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Deer rutting, wonder of the animal world in the Sierra de Cazorla


We would be delighted tell you all about this fascinating ritual, a wonder of the world of nature and what you can see and do in Cazorla, a historic town in the province of Jaén.

Autumn arrives in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas mountains in Jaén and with it the beginning of deer rutting, a ritual of love.

What is deer rutting and when does it happen?

After the first autumn rains, the deer turn acorn protein into love with a loud voice. So, deer rutting takes place from mid-September to mid-October. It is one of the most unique and wonderful events in the animal world and it takes place in the Cazorla Nature Reserve with the arrival of autumn. You can hear it and see it in many parts of this protected natural area, especially in the Collado del Almendral wildlife park.

Deer rutting is a mythical essential feature of Mediterranean life that we can experience together. Rutting involves male deer attracting females and forcing away other males. Everything is valid so as to impregnate the area with their DNA, and rutting involves seduction and territorial battle in equal measures

These Andalusian deer challenge each other like fighting bulls and little by little each males creates his own harem. 

Taking advantage of the truces between love battles, the long-tailed males assault the fur of males and females in search of ticks, something you will find strange and beautiful if you get the chance to see it. 

After a number of battles for the females, the deer king returns bellowing to proclaim victory over others less gifted. In the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas mountains there really are winners and losers. The intense battles usually last about ten days and almost always there are only injuries to self-esteem. Although on rare occasions, it does happen that these constant battles over females will cost an old deer his life, in which case his bellowing will alert vultures and scavengers, which you can see flying over his location, as if he were announcing his death as a town crier. in the town square.

The behaviour of the deer during the rutting and mating season will always remain one of the wonders of the world provided for us by nature us in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Nature Reserve. With the change of light and the shorter days, the deer know that the time has come to undertake this ritual that is essential for their survival and when spring arrives there will be fawns that will reach sexual maturity when they are 3 years of age.

Things you can do in Cazorla 

As well as the wonderful spectacle of deer rutting in the Sierras de Cazorla, Las Villas y Segura mountains, we also recommend you discover the town of Cazorla at the end of a fantastic 4x4 adventure full of nature, wildlife, culture and leisure.

Cazorla is a historical town in the province of Jaén and which was once the border between the kingdom of Granada and the advancing Castilian forces in Moorish times. It has all the characteristic charm of an Andalusian town and great monumental wealth that make it well worth visiting and taking a leisurely stroll to discover its hidden treasures.

Outstanding monuments in Cazorla:

1.- The Castle of La Yedra. An ancient defensive enclave of Moorish origin, with a keep that houses the Alto Guadalquivir Museum of Arts and Customs with one section dedicated to the history of the fortress and another to the popular customs of this area of Andalusia.

2.- At the foot of the castle, there is another essential feature of Cazorla: The Church of Santa María, the only European church built in a riverbed, or almost, because this temple was never fully built and was twice destroyed. First, as a result of a flood that caused it to collapse almost entirely and then, during the Napoleonic wars, a fire almost managed to put an end to it, but it rose from the ashes and is currently used for numerous events.

There is no charge for visiting the church and you can climb the tower, at the base of which you will find the tourist office.

3.- A visit to the Church of Santa María is inevitably linked to the third essential of Cazorla: The Cerezuelo River Vault. To be able to build the temple in this location, the architect decided to channel the river under a vault that can be crossed via a metal walkway that is accessed from the very heart of Cazorla.

This visit requires you to book a guided tour of the Church of Santa María and it costs only €2. It really is worthwhile to find out all the details and hear some of the stories of the city like the legend of the Tragantía. The story goes that an ancient Moorish king locked a princess in the catacombs of the castle to protect her until his return. But the protective father died in battle and the Christians who conquered the castle heard the princess crying and thought that it was haunted. The princess was there so long that half of her body was transformed into a snake: La Tragantía.

Other unusual places in Cazorla to make a visit to this municipality complete are the picturesque House of Bicycles and the beautiful Zabaleta Lookout Point, ideal for taking fantastic photos of the entire historic town.


otoño berrea del ciervo qué hacer en cazorla parque natural
Deer rutting, wonder of the animal world in the Sierra de Cazorla