Hi everyone, firstly I am not trying to stir up a hornets nest or am advocating we should do one way or the other. So this is just to inform the forum members of some facts that are out there regardless of what I think is best.
As everyone knows dependent offspring can be shot and should be shot if the other option is slow starvation.
So what are the options if we accidentally shoot or have (broken leg, rta or what not) to shoot a hind with calf. Or have to deal with an orphan attacked by someones dog etc.
You can shoot the fawn, but that will A: Not go down well with the public that might have called you in (shooting an innocent Bambi type feeling) B: The attending police officers might think twice about calling you in as they have to deal with the PR blowback
C: I am sure some stalkers will still be reluctant to shoot/bleed a little fawn.
D: Give the anti stalking people more ammunition in their campaign to prove we are merciless blind killers instead of deer and wildlife managers with a soul.
Now what are your other options?
With orphans there are a few specific problems,
If you keep them alone and isolated they tend to die from lack of parental care/stimulation.
If you fuss them to much they will get to accustomed to other animals (loving to play with the dog) or humans ("imprinted") thus making release into the wild virtually impossible or dangerous.
There a few animal/ wildlife rescue operations that can rehabilitate deer, or at least try to. (free of charge)
The RSPCA will take in orphaned animals but have not the best track record regarding imprinting these orphans. (I think there was a nice thread somewhere on the forum about them having to pts an imprinted "saved" orphan). Of course if imprint does occur placing in a wildpark, deer park or zoo is an option. (potentially dangerous male animals can be castrated if need be) because the bad press the rspca does tend to lean more and more towards the pts route.
There are plenty of other wildlife sanctuaries who will raise orphans with their dog/sheep/goats/kids in the kitchen and back garden. As long as they have the facilities to keep them for life afterwards, fine.
There are a few that actually get it right and successfully relocate the animals back into the wild. The more successful ones are those that completely isolate them from the public and house them in orphan deer groups.
For those who are interested, success rate with deer orphans can be up to 90%. (adult at best 10-20%, as they get stress myopathy). Release is either in local herds (fallow) or preferably at the site where the animal was found.
Muntjac fawns pose a problem with the core area's but some wildlife sanctuaries have a permit to release them at the site where they were found.
Those that want to go down the alternative route the vale wildlife hospital/rehabilitation center is fairly centralized, seem to know what they are doing and will pick up/treat these animals free of charge.
I hope this might help if you find yourself in a bit of a PR predicament. As I stated at the beginning I just want to state the possible, not indicate what I think should be done.