Hunting in Scotland

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Matthew.

Member
Hi Guys,

Looking for a bit of help here. I've never hunted before but I'm interested in starting. I was wondering if anyone would be able to help with the legal side of things? Is there public land you can hunt on with just a hunting license? Or does it all have to be done through private estates?

Are there shooting ranges? or rifle clubs you can join to practice? or is this all again through private estates?

Hope there is someone out there that can help or even know of websites that could help. Struggling to find something that lays it out clearly.

Thanks, Matt
 

Husky

Well-Known Member
There is no public land upon which you can hunt and no such thing as a hunting licence.
I don't know of any ranges or clubs in your neck of the woods but a quick Google search should show something.
Have a look at the Basc or Sga websites and you will get more info.
Basically you will have to pay someone/ an Estate if you wish to shoot deer.
 

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
If by "Hunting" you mean deer stalking (this is the Stalking Directory!!) then the easiest way to find out if it's something you want to pursue is to book a stalk and be taken out by an experienced stalker.
Unlike the USA, there is no such thing as public land you can hunt on and no such thing as a hunting licence
Shooting is normally carried out on private land and then only with the permission of the landowner, the holder of the shooting rights or in certain circumstances with the permission of a tenant on that land.
The are shooting ranges, but you need to be a member of a club before you can use a range.
Both the BASC and SGA websites have more information on how to get into shooting.

Cheers

Bruce
 

Matthew.

Member
There is no public land upon which you can hunt and no such thing as a hunting licence.
I don't know of any ranges or clubs in your neck of the woods but a quick Google search should show something.
Have a look at the Basc or Sga websites and you will get more info.
Basically you will have to pay someone/ an Estate if you wish to shoot deer.
Thank you! I will have a look at the BASC & SGA websites. Appriciate the reply
 

Matthew.

Member
If by "Hunting" you mean deer stalking (this is the Stalking Directory!!) then the easiest way to find out if it's something you want to pursue is to book a stalk and be taken out by an experienced stalker.
Unlike the USA, there is no such thing as public land you can hunt on and no such thing as a hunting licence
Shooting is normally carried out on private land and then only with the permission of the landowner, the holder of the shooting rights or in certain circumstances with the permission of a tenant on that land.
The are shooting ranges, but you need to be a member of a club before you can use a range.
Both the BASC and SGA websites have more information on how to get into shooting.

Cheers

Bruce
Thanks Bruce. I appreciate the reply. I will keep on looking.

Thanks,
Matt
 

rab19

Well-Known Member
Basically you will have to pay someone/ an Estate if you wish to shoot deer.
Or you can bide your time and join a club, get your license, buy a deer calibre rifle, buy loads of kit-not all of it useful, buy insurance, knock on countless doors looking for land, possibly buy a dog, buy a 4X4, buy thermal, get to know the right people, help on the local shoot beating.
I am two years in and still not fully kitted out and only now getting permissions that hold deer, but I have not paid a penny to shoot a deer.
There is a lot more to add to the list but as husky says you could go out next week(not counting lockdown) and shoot a deer and pay for it........but where is the fun in that.
 

Matthew.

Member
Or you can bide your time and join a club, get your license, buy a deer calibre rifle, buy loads of kit-not all of it useful, buy insurance, knock on countless doors looking for land, possibly buy a dog, buy a 4X4, buy thermal, get to know the right people, help on the local shoot beating.
I am two years in and still not fully kitted out and only now getting permissions that hold deer, but I have not paid a penny to shoot a deer.
There is a lot more to add to the list but as husky says you could go out next week(not counting lockdown) and shoot a deer and pay for it........but where is the fun in that.
Hi Rab,
That sounds more like it haha, the long game. Just looking to get as much information as I can. So the end game is to know land owners that will let you hunt their lands? What kind of club did you join? Is there any good information/sites/books that have helped you along the way?
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
I think you need to read a lot and gain knowledge, not necessarily initially about stalking deer, but how to obtain a firearms certificate, what rifles you might need, what security arrangements you need to have in place and so forth. Basically there's two main ways to go about it. The first is to join a shooting club (they are usually affiliated to a range or sometimes own the range) and start out by target shooting and becoming a full member in time. This is one way to get a firearms certificate (which allows you to get rifle(s) and ammo to shoot on ranges). The other is to buy guided stalks, where, simply put an experienced stalker takes you out to stalk deer (if you prove yourself competent and safe). Doing this can also lead to a successful application for a certificate. Or, even better, a combination of both.

