Wild Red Deer Workshops
Rutting Wild Red Deer in the Peak District
The heaths and moors of the Peak District are an eerie exposure of peat covered moorland sitting about 600m (2000 ft) above sea level. Large wind carved eroded rocks sit among vast plateaus and rock formations supporting a healthy population of wild Red Deer.
The largest land mammal in the UK, easily recognised by their magnificent antlers, stags (males) weigh in at up to 240kg and stand 1.3m high at the shoulder. Hinds (females) are smaller and don’t have antlers. They’re territorial and large herds live wild in this place, which is where the stags head back to in September for the rut.
The autumn spectacle of the rut starts in mid-September and runs until mid-October. Males compete with each other for the choice of females to mate with. Their bellows can be heard resonating across the moors, and if the loudest roar doesn’t decide the dominant male, stags will size each other up with ‘parallel walking’. Equally matched males will occasionally lock antlers, aiming to use their massive strength to push the other male bodily out of their territory.
These one day workshops are timed to coincide with the rutting season of these large mammals. I will take you to those places I have found over time to be some of the best places to see and photograph these majestic creatures within their natural moorland habitat.
An early start to maximise your opportunities as the moors awake. We will then get in to place to capture some lovely images. Green, muted or camouflaged clothing is necessary due to the nature of these mammals . I will demonstrate and guide you through various proven fieldcraft skills and techniques that are really needed to get closer to the Red Deer and in turn enabling you to get the best possible images.
One of the most important skills a wildlife photographer needs to learn is fieldcraft. When dealing with wild animals it can be the difference of getting your images or not it’s so important. I served in the British Army as a soldier and sniper for many years. I often used nature as my early warning on active service. I learnt to read the signals, noises and signs that something wasn’t right around me by just listening to nature more so birdsong.
I will go through the correct camera settings, simplifying anything that you don’t understand. I will also show you important tracking tips that you can take away with you and implement yourself, improving and increasing your overall photographic opportunities and in turn images.
The day will last from dawn till dusk and I will pass on my very best skills learnt over many years to you so you can witness this spectacular event in nature’s calendar.
The walk to the Red Deerwill be over uphill, uneven terrain. Waterproof walking boots are essential. A reasonable level of fitness is required.
The weather in the Peak District is a mixture of mist, fog, rain and sunshine, and during winter month’s also snow, so appropriate waterproof, warm clothing is necessary. Waterproof housing for your camera and lens covers is a must as rain can be upon you in minutes.
You will need to provide your own photographic equipment, a 500mm lens is ideal but a 300mm with convertors should meet your needs A tripod is also essential. The landscape of the Peak District will present you with many opportunities so if you have a wide angle lens then this would also give you a chance to capture some beautiful landscape images.
2021 Dates TBC
£350.00 per day, per participant – 1 to 1 ratio
£200.00 per day, per participant – 1 to 2 ratio
£150.00 per day, per participant - 1 to 3 ratio
All dates/days are flexible, should the dates or days stated NOT suit you then please email me with your alternative date/day(s)
Discounted rates for groups of up to four participants are available, email me for more details.