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Thread: Farmers/landowners ignoring stalking lease agreements

  1. #1

    Farmers/landowners ignoring stalking lease agreements

    Last year I was confronted with a situation where I found out the landowner on one of my permissions had sold the sole stalking rights to another person without telling me (I didn't have to pay), and without telling the other person, and as a result we have both been stalking the same ground happily for over a year, until the inevitable meeting/confrontation when we bumped into each other one evening. I pulled out of this permission as I felt I couldn't trust the landowner any more, in particular thinking about the safety issues.

    I now work together as an amateur stalker with a professional who holds the stalking rights on another farm. The prof. has been on this ground for 10+ years and has heavily invested in time and money (high-seats, rides, etc. etc.). The prof. doesn't pay for the stalking rights but makes his money selling the venison from this and other permissions. Once again we find ourselves in a situation where the farmer/landowner has given permission to a third party to shoot/stalk the land, this is a neighbour with a nice garden who is upset that the deer have destroyed his orchard, this guy has now done the DSC1 and is in the process of getting a FAC and rifle. Currently he shoots Muntjac with a shotgun (hmm) and he has asked me if I would please shoot any badgers near his property. Yes, really. So far for the knowledge picked up from doing the DSC1

    The farmer/landowner is a very kind gentleman who can't say 'No' easily but obviously hasn't quite considered the implications of his kindness. Implications for someone making his living, and safety implications. It looks as if the landowner just wants the deer controlled, by anybody, and never mind if there are two or three rifles on the ground at the same time, who may not know about each others presence.

    I have not been shooting or stalking for that long so you could say I am relatively inexperienced, but the more people I meet in Stalking the more horror stories similar to this I hear, and the more I learn about how much bad practice, backstabbing, cheating, lying and betraying is rife within the stalking world. Many shooting/stalking agreements are simply sealed with a handshake, but even when there are written stalking leases in place we cannot really trust our landowners/farmers any more, sad but true.

    I cannot see a solution to these issues - after all there is little point in threatening a landowner that you will take Legal action, as it would be a quick route to loosing your permission altogether. Where do we stand..is there a constructive solution?
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  2. #2
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    If you don't pay for the rights you have no chance , cash talks these days I'm afraid

  3. #3
    if you wished to be a bit of a grass ? you could tape the chap requesting you shoot the brock's and that would put a hold on him getting a cert, not nice but !!,
    i lost my small bit of Essex due to cash greedy land owner

  4. #4
    Unless you have a binding contract the landowner has every right to let anyone he likes on his land and your pal has been a lucky boy to make money with no outlay.If it means that much to both of you make the land owner an offer, usually money talks, for the shooting rights but make sure a,binding contract is made. If time and effort has been put in already try for a long term lease. What would you think if someone was making money from your investment for no return?

  5. #5
    The landowner is just that . He owns the land. If we are fortunate to stalk the land for free inevitably one day money will come into the equation . It's only a matter of time . I believe it's best to offer all landowners something even if its a token gesture . I'm afraid that just because stalker bloggs has managed the land for a few years it doesn't entitle him to rights for life if stalker b comes along with a plate full of bangers and mash .
    ​Atb Steve

  6. #6
    fully agree sf, but the land owner should give you the heads up that he wishes to get a fee and then you may stand a chance to talk to the others and get part of the pie not just the washing up. in my case i was giving free help around the land, but i still got shafted by all involved cash is king.

  7. #7
    It can also be a problem when the farmer is not the land owner,I had one small patch where this was the case.
    I had and still do stalk most of this farmers land, but years later I was confronted by another stalker sitting in one of my high seats.
    When questioned he replied that the owner had given him permission to shoot this one field, I asked my farmer who phoned the land owner,
    he was told that he had indeed given permission, and that he could not now stop him from shooting.( or didn't want to )
    The solution to the problem was quite easy, I phoned the owner if I wanted to shoot this particular field and likewise the other stalker.
    Any sort of animal control went straight out the window, the other stalker shot everything on sight.

  8. #8
    How would the land owner stand under health & safety legislation and vicarious liability? If for example you have a couple of people stalking at the same time, both with the land owners permission but unaware of each others presence, both believing you are the only one permitted with a firearm, then the inevitable happens (god forbid). I know ultimately it's down to the person pulling the trigger but the land owner could be said to have created that situation. Just my thoughts on the subject and why even on permissions I don't pay for I have a letter of permission and indemnity, detailing any special measures for that land agreed by the land owner/farmer and myself
    Wingy

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SussexFallow View Post
    The landowner is just that . He owns the land. If we are fortunate to stalk the land for free inevitably one day money will come into the equation . It's only a matter of time . I believe it's best to offer all landowners something even if its a token gesture . I'm afraid that just because stalker bloggs has managed the land for a few years it doesn't entitle him to rights for life if stalker b comes along with a plate full of bangers and mash .
    ​Atb Steve
    +1

    From the other side of the fence I would agree. Some people can get very complacent about using other people's land, particularly if arrangements have been in place for some years. It can get up the landowner's nose when the Stalker refers to it as his land. Best advice is to keep the Landowner sweet and do not be a stranger.

  10. #10
    In theory there would be no health and safety issue over and above that which is already there.
    all shots must be to a safe backstop with clear view of the path to the bs. As a shooter you will always be wholly responsible for the legal fall out if the shizzle hits the fan, even if someone gets in the way of a bullet as a result of being where they should not.

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