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Thread: Night Shooting Authorisation Scotland

  1. #1

    Night Shooting Authorisation Scotland

    Let me say straight off that I am not against night shooting in general, and night shooting can be useful tool for a deer manager, I have had Night authorisations in the past and have no axe to grind when the rules are followed

    However a recent conversation had alarm bells ring, I will not name names nor locations for while I have no doubt my informant was genuine, the information is second hand and I can't verify it
    First the rules
    Authorisations are subject to conditions as specified by SNH
    Night shooting authorisations used to only be issued where damage was being done to crops or commercial woodland, they can now also be granted for public safety for example where deer are liable to cause vehicle accidents.
    SNH must be satisfied that night shooting is necessary to prevent serious damage, and no other method of control which might be adopted, would be adequate.
    Authorisations must be in writing and include PRECISE area and for HOW LONG VALID
    To be granted a night authorisation the operator must be on the fit and competent register.
    Authorisation documents must be returned to SNH within seven days of expiry and details of all deer killed under the authority must be entered

    There must be two people when operating a light marksman and light operator, three are recommended when a vehicle is being used light operator, driver and marksman
    In woodland a trained deer dog must be available

    Police authority in the area must be notified by SNH when a night authority is issued
    The operator must also notify the police when night shooting will take place times etc, also anyone living or likely to be on the ground should be notified.

    Best practice is normally only that best practice but as far as night shooting is concerned best practice is mandatory
    and any failure to comply should result in the authorisation being removed

    SNH reserves the right to place an observer with any night shooting operation to verify all terms and conditions are being adhered to.

    Information received

    Large forestry blocks being shot under night authorisation, what happened to precise area

    one area having been shot continually over a period of seven years under night authorisation
    how does this fit in with authorisation must state for how long it is valid.

    And finally an area of amenity woodland being shot under a night authority, this is amenity woodland not commercial so whats the justification, but whats worse this ground had never been shot over prior to the night authorisation, so if its never been shot other than at night and no attempt has been made to manage the deer other than at night, how can they say no other method would be adequate to manage the population.

    If these statements are true and I have no reason to believe they are not then someone is at the very least bending the rules whether it be the operators or those issuing the authorisations.

    These incidents are pretty much in the same area, is there widespread abuse?

    Scottish Government statement and SNHs remit wild deer are part of the public domain and current
    legislation requires them to be sustainably managed in the public interest.

    If the above practices are taking place is that sustainable or in the public interest?
    I think not.

    As already said there is a place for night shooting sometimes its the only way to deal with a problem but the rules are there for a reason not to be abused.

    If you know of night shooting where you think the rules are being broken, contact your MP or anyone else who will listen, cause a stink if necessary someone will listen.





    Last edited by bogtrotter; 13-10-2014 at 17:41.

  2. #2
    I don't know about the other two, but does the amenity woodland have sssi status, or some other conservation designation that is adversely affected by high deer density? Just because a woodland is not commercial doesn't mean deer should not be culled. Does it have high public access during the daylight hours?

    Just my thoughts

  3. #3
    I've a thought...

    If it's not affecting you, not impacting on animal welfare and unlikely to cause flooding for forty days and nights then how about you just let the authorities do what they've got to do.

    You are taking information out of context, publishing it in a domain for all to see and ultimately attempting to shine bad light on another pubic service.


  4. #4
    alis I see you point lets just let the government departments do what they like manipulate the system for short term gain and to meet targets set loosely Good one but very foolish. I think for every one on this site Deer welfare should be in there thoughts. Lamping has now reached unacceptable levels in Scotland with 343 night time authorisations at the last count. Not that that means much but when you consider the size of the national forest estate and find that 80% of it is under a night time authorisation you really need to sit up and take notice. Jubnut it dose not matter if the amenity woodland has got SSSI on it or not. What matters is the rules and regulations that underpin the Law are followed. Could the ground and deer on it be managed in day light if the answer is yes then there is no case for Lamping. You have broke the rules and the Law by lamping the deer indiscriminately. Boggy is correct and I agree with him lamping is a very useful tool but should be the last tool out of the box. That is now not the case and SNH and FCS are now using it as a first strike option.
    Last edited by 6pointer; 13-10-2014 at 22:31.

  5. #5
    I am inclined to agree with Alis on this, let me make it clear that I don't live or stalk in Scotland, I am commenting with no prior knowledge or experience of this issue or the area, or the country, but I wouldn't be alone on here in doing that would I 6p? I found the thread in passing and am commenting out of interest.



    My point was that there are probably reasons behind the authorisations that we don't know. This is a very one sided op with the people holding the licenses unlikely to respond.



    My Point about SSSI woodland was not to justify night shooting in the first place but to just remind that it is not just commercial forestry in which culling is important. Also, how do we know that low key, daytime culling hasn't been carried out there?



    If not I mentioned public access, very few Night Licenses have been issued in England as far as I am aware, single figures. I know that the reason for issue of one was high public access during daylight hours, so the licence was issued on grounds of safety.



    Again. Just trying to bring some perspective.
    Last edited by jubnut; 14-10-2014 at 04:17.

  6. #6
    Guys,as I said I have no problem with night authorisations when the rules are followed but as a private individual
    I must abide by the law or face the consequences, I expect no less from a Government body SNH have to be accountable for their actions.

