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About Gimlet

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    Senior Member

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  • Location:
    County Durham
  • Interests
    Motorcycles, shooting and hedges
  • Occupation
    Commercial hedge layer
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  1. You could always do it the old fashioned way... https://www.amusingplanet.com/2020/08/medieval-rabbit-warrens.html
  2. You won't be able to hang on to a ferret that's free range. It'll wander off, get lost and disappear. They will eat eggs, most certainly chicks and will have a go at a chicken as well if they're hungry. Mine would turn their nose up at any bird meat, but only because they were used to a diet of rabbit and got fussy. If they're hungry they'll eat anything. I used to give mine the odd egg in the spring when they would form part of their natural diet. They can struggle to get into a chicken's egg but they know what it is and what to do with it. Bird life is probably most at risk from a feral ferret. They're not skilled climbers like martens but they'll have a go and will definitely eat small bird's eggs and chicks if they can reach them. They will kill rats and mice as well, but also desirable rodents like dormice. A feral ferret is indiscriminate and quite destructive and will probably do more harm than good. They will kill rats and will instinctively go after them but the rat will fight back and there's a good chance of the ferret getting infected from a rat bite or catching some disease. It's not a good idea to let ferrets hunt rats. You're better off sticking to rabbiting with the ferrets and getting a Jack Russel for rats.
  3. Ferret bites (proper to the bone ones) are clean, don't hurt and don't get infected. In future, fight ferrets. Cats are a non-starter. High speed lead poisoning is the only realistic tactic. You have not been charged for this advice.
  4. It won't. But it will certainly lead to the deaths of some mothers.
  5. Back on topic, in the latest piece of US lunacy, the pro-lifers have won their case and abortion is to be banned in some states. This will mean those with money will travel for terminations, whether it's to legal states within the US, or abroad, while the poor will be reduced to illegal back-street abortions. It will take society back 100 years. Now, pro-lifers are talking about getting all forms of contraception banned as well. Just what the world needs, a population explosion driven by religious fanaticism. As if the Catholic church hasn't done enough damage there on its own.
  6. An over-excited or cack-handed fool with an oxy cutting set can't accidentally kill someone a mile away with it. I friend of mine had his hat shot off by a negligently discharged .308 round loosed off by an idiot novice who he had taken his eye off for a split second. I have had a loaded rifle pointed at me negligently by a novice guest who failed after repeated warnings to observe safe gun drill (his stalking trip ended at that point but he still had to pay the bill). The UK has 700 people per square mile nationally, and in England it's 1000 per square mile. That a lot more unintended targets than you've got in Norway. Also if you think the dangers of firearms are perceived rather than real, go and take a look on Youtube at what has happened to many other people who thought the same. Plus, for better or worse, firearms are heavily legislated in the UK. I want to keep using mine. I don't want to lose them because of some moron. It's in my interests to talk up the dangers and reduce the chances of getting tarred by someone else's brush.
  7. The legislation doesn't give specific reasons. They are likely to be various, accrued over a long period of time. It has always been illegal to hunt game at night, largely to make life difficult for poachers. But deer are not legally classed as game. They're not vermin either (which can be hunted at night), they're just wildlife. But historically, discouraging poaching will have a lot to do with it. If no one is allowed to hunt them at night, that makes it a lot easier to identify night time poaching. It's also much harder to identify your desired target animal at night - you don't shoot deer indiscriminately. There are different close season for the two sexes and there are specific animals you will want to cull and ones which you will want to spare. It's harder to make that call in the dark. (With vermin, there are no close seasons and you don't cherry pick target animals. It's usually zero tolerance. That isn't necessarily the best approach with foxes, but that's a whole other thread). Also, for most of the year, native British deer tend to be herd or at least family group animals. They will move around at night in groups and shooting in the dark increases the risk of causing unintentional injury or death to a non-target animal. That's a moot point really, since whatever you're shooting, whether it's in daylight or darkness, you should never take the shot unless you are 100% sure of where the bullet will come to rest if you miss or if it passes clean through the quarry and travels on. It is also harder to track a wounded animal at night unless you have the necessary skills and a suitably trained dog (specific provision for night time tracking is written into the night shooting licensing legislation). There is also a widely held view that deer are very much more stressed when hunted at night. They venture out into the open after dark because they feel safer and if harassed at night they can be driven to panic and injury in the darkness. All the above combined make night shooting undesirable as a widespread practice.
  8. I'd be wary of spraying glyphosate into a hedge bottom at this time of year. It's alright spot spraying or wiping but blanket coverage risks getting into the soil and the hedge plants will suck it up as they're voraciously feeding and drawing up water right now, even more so if they are in leaf and transpiring, which stimulates suction at the roots. You can get away with it in winter, to kill off brambles etc, even if the ground is wet because the hedge is dormant, there's no transpiration and nothing in the soil will be taken up by the plant. I have found you can swamp ground elder and stop it's advance, if it's in a garden, simply by mowing or strimming up to the base of the hedge and giving the grass a chance to compete with it. If it's in a field, let livestock eat it but I wouldn't chase it into the hedge and try and eliminate it. And the problem with smothering or spraying, is you kill off desirable hedge bottom flora as well and drastically reduce bio-diversity. Containment, or even tolerance, is a better option.
