Gallery: Stunning pictures capture drama of red deer rut

These stunning pictures are from one of nature’s most dramatic spectacles – the annual red deer rut.

Each autumn during the breeding season stags compete for females by bellowing, posturing and sometimes even clashing antlers.

Suffolk wildlife photographer Steve Plume joined a special safari at Westleton Heath last Sunday to capture the deer up close.

The 49-year-old from Great Blakenham, a customer relations manager at British Telecom, said: “It was excellent and anyone who wants to see rutting stags up close should go.

“The bellowing is immensely loud, if you’re walking anywhere near you’ll hear them, even from a mile away.

“Red deer herds outside of Scotland are not very common but here in Suffolk we’ve got a herd of 300.

“The rutting season is the only time of year you get to see the stags really.

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“While I didn’t see any rutting there were lots of stags and young bucks around.

“I wanted to see two stags going head to head but that wasn’t to be. There’s always next year though!”

The RSPB is holding red deer rutting events at Westleton Heath this weekend and next. Call 01728 648281 for more details.

For more of Mr Plume’s photography visit