Magnificent beast even tried a camouflage look and even a beehive in attempts to attract a female (PHOTOS)

He is one of the mightiest of creatures - and apparently also one of the most regal.

Other deers quickly scattered when the self-proclaimed King of Richmond Park emerged with a crown of leaves he had created from the bracken.

Photographer Mark Smith, 30, watched as the deer raked the ground in Surrey’s 2,400-acre Royal Park with his antlers - a typical show of strength.

Rutting season is underway and the males are jealously guarding their territory in the hope of attracting a mate.

The stag slowly built up his headress until it was covering his entire head.

Mr Smith, from Islington, London, said: 'He sensed others around and started raking up the ground to scare them off.

'As soon as he came up from the bracken wearing this great headdress, the other males just went running.

'I have been photographing deer for four years and know this happens, but I have never seen anything like this before.'

The deer then threw his head back and roared, another classic way to assert power but also attract females.

Mr Smith, an accountant, had been watching the deer at Richmond since 6am when this happened at around midday.

He estimates the deer is between eight and 10 years old and among the biggest specimens in the park’s 600-strong deer population.

Mr Smith added: 'This was a really deep roar and could be heard from quite a long way away.

'The deer take different strategies in the rutting season. Some pick a spot, whereas others will run around following females, hoping to set up a harem.

'If you’re as big as this guy, you can stay put and the does will migrate to you.'

Mr Smith, a semi-professional photographer, added: 'I love watching the deer.

'It can be quite intimidating when you’re walking through the forest early in the morning and hear a 200 kilogram beast like this roar.

'But it’s thrilling at the same time.'

Responses to "Deer emerges from the undergrowth with a crown of bracken and leaves"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic....thank you

  2. Jennifer1nAustralia says:

    Wow, what awesome photos

  3. Patricia says:

    Just amazing photos, thankyou for sharing!

  4. Morgan says:

    Brilliant! Thank you!

  5. Rob says:

    Great shot

  6. Unknown says:

    Fabulous! Thank you so much!

  7. says:

    Green man in reverse!

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. sally says:

    Thank you for sharing. Great pictures!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nothing is more beautiful than nature itself. I wish all would realize that.

  11. MaggieCr says:

    Awesome! A Beautiful Animal!

  12. lou says:

    these are gorgeous. really interesting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bee hive?? Or. hornet's nest???? Big difference!!!! I'm very curious as I can't imagine a deer trying to get a wooden bee hive on his antlers. Now trying to add a hornets nest, which does occur out in nature, I can see. Hornets nests are the things they show bees coming out of on Winnie the Pooh, and in most media. True, there is a slight resemblance between a bee-skiff (hive) and a hornet's nest, but they are different in that one is man made for honey bees and the other is made by hornet's for hornets! I am from a bee keeping family and there needs to be more education on the role and importance of honey bees. There is also the matter of concern due to the fact that honey bees can only sting once, where as hornets and wasps sting repeatedly.The reason I bring this up, I have known of people trying and take hornets nests apart to get honey, which is not a product that hornets make, and end up severely stung in the process. When bees hang in a swam on a tree limb you will see a cluster of bees (that may occasionally build a small honey comb/wax structure on the limb that they will be clustered around), where as a hornets nest is made of a paper like product. If the deer did tackle a hornet's nest I sure hope for it's sake that the hornets had either died out, or abandoned that nest!!! Still the photos of this fellow are beautiful and impressive.

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow these were simply amazing . Thank you for sharing :)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, have plenty of deer around, rubbing their antlers on trees, bushes, but have never seen one with a headdress of greenery like this, he is extremely impressive, long may he rein!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic Photos and excellent photography! Nature is indeed a wonderful thing !

  18. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing ...

  19. Anonymous says:

    So Amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing.Great photos!!!

  20. A god of the forest. Thank you for your pictures and post/].

  21. Anonymous says:

    keep up the good work, thanks for sharing!

  22. Anonymous says:

    What stunning photographs..BIG UP for sharing:)

  23. Anonymous says:


  24. Jo says:

    twice a year, the local bloodlusters cull (kill) the deer in Richmond Park, and other royal parks in the area, such as Bushy Park. The cull is not necessary, (park management claim it is to control numbers of deer, this could be done with contraceptives, or alternatively, as has been proven in a trial in Scotland, if left to nature, the deer population would self regulate over a period of say five years) But the park makes in the region of £29,000 annually from killing deer, so I guess it wouldn't be good business sense to stop the killing

  25. cool headdress

  26. Morgana says:

    Like a marine undercover my baby

  27. Unknown says:

    Total pimpster! !

  28. Kim says:

    Epic male!

  29. Anonymous says:

    reminds me of the Druids somehow..

  30. Anonymous says:

    truly great photos eddy uk

  31. Unknown says:

    Really unusual behaviour.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous animal! How can anyone even think about killing him just for his antlers? After all, he will shed them and grow new ones.

  33. Unknown says:

    deer or elk?

  34. Stephanie says:

    Truly beautiful. Magnificent king of the forest! Puts me in mind of Samhain.

  35. Unknown says:

    I use one of these shots as an avatar in a hunting game I play.

  36. Werrrrrrrrq!

  37. Anonymous says:

    "Come on over. I have dinner ready"

  38. Unknown says:

    Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures!!!

  39. Sandy C says:

    Wow, so mystical! <3

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