I am hoping that someone who "knows what's what" on here can advise me on a point of law that seems to be a bit of a "grey area":
I went out this morning with the shotgun to try for a few crows and pigeons on one of my permissions where I "watch over" a small herd of Roe Deer - I do have permission to shoot the Roe in this permission if I deem it necessary or to fit in with a "management plan"!
Just after arrival I spotted two Roe yearlings lying down at the edge of the woodland and watched them for about 5 minutes through my binoculars. One of these looked quite thin - I could see a few of it's ribs sticking out, the line of it's spine and it's hip bones sticking out) and it seemed to be "struggling" a little to lift her head properly. This lead me to the belief that it was in fact suffering from an illness or an injury of some sort. I left them quietly like that while I went and had a chat with the landowner about this yearling that looked quite "ill"! Their consensus of opinion was that I should get my rifle and put the poor beast down. I returned home to get my rifle (A .270 conditioned for Deer and AOLQ) However when I got back (Only about 10 minutes later) while getting the rifle out of the car the neighbours Jack Russels (3 noisy little devils) "opened up" and (Out of my line of sight from the car) pushed the deer into the woodlands which is waste deep in grass etc, this now made tracking and finding them near impossible, therefore no further action was taken by me.
However it dawned on me that if the sickly looking beast had been a Doe then as Roe Does are out of season now I could have been falling fould of the law if a shot at this beast had presented itself and I had taken it.
With these circumstances in mind can anyone say if it would be legal to shoot a "sickly" Roe Doe out of season (As a last resort) on humane grounds please. Any answers from "those in the know" would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to fall fould of any laws and I hope to go out again tomorrow morning to have another look at and re-assess the situation (We all know only too well that there is alway the possibility of a "do-gooder" seeing me shooting the "Sickly Looking Doe" and reporting me for shooting a deer while out of season.
On the up side of this (And an added bonus) while returning to the car I spotted a young buck (which I hadn't seen here before) trotting along the driveway, obviously one to keep an eye on next time I am out on this permission!