most magnificent backdrops that the highlands have to offer.

All the images in the gallery on this page are taken at locations Wild West uses for these trips, and you don’t need to be an expert photographer to capture these kinds of images. Your guide, Ian MacLeod is also an experienced and competent photographer with many years of experience working with the animals.

These amazing experiences are available at different times of the year. The red deer rut normally takes place from late September until the end of October and Wild West offer trips to enjoy the spectacle daily depending on demand. Trips normally leave Fort William at 07.30. Whilst photographers are very welcome on these trips the deer are often higher up and although we can get great views with optical equipment, they may be a bit distant even for long lenses.

From the end of the rut until late March when the stags lose their antlers, brings the best photo opportunities with the stags close to the road and the animals become used to humans being close by whilst still retaining healthy respect. Again trips are available on a daily basis. Start times vary depending on sunrise and sunset times, as well as client requirements.

Trip Highlights:

  • Get close to Scotland's largest mammal
  • Photograph the stags against magnificent highland scenery
  • Experience the most spectacular of Highland scenery
  • Escape from the crowds
  • Hear rutting stags roaring in their quest mate with the hinds

Please note these trips are offered on a private basis and the price is based based on 6 people sharing the minibus.

Alternative Tour Name: Red deer rut and photo safari
Day 1
Half Day Trip

We travel from Fort william to Glen Garry where we will find the majestic red deer stags taking part in the rut during September and October, then grazing peacefully by the roadside in magnificent highland scenery throughout the rest of the winter. The trip is best enjoyed as a morning tour as the deer are more active at that time. We normally leave Fort William at 07.30 but particularly for photography start times may vary to be with the animals for sunrise.

Red deer

What is included?

  • Guiding services
  • Use of optical equipment
  • Ferry fares and boat fares
  • All transport
  • Local taxes

What is not included?

  • Food and refreshments
  • Transfer to Airport
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why should I book with Wild West?

Your guide, Ian MacLeod has lived and worked in the area for over 30 years and still walks, cycles and kayaks regularly throughout the region, constantly updating his knowledge of where the wildlife is.

What vehicle will we travel in?

Wild West use a Mercedes Vito minibus which can carry up to 8 passengers. However, due to Covid restriction this is currently limited to 6, all from the same group.

What will we see?

We are looking for wild animals in their natural environment so no guarantees can be made. However, it a rare day we can't find a few of the key species, especially deer and seals, and the landscapes are always majestic.

Can I bring my dog?

Well behaved dogs are welcome but not allowed on vehicle seats. Also, they must be kept on a lead when out of the vehicle, particularly if there are animals around.

What precautions are being taken to protect visitors from Covid?

Wild West are currently offering trips on a private basis only so all passengers are from the same bubble. A screen has been fitted between drivers and passenger and disinfectant gel and hand wipes are available in the van.

Do I need my own optical equipment?

If you have your own please bring them but Wild West do have some binoculars and a good spotting scope for use by customers. In the current circumstances the equipment is properly disinfected between customers.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

0.5 Day

Price & Availability

GBP33 / per person
This tour is operated by: Wild West

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • Highlands of Scotland
  • Half Day Trip
  • Up to 6 People
  • 4 hours approx.
  • October to March
  • +5 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Glasgow Airport or Contact us to know
  • Glasgow Airport or Contact us to know
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