But to get land to stalk on yourself isn't that easy. Think of yourself as a landowner and some feller you don't know comes and knocks on your door asking to roam over your land with a rifle. Another way to do it is to join a syndicate. Again, simply put, the syndicate pays to have shooting rights over some land and each member of the syndicate pays in towards that. But again, without any qualifications or people that know you, that could be an uphill struggle.

The idea of beating on a local shoot is a good one. You get to know shooting folk and you will likely get some shooting on a beaters day. So maybe think of initially getting a shotgun certificate and buy a shotgun. Easier to do than getting a firearms certificate. There may be the odd farmer that wants some vermin control and that could lead to a bit of stalking. But as you say, it's the long game.

The other way to go about it is to suddenly find out that you are the illegitimate son of the Duke of Buccleuch. Then you can pop along to Drumlanrig Castle, see the Duke and say "Hi Pop, just taking a couple of Purdys out for a walk around the shoot, after which I'll take the Holland and Holland double rifle out and bag a stag. By the way, what's for tea?"
 

rem284

Well-Known Member
You could try and find someone in your area who is into shooting. Just ask his advise and see if it's possible to gain some practical experience through that way. Be careful though, don't go for joe poacher
 

Matthew.

Member
You could try and find someone in your area who is into shooting. Just ask his advise and see if it's possible to gain some practical experience through that way. Be careful though, don't go for joe poacher
Thanks Rem, that's a good shout
 

Matthew.

Member
I think you need to read a lot and gain knowledge, not necessarily initially about stalking deer, but how to obtain a firearms certificate, what rifles you might need, what security arrangements you need to have in place and so forth. Basically there's two main ways to go about it. The first is to join a shooting club (they are usually affiliated to a range or sometimes own the range) and start out by target shooting and becoming a full member in time. This is one way to get a firearms certificate (which allows you to get rifle(s) and ammo to shoot on ranges). The other is to buy guided stalks, where, simply put an experienced stalker takes you out to stalk deer (if you prove yourself competent and safe). Doing this can also lead to a successful application for a certificate. Or, even better, a combination of both.

But to get land to stalk on yourself isn't that easy. Think of yourself as a landowner and some feller you don't know comes and knocks on your door asking to roam over your land with a rifle. Another way to do it is to join a syndicate. Again, simply put, the syndicate pays to have shooting rights over some land and each member of the syndicate pays in towards that. But again, without any qualifications or people that know you, that could be an uphill struggle.

The idea of beating on a local shoot is a good one. You get to know shooting folk and you will likely get some shooting on a beaters day. So maybe think of initially getting a shotgun certificate and buy a shotgun. Easier to do than getting a firearms certificate. There may be the odd farmer that wants some vermin control and that could lead to a bit of stalking. But as you say, it's the long game.

The other way to go about it is to suddenly find out that you are the illegitimate son of the Duke of Buccleuch. Then you can pop along to Drumlanrig Castle, see the Duke and say "Hi Pop, just taking a couple of Purdys out for a walk around the shoot, after which I'll take the Holland and Holland double rifle out and bag a stag. By the way, what's for tea?"
Thanks Pedro. I knew posting here was a good idea! Lots of things to go off and look into. Definitely going to myancestry.com you never know Haha!
 

rab19

Well-Known Member
Hi Rab,
That sounds more like it haha, the long game. Just looking to get as much information as I can. So the end game is to know land owners that will let you hunt their lands? What kind of club did you join? Is there any good information/sites/books that have helped you along the way?
I joined a local shooting club and applied for my fac after nearly 20 years of shotguns and falconry, some people say it helps to have an sgc then apply for your fac after a "satisfactory time" and some say it doesn't matter, it all boils down to your feo/Chief Con.

