©Isabelle FABRE

Experience the bellows of the stags at the Monts d’Azur Reserve

At the start of autumn, stags and hinds meet up to mate. This is the rutting season. Hard to see in the open countryside, the Monts d’Azur reserve offers you special trips to observe this strange and magnificent ballet up close.

Ecotourism and responsible tourism

Everything has been considered at the Monts d’Azur reserve so that the visitor’s footprint is limited. Furthermore, unlike classic zoos, the animals roam free in this reserve, in an immense estate of over 700 hectares. As for the fences, these surround the areas dedicated to humans.


Various accommodation options allow you to enjoy a stay as close to nature as possible. This slice of raw nature is a concept that is still unique in France: you’ll come back truly revitalized.

Trips thought out specially to discover the rut

As of September, the Monts d’Azur reserve sets up special trips to experience the red deer rut.

During this time, the stag can lose up to 40 kg: mating is his only priority; he will feed and rest later. It is therefore much easier to get close to these usually extremely timid animals.


In the company of a guide, set off for a two-hour guided safari to the heart of the rut. There’s an entire show on offer: fights between young males, harems of hinds, majestic stags…


As night falls, the bellows become more and more numerous and powerful. They will not stop until the following morning, giving the visitor the feeling of sleeping surrounded by nature.

Experience the rut in the heart of the countryside

The following morning, set off again in the early light for a new walking safari.


A few steps away, a majestic stag is resting in the midst of a dozen hinds. The hinds are only in heat for between 12 and 24 hours per year. In order to seduce these ladies in this extremely short time span, our stag is full of ideas: he sharpens his antlers to appear even more handsome, he sprays himself with his own urine and sperm, and lastly, he bellows to intimidate the other males, and also to attract the attention of the females.

Suddenly, a new harem of hinds arrives. Further back, a young stag tries in vain to hold on to them, but he is quickly discouraged by the powerful bellow of our majestic stag. Shamefaced he returns to the woods.

It is not unusual to witness such countryside scenes in the Monts d’Azur Reserve. The animals enjoy natural living conditions in this haven of peace.

Rutting season visits also offer a safari by horse-drawn carriage: the opportunity to see the animals from even closer, while enjoying the many pointers from the guide.

Find out more on the Monts d’Azur Reserve

     Experience the bellows of the stags


at the Monts d’Azur Reserve

By Isabelle FABRE

Who hasn’t dreamed of changing lives one day and earning a living doing something you love? Two years ago, I left my job as an engineer to become a photographer, videographer and digital nomad. Living in Nice, I fell under the spell of the Côte d’Azur. This region has made me what I am today: a fulfilled sportsperson that loves and respects nature. I share the beauty of this area and its many sporting possibilities and show you the things that made me fall in love with it!