I shoot in Scotland and after many years of careful enquiry and study into probably one of the most covertly discussed, mythologised and misinformation bound aspects of game shooting, I now know I can confidently say that the "legal" postition here is this: A live, wild, deer belongs to no man at first and it matters not whose land the beast is on it still does not "belong" to anyone... until it is taken. Taken means "killed" in the stalking context. Live capture and the law surrounding that I will leave till another discussion.
Once it has been killed or "taken" it then belongs in the first instance only to the person or people who have lawfully taken it. <---- In Scotland ...
This has interesting conotations as far as paying guns are concerned. They will usually have a contract or other agreement (perhaps only verbal) which interestingly chooses to assert that the carcase "remains" the property of the estate or "guide" or whatever, an odd choice of word that.. "remains" ... as it never was theirs My observation on the semantics may well be irrelevant though as: if the "guest" agrees then a deal has been struck and the carcase goes to the estate or guide... However, if the guest is not happy to agree to this... I'm guessing he/she ain't going shooting. However, if the whole agreement is verbal and the shooter reneges I'm not sure what the estate or guide could do about proving the carcase was theirs... because it wouldn't be..... Better get your agreements down on paper methinks.
If a deer is taken unlawfully, here in Scotland ie. poached (or shot out of season without permission of law/authority) then in that instance a crime has been committed and upon that crime having been proved in court the carcase will be forfeited to the court. The court may well then decide to give the carcase to the owner of the land or the holder of shooting rights on the land, where it was poached (not likely to hand it to the same person if it's been shot out of season though)... However, that is merely a convenient solution... The "court" has to do something with the carcase if law breaking is proved and they've subsequently confiscated it but the court may just as well give it to the local zoo to feed the lions and tigers or turn to any other solution which takes the court's fancy. The "poached" deer certainly does not "belong" to said landowner or anyone else... until the court gives it over.
I do not shoot in England. But... I do keep reading, on here, that once a deer crosses a boundary, having been shot, that the shooter may NOT follow to humanely establish, or bring about, it's actual death... as considerations of welfare and humanity demand... Frankly, I regard that prohibition as purely fictitious bunkum. Also.. it is often claimed that: if such a deer "dies" over the boundary it belongs to the owner of that land or holder of shooting rights thereon. Why?
I would like to have the basis for this latter type of assertion clarified. Where in law does it say these things about English deer?
Or... What does the law actually say in England, on this topic?