I'd heard about a deer park somewhere in Copenhagen but had never been to one myself so I decided to go and have a look, not really expecting too much excitement. Boy, was I wrong!! I cycled with no real idea of where I was going. I knew the park was somewhere near where I was and slightly north. With my tablet and my offline Map app of Copenhagen that I had downloaded a few days ago I headed towards this huge forest marked on the map. I finally found what looked like the huge wooden gate in Jurassic Park. I entered with my bike - yes it is allowed to cycle, walk, run or ride horses in the Park. The park is of course free. After walking for about 5mn I saw bambi and his family from the distance. I was so excited I forgot I was 37 and turned back in time to the child I was thirty years ago, amazed in front of this incredible and unusual sight.
I kept walking around the paths and probably covered about 1% of the park. It was a typical autumnal evening so the light and colours were pretty amazing. The park is open 24 hours a day all year round, covers about 11 square kilometres and is maintained as a natural forest with herds of about 2100 deer in total (300 Red Deer, 1700 Fallow Deer and 100 Sika Deer). It was King Frederik III who in 1669 decided to fence in an area North of Copenhagen with rolling hills and woods, have a lot of deer driven into the area and make it a royal hunting ground for almost 100 years. It was doubled when Christian V came to power in 1670 until Dyrehaven was opened to the general public in 1756. The King used to stay in the Eremitage Castle which I have yet to find.
As incredibly as it sounds deer lose their antlers in March or April and start scratching the skin off of their new antlers in August.
Visitors to Dyrehaven are asked not to feed the animals or in any way make the animals so tame that they are no longer scared of humans. If a deer becomes tame the game wardens will shoot it because although it might be tame it is a big animal and can unintentionally cause a lot of harm to humans.
In September and October Dyrehaven is the scene of fights between stags to decide dominance and who gets to breed with the hinds.