Crossing boundaries

Pete E

Well-Known Member
Stone,

Like in a lot of things, the law in Scotland is different to the England and Wales...I'm not sure there is a "reason" as such, its just the way the Scots framed their Law when it was being written.

There are a couple of books on Law as it relates to Deer and/or the country side and its very worth while having one on your bookshelf...I have "Deer: Law and Liability" but parts of it are now probably out of date.

Regards,

Peter

(PS If anybody can recommend a similar book that is written for the lay-person and reasonably up to date, I'd be very interested in getting it..)
 

stone

Well-Known Member
Hi Pete
thanks for that
but maybe it is just my ignorance, but as to when was this law written and why was it written in such a way
just it seems to me with stalking becoming such a popular sport now and the need for a dog for deer work is on the up , stalkers and organisations spouting on about excess volume of deer that need to be culled
surely lots of deer are being shot at and wounded , that can never be retrieved or even bothered to be looked for ,just so some one can put the wounded beast or beasts of their misery and we talk about deer welfare , can't realy see who benefits here on the deer welfare side of things


why has no-one looked into trying to change the laws, or if some one has what was the outcome how did you fair?
surely there must be more to this :confused:
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
Stone,

I seem to recall that either BASC or BDS recently did a survey of stalker-members re wounding and recovery rates, from which they compiled a report of the subject.

"surely lots of deer are being shot at and wounded , that can never be retrieved or even bothered to be looked for .."

Personally, I have seen no evidence of that. Mishaps happen, but it certainly seems to be in a minority of cases, and where a mishap does occur a high percentage seem to get sorted, especially if a dog is on hand.

I would think that the access issue you mention is more likely to be a problem when dealing with RTA's as there is no way any access arrangements can be made in advance, unlike with a stalker who can at least discuss the issue with the property owners adjacent to his ground.

Regards,

Peter
 

stone

Well-Known Member
Peter
there must be loads of mishaps that hav happened :rolleyes:
but who in thier right mind would ever own up, not sure i would
the reason i got a dog was because i was taking out more and more stalkers and as a result getting more wounded than i felt comfortable with
losing one deer a year might be exceptable to most , but losing 1 deer a year because it crossed a boundary fence , well that is something different
as you hav no-way of following it up if you can't contact the land owner/lease holder at the time
yes i know you can make prior arrangements, but that is not always the case or even possible
it might just be over the fence in full view and lay down as a result of a gut shot,
yes common sense might say give it another bullet ,but the law say's lose your ticket and possible prison sentence if you get caught
all that.......what over a deer !!!
why not just leave it and not worry as you can go out the next day and shoot another anyway :confused:
might be a little cynical here , maybe it's time for some changes
as for RTA's not sure i would even consider doing any now ,not worth the time and effort if once you get there and the poor little beggar has crawled off the verge onto some-one else's property
not sure i would want to be done for armed tresspass by the same force that initially called you out
wonder if my insurances covered me for that or if even BASC would take up the case :rolleyes:
 

MarkH

Well-Known Member
Note ref Scotland

Yes you can cross boundries in Scotland without the owners permission. you can even have your firearm with you but it must be unloaded and safe(ie moving from one forestry block to another) You cant go onto the property with a loaded firearm even to dispatch a wounded animal without the owners permission. You could possible dispatch it with a knife, heavy rock or whatever. Remember however you cannot retrieve the beast as it belongs to the landowner on who's property it died unless you have a prior agreement. Knife laws get a little tricky.

Mark
 

Nix Niveus

Well-Known Member
Remember as well, the Deer Act (Scotland) only says, that for the various exceptions - a person shall 'not be guilty of an offence under THIS act'. Not the person shall not be guilty of an offence.

So, in theory you could still be open to armed tresspass charges and breaches of other Acts like the firearms act.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
MarkH said:
Note ref Scotland

You cant go onto the property with a loaded firearm even to dispatch a wounded animal without the owners permission.
Mark

Sorry Mark you are wrong, you can go onto land were you other wise have no authority to be with a loaded firearm and you can dispatch the deer with that firearm and in doing so you have not committed any offence, there is no trespassing laws in Scotland. You are quite right that if you do cross a boundary to dispatch a deer you can not remove it with out the land owner permission.

Under section 25 of the Deer act of Scotland 1996 if you carry out an act to minimise the suffering of a deer which contravenes any other offence you are not guilty of breaking any law. In other words deer welfare always takes precedence over any statue laid down.

Here are a couple of examples: - You see a red hind on your side of the boundary fence and its dependant calf is on your neighbours, you shoot the calf over the boundary and then the mother on your land, no offence is committed.

You come on a RTC the deer has run into a home owners back garden, you get you 17hmr go into there back garden and head shoot it at 5 yrds. No offence is committed.


Best rgds

Tahr
 

Nix Niveus

Well-Known Member
You have to be very careful here , the Act only offer protection from offences the Act creates, it says :

"Exemption for certain acts
25 Action intended to prevent suffering

A person shall not be guilty of an offence against this Act or any order made under this Act in respect of any act done for the purpose of preventing suffering by—

(a) an injured or diseased deer; or

(b) by any deer calf, fawn or kid deprived, or about to be deprived, of its mother. "

It only refers to immunity from prosecution under the Deer Act and no other Act, if you shot a deer in someone's garden, you would not be guilty of a Deer Act offence e.g. shooting a deer out of season, but you could be breaking a lot of other laws.

The law accepts that shooting an injured deer is not of the highest ethical act/moral importance and it takes a poor second place to public safety and peace.

