"This is a signal, one can not interpret it any other way," Anders Somby Jr from the village of Alta told Finnmark's Dagbladet. "Those who have done this are trying to scare my children from taking over from me as a reindeer herder."
Inger Anita Øvregård, the acting head of Norway's Reindeer Police, said she did not believe that the herd's fall over an 80 metre precipice was an accident.
"It may seem like they have fallen down 80 metres, but we believe they've been driven over the edge," she said.
Mr Somby said he believed the deer had been shot and then dragged over the cliff using quad bikes, pointing to the gunshot wounds he found on some of the animals.
"There were informed people who chose my reindeer and no one else's," he said.