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Five species of deer found in the wild in the UK call the New Forest home. The four most common species are fallow, roe, sika and red deer, but there are also small numbers of muntjac deer.

The New Forest is a great place for deer because there is such a large area of undisturbed land for them.

Each year, deer take part in the rut (the mating season). The rutting month varies between species, but mostly it is during the autumn. Stags use their antlers in fearsome trials of strength and an enraged or injured stag can be a dangerous animal so please keep your distance.

Although you may not often see the deer themselves, you can frequently see the signs they leave. Look out for their footprints, called slots, and their droppings, looking like large raisins.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of August.'

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