When you start knocking on doors, I wouldn't ask for deer but start on rats/rabbits/pests. I still ask if they need pest control before I ask about deer, maybe after a visit or two. I still have a rat perm that led to a rabbit perm on another farm after a recommendation, so don't knock anything back of you get it.

You don't need to buy brand new kit either, all and I mean all of mine is second hand, if I could dig out the lead from a carcass and use it again I would as my shooting has to pay for itself. You can get some excellent deals on here, my .17Hmr and scope came from Bish and has paid for itself in rabbit pies a few times over.

Google is your friend/enemy for info and there are some excellent books, there has been a few threads on here about books but I do like Prior's Deer Management, found in a charity shop for a pound, EBay price will make you weep though.
 

Mungo

Well-Known Member
There are four main routes in Scotland (with some odd variations).

1. Pay for a guided stalk. Can be anything from a 3 hour wander round a farm to shoot a roe doe (average cost around £80), to a full day on a Highland estate to shoot a stag (starting costs of around £450, but goes up fast from there). Stalking is often advertised on here, or you can search the web for providers. You will usually have to pay extra to keep meat and any trophy. No additional qualifications required - you don’t even need a gun (which can usually be rented from the guide/estate).

2. Pay to join what’s called a syndicate. This is a group of people (anywhere from 3 to many) who rent the stalking rights to a bit of land. They are usually required to shoot to a cull target set by the landowner, which may involve restrictions on sex and size. In some cases you get to keep meat and trophy, in some cases you get to keep a portion, in some cases you pay extra for those. Prices again vary, from a few hundred for a smaller patch with only roe on it to upper hundreds or more for a larger patch with red/sika son it. Can be quite complicated arrangements, and you need to go in with your eyes open. Often require additional qualifications (like DSC1 and 2, and often a first aid qualification). Places sometimes advertised on here, sometimes can be found via web searches, but most often found via word of mouth and connections.

3. Rent your own ground. Essentially find a landowner who is advertising a ‘stalking lease’, or is open to the idea of being paid to let you shoot their deer. Has the advantage that you can have a written contract and have control over what happens. The disadvantage is that it is usually very expensive (often thousands per year). This is where syndicates often start: someone rents some ground, then sub lets it to recoup the costs.

4. Get your ‘own ground’. This is the holy grail. Somehow (and there is no easy way) find a landowner you can persuade to let you shoot their deer for free. This almost always comes down to personal connections (family friends are a good place to start). You usually start very small - a deer or two every now and then, and cultivate relationships with the landowner and their connections. Over time, if you establish a reputation for being effective, courteous, helpful and willing to do other jobs on the land, word of mouth spreads, and you can start to be asked to help out with other odd bits of ground here and there. It is lovely to have your own ground, but it is extremely insecure: you generally don’t have a contract, and can very quickly lose it if someone else comes along who is a smoother talker or able to pay. You will find other stalkers are very defensive of their ground, and there can be a lot of suspicion if you start asking around.
 

TH4

Well-Known Member
Or you can bide your time and join a club, get your license, buy a deer calibre rifle, buy loads of kit-not all of it useful, buy insurance, knock on countless doors looking for land, possibly buy a dog, buy a 4X4, buy thermal, get to know the right people, help on the local shoot beating.
I am two years in and still not fully kitted out and only now getting permissions that hold deer, but I have not paid a penny to shoot a deer.
There is a lot more to add to the list but as husky says you could go out next week(not counting lockdown) and shoot a deer and pay for it........but where is the fun in that.
The fun in that is that for a novice, a trip out with a professional will teach them a lot more than going out on their own with no idea and might just stop them buying kit they don't need. Time in the field with a good stalker is worth its weight in gold to any novice.
 

rab19

Well-Known Member
Glasses mucky mate, can't even see the lines never mind between them:doh:
Hi bish,
If you haven't guessed already, it's the irony of not having paid to shoot any deer, but have paid for:
Fac
Rifle(s)
Bases
Scopes
Cabinet
Clothing & boots
Roe sack
Thermal
monthly club subs
Etc, Etc........

You know there's more to add but at least the deer are free 😀😀
 

bish789

Well-Known Member
Ah irony. Sorry Rab, I see. Bit slow at the moment, not my usual pin sharp mind.
How are you anyway?
 
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