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Thread: Legality of following up a shot deer onto another's land

  1. #1

    Legality of following up a shot deer onto another's land

    I presuming it's trespass, but thought I would check - given that deer can run quite some distance before dropping, are there any legal loopholes that permit the retrieval of shot deer on another owners land?

    Purely theoretical, but thought it an interesting question to get a definitive answer on.

  2. #2
    Don't believe any offence committed would be trespass particularly in Scotland where we now have the right to roam. Wild deer have no ownership till dead and I would therefore suspect that the offence in entering another's land without consent to recover a deer, although shot on your land, could constitute theft. Perhaps a bit tricky if the deer shot on your land dropped on another's but was not dead. To delay dispatching the deer could be causing unnecessary suffering but on the other hand to enter another's property with a firearm?

    As a precaution I always seek permission to enter the surrounding land to any permission I have solely to recover or dispatch any deer shot on my ground. Never been refused on the basis that if a wounded deer entered another's land and I was not permitted to dispatch it immediately it could be construed that the other landowner was contributing to causing unnecessary suffering.

  3. #3
    Different in England i believe.
    You will need permission to follow up the deer from the landowner.
    If the deer is lying dead on the neighbours land and you remove it then you could be charged with theft.
    The deer act will cover the legalities.
    Cheers
    Richard

  4. #4
    Does anyone know what the FC's position is on this? I'm hopefully going to start shooting a friend's farm that backs onto FC's woodland - they have rangers but they are a bit thin on the ground so thought I would go and help with the deer issue. Would FC have a dim view on retrieval of deer on their land? And how would you go about finding the right person to contact to get the OK?

  5. #5
    The FC's position on thism, as a Government Quango, would be that you would be committing theft! I suggest that you ring the FC, names and address's are published in Sporting Rifle for the local FC's around the country.

    ft
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  6. #6
    I believe there is also "armed trespass" legislation to beware of.
    Martin

  7. #7
    In scotland you can track and kill a beast on land where you don't have permission if there's a welfare issue like say it was leg shot. Upon death though it becomes the property of the person with the stalking rights or land owner for that ground.

    Recovery of the beast can still take place with permission or where it is not possible to contact the person to get permission the beast can still be extracted providing notice of the cull and extraction is logged with the police so that is not theft with the holder of the stalking rights/land owner being able to claim the carcass.

    From a legal point of view if they claimed a carcass weeks later and you'd ate it, although they can claim against you for the value of the carcass you can counter claim for the costs of your service provided to cull, dress and remove the beast from their property.

  8. #8
    All areas have FC district offices that can be contacted. The phone number is often displayed on the main entrance to the forest block. I have a similar situation where I have my pheasant ground. There is only roe in the area and with the trees being mature the FC rangers do not have a deer issue at all. The persons who could have issues are the surrounding farmers on whose ground the roe from the FC ground feed. So in actual fact it may only be your host who has any issues and not the FC. This is where a collaborative deer management plan comes in.

    The Fc ground that borders my pheasant shoot is very much a recreational area for walkers etc and the Fc have to be very careful of what the public observe on their ground bearing in mind that the public in the main get pleasure from seeing wild deer although most realise that they must be managed.

    Maybe not just as simple as you would think. I do have an arrangement with the Fc whereby I can enter their ground but it is at very limited times when members of the public are not around. I either have to tailor my deer management to those times or make very sure that any deer I shoot stays on my side of the fence.

    Don't kid yourself that Fc rangers although thin on the ground cannot effectively reduce deer populations. The lamp on the roof of some of their vehicles is not there to shoot fox.
    Last edited by Gazza; 30-10-2010 at 10:50. Reason: Additional info

  9. #9
    Armed trespass is a very serious offence, as is shooting beyond boundaries. The suffering of the animal is something the shooter would have to deal with in collaboration with the landowner where the animal is. Advice would be to speak with adjoining landowners in advance and in anticipation of such an event and getting written permission to track injured animals for humane disposal - but exclude the use of the firearm and use your knife. May sound a bit messy but the alternatives are 'break the law' or 'let the animal suffer' none of which are acceptable. You will of course need to secure your firearm too, so you will need to have a very clear plan in your head about what you are going to do when, and if, this event happens - this will make managing it easier and less risky.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Oly View Post
    Does anyone know what the FC's position is on this? I'm hopefully going to start shooting a friend's farm that backs onto FC's woodland - they have rangers but they are a bit thin on the ground so thought I would go and help with the deer issue. Would FC have a dim view on retrieval of deer on their land? And how would you go about finding the right person to contact to get the OK?
    The land I stalk also borders FC land, and I got the keeper to enquire with the FC ranger about this exact thing. His reply was "do not follow deer into my area". He didn't say it in an unfriendly manner, but gave the impression that FC do not allow it.
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

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