Ok. I was out on one of my permissions last night with a friend, hunting fox. At around 11pm we moved to a different field that had just been cut that day. We set the caller up and set ourselves in a good place to give best safe shots and visibility of the field ahead. At around 11:45pm a car drove onto the field with head lamps on full beam. I took the bolt out of the rifle and left the rifle with my fried (who also has a FAC) and walked over to the car. The chap in the car asked who I was and what I was doing on the land. I flippantly asked Ďwho is askingí? and he said the game keeper. I explained that I had permission from the land owner and showed him the slip and my licence. Explained that I didnít realise that this land was linked to any estate or game keeper. He said that all of the land was Ďestate landí and that we were not allowed to shoot foxes because the estate are big into the hunt!!!. So basically they donít want me to shoot the foxes so that they can still go out (illegally) to hunt the foxes with hounds later in the year (when does hunt start to gather and Ďpretendí to hunt by the way?). He said he had called the police and they were on their way. I told him I was happy to speak to the police but they didnít turn up (full of ****) but decided to leave shortly after because the hunting had been ruined for the night anyway. He said that I would get a call from the estate and he would be calling to see the land owner.
I have since spoken to the farmer who has confirmed that even though he owns the land it is estate land (donít get that, can anyone explain?) and said that if they ask me again tell them Iím just shooting rabbits!! The chap had not called to see him (at that point) so I said to give them my mobile so that I could speak with them directly.
Can anyone suggest why 1. The estate can still have some authority over the landowner(if he does actually own the land and isnít renting it), 2. The best way to approach this if they contact me or complain again next time im out. 3. What the rules are now for fox hunting, are they still ok to chase a fox with the hounds but stop them killing the fox? 4. When the hunt starts again and finishes so I can avoid them.