A top deer expert today claimed that the Emperor was ”just another stag” and that killing him was a ”sensible decision”.
British Deer Society spokesman David Kenyon, 62, said it was likely the stag had begun rutting with his own offspring and that destroying him was inevitable.
He praised the landowner who he said would have made a ”good business decision” if he allowed hunters to come onto his land to kill the Emperor as a trophy.
The death of the magnificent 135kg 2.75m tall stag caused a huge furore when news of the shooting in Exmoor, Devon, emerged last week.
Mr Kenyon said: ”We are all very surprised that the standard culling of an old stag has caused such a stir.
”More than 350,000 deer are culled in the UK each year and this is just one of them.
”If the landowners made any money for the stag as a trophy then it was also a good business decision.
”The only thing I would say is that it wasn’t a good idea to have such a prominent stag culled so publicly, shortly after it had appeared in the national press.”
News of the deer’s death has been met with scepticism, with some believing the animal is still alive, despite grainy footage released last week which appeared to show poachers slitting its throat.
BBC wildlife documentary-maker Johnny Kingdom, 72, last week claimed to have witnessed an unknown marksman shooting it.
Referring to photographs taken at the scene, he said: ”There’s no doubt in my mind – the stag lying dead in that field is the Emperor.
”I’ve watched and filmed him for years. I would know him anywhere. The antlers are huge, with a large number of top points.
”Yes, there are other big stags around but nothing comparable to him on this part of Exmoor.
”The date, the place, the stag’s size – it all fits precisely with the shooting of the Emperor.”
* Today a Devon brewery Exmoor Ales revealed Antler, a beer inspired by the Emperor, had seen a massive rise in sales.
Exmoor Ales owner Jonathan Price said: ”People are raising a glass of Antler in salutation to the Emperor. There has certainly been a reaction from drinkers following the news.”
But how did it taste?