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Thread: Shooting Fallow out of Season

  1. #1

    Shooting Fallow out of Season

    Tricky this one fellas - not sure which way to go!

    I have been offered some Fallow stalking by a landowner in despair about damage to newly planted woodland and a substantial vegetable garden. Problem is, as we all know, today is the last day of the season until Aug!

    My reading of the Deer Act 1991 (Section 7 (3)) is that provided the conditions set down in subsections (a), (b) and (c) are satisfied, I can shoot them.

    The wording reads that a person does not commit an offence when shooting out of season if :-

    (a) he had reasonable grounds for believing that deer of the same species were causing, or had caused, damage to crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber or any other form of property on the land;
    (b) it was likely that further damage would be so caused and any such damage was likely to be serious; and
    (c) his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing any such damage.

    Having surveyed the ground, I am confident that these conditions are complied with.

    In light of the landowners wish to dramatically reduce numbers very quickly, I am considering taking out bucks, and pregnant, young and old does so as to avoid the possibility of leaving dependant fawns.

    Anyone got any experience of shooting out of season under the Deer Act Exceptions? I appreciate the potential moral and ethical issues, which I am struggling with to be honest. Im more interested in your thoughts about the practicalities and legal implications. This is a cull after all, not a sporting exercise.

    Also, will the game dealer take the meat?

    Any thoughts most welcome



  2. #2
    Out of season shooting can be a bit of a nightmare.If someone complains you will have prove that damage is occurring exactly where you are shooting them..
    You will need to have in writing permission from the landowner stating why you are shooting them out of season..He will also have to prove that he has made every "reasonable" effort possible to protect his crop from damage.
    If a complaint is made you will have prove to the authorities that you have explored every avenue...
    Ring BASC for advice!!


  3. #3
    If you don't shoot them what is the land owner going to do?
    Get someone who will?

    You are in clear legally.
    The law is known as the farmers defence.

    There are some Roe on 6 fields near me, They damaging the landowners garden,
    I exlained the seasons to him and he said can you shoot the bucks first. Well I will.
    I will try to take bucks, but there are far more does than bucks.
    I will take the yearling does firstly as I don't think they are pregnant.
    Do you shoot pregnant Muntjac does and Roe does in March.
    What is the difference apart from the law?

    Take a couple of bucks and see if this scares the rest off?

    Morals are irrelevant here, it is a practical issue.

    If you want a hand let me know.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    thanks for that Griff - the "reasonable effort" thing is a tough one.

    As I see it, the only way the landowner can stop the damage is deer fencing - something he considered and rejected for financial and aesthetic reasons. Question is, can he be said to have taken reasonable efforts without fencing?

    MMMMM - food for thought


  6. #6
    In the same boat with an orchard i have permission on.
    Go on to English Nature website and you will find all the info you need and the forms to fill in to apply for a out of season licence.
    I have printed these off and given them to the land owner, you have to prove over a year the damage they are doing and have taken reasonable measures to prevent damage.
    He has got 18inch rabbit gaurds and no deer fence so I would of thought they wont issue him a 'ticket'.

    Just what I have found out so far.


  7. #7
    With regard to the woodland, if deer were already in the area I would presume that a 'reasonable effort' would have been to use appropriately sized tree guards. If the deer are trashing them to get at the saplings then I suspect the landowner would be perfectly entitled to request a cull.

    As for the vegetable garden, I imagine the argument will hinge on whether it is cultivated on a private or commercial basis. The need for a cull would be much easier to prove if the deer were causing financial loss rather than simply upsetting a latter day Tom and Barbara.

    Purely speculative but is there any possibility of drawing them away from the land in question and getting them to graze elsewhere? Somebody recently suggested molasses on a bale of hay as an attractant. That way you could keep an eye on them for the next few months and then be in position to fill your boots once the season comes around!

    As griff suggests, I believe your best opening plan would be to seek advice from BASC.



  8. #8
    Just remembered, you cannot shoot them on the field next door to where the damage is occurring.It is quite specific the legislation, they can only be shot where the damage is occurring not in the nearby vicinity..


  9. #9
    I spoke to BASC about this and they gave me the incorrect advice quoted by 243varmint.
    They did not mention section 7 of the 1991 Deer Act which covers this issue.
    If you do contact them I would be interested to know what they said.
    I was shooting on agricultural land not unenclosed land nor land owned by Natural England.

    I could not find the requirement to shoot on certain fields in section 7 of the 1991 Deer Act, where does this come from?

  10. #10
    So why did the land owner not have them culled when they were in season, the damage has not just started I take it


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