I was just getting up this morning (06:45ish, I'm not a particularly early riser) when I heard what sounded like a gunshot outside. At first I wasn't sure where it had come from but it sounded quite close. This concerned me because, if it was a gunshot, it sounded like it had to have been either fired on or at my own land or on very nearby land. Now, since my son and I are really the only people allowed to shoot on my farm (the occasional guest excepted) and he's living in Edinburgh just now and I also have the vermin shooting of all the neighbouring farms it struck me as a wee bit off that someone might be shooting so close without my knowledge. Of course there might have been another reason for the bang....
So, within minutes of hearing the noise I was out and about looking to see what was a going on. Our house is about 350yds from the main road, but that's just a quiet wee back road. Anway, out I goes and I hears some comotion, folks talking and shouting... sounded like they were either at the farm road end or on the main road. Then, as I walked in the direction of the voices I see two people in one of my fields next to the woods and a dark coloured 4x4 on the road. "Hey fellasl!" "whatcha think yer doin?" (Mobile phone in hand and enough distance between me and them for a hasty retreat if it gets nippy looking) I shouts. Up looks the laddos, about 200yds from me and 100yds from the 4x4. I got no answer.... they legged it. I legged it after them but they're in the passenger doors of the 4x4 and they're off. I never got close enough to get a reg number, never even saw the guy's faces (at least I'm pretty sure they were guys, and damned quick on their toes at that, or maybge I'm not so quick as I once was... whatever)
Anyhow, of course I'm thinking, "poaching gits"... wonder if they hit anything. Mind you, at this point, I'm also smiling to myself and thinking well... at least it was poachus interruptus, better go see what the rest of story is. Walked over to roughly where our local "Usain Bolt impersonators" started their run from and.......Booger me... they've only nailed that 6 point buck that I've been watching for weeks now and waiting on him cleaning his velvet off (which, btw, he still hadn't even started to do yet). Of all beasts to 'kin poach "the barstewars". He's in great nick and without doubt would actually have been the best I'd taken off the farm if I'd got him.
So, I've no Reg Number, No visual ID of speedy boy or his mate/s, I didn't even recognise the 4x4 as local. All I've got is one cracking Roe-buck, half gralloched when I found him and now dressed and hanging in my larder.
Here's my dilemma.... Is the carcase lawfully mine?
p.s. I live in Scotland, Scots law prevails... or at least it should prevail... we'll see.