I was sent the following and would be interest to hear what those who manage deer outside of the Highlands think.
Leaving even well grown Red deer calves creates a welfare issue.
Mark Lazzeri Land Manager at North Harris Trust
A five or six month old red deer calf may be nutritionally independent, but they are NOT socially independent. A ten to fourteen year old human may know how to feed itself, but how many could really cope on their own. That is the equivalent result of taking a Red deer hind at this time of year and leaving her calf. Not only should the responsible stalker take the calf as well as the hind, but I would always advocate taking the calf first. There is NO chance of leaving an orphan that way. Test with experienced stalkers has shown that they could often only accurately match hinds to calves about 60% of the time. Even if the correct pairing is identified, once its dam has been shot, the calf will often NOT stand by waiting for her, but will follow aunties or grandmother if they run off. Take every precaution possible not to leave an orphan - it is your moral responsibility.
Win Mod 70