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Thread: Ground Game definition - what you can shoot as tenant.

  1. #1

    Ground Game definition - what you can shoot as tenant.

    Evening all.
    I have been looking at property. One does not have the shooting rights 'in -hand'.
    I have been advised that custom and practice in the area dictates that tenants and landowners who dont have shooting rights, ignore the law and shoot will-nilly at anything they choose to.
    However, a tenant or owner, where the shooting rights (usually called sporting rights as includes fishing) are not 'in-hand', can legally only shoot hares and rabbits and then only from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset this being the inalienable right to take 'Ground Game'.
    It seems to me that if the owner of the shooting rights lets them to someone, those who own the lease would prosecute and in, say, the case of deer, taken under ground game rights, could pursue a case for 'armed trespass', since it is poaching, even if the landowner (who doesnt have the sporting rights) is the guilty party.
    Am I being 'old world' here, should I ignore the fact that I may not own the 'sporting rights?

    Any answers and opinions appreciated, with your viewpoint linked to your interest (eg Gamekeeper of let shoot).
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by kes; 09-06-2015 at 21:34. Reason: spelling error

  2. #2
    A tenant can only shoot vermin to protect his crops, who ever holds the shooting rights can shoot game and deer as well as vermin.
    "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." LLAP Leonard Nimoy 1931 - 2015

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 375 mag View Post
    A tenant can only shoot vermin to protect his crops, who ever holds the shooting rights can shoot game and deer as well as vermin.
    Be careful though and look closely at your shooting lease, sometimes deer stalking rights come separately from game shooting.

    atb Tim

  4. #4
    Almost every sporting lease will be different from estate to estate and land agent to land agent, some leases even vary on the same estate. I've seen 1 that even included foxes and rabbits on it (didnae think that was entirely legal thou, but it was from a large estate/land agent)

    If i understand it ur looking to buy some ground but shooting rights already leased/sold?
    If so i'd get a copy of the lease and find out how long it last's (3-5 years is normal) or sold. Could u buy it back?

    U mention the shooting rights holder may be sub letting? In a lot of the old leases (esp agri/farm leases) strictly speaking u were not meant to sub let ur farm/ground or cottages, but many estates turn a blind eye althou recently more have been clamping down.
    U really need ur lawyer to look at all this and read the lease

  5. #5
    And be aware that Hare is not vermin but ground game, even if they cause crop damage and are a pain to the farmer.
    I had to have my .17HMR specially conditioned for 'Ground Game' in addition to the vermin I already had, to shoot a few hares.
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kes View Post
    Evening all.
    I have been looking at property. One does not have the shooting rights 'in -hand'.
    I have been advised that custom and practice in the area dictates that tenants and landowners who dont have shooting rights, ignore the law and shoot will-nilly at anything they choose to.
    However, a tenant or owner, where the shooting rights (usually called sporting rights as includes fishing) are not 'in-hand', can legally only shoot hares and rabbits and then only from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset this being the inalienable right to take 'Ground Game'.
    It seems to me that if the owner of the shooting rights lets them to someone, those who own the lease would prosecute and in, say, the case of deer, taken under ground game rights, could pursue a case for 'armed trespass', since it is poaching, even if the landowner (who doesnt have the sporting rights) is the guilty party.
    Am I being 'old world' here, should I ignore the fact that I may not own the 'sporting rights?

    Any answers and opinions appreciated, with your viewpoint linked to your interest (eg Gamekeeper of let shoot).
    Thanks in advance.

    Ground Game Open Seasons (dates inclusive)

    Species England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland Isle of Man
    Brown Hare Jan 1 – Dec 31
    moorland & unenclosed land is subject to a close season (see below)
    Open season Oct 1 – Jan 31 Aug 12 – Jan 31* Brown or common hare
    Oct 1 – Jan 31
    Mountain Hare Open season Aug 1 – Feb 28/29
    Rabbit Jan 1 – Dec 31
    moorland & unenclosed land is subject to a close season (see below)
    Jan 1 – Dec 31
    moorland & unenclosed land is subject to a close season (see below)
    Rabbit is classed as a pest and therefore not subject to a close season No close season
    * The Special Protection Order previously issued to give Irish hare additional protection is no longer in place and therefore the Irish Hare is now subject to an open season as above.
    Moorland and unenclosed land does not include arable land or detached portions of land less than 25 acres which adjoins arable land.
    In England and Wales occupiers or authorised persons may only take and kill ground game on moorland or unenclosed land between 1 September and 31 March inclusive. Firearms may only be used for such purposes between 11 December and 31 March (Ground Game Act 1880 Section 1 (3) and Ground Game (Amendment) Act 1906 Section 2)
    In Scotland, the occupier of the land or persons authorised by him may kill rabbit throughout the year on moorland and unenclosed land (not being arable) by all legal means other than by shooting, and by means of firearms over the period from 1 July to 31 March inclusive (Section 1 (3) of the Ground Game Act 1880 as modified by the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948). Hares are subject to a close season (Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011) (see above).

  7. #7
    Sunday and Christmas Day Shooting

    England and Wales

    No game may be killed or taken in any county on Sunday or Christmas Day. Game for the purposes of this section means pheasant, partridge, red grouse, black grouse and hare.
    Orders prohibiting the shooting of wildfowl on Sundays made under sections 2 and 13 of the Protection of Birds Act 1954 still in existence are in the following counties (or parts of counties in existence before the 1974 local authority re-organisation): Anglesey, Brecknock, Caernarvon, Carmarthen, Cardigan, Cornwall, Denbigh, Devon, Doncaster, Glamorgan, Great Yarmouth County Borough, Isle of Ely, Leeds County Borough, Merioneth, Norfolk, Pembroke, Somerset, North and West Ridings of Yorkshire.
    Scotland

    There are no statutory restrictions on the killing of game on Sunday or Christmas Day but it is not customary to do so. The wildfowl species listed may not be shot on Sunday or Christmas Day.
    Northern Ireland

    It is an offence to kill any wild bird, gamebird or hare on a Sunday. Although there is no restriction on killing any wild bird, gamebird or hare on Christmas Day, provided it does not fall on a Sunday, it is not customary to do so. There is no prohibition on shooting deer on any day during the open season.
    Isle of Man

    The killing or taking of game is not permitted on Sunday. There are no restrictions on shooting on Christmas Day unless it falls on a Sunday.
    Guernsey

    Shooting is not permitted on Sunday or Christmas Day.
    Jersey

    The use of a firearm to kill any wild bird or animal is not permitted on Sunday, Good Friday and Christmas Day unless acting under and in accordance with the terms or conditions of a licence.

  8. #8
    Kes

    An occupier who is not in possession the shooting/sporting rights may only shoot rabbits.

    Shoot anything else at your peril. Many shooting rights owners persue breaches with the utmost vigour, I for one certainly do.

    My suggestion would be to find out who owns them and find out if they would be prepared to sell. Only then, with a firm commitment from the shooting rights owner to sell, would I make an offer on a property. I certainly wouldn't want some bod with a gun having the right to walk round my patch when he fancied it.

  9. #9
    That just about sums it up Charlie but 'Ground Game' includes hares too.
    Thanks

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kes View Post
    That just about sums it up Charlie but 'Ground Game' includes hares too.
    Thanks
    It does indeed, but without holding the shooting rights you can't shoot them, as I said, all you can shoot is rabbits.

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