    I will repeat government policy " wild deer are part of the public domain and current legislation requires them to be managed in the public interest"

    If that is the case then we have every right to ask questions if we think SNH are bending the rules.

  7. #7
    But why do you believe they are bending the rules? Because second hand information received was not 100% complete and of such a nature to come to a complete conclusion? In it's contents it is likely their is key information you missing out on in which to determine the true picture. Which I'll hand to you was probably the originating reason for the post...

    6P we do not just let government bodies run rogue. We utilise resources and bodies available at are disposal which include (to members) the likes of BASC. Also available is FOI, freedom of information request, which believe it or not give you a large right to gaining information, a right which is enshrined in law.

  8. #8
    I would be the first to admit that I'm no expert in the night shooting licence debate but as said about ALL other available means must be utilised first surely, now as to if this has been done or not I can't possibly comment on but A..... will we ever find out ?? B.... is it not just being used as an easy fix without proper debate?
    As was said sometime back on another thread these are our publicly owned woods and the vast majority could be managed by properly trained recreational stalking and save, no create the government our tax money.
    Regards
    Jimmy
    Last edited by jimmy milnes; 14-10-2014 at 13:37.
    Next time you're walking down the street and see a homeless person go buy them a sandwich and a coffee, change of fate and it could be you one day !!!

    BUY BRITISH !!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    Let me say straight off that I am not against night shooting in general, and night shooting can be useful tool for a deer manager, I have had Night authorisations in the past and have no axe to grind when the rules are followed

    However a recent conversation had alarm bells ring, I will not name names nor locations for while I have no doubt my informant was genuine, the information is second hand and I can't verify it
    First the rules
    Authorisations are subject to conditions as specified by SNH
    Night shooting authorisations used to only be issued where damage was being done to crops or commercial woodland, they can now also be granted for public safety for example where deer are liable to cause vehicle accidents.
    SNH must be satisfied that night shooting is necessary to prevent serious damage, and no other method of control which might be adopted, would be adequate.
    Authorisations must be in writing and include PRECISE area and for HOW LONG VALID
    To be granted a night authorisation the operator must be on the fit and competent register.
    Authorisation documents must be returned to SNH within seven days of expiry and details of all deer killed under the authority must be entered

    There must be two people when operating a light marksman and light operator, three are recommended when a vehicle is being used light operator, driver and marksman
    In woodland a trained deer dog must be available

    Police authority in the area must be notified by SNH when a night authority is issued
    The operator must also notify the police when night shooting will take place times etc, also anyone living or likely to be on the ground should be notified.

    Best practice is normally only that best practice but as far as night shooting is concerned best practice is mandatory
    and any failure to comply should result in the authorisation being removed

    SNH reserves the right to place an observer with any night shooting operation to verify all terms and conditions are being adhered to.

    Information received

    Large forestry blocks being shot under night authorisation, what happened to precise area

    one area having been shot continually over a period of seven years under night authorisation
    how does this fit in with authorisation must state for how long it is valid.

    And finally an area of amenity woodland being shot under a night authority, this is amenity woodland not commercial so whats the justification, but whats worse this ground had never been shot over prior to the night authorisation, so if its never been shot other than at night and no attempt has been made to manage the deer other than at night, how can they say no other method would be adequate to manage the population.

    If these statements are true and I have no reason to believe they are not then someone is at the very least bending the rules whether it be the operators or those issuing the authorisations.

    These incidents are pretty much in the same area, is there widespread abuse?

    Scottish Government statement and SNHs remit wild deer are part of the public domain and current
    legislation requires them to be sustainably managed in the public interest.

    If the above practices are taking place is that sustainable or in the public interest?
    I think not.

    As already said there is a place for night shooting sometimes its the only way to deal with a problem but the rules are there for a reason not to be abused.

    If you know of night shooting where you think the rules are being broken, contact your MP or anyone else who will listen, cause a stink if necessary someone will listen.





    I think you need to be careful with hearsay stories. These guys really do support our stalking interests/hobbies/pastimes etc. if you apply rules too literally sometims and take a certain stance then bureaucracy only increases which isn't any good for anyone. Its a bit like the "good reason" test for an FAC/Calibre, in theory one could say no-one needs anything other than a .243 for all deer species full stop, done and dusted..... But how stupid, unrealistic would that be.

  10. #10
    sssi sites should not get any form of special treatment as the law is the law but the system of night shooting authorisations is easily abused as is the fit and comp register which on renewal has no checking to confirm CPD or genuine merit. The night shooting authorisations process is hardly robust, for my land which is badly affected by sika that feed mostly at night I don't believe past the application there was any land checks or validation of details.

    On grounds where the deer can be reasonably stalked in daylight there should be no approval of night shooting authority. It's that simple as 'all other options' to manage and control deer and the damage they cause haven't been properly used. In a nut shell, being too lasy to shoot the deer by day time stalking or not having enough time or manpower to manage the deer is not a good enough excuse to get a night shooting authority although it is freely handed out whenever asked for for the most if you say the right things in your application.

    Why does this annoy me?? The FC and their contractors exclusively use night authority to 'manage' deer..... that amounts to opportunistic extermination of deer. As a ranger up at lairg said to me, 'they aren't going to damage trees if there aren't any about'... yeh great

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