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Thread: The challenges of managing syndicates

  1. #1

    The challenges of managing syndicates

    It's really funny sometimes how different people see things in different ways. I'm lucky to be involved in and manage some syndicate stalking on FC and other forestry company grounds but there's a lot more work and frustration involved that people seem to realise or care about for lease holders.

    Imagine it like this.

    The Lease holder

    The lease holder puts a lot of effort into viewing, tendering and learning the ground with all the admin attached like cull returns, keeping syndicate members paperwork up to date etc and then dealing with members who can be difficult or non attenders. It is their responsibility to look after all the issues and manage the syndicate members. As an example of the 15 odd places I'm responsible for on my local grounds, the bottom 7 members on these leases combined made 8 outings only!!

    Some people think this is a good thing because there's more for everyone else which as great if the other members do actually shoot the deer but now after a few years if running syndicates I've realised that you'd be lucky if half your members will attend 10 outings a year. So, if your cull is 20 deer you're probably going to need 80+ outings at least to come close to your cull and if you're members only make up half of that then it's pretty much up to you to hit cull targets or risk the forestry company lamping it or kicking you off.

    Last year I had to shoot over half the cull myself towards the end of the season on two grounds, that cost me time and money to try and make sure the forestry company stays happy. I think it ended up around 450 extra in fuel to do that.

    The syndicate member

    There are lots of really professional and switched on stalkers who really appreciate the opportunties and privilage of having access to stalking through syndicates. On the other hand there are people who only join the syndicate to have deer authority on their FAC and may never attend and many who fancy a place and might only visit a couple of times a year. I would hope that people who are considering joining a syndicate realise that the money changing hands element is a very small part of the agreement and they do have a responsibility to contribute to the cull target.

    Being a syndicate member also has costs for travelling and sometimes for local accommodation if they stay out of the local area. These costs especially in fuel can seriously limit the amount of visits a person can make in a season. There are obviously ways to limit costs like with car sharing and camping on site etc. The important thing is to remember that when you take up a syndicate place, there is a role to perform and you have that place above someone else.


    Maybe it's a bit of a rant but I can see now why some lease holders have strict policies on attendance and bump the prices up so that people will either commit and get stuck in or end up being replaced.

  2. #2
    Well said, I dont think bumping the price up will help you get your cull but if you tell members they need to attend X amout of times in a year and they dont then they will be not in the syndicate the following year. Like you say if the cull is not reached the land owner wont put up with it for too long.

  3. #3
    interesting read, would be an interesting poll to see how far syndicate members have to travel to there lease which probably has a bearing on attendance??
    Would the problems be the same if locals where given a chance when syndicate places become available, i'm not implying that this is an issue with your syndicate as I know nothing about it , but it certainly is with many syndicates...

  4. #4
    I'm interested you see it as a privaledge to be in a syndicate ? They're PAYING for said " privaledge " to me it's a privaledge to be out stalking or outdoors at all but at the end of the day they're paying for the ground so hardly like you're doing them a huge favour ......
    that said I do agree that if you make a commitment to a cull then you should honour that , so obviously distances / costs need to be considered before committing
    Last edited by jimbo1984; 31-07-2014 at 19:33.
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  5. #5
    There was a time once when all stalking/culling was carried out by folk that lived local to the ground and in most cases the stalking/culling was carried out as a favour to the land owner or in some cases even paid.
    This was with the exception of Scotland of course where stalking was always classed as an upper class sport for gentlemen and their consorts.
    Now unfortunately, although culling still has to be carried out, the times have changed and people will pay to do the job that is required.
    That is where the long distance stalker comes in.
    There are no more local cullers doing a job that is required locally any more, it is all an opportunity for land owners to sell the shooting rights to an individual that then turns the job, that is required regardless of who does it, into a saleable commodity and of course you then get kerching, kerching because the local lads can't, or won't, pay the sort of money that stalking today commands.
    There are more 'Town' or 'City' folk stalking today than there ever was and most, I would hazzard a guess, didn't get into stalking until they'd made it in their chosen job/career, a bit like those that previously took up golfing.

  6. #6
    Its the same in all types of syndicates Paul i belong to wildfowl groups and you are lucky to see any other member out on the marshes but it is they who bitch like F*** when the subs go up or work parties need attending but ha ho sleepers can the pay the bills ! but in your case it can be a strain to complete your culls as per your cull requirements /returns .i also find its them that can ! seem not to be bothered as they know its on tap any time they feel the need to go out, Its a pitty FC that you need dsc2 as i for one would be out most weekends or evenings .
    thinking out loud.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul at Fechan View Post

    Maybe it's a bit of a rant but I can see now why some lease holders have strict policies on attendance and bump the prices up so that people will either commit and get stuck in or end up being replaced.
    I would have thought that lowering the price would get you some more local guys who have time to actually stalk and complete the cull, rather than attracting people who live miles away, who just fancy owning a deer rifle and have loads of spare cash.

  8. #8
    its simular to whats happening on our pheasant shoot or even fishing club members they seem to think ,i know i will have that spot tied up, but then are no shows all season when asked why theres allways the favorite exuse well it was either come here or go there,syndrome they are greedy stick to what you think is comfortable and contribute to that one,i would haved jumped at the chance of a syndicate place had i not been involved on the shoot,but once im sorted and no longer a member then i will transfer my time to stalking and or a syndicate,the main reason im involved was 1 because i was invited to join by the farmer and my ex boss ,2 i still have my mates guns on my cert,once they are back in his possesion then i will relinquish my responsability that i commited too, and then commit primarily to rifles instead of shotties,

  9. #9
    There's also the fact that people have multiple leases that they couldn't possibly stalk and are just in it to rake off from the syndicate members why do people need6 7 or8 leases just I it for the money
    Atb tom

  10. #10
    It can work both ways. In the stalking syndicate I am in there are a couple of guns who do not attend very much so 'we' can shoot more. We can achieve the cull without them, in fact it is easier as we tend to be more productive!!!
    On my farm the 'game shooting' syndicate rules are that you have to attend all work parties unless you have a letter from your mum. If you don't attend enough you are not invited to join the following year. (And work parties are every two weeks out of season.) People never miss a day in the shooting season so why not fortnightly work parties?

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