Sunday, 11 May 2008

An Ass

Gorgeous, gorgeous sunny day. Birds singing, oh and hark the first cuckoo and yes the shrill haunting cries of the Buzzard contrasting with the harsh cries of the crows. The gentle delicate colours of the wild flowers and the deer stomach and guts warming quietly in the sun . . . .WHAT . . . .rewind . . . eeeeeoooouuuuwwwww. Yes there it was a pile of deer entrails chucked just off the public path. Last week it was a deer foot. All perfectly legal . . .yup despite the fact that it is distressing not to say berludy unhygienic – it is actually legal. Although I will be having a chat with Sepa on Monday – our environment agency.

I phoned the police – my main concern being that I walk the paths near our home everyday for an hour or two . . . and I have never seen any warning that there is shooting. And I also know that all the paths are well used by locals and tourists.

I was told that under the new Scottish Right to Roam laws I have a perfect right to be there . . . and so do the people with the shooting rights and they don't have to put out warning signs. The guns, the deer stalkers use, can actually shoot a bullet up to six/seven MILES . . .this information from the police themselves and indeed from a policeman whom I know hunts. Deer stalkers are supposed to shoot into a back stop ie if you are shooting in the hills you shoot towards a hill where the bullet will stop if you miss your target . . . but you can't do that in a wood and if that bullet misses and strays how do you even know who, or what you have hit.

Now is it only me who can see the potential disaster lurking in the woods waiting to happen?

I pointed this out to the policeman . . . and he said 'well you needn't worry you would probably be spotted.' Now call me pernickety but that word PROBABLY is not entirely comforting – particularly as a couple of Winters ago HS and I, whilst out walking in exactly the same area I am writing about, had someone discharge a gun very close to us . . . the hunter had no idea we were there until AFTER he had fired the gun . . . We phoned the police. The man in question got his knuckles rapped by the police and told do it again and you will lose your licence . . . horse and stable door springs to mind. But every time our hunter goes out shooting he is at risk of discharging his firearm near a member of the public . . .whether it be in the forest, or out on the hills the problem is the same - you simply cannot see people until they are very close to you.

I was told by the police that the gun laws are very stringent . .

'Er but they still allow people with powerful guns to shoot in areas frequented by the public – with no warning to the public?'

'Yes.'

'Mmmmmm.'


I have been told by the police that if I hear shooting when I am out walking to call them (the police) immediately and they will come up and investigate . . . er yeah could be too late by then . . .but thanks . . .Think I'll just bolt this stable door and then trot off into the sunset on the stable's ex occupant . . . a berludy incompetent Ass. . . think I'll call him Law!

22 comments:

Wooly Works said...

Government, you gotta love it.

Perhaps a sneaky scheme to reduce the surplus population...

bradan said...

We often hear shooting when we are out with our dogs, but rarely actually SEE any one, so are they likely to be able to see us? As for the police, we are lucky if our local station is even manned half the time, never mind some one coming out when you call them.

mountainear said...

It's an horrific thought - and another case of people not thinking about the impact of their activities on others. Keep safe....

Blossomcottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blossomcottage said...

Head of House says she will be straight along to sort the *u**ers out, but please could she spend an hour or two under the container whilst she's there!!
Blossom

CAMILLA said...

Oh that could be sooo dangerous, especially when people may be near target of gun going off, fatal in fact. We often hear guns going off here across the fields quite a lot, not sure though whether they have a license, Rabbit popping all the time too with guns.

I think the LAW has got the wrong end of the stick.!!!

Camilla.xxx

Exmoorjane said...

Oh eeek. Am amazed how laissez-faire they are about it. My ex-neighbour worked for the National Trust and often had to shoot injured deer and said it was a nightmare because of all the safety issues. yes, indeed, the bullets CAN travel miles - hence you're supposed to be able to have a clear view of your shot and what lies behind it! Unbelievable.
Hardly conducive to relaxed walking eh?

DevonLife said...

