Was hoping to have another encounter with a small grouping of Mule Deer does & youngsters, when I found a couple of does and their offspring at the end of a meadow next to a small grove or copse of trees.
I set up and started taking photos when there was some rustling in the fallen leaves surrounding the woods.
So I looked right and there was another doe just making her exit into the meadow but close behind her was another deer, head bent. And then it straightened its neck and those magnificent antlers appeared.
As you can see from Photo #1 & Photo #2, the stag was executing the lip curl, which is formally called the Flehmen response, having detected the doe's pheromones. Unfortunately, for this handsome fellow, neither this doe or the other two were interested in his attention and they quickly made their way up the hill and into more cover.
But I guess the Autumn is young and there still remains time for this male deer to have more encounters with does, as well as potentially meeting up with other contenders for the "fair does". So it was back to sampling Nature's greenery for this stag (Photo # 3 through to Photo #7).