Forest of Beaumont-le-Roger.  A trip to listen to deer roar

Forest of Beaumont-le-Roger. A trip to listen to deer roar

A deer watches us for a long time in the distance. ©Coralie Maux-Renard

After a short period of explanation about deer in general, we set off on a journey in the footsteps of the king of the forest, Beaumont-le-Roger (Eure). At a bend in the road, a little boy sees something moving in the leaves. A deer comes out and runs fast. So we continue our walk through the forest under a light shower. The first records are heard. It is a very serious sound, more or less noisy depending on the age of the individual. “It looks like a cow,” jokes Ludovic Roger, host of Intercom Bernay Terres de Normandie. During the month of September 2022 it is “month of love”so, as the guide explains, males form their harem. “It’s the does in heat that trigger the board,” he explains.

After a while, a silhouette emerges from the trees. Those with binoculars carefully inspect the trunks far from the road. The animal leaves and we continue our journey as night begins to fall.

A magical moment

Near the meadow, several people spot a dark mass walking silently. Two antlers clearly appear, then a head. Several participants observe it through binoculars. “Did you see how beautiful he is,” the mother exclaimed to her daughter, handing her the binoculars. “It’s wonderful,” exclaims another participant in full contemplation. To our delight, the deer lingers in the middle of the trail for a few minutes. Ludovic Roger lends me his telescope. Really, it’s magic! He remains fixated and doesn’t seem afraid of us. It’s impressive. The king of the forest slowly moves away and we follow his movements until he disappears completely.

Everyone compares their photos of the animal. Unfortunately, most of the images are blurry.

Dozens of people came to listen to Jelena.
Dozens of people came to listen to Jelena. ©Coralie Maux-Renard

Lots of animals

As we very well perceive from the number of records heard tonight, deer are very numerous in the forest from Beaumont-le-Roger to Verrerie. As Ludovic Roger explains, predators, primarily wolves, have been exterminated for centuries. Deer therefore proliferated before mass killing in the 19th century.E century. With the protection of animals, their share increased sharply again. “Although hunting is strongly discouraged, it helps to regulate so that there are not too many people,” says our guide. After all, too large a population eventually degrades its environment.

How to have your place?

Once registration opens, all spots are taken! According to Bernay Terres de Normandie tourist office, registration opens in mid-August. You must therefore immediately make your entry on the website of the tourist office. This year, six dates were available with ten places each, so a total of only sixty. So you have to be alert and lucky!

It was a nice night ride as several participants pointed out. The slices that accompanied us all the way and especially the moments when we could observe the deer were nice moments. For those who want to participate, unfortunately, it will be necessary to wait until next year, because all the dates proposed by the tourist office of Bernay Terres de Normandie are complete.

Illumination of animals is prohibited

It is forbidden to shine lights on animals during walks. This can cause significant disruption and disrupt the reproduction of this species. During the slam season, deer are more vulnerable because they lose some of their guard and become less fearful. There are a few rules to follow when watching deer. Avoid too close contact with animals and do not use light sources such as car headlights, lamps or camera flashes. This is a breach of the Environment Code, which indicates that “research, pursuit of game using a light source without permission” is prohibited. Violations are subject to a fine of up to 750 euros.

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