Wallows

Sika deer

During the breeding season ‘rut’ (between March and May), adult male sika deer (stags) make scrapes in the ground with their forefeet and antlers which server as territorial markings. They sometimes urinate in them and rub their neck and head in them, creating wallows.

Can be confused with:
Wallows created by sika stags look similar to those of red stags.

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Rusa (Javan) deer

Male rusa deer use wallows during the rut and their wallows (muddy pools) are very similar to those made by other deer.

Can be confused with:
Rusa deer wallows can be confused with wallows made by other deer species.

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White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer do not necessarily create the large wallows that red deer do. However, during the breeding season ‘rut’ (April–May) they create scrapes to help mark their territory. The male makes a scrape by using its front hooves to expose bare earth. These scrapes are often associated with thrashing and rubbing on trees and shrubs.

Can be confused with:
The rutting and wallow making behaviour of white-tailed deer is similar to that of other deer species.

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Sambar deer

Both male (stag) and female (hind) sambar deer wallow (bathe) in muddy pools, particularly during the summer.

Can be confused with:
Other species of deer and pigs also make use of wallows.

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Red deer

During the breeding season, male red deer wallow (bathe) in muddy pools, in which they repeatedly defecate and urinate. They use this as a scent for attracting females. The mud also gives them a larger, darker appearance which may be more attractive to females, and more intimidating for rival males.

Can be confused with:
Other species of deer and pigs also make use of wallows.

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Pig

Feral pigs take mud baths in wet depressions in the ground to rid themselves of lice and other ectoparasites (unwanted bugs living on their skin). Pig wallows can be found in swamps, gullies, and alongside creeks. Wallows are used year round, but more intensively in summer during hot periods.

Can be confused with:
Wallows used by pigs can be confused with those used by deer. Look for other evidence such as droppings and hoof prints.

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Wapiti

Wapiti bulls form wet wallow holes during the few months before the rut (the breeding season). They roll around in these wallows and cover themselves with mud. Like red deer, they may repeatedly defecate and urinate in the wallow and use this mixture as a scent for attracting females.

Can be confused with:

Other species of deer and pigs also make use of wallows.

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