An example : You are going faster than the speed rushing someone to hospital in your car and it's an emergency. You might not be guilty of speeding, but you could still be found guilty of dangerous driving.
 

stone

Well-Known Member
thanks for that Thar
so does anybody know if this has always been the case or is this a new law
just i see mentioned Deer act of scotland 1996
i am wondering,was this in working procedure before that or was it something added in 1996 so injured deer could be dispatched and not left to suffer
if we had a law as such as this on our side of the border how much of a benefit that would be to a lot of us, especialy to those called out to RTC's , or stalkers called out to help find an injured deer or just to stalkers in general, incase they do hav a runner that makes the boundary
ATB
stone
 

MarkH

Well-Known Member
Hi Thar

I have carefully read through the Deer Act and as far I can see it you may be putting yourself at risk of prosecution.
As Nix Niveus states you will not be prosecuted under the Deer Act.

You cannot just enter someones garden and shoot a wounded deer without premission as that constitutes armed trespass(even in Scotland). Just imagine you spotted a camo clad chap leaping around in your back yard with a rifle at dusk, the average guy is not going to follow him outside to see what he is up to in the bushes.

What it would allow is to shoot a wounded deer from a vehicle at night on land you are autherised to shoot on.
I'm not even convinced it offers enough protection for you to shoot a calf across the boundry without permission from the other landowner though I'm sure a lot of deer get shot that way.

Mark
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
MarkH said:
Hi Thar

I have carefully read through the Deer Act and as far I can see it you may be putting yourself at risk of prosecution.
As Nix Niveus states you will not be prosecuted under the Deer Act.

You cannot just enter someones garden and shoot a wounded deer without premission as that constitutes armed trespass(even in Scotland). Just imagine you spotted a camo clad chap leaping around in your back yard with a rifle at dusk, the average guy is not going to follow him outside to see what he is up to in the bushes.

What it would allow is to shoot a wounded deer from a vehicle at night on land you are autherised to shoot on.
I'm not even convinced it offers enough protection for you to shoot a calf across the boundry without permission from the other landowner though I'm sure a lot of deer get shot that way.

Mark

Mark there is no trespassing laws in Scotland, you can walk on land with a loaded firearm that you do not have permission to be on provided you can give a reasonable excuse. In this case you would be entering the land to prevent the deer suffering; hence you have a reasonable excuse.

All trespassing laws in Scotland were revoked in the 1995 rights of access bill, the BASC campaigned to have a clause added:- that you had to have reasonable reason to be on land with a firearm, other wise it would have been a gift to poachers. The legislate hadn’t thought that one though in the first instance, so say thank you to BASC for the amendment.

The deer act covers the act of illegally taking deer (poaching) which you would be doing if you were not preventing animal suffering so you would be covered. Provided your shot was safe.

I would say that if you find yourself having to use section 25 of the act for immunity, it would be wise to make sure you have evidence that what you are doing is under the act. Photos of the injury to the deer, making sure your dog has a visible tracking collar on. ect

Best rgds

Tahr
 

MarkH

Well-Known Member
Granted there is no law of trespass and you may be protected under the deer act as well but and this is a big but, you could still be arrested under a Breach of the Peace. All I'm saying is use extreme caution in exercising these rules. Being right may not be enough protection. You could still find yourself arrested, firearms confiscated and arguing in a court for months. It has more to do with what other people may think you are doing than what you claim you are doing. Direct evidence to defend youself may fall into the area of 'hearsay'.
I have had on one occassion a close shave with a dog walker appearing out of a bush on my land just as I was about to shoot a deer. He would never have seen the deer just a guy shooting in his general direction. Luckily I had time to put the safety back on and retreat so he was non the wiser.
Scottish Law is not well drafted enough as apposed to German Law and their levels of tradition and public awareness in these matters.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
Some of what you say is correct in that post Mark, I appreciate that you may be doing the right thing and be covered by the law, but somebody else who does not know the law especially if they are from England could believe that you are committing a whole number of offences and call the Police. You would then have to explain your actions. :confused:

You could find yourself in an ethical dilemma, doing all your can to prevent a deer suffering one hand, and risking explaining your actions to the police on the other. Do you leave that deer to a slow lingering death or possibly do the right thing and risk upsetting neighbours.

Each individual has to make his own call, but at least now some more stalkers many know what you can and can’t do, and the more people that know the law in regards to this the better in my view.

Best rgds

Tahr
 

stone

Well-Known Member
Cheers guys
this has been such an interesting read
so going on scottish law, you guys could easily set up some sort of tracking dog register , which obviously would be usefull for a lot of dogless stalkers and agents in scotland
where us, south of the border seem to hav very little chance of having this happening to any great effect by the looks of things
unless our laws change in favour of this :confused:
or am i missing some thing here
ATB
stone
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
Mark, Tahr,

Do you know whether the Scottish provisions to access land to humanely dispatch a deer are restricted to the person who made the shot, or can any one pursue the wounded deer with the intention of putting it out of its misery?

Just waiting for my new edition of "Deer :Law and Liabilities" to arrive, but thought you guys may know in the mean time?

regards,

Peter
 

Nix Niveus

Well-Known Member
The act says anyone, and it talks about injured deer in general. It doesn't restrict it to a shot deer or the person who took the shot nor does it say what the method has to be, only that it must be humane.

Thinks: if you have a knife and a gun and the deer is not struggling, then you could be in bother if you have the skills to use the knife but chose to shoot it rather than use the knife.
 
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