Oh my lord yet another reason to stay safely indoors with a nice chilled lime cordial and a biscuit

Casdok said...

An ass indeed and very scary.

Fennie said...

I think you should send that to The Scotsman - or similar. You are just so right. I too have had my head almost blown off while walking along a country road at dusk and that was in Essex! Some local desperadoes out lamping after rabbits fired into the hedge unaware in the twilight that there was a road on the other side. I shouted out but the landrover just careered away across the field. You are so right. Shooting is very dangerous. 'I shot the very maximum the game laws would allow, seven hunters and a pure bred Jersey Cow' sang Tom Lehrer, making just the same point as you in satire. Blimey being rained on with spent shot is bad enough. You go for it.

Sorry can't oblige with electric fencing. All sheep however carry Houdini genes and unless they are genetically modified they will continue to get out of anything. No sheep on Alcatraz any longer you may have noticed!

lampworkbeader said...

You are right the rifles they use to cull deer have a very long range. I thought most Estates posted notices to say culling was happening. You could always walk carrying a white hankie on a stick? Sorry I know its not a laughing matter. Do you know who owns the land or organises the shoots? It would be in their interests to post notices to say culling was taking place.

Grit said...

over here from the kitchen table... i have to laugh in trauma at your story... there was a kid at the school i worked in who was routinely late. his reason was always the same. 'i've been helping me dad cut up deer'.

Pondside said...

Pretty scary thought - but it's the same over here. One is advised to wear bright coloured clothing out in the woods!

ChrisH said...

Jeez - I have to say I've heard shots when I've been running and blithely assumed that I was probably safe.... now I will be more careful!!!

Milla said...

very scary - 6 or 7 MILES! well, I had no idea. Wear bright orange or something is my only suggestion.

KittyB said...

Absolutely right - when I went clay pigeon shooting the nice lady told me about rifle shooting and just how far the bullets/ammo went if you missed. Scary. Wear that bright yellow bullet-proof coat at all times and sing loudly!

HER ON THE HILL said...

Erm, I'm having second thoughts about having a walk in the bluebell wood this afternoon... Crikey, DUCK!!

Enjoyed your previous post v much too WW - have popped a comment on it. And thank you for making me laugh with your comment on mine earlier - love the idea of the miners going all girlie about Spring!! Hadn't thought of it like that!

Himalayan Blue said...

Yes, yes, wear bright colours and sing loudly .... or you could buy a gun (with blanks, not proper bullets you understand) and fire back and scare them too!

LittleBrownDog said...

Scary stuff, Westerwitch. And I hate the idea of people stalking a beautiful animal like the deer - do they not have anything more useful to do? Love Himalayan Blue's idea about the gun with blanks - the police could hardly object to that, could they? Yes, the law is indeed an ass.

MarmiteToasty said...

Wow, thats wellabit scarey.... I honestly didnt know that shooters can just shot willy nilly where the public are...... wear bright green and have one of those kids shiny windmills that flash and makes a noise sticking out of your hat lol

x

DJ Kirkby said...

That is just crazy! Scary and crazy. People are allowed to hunt year round over here? Anywhere they wish? Glad, for once, that I live in the city!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Westerwitch, I can completely understand. I dread the hunting season here in France. Anything with four legs and a heartbeat is fair game and while you need a licence, nowhere does it say that walking around with your gun at the ready after a long, wine fuelled lunch may not be entirely sensible. We live in a reserve - no hunting for 7 years - but thanks to our stupid English neighbours complaining about wild boar getting into their vegetable patch, the prefecture allowed open hunting which meant that anyone with a license from anywhere in France could descend on our little lane with their 4 wheel drives and their rifles and shotguns, ride their quad bikes over our land, let their dogs chase our horses and make us virtual prisoners in our homes during the hunts. The only rule is that they are not allowed to fire towards a house from a distance of less than 100 metres. Sometimes it felt like Iraq on a bad day. Love your blog.