On the ventral surface of the sambars neck there is a line of hair which is darker and less sleek than the surrounding pelage. This runs down the mid-line from the throat to the lower part of the neck. During the rut, which occurs from November to December, the hair falls and the skin sloughs off giving a circular area about an inch to two in diameter a bloody appearance. This area exudes a fluid and is commonly called the sore spot. There were conflicting opinions in the past as to the function and nature of the sore spot. It is now however acknowledged that due to the limited period of the year when it occurs and its widespread appearance among the animals it is in all probability a gland and the fact that it appears at the beginning of the rut suggest that the two are interlinked.