  9. Well, they have. As has been stated, it remains illegal to shoot deer (and only deer - night shooting of vermin, regardless of the type of sight deployed has always been permitted) later than one hour after sunset, or earlier than one hour before sunrise, without an A16 permit. Night vision equipment of itself is neither good nor bad. It is a boon or an abuse depending on who's using it and why.
  10. Apart from the dolescum bit, I'm inclined to agree. I've said more than once on the other hunting thread, and this one, that BDS and BASC are in great part responsible for the over-supply of stalkers without ground - or if we're going to be honest, any good reason to possess - queuing up to to join the scrum for ever more expensive scraps of land where the principles of sustainable population control and any possibility of a coordinated management strategy have gone out of the window. If only they were dolescum who were making it up as they go along (as in thicko chavs rather than well organised and professional system-riggers - but I think I know what you mean now) it would be a lot easier to loosen their grip and press the reset button. Unfortunately the good guys, that is, the principled and highly knowledgeable amateurs, the conscientious landowners and estate managers and the genuine professional deer managers (as distinct from stalking day marketeers and sub-letters) are cannon fodder for the political and media establishment, who only relate to cliques and bodies, because that's the world they live in themselves.
  11. I don't think that's quite true. DSC1 instructors and assessors have to offer their course under the auspices of an approved body, like the BDS or BASC. It is those bodies that write the certificates, not the instructors, who will need have to hold DSC2 themselves and well known to their approved body before they can run a course. Some are far better than others, it is true, but they won't be dolescum charlatans.
  12. If you've never shot a cartridge rifle, you definitely need to be taken under someone's wing, at the very least to learn gun drill. It's a whole other level of risk from airguns and shotguns and one mistake can be catastrophic. Shotgun shot and airgun pellets travel 300 - 500 yards before all their energy is expended and they fall out of the sky like raindrops. A bullet from a deer-legal cartridge could travel 5000 yards and could still be lethal when it hits the ground. No FEO is likely to grant an FAC for any kind of rifle for someone who has never shot one before unless it's for exclusive club use. You need to go out shooting with someone experienced and it would be a good idea to do a firearms handling training course. But even then, you're highly likely to get a mentoring restriction for your first five years, meaning you can only shoot under the supervision of an approved individual. Mentoring restrictions are less common than they once were but AFAIK they are still in the guidelines. If you've had a shotgun certificate before that will help you greatly because at least you will have a clean track record with firearms licensing. If you've been a long term member of a clay shooting club or game shoot,m that will help too. At least you will be a trusted person, if not one experienced with rifles. If you've never had any kind of firearm license before, you definitely won't get a deer rifle at the first attempt. You need to think about getting experience and a track record. That might start with training and paid stalks if you don't know anyone to mentor you.
  13. I've known some FEOs demand DSC1 as a precondition to granting a first ticket. Their reasoning is, if you're going to be shooting deer, you need DSC1 and your hunter number to be able to examine the animal, tag it and put it into the human food chain. So if you haven't got it, you can't sell the carcasses therefore how can you have "good reason to possess". Though of course, you can still shoot deer for your own consumption without DSC1 and I'm pretty sure having DSC1 isn't in the guidelines. But some FEOs have been known to try and use it to refuse grants.
  14. In exceptional circumstances you can apply to Natural England for a strictly time-limited A16 license to shoot deer at night. They can be granted only where deer pose a serious health and safety risk, are threatening natural heritage or causing catastrophic crop or forestry damage. You have to provide evidence of need and proof that no other means of control has been effective. And then you must submit a full report of deer activity and your actions (even if you haven't taken any) two weeks from the date of issue of the permit using an LR16 report form. This applies in England and Wales. I assume there is equivalent dispensation available in Scotland and Northern Ireland and that the Scottish government has power over this legislation. Essentially, it would only need a change to the existing law to make night shooting permits general or greatly expand their scope. If you have a massive majority or completely monopolise your national Parliament, that is only a formality. Notwithstanding how ecologically illiterate the green movement is, I'm baffled how the SNP get their politically motivated war against the very existence of native Scottish deer past their Green party coalition partners.
  15. There's a lot of truth in that. If you don't eat meat in every meal or even every day, you can get away with purely wild meat without feeling you're missing anything. But if you like a pan-fried slab of something, you will miss the fat. At the very least, you need to fry in butter and beef dripping. My favourite venison is Sika because they tend to carry a bit of yellow beef-like fat. You can't eat it because it goes very tough but it does moisten the meat and impart flavour. Roe is very lean. I've noticed up in Durham where I am now, the rabbits on the ground I've got, though in good heath are on the scrawny side. Every one I've shot has been pretty stringy and none have any fat around the kidneys. The ones I used to shoot in Dorset were full of fat. I don't know why that should be. The grass up here is lush enough. Perhaps the Dorset rabbits were getting fat on cereal crops. Not many of those round here. As 5thelement says, swap someone a deer for a pig carcass I guess.


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