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?'
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!