to cover your own back the answer is 'yes'
Its always good to get something on paper, it covers your arse in case questions are asked. Like wise with the stalker the farmer knows where you live and if your are insured, and if you have DSC1 and or 2.
with regard to firearms applications, written permission is not required. you just need to put name and contact number on form. once registered with police, thats it done. you do not need to register all land with police, so written permission in that case is a good idea. BASC firearms dept will strongly advise you not to give permission letters to police, as this makes them, want more and more from us, which they are not legally entitled to! i however have the view that you should pacify them by giving them what they want, if it is not too much trouble. i have a couple of reference letters and permission for fox shooting that i have not given them, just in case i need some additional backup at any time.
my land permission was given by means of a marked up boundry map which i scribbled on when given the tour by the farm manager, when i got home i marked it up more clearly and emailed him a copy. he responded with confirmation that the map was correct. i have kept that as evisdence. i was under supervision at the time, and had to write to the police to request that it was lifted, and in the letter i gave the farm name and phone number and stated that i had been given permission to shoot fox and deer. all was accepted and my supervision condition was lifted. there did have to be a covering letter from my mentor.
I have verbal permission to shoot vermin on about 25 farms but after Xmas each year I call and see the owners or tenants and ask if I am still welcome.
This keeps the situation under constant review but what is MORE important is the fact that owners / tenants like to think THEY are in control of their own land and are appreciated.
I have one lease on a local estate for Roe and when it is renewed in April it will be the 22nd. year I have been on there.
I used to assist the previous leaseholder with his Roe-doe cull as he was very keen on game shooting and neglected the Does.
When he moved away the lease was transferred to me.
I also make sure that his Lordship always has a good supply of oven-ready venison in his freezer !
From my experience it pays to get permission not only in writing but be quite clear about what you can and, if appropriate, cannot shoot and also if you are the only one being given permission.
Two stories to show you what I'm talking about.
Firstly, I used to have the shoooting rights, including the deer, on a farm which was near a red deer farm.
A few reds escaped and were playing havoc with the farmers turnip fields.
I only found out about it afterwards when he told me about the problem and that he had got the guy who lamped the foxes out to shoot the reds.
No phone call to me
Yes, I know it was his farm but I was paying bl@@@y good money for the stalking and the guy doing the foxes got on for nothing.
Secondly, one of the guys I stalk with had the stalking rights over a small wood which was managed by a forestry company who had negotiated access from the farmer who owned all the surrounding land.
The farmer approached my mate and asked if he wanted to take on the shooting over the farm as well.
After agreeing the rent, the farmer was asked to confirm the agreement in writing but whether for tax reasons or whatever, the farmer refused telling my mate he had the shooting rights, end of story.
My mate then formed a small syndicate and we had three brilliant seasons shooting pheasants etc. with my mate shooting the deer not only in the wood but in the fields.
The farmer knew fine well that my mate was shooting the deer in the fields because he saw him more than once putting deer in to his car parked in the fields away from the wood but never once said anything.
It was only after a couple of years when the keeper on the adjoining estate complained to his boss, ( I'm not going to name either the keeper or his boss who was a proper Lord someone of somewhere) that my mate was shooting "all their deer "that things then blew up.
Leaving aside so called ownership of live wild deer and the fact they were crossing another farmer's fields before going on to our farm to feed on the farmers crops, the boss then kicked up with our farmer.
The bottom line is that the farmer then told my mate that the "shootiing rights " had never included the deer.My mate tod him where to stick his farm.
Sorry if this is so long but hopefully I made my point.
I'm by no means sure that this is right, but I think that since a note from e.g. a landowner giving permission to shoot something on certain land could at any time after it was written have been verbally recinded, there is probably not a vast amount of value in it if it came to arguing the toss after some problem or disagreement. That is not to say that a written agreement is not in principal a good idea, especially if maps are included.
I think a contract in which some kind of sporting right is let or sold by a landowner to a sportsman is a different matter altogether.