IntroThings to do

Autumn calls for the traditional “Stag Mania” time

Danish forests are abundant with deer, and in some of the public “animal gardens”, the dyrehaver, you can get quite close to the largest and most impressive of them – the Krondyr. Enjoy the autumn colours at the same time.

By Bente D. Knudsen Pictures: Hisham Ammar

Danish ”Dyrehaver” are great places to get close to the rutting male deer, the stags. The red deer belong to the largest deer species in Denmark, and in Danish they are called Krondyr, meaning crown or royal deer. The red deer stags usually have very impressive and large branch-like horns called antlers.

From September until November, the mating season makes the most stunning spectacle when the stags lock antlers in a head-to-head battle in their pursuit of the females.

The best time to watch the deer is just after dawn and at dusk when they are most active.

If you listen carefully, you will be able to hear the bellow of the dominant stags during the rut as they defend their females against young males who try their luck. Walk towards the sounds to find them.

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The best places to visit to find them are:

Haderslev Dyrehave –  Haderslev -Jutland

Jægersborg Dyrehave  – Klampenborg North of Copenhagen

Sandfær Plantage – here the Nature Agency of West Jutland has created a parking area at Råstedvej from where you can observe the deer

Stråsø Plantage – located between Holstebro, Herning and Ringkøbing – find it here

Hanstholm Vildtreservat – located in the Nationalpark Thy – here the best viewing points are from the tower at Sårup or the Sårup-skrænt in the Northern part.

On the heath at Blåvandshuk – this site is run by the Nature Agency Blåvandshuk in Oksbøl- the best place to catch sight of them is from the road between Børsmose and Grærup. At dusk stand by the lake Grærup Langsø – and as it gets darker you will see, and certainly, hear the stags

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Once you’ve located the stags; be patient and watch quietly for the action to unfold. Remember to bring your binoculars.

Move carefully and quietly,  and most importantly – keep a safe distance from these large mammals!

You can find the nature areas on the site of the Danish Nature Agency

Some of them organise “rutting” events such as the nature site Lille Vildmose in North Jutland – during several evenings in September and October they propose a program with guide from the Tofte Tower – dinner included. More information about Lille Vildmose  here 

Also Haderlev Dyrehave arranges rutting events – look for them at the site www.udinaturen.dk. Meeting point is usually Nørskovgård, Nørskovgårdvej 24, 6100 Haderslev.