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Thread: Deer and shotguns!

  1. #1

    Deer and shotguns!

    So, after the game season, the next events are pigeon bashing and the vermin shoots. It saddens me that this is when some people see fit to blast away at deer with shotguns! I daresay few are armed with anything bigger than No.4 shot either. Some will no doubt claim it is being done under section 7 of the deer act (farmers defence), but others will just blatantly ignore the law and do it anyway as they seem to now class muntjac in particular as vermin. Either way there will be pellet riddled deer suffering in our countryside. We all know it goes on, but it is very difficult to prove and I suspect some folk would just turn a blind eye rather than upset the applecart? It's probably about time somebody was taken to court over this to get this law tested and established and stand as a warning to others. I'm sure most of us that shoot a lot of deer have found pellets of various sizes as well as rimfire rounds in deer over the years, but I always find the fresh pellet wounds just after the game season for some strange reason? This is not just in one area either! Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
    MS

  2. #2
    I had to shoot a munty between Xmas and new year that had both front legs badly broken and set it couldn't out waddel my terrier and was quite skinny for the mild conditions I've saved the legs with the hope of working out if it was a gun or car, can't see people changing any time soon
    As an add on I saw a Chinese while out foxing on Friday night that didn't look right spent quite a while looking through the scope changed the lamp to white then noticed it only had 1 eye shining back not sure why left it alone but might try to catch up with it and see why
    Last edited by shakey jake; 24-01-2016 at 21:17. Reason: More info

  3. #3
    Shot a roe at the end of last season that had pellets in it's right rear leg, it came running up from where a shoot was still going on, it eventually stopped @ 125 yds away , when my mate looked through his bino's and saw the damage to it. Got the rifle on it and dropped it, when we finally checked the damage the pellets had gone no more than a few mm in to the leg. Don't understand the mentality of some people who just take pot shots at deer with shotguns for nothing more than a bit of fun as I see it.

    Scoby270

  4. #4
    MS
    Given the way that some folks brag about headshooting at 600 yds with ammo that isn't classed as deer legal (which is probably complete b*ll*cks anyway), I'm not remotely surprised that others are trying to whack them with shotguns.
    It's a complete lack of respect for the quarry, the law and something that even with a decent prosecution will continue I'm afraid...
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  5. #5
    No experience with deer, but shot a number of hares with loads of shot in them.
    The more time I spend using my rifle the less I like shotguns!

  6. #6
    I must say that the number of shotgun users I come across that don't really know the capabilities of a shotgun are many. Let's face it, if you shoot a pheasant at 35 yards, you'll do well to get a clean kill and their vitals are pretty near to the surface. So something a bit bigger and you have no chance to penetrate anything vital at any sort of range. Of course bigger shot and a bigger charge will help, but they are only ever meant as a short range device. I think the only circumstances where I would use a shotgun on a deer would be at point blank range to prevent further suffering.

    Much rather use a .17hmr which, as everybody knows is capable of killing everything from rats to African plains game. (I jest, of course).
    Last edited by Pedro; 25-01-2016 at 02:09.

  7. #7
    I didn't think there would be a huge response to this thread as it seems to me that this sort of behaviour is somehow acceptable at this time of year. Maybe it is partly due to tradition? Maybe it is due to the fact that if people were to speak up or not conform they might lose everything? I'm fairly certain that most of them wouldn't shoot deer with shotguns if alone either. It could therefore be down to what is known in social psychology as risky shift. The risky shift occurs when a group collectively agrees on a course of action that is more extreme than they would have made if asked individually. I know of a couple of people (who shall remain nameless) that have been asked to be involved in such activities just recently. Both have thankfully declined and both are in awkward positions where they cannot really speak out as they have too much to lose which is understandable.
    MS

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
    I must say that the number of shotgun users I come across that don't really know the capabilities of a shotgun are many. Let's face it, if you shoot a pheasant at 35 yards, you'll do well to get a clean kill and their vitals are pretty near to the surface. So something a bit bigger and you have no chance to penetrate anything vital at any sort of range. Of course bigger shot and a bigger charge will help, but they are only ever meant as a short range device. I think the only circumstances where I would use a shotgun on a deer would be at point blank range to prevent further suffering.

    Much rather use a .17hmr which, as everybody knows is capable of killing everything from rats to African plains game. (I jest, of course).
    I have seen boar killed on an improvised drive when they were detected in the area where we were actually goose shooting and a drive was call up at short notice and when the slugs ran out some shooters used #1 goose loads and I was amazed that all the boars fell to the shots and non of the pellets had penetrated deeper than the fat layer.
    I was not one of these folks as I had my .270 Win with me.
    I was done in Germany before anyone gets all upset.
    Nevertheless it is illegel in Germany too.
    Martin

  9. #9
    We used to do deer(Roe) drives with shotguns 20+ years ago and I can honestly say that nothing I have fired at, within the 15-20 yards that I consider acceptable, with SSG or bigger, has not dropped like a bag of poo. Never used AAA. I think they now use rifles on that shoot.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Spanker View Post
    I didn't think there would be a huge response to this thread as it seems to me that this sort of behaviour is somehow acceptable at this time of year. Maybe it is partly due to tradition? Maybe it is due to the fact that if people were to speak up or not conform they might lose everything? I'm fairly certain that most of them wouldn't shoot deer with shotguns if alone either. It could therefore be down to what is known in social psychology as risky shift. The risky shift occurs when a group collectively agrees on a course of action that is more extreme than they would have made if asked individually. I know of a couple of people (who shall remain nameless) that have been asked to be involved in such activities just recently. Both have thankfully declined and both are in awkward positions where they cannot really speak out as they have too much to lose which is understandable.
    MS
    Over the years I've seen numerous deer in the larder that had shot in them, but I'd be hard pushed to quantify exactly how widespread the practice is of purposefully shooting deer with shotguns. Again, I certainly know of cases where deer drives have taken place using the "farmer's defence", but this would be less than handful in 20 years. Maybe it is a practice that is very localised?

    It is an interesting debate.

    There are many countries around the world where shooting deer with a shotgun is perfectly legal, though this may be constrained by the type of ammo used, etc. By and large it seems to be very effective where allowed. I've seen boar shot with slugs, so why not deer? If used correctly - and in the appropriate circumstances - it is likely to be as humane as using a rifle.

    So why are things different in the UK? I believe one contributory factor is our history of formalised game shooting. It was/is not uncommon for deer to run through drives. So in the same way as guns are told "no ground game, and no foxes unless absolutely safe", prior to the 1991 Deer Act - and when deer were viewed as little more than a pest to be controlled - why would deer have been treated any differently? We are only 25 years on from the enactment of that legislation, so many attitudes will have yet to change. Indeed you only have to read threads on here related to muntjac to see that even the stalking community is deeply divided on this.

    So we have something of a history of using a couple of cartridges of 4, 5 or 6 shot on deer. Combine this with a licensing situation where it is far easier to get a SGC than an FAC, a rapidly growing population of deer, together with an often woeful lack of knowledge of the legal situation, and it is clear that something will give. Until such time as the "farmer's defence" is tested thoroughly in the courts, I sadly doubt the situation will change.

    The ethics around shooting deer - which incidentally I am firmly a supporter of - are a relatively recent phenomenon. I think we sometimes take it for granted that everyone shares those ethics.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

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