Thursday, 6 April 2017




What do you see when you look at the United Kingdom with regard to hunting?  Do you see strict gun laws, red tape and an anti hunting population?  Its not difficult to see why some people may hold these views, the world is a small place today, and media coverage reaches almost every corner of it.  We have had some bad press in the UK with regard to hunting, but all is not what it seems.  For the resident and visiting sportsman there is a vast amount of some of the best hunting to be had anywhere in the world.  There is a huge diversity of sport to suit all preferences and pockets.  It doesn’t matter if your chosen quarry species are pheasants, grouse, wild fowl or deer there is something for every one.  A browse through the shooting magazines shows even more diversity, with days that can be purchased shooting pigeons, rabbits and other vermin, and not just for shotguns and rifles but air rifles.
I have hunted the length and breath of the UK and I can honestly say that the hospitality I have been given has been nothing short of fantastic.  We in the UK rather under estimate what we have here at our fingertips, we have a long tradition of hunting, and the infer structure that goes with it has been around for years and is part of our history.  This well maintained order is one of the reasons that hunting in the UK is virtually self-regulated.  The various clubs and organisations are there, to give advice and support when required, and form a vast fountain of knowledge, that they are more than willing to pass on.

We tend to look at places like America and think that it’s a huntin, fishin and shootin Mecca, and that American sports men and women are out every weekend bagging them selves a buck, not true, it would be true to say that they do have vast tracks of wilderness with a great variety of large game animals, but their seasons are short, in some cases as short as two days!  They can extend their seasons, but only if they are prepared to use a variety of hunting methods like archery or black powder.
UK’s seasons on the other hand are long, but with no detriment to the species involved, as a stalker with a six-month roebuck season to look forward to, I don’t feel pressured to be out on the first day, but if the season were only a few days long I’d be out there together with every other stalker.  That sort of hunting on mass, would lead to greater pressure on the animals and the environment, with the likely hood of serious accidents being increased, due to the amount of people on the ground at the same time.  The longer season on the other hand, means that hunting pressure is kept to a minimum, and deer managers and stalkers have the time to look their deer over, and formulate a proper culling program.

European and Scandinavian stalkers have a long tradition of hunting, and also enjoy long seasons, but at an individual level they do not enjoy the same freedom as stalkers here in the UK. 

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