I have put in for a variation on my FAC and I am asking for a .243 and have asked for Deer to be added as a "Legal Quarry" on my conditions as well as "Fox and Any Other Lawful Quarry". I went out with my FEO on some land checks a few months or more back and we were talking about me wanting to add a .243 and Deer on my cerificate and he said he had several reservations.
While doing the land checks he agreed that there were deer on the permissions (Which I had legal permission to shoot) and agreed to pass them for up to .270 even though I was only asking for them for .243 but that's not an issue, if anything it's more of an advantage! I have full written permission to shoot any deer that I choose to or feel that it would be necessary to if they were showing signs of injury or illness etc on all of my written permissions which total around 1500 acres! With that in mind, and of course the fact that I already have a FAC for a .17HMR, a .222 and a .22-250 (Which I am hoping is about to be changed to an Full Open Certificate) surely that warrants me having a .243 and I meet all the requirements for justifying the need for a .243 to shoot deer with?
I fear that problem might come about with my application because of a couple of things my FEO has said! Firstly he has said that He would be reluctant to authorise a .243 for deer without a Deeer Management Plan in operation first which he said might be difficult because "someone else in the area" shoots deer already (Not on any of my permissions I might add). Further to that he said that I would have to go for my DSC1 before asking for a .243 for deer.
Because of these possible drawbacks I would like to be "forearmed" with the correct legal information if my application gets refused.
Firstly I am led to believe that as long as I am deemed to be a suitable character with no legal restrictions stopping me from holding a FAC (A point which is irrelevant as I am a current FAC holder) and I have "Sufficient Justification" for a .243 and permission to shoot the deer on (Most of) my permissions (Which I do have in writing which my FEO has seen and inspected) then there is no (Legal) reason why my application should be refused. I am led to believe that (At the present time) there is no legal requirement to have a DSC1 BEFORE a .243 for Deer can be authorised and nor can a condition be imposed saying that I must have a Deer Management Plan in operation as a reason for refusing my application. Further to that why should the fact that someone else in the area shoots deer (On land completely seperate to my permissions) bar me from shooting deer on my permissions. He also added that I should wait till I had a full Open FAC before making my application even though he agreed that I met all the criteria for having a Full Open FAC already and that I could offer proof of experience in the form of countless letters of reference from landowners whose land I shoot on (All of which state that I am extremely safety concious and have a good understanding of wildlife and conservation issues, and that I am a very competeny vermin controller, and of course that they have never had any concerns whatsoever over the safety of people or livestock while I have been shooting on their lands) my ammunition usage shows good Centrefire experience and I keep a "Shooters Log" which I have been keeping up to date (On my FEOs advice).
My question that I would like advice on is - Can FEOs insist on these types of conditions on your FAC or are they just making the rules up as they go along to suit themselves as a form of "Sabre Rattling"?
Any thoughts please?