The witness has claimed that shooting went on for about two hours, during which time between 120 and 130 shots were fired.

Crofting commissioner for Inverness and Moray Donald Ross said he felt that the deer must have been corralled because ?if you were stalking you would not fire that many shots?.

Under the 1996 Deer (Scotland) Act, it is an offence to drive deer using an aircraft under any circumstances.

Following the news, Scottish Gamekeepers Association chairman Alex Hogg said the deployment of helicopters had no place in deer management other than for counting.

He said: ?When helicopters are used like collie dogs, the deer are held for far too long and they get exhausted and highly stressed.?

?In fact, there is so much lactic acid built up in their muscles, they are not fit for human consumption afterwards, which is an inexcusable waste of a natural resource.?