Yesterday I was in the Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen and was lucky enough to see plenty of deer, two groups of fallow deer (Dama dama) and a single Roe doe (Capreolus capreolus). I did see a roe and a calf, for some reason in a segregated area with Moeflon/mouflon sheep (Ovis orientalis).
The groups of fallow were laid under trees, and consisted of 9+ beasts, bucks and hinds.
What surprised me were the amount of bucks with broken antlers - they must be a really feisty bunch.
In my pictures (a bit grainy I am afraid) you can see one unfortunate buck who has lost both antlers, another who has lost one, these weren't the only ones to have lost them. There were plenty of bucks sporting magnificent pairs though.
A few questions
1. Does this actually hurt them to lose antlers like this? (physically - not their pride) One buck must have lost one of his very recently as I could see red (I presume was blood) where the antler had come away from the head.
2. Will they regrow before the rutting season?
3. These antlers I take it will have only just regrown, so would the bucks have been practising for future combat and it is more of a friendly sparring to test out strength and prowess amoung younger bucks?