Thursday, 6 April 2017




The European and Scandinavian method of hunting tends to be through hunting clubs, the club will either own or lease the ground and set a cull figure.  This method means that hunts are very well organised, and when driven hunts are employed for wild boar and deer they need to be.  These methods have been used for generations, and are carried out with military precision.
As long as everybody sticks to his or her instructions it is a safe and productive method of hunting.   It is not unusual after the hunt for the meat to be divided between the members of the club, in this way even if you were not one of the lucky hunters, you will still get a share of the spoils.  Individual hunting is of course possible, and the standard of the game in trophy terms can be very high, but so to are the prices, when compared to the UK.

Another restriction, although some would argue it’s a good thing, is the European tendency toward a formal test for hunters, they have to pass a practical and written examination, before being allowed to hunt, this exam has to be retaken periodically to maintain the individuals hunting licence.  With out such a licence they would be breaking the law.  Compare this to our system, where we have no formal test set by the government or any body else; we do however have the deer-stalking certificates level one and two, which are with out doubt a step in the right direction. Although they are a voluntary undertaking it does show, that we as sports men and women, realise that we need to be seen to be actively self-regulated, and in so doing, we are supplying education to improve awareness and professionalism.  Thus we do not need rules thrust upon us by a largely uninformed and anti hunting government.

That said though the bulk of the public who live in areas where field sports take place are not anti’s, if fact they are very much in favour, because they can see the benefits.  In the remote areas of Scotland, stalking, bird shooting and fishing are major forms of income for estates and individuals alike.  Then there are the hoteliers, pubs and restaurants that all rely on the visiting sports mans pound, the knock on effect is that small communities have a sustainable income that keeps people in an area that would otherwise be devoid of methods of making a living.  It is only through the continuation of field sports, that the countryside will remain as we and the rest of the general public know and love it.

Shooting and fishing here in the UK is a multi million pound industry, it is the quality of our natural resources that draws both national and international sports men and women into our countryside.  For individuals who’s bank balances look more like international telephone numbers, there is world-class sport to be had.  The UK has salmon fishing on the most prestigious beats, it has stalking on estates that produce some of the world’s largest trophy deer, and its game bird shooting is second to none.  The spin off from this, is sport that is within the price range of ordinary people, salmon fishing can be purchased for as little as £10 a day, stalking can be purchased for around £40 a session and game birds can be hunted on walked up days for very reasonable prices.  Add to this the abundance of sport that a lot of us enjoy for free, many farmers are only too happy to see their rabbit and pigeon populations reduced by responsible hunters.

So the next time you think that the grass is greener elsewhere, take a moment to reflect on what we have here, and I’m sure you will find a wealth of exciting sport that will compete with anything other countries have to offer.  We have a beautiful country that still has some truly wild places; we have an abundance of game that has not been over exploited, and we have a great future to look forward to.  So lets enjoy what we have, and be moderate, so future generations can enjoy the same levels of quantity and quality of sport that we have today.         

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