Following on from my fellow Devon deer stalkers thread i believe we only have ourselves to blame for this culture.
I know there are people on this forum who have been stalking longer than I but i have 20 years under my belt now so feel well qualified to write on this subject.
The first permission i gained was over 200 acres, i was more than welcomed by the owner, in fact he had trouble finding a deer stalker, within a few weeks he recommended me to another farmer having trouble with fox's and deer, in fact he offered to pay me to sort the problem out!
I still have these 2 permissions today which should speak volumes.
But as the years have gone by in my opinion it has been made easier to obtain a FAC, which in turn has meant more and more stalkers looking for ever shrinking ground to shoot over in this tiny island of ours.
When i initially applied for my FAC in the 80's i was turned down because i didn't have a good reason, i thought my good reason was i wanted to carry out deer control, wrong, in their eyes it was because i didn't have any permissions of my own, just via a gamekeeper, but having eventually proved to the police i had been carrying out fox/deer control with my game keeper friend i got my FAC, and had it opened within 12 months.
And then it happened, we will never know who it was, but some plonker decided to hand over cash up front to stalk deer, so it went from providing a service to the very busy farmer to the farmer thinking 'there is money to made in this game' and to be honest who can blame him, farming is tough, the word spread like wildfire and we find ourselves in the position we are now in.
I had a phone call from a farmer recently, 'i have got a load of red deer need sorting out, how much will you pay me to sort them out?' now this really got my hackles up, but even though it leaves a bad taste you find yourself negotiating, all i can say is i never pay up front for any of my 3000 acres i stalk over.
Finally a word of advice, never, never take any friends or otherwise on any of your permissions unless you trust the owner 100%, i take people on my permissions because that is the life i have chosen, but some farms i keep for myself, purely because i don't trust the owner 100%.
To date i have only lost one permission (touch wood it will remain like that) and that was not down to taking a friend there, the farmer was untrustworthy.