Before the treat of viewing the first 2 hours of Downton Abbey 3 last evening, PBS broadcast "Secrets of Highclere Castle", the setting of the program. That episode was actually the first of a mini-series which will also explore Hampton Court (Henry VIII home castle), the Diana Spencer home, and one other which I can't remember.<quoted text>
I guess Man is the closest thing we have as a predator Den.
Anyway ... on the Highclere Estate (5,000 acres which exceeds Central Park NYC according to the show) is a deer-stalker employed full-time to keep the deer populations of 3 species on the estate under control. As you stated, there is no animal predator there on the estate.
Whether it was for camera or really true, the man out in the dark of the morn on watch and readiness stated that killing them was not taken lightly, and a moment of solemn respectful prayer is due to the loss of life. That seems like that's from the ancient and Celts, as it is with the ancient first peoples here.