Moose and deer rut


Right now the rut has begun for moose and red deer. During rutting-time bulls butt trees and bushes and scrape ground. Secretory glands are situated on legs and head and allow marking the territory. Bulls starts to scrape pits and urinate in them few weeks before rut itself has started to stimulate female rutting.

Moose is the biggest deer in the world. Adult male moose stands about 2 m high at the shoulder, weigh till half ton and has almost 3 m long body. Female moose is smaller and lighter. Red deer are smaller. Only males has tournament weapon – antlers. These antlers make rivals tremble in fear and females in excitement. Every autumn after mating season moose will drop its antlers. A new set of antlers will then regrow in the spring. Deer gets to walk around with its antlers until March.


Moose eats branches more than any other deer in Latvia. Its long muzzle and “trunk-like” upper lip is suitable for branch picking. Adult moose in winter can eat 10 – 13 kg tree plants, but in summer about 30-40 kg herbs. Red deer feed on browse, leafs, herbs, lichen, etc. During mating season animals become a lot thinner because a lot of energy is used to attract females. That is why during harsh winters some of strongest males die as they have used too much energy at rut and has not managed to gain flesh.