With the arrival of September and the beginning of the autumn season, nature allows us to witness one of the most striking and surprising natural events that can be seen in the province of Seville: The bellow of deer.
In mid-September, coinciding with the rutting season of red deer stags, these magnificent specimens emit a guttural sound, day and night, in order to attract females. This sound is known as bellow. This is the beginning of a true ritual in which the males compete to take over the territory, striking their antlers in a display of power and strength. The reward for the winners is to obtain as many females as possible from the ones that inhabit their territory.
With the end of this battle and the mating of the females, it will take about eight months to witness the birth of the new offspring. Each September, a new cycle begins, a new display of power coinciding with the growth of the stags’ main combat weapon, their antlers, which fall in March to reach their full height again in September.
This event of displays of power and ritual fights is a show that is repeated every year and that has become a tourist attraction in the province. Many visits are organised throughout the months of September-October to witness this curious demonstration of dominance and authority in the animal world.
To listen to the bellow, it is advisable to go into the mountains, preferably at night, in silence and in small groups. The highest points are the best places to observe this ritual, although patience is required, as nature has no sense of days, times or exact places, and that is why sometimes we can wait a long time and return disappointed without having been able to witness this exciting moment.
In the province of Seville there are large populations of red deer where you can enjoy this event. We can begin in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park, where virtually all of the towns have a deer population (Alanís, Almadén de la Plata, Cazalla de la Sierra, Constantina, Guadalcanal, Las Navas de la Concepción, El Pedroso, La Puebla de los Infantes, El Real de la Jara, San Nicolás del Puerto).
Among these towns, La Puebla de los Infantes is worth a visit, since it offers a great programme of activities during the first weeks of October that includes hiking and bellow hearing, horse riding, cycling or walking, observing the bellow from strategic points and accompanied by local guides, who will show you everything the natural park has to offer.
In addition, in the town of Almadén de la Plata there are organised routes through the public forest of Las Navas-Berrocal, a privileged place which also has the Cortijo–El Berrocal Visitor Centre, from which this amazing show can be observed.
It is also worth taking the hiking route that runs through a spectacular meadow in Las Navas de la Concepción, crossing several farms where you can enjoy the numerous deer in the wild during the rutting season.
Moving towards the Guadalquivir-Doñana region, there are also areas of great beauty where the bellow can be observed. In order to see it, it is advisable to go to the Guadiamar Visitor Centre and go on hiking routes through the towns of Villamanrique de la Condesa, Pilas or Aznalcázar.