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Thread: Who does a dead deer belong to?

  1. #1
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    Who does a dead deer belong to?

    I shoot in Scotland and after many years of careful enquiry and study into probably one of the most covertly discussed, mythologised and misinformation bound aspects of game shooting, I now know I can confidently say that the "legal" postition here is this: A live, wild, deer belongs to no man at first and it matters not whose land the beast is on it still does not "belong" to anyone... until it is taken. Taken means "killed" in the stalking context. Live capture and the law surrounding that I will leave till another discussion.

    Once it has been killed or "taken" it then belongs in the first instance only to the person or people who have lawfully taken it. <---- In Scotland ...

    This has interesting conotations as far as paying guns are concerned. They will usually have a contract or other agreement (perhaps only verbal) which interestingly chooses to assert that the carcase "remains" the property of the estate or "guide" or whatever, an odd choice of word that.. "remains" ... as it never was theirs My observation on the semantics may well be irrelevant though as: if the "guest" agrees then a deal has been struck and the carcase goes to the estate or guide... However, if the guest is not happy to agree to this... I'm guessing he/she ain't going shooting. However, if the whole agreement is verbal and the shooter reneges I'm not sure what the estate or guide could do about proving the carcase was theirs... because it wouldn't be..... Better get your agreements down on paper methinks.

    If a deer is taken unlawfully, here in Scotland ie. poached (or shot out of season without permission of law/authority) then in that instance a crime has been committed and upon that crime having been proved in court the carcase will be forfeited to the court. The court may well then decide to give the carcase to the owner of the land or the holder of shooting rights on the land, where it was poached (not likely to hand it to the same person if it's been shot out of season though)... However, that is merely a convenient solution... The "court" has to do something with the carcase if law breaking is proved and they've subsequently confiscated it but the court may just as well give it to the local zoo to feed the lions and tigers or turn to any other solution which takes the court's fancy. The "poached" deer certainly does not "belong" to said landowner or anyone else... until the court gives it over.

    I do not shoot in England. But... I do keep reading, on here, that once a deer crosses a boundary, having been shot, that the shooter may NOT follow to humanely establish, or bring about, it's actual death... as considerations of welfare and humanity demand... Frankly, I regard that prohibition as purely fictitious bunkum. Also.. it is often claimed that: if such a deer "dies" over the boundary it belongs to the owner of that land or holder of shooting rights thereon. Why?

    I would like to have the basis for this latter type of assertion clarified. Where in law does it say these things about English deer?

    Or... What does the law actually say in England, on this topic?
    Last edited by Tamus; 31-10-2012 at 11:57. Reason: edited in some missed words

  2. #2
    GOD LOL
    Tamus have you places these questions to the law makers or to the law enforcers. A simple BP guide on what to do written and endorsed by the deer sector would sort it out as easy as that.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6pointer View Post
    GOD LOL
    Tamus have you places these questions to the law makers or to the law enforcers. A simple BP guide on what to do written and endorsed by the deer sector would sort it out as easy as that.

    Good idea! ... Muggins here might be up for that... but I bet you've already tried.

  4. #4
    It is my understanding that in England, the 'owner' of the dead deer is whomever's land (owner or shooting rigths) the dead deer eventaully falls onto. If a wounded deer falls on land that you do not have persmission for and you enter that land then you are commiting armed trespass, even if it is to humanely dispatch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
    It is my understanding that in England, the 'owner' of the dead deer is whomever's land (owner or shooting rigths) the dead deer eventaully falls onto. If a wounded deer falls on land that you do not have persmission for and you enter that land then you are commiting armed trespass, even if it is to humanely dispatch.
    So, you're saying Section 6 of the Deer Act 1991 doesn't exist?

    Or what?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamus View Post
    So, you're saying Section 6 of the Deer Act 1991 doesn't exist?

    Or what?
    No, but it is obviously a commonly held belief despite the act stating:
    'A person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 2 or section 3 above by reason of any act done for the purpose of preventing the suffering of an injured or diseased deer.'

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
    It is my understanding that in England, the 'owner' of the dead deer is whomever's land (owner or shooting rigths) the dead deer eventaully falls onto. If a wounded deer falls on land that you do not have persmission for and you enter that land then you are commiting armed trespass, even if it is to humanely dispatch.
    I agree with your comments entirley David

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
    No, but it is obviously a commonly held belief despite the act stating:
    'A person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 2 or section 3 above by reason of any act done for the purpose of preventing the suffering of an injured or diseased deer.'
    It was my understanding, when I did my DSC1 course, that although some statutes can be contradictory, there's an order of precedence between them, and that animal welfare concerns trumped others. So for example, if you shot an injured or diseased animal out of season, you'd be unlikely to be prosecuted for it. In the same way, putting a deer out of its' misery probably trumps trespass. Probably.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
    No, but it is obviously a commonly held belief despite the act stating:
    'A person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 2 or section 3 above by reason of any act done for the purpose of preventing the suffering of an injured or diseased deer.'
    Are you saying it is a "commonly held" but actually misguided belief?

    We can talk about section 1 and the apparent implications upon a landowner of the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 next, if you like.

  10. #10
    In England, Wales and NI...

    Deer Act 1991 (& section 22 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985):

    Section 1(1) - it is an offence, without the consent of the occupier, owner or other lawful authority, to enter any land in search or pursuit of any deer with the intention of taking, killing or injuring it.

    Section 1(2) - it is an offence, without the consent of the occupier, owner or other lawful authority, while on any land to:

    • intentionally take, kill or injure any deer or attempt to do so
    • search for or pursue any deer with such intent
    • remove the carcase of any deer


    Section 1(3) - however, a person will not be guilty under sections 1(1) or (2) if:

    • he believes he would have had the owner's or occupier's consent if he had known of the circumstances
    • he believed he had a lawful authority



    Scotland...

    Section 17 Deer (Sctoland) Act 1996 it is an offence:

    • without legal right or permission to take, wilfully kill or injure deer on any land
    • to remove the carcase of any deer from any land without legal right or permission from someone having such legal right
    • to wilfully kill or injure any deer otherwise than by shooting with the prescribed firearm and ammunition



    It says in in Deer: Law and Liabilities that "there is a view based on the game laws that where deer are legitimately shot on land where authority exists, but fall dead over the boundary they can be recovered. There remain however, the issues of trespass and ownership of the carcase at civil law."

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