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Posted By: lagopus Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/26/14 02:00 PM
Well you may never get the chance even if your lottery ticket comes up. There is an on line petition to get it banned. Here is a link to an on line petition to keep it. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66219 Please sign in. It is a big revenue earner with overseas visitors coming to shoot so your input will be helpful. Thanks. Lagopus.....
Lagopus:

The electronic link indicates that you must be a UK citizen or normally reside in the UK to sign the petition.

Rem
I have signed
Posted By: damascus Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/27/14 03:06 PM
It has my signature because I would want others in the future to know the thrill of attending their first Grouse shoot.
Hope driven shooting does not go the way of riding to the hounds in Merry Olde England!...Geo
Posted By: KY Jon Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/28/14 11:04 AM
Why is it that every imported culture must be kept whole and sacred but that of the host country must confirm to enlightened modern standards? For example Fox hunting is cruel and must be stopped but immigrants are barely expected to learn the host countries language. Now driven bird hunting may be lost as well.

Driven shooting may be lost without thought to the real consequence to bird population of both the hunted and non hunted birds. Left to their own devices and without careful management bird population will not remain at current levels but will almost certainly crash to a fraction of their current levels. Haven't we seen enough decline in bird numbers already? Ban hunting and careful management of land and 99.99% of the birds will be lost. Then when depleted numbers are stressed by drought of other natural stress their complete demise is just one major calamity from extinction. And if prey birds are lost so will all those birds of prey who kill and eat them when given half a chance. Foxes, hawks and other birds of prey will decline as well. Typical fix one problem and cause five others that short sighted experts often create with narrow agendas and feel good solutions.
Posted By: wyobirds Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/28/14 05:58 PM
Several years ago I had the pleasure of rough hunting and wood pigeon shooting in Scotland. I wanted to experience the origins of wing shooting and I have many fond memories of the experience.
Posted By: lagopus Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/28/14 06:44 PM
Sorry, I didn't realise that only U.K. citizens could sign. Wrong in my opinion because the sport attracts so many from overseas.

Jim, if you have been pigeon shooting then you have experienced the best type of shooting there is in my opinion. I'd rather have an evening pigeon flighting or a days decoying to a days pheasant shooting any time. Lagopus.....
Posted By: wyobirds Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/29/14 10:42 PM
Yes, pigeon shooting is a lot of fun and we used decoys and had a pile of birds.
Posted By: LGF Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/30/14 12:23 AM
Originally Posted By: KY Jon
And if prey birds are lost so will all those birds of prey who kill and eat them when given half a chance. Foxes, hawks and other birds of prey will decline as well.


KY Jon - not sure I agree with this. Unless grouse moor management has changed since I studied it in the early 1970's (Master's degree at U. Aberdeen), gamekeepers kill every animal which could conceivably eat a grouse or an egg. They were the reason that peregrines, kites and eagles were exterminated in Scotland. Back then, a keeper's gibbet displayed everything from foxes through owls, ravens, stoats, weasels and even moles -an appalling slaughter of predators. Of course, killing raptors was not legal even then, but I heard of keepers being fired on the spot if a harrier (marsh hawk) was seen on a moor.

Can our UK friends tell us if such severe predator control is still the norm?
There has been an ongoing research project on the subject of birds of prey, especially hen harriers, and red grouse at Langholm moor in southern Scotland for a number of years now. The end point of this project is to re-establish sufficient numbers of red grouse so that the moor can once again be shot over and have a resident population of hen harriers on the moor. One of the main features is to provide food for the harriers so that they do not prey on the grouse.

The results have been controversial since so many differing groups have a direct and/or indirect interest.

http://www.langholmproject.com/
http://tinyurl.com/o67dvbm
signed here, best, Mike
Posted By: damascus Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 06/30/14 09:09 AM
LFG Things have changed somewhat here since the 1970s firstly a top class game keeper is a very rear person so estates are extremely reluctant to dispense with his services if he is good at his trade. A lot of the larger estate houses are now converted in to high class hotels and the last thing a hotel guest paying a rather exorbitant room price is to see a row of corpses hanging on fences and gates for the land owner to see he the keeper is doing his job. Also a vast number of people visit Scotland to view the wildlife and hunt with cameras rather than a gun. Also the RSPB have teeth these days so killing flying Raptors carries rather high penalties these days so if a keeper has a day in court for killing birds of prey his working career could come to an end very quickly. There has to be a fine balance between the sports man or woman and the other visitors that pay good money to enjoy the moors and if the truth be known there are far more of them than people who want to shoot the Grouse. I am not saying that predators arenít killed what I am saying is the whole sale slaughter of them has stopped and the old Victorian ideas of how to run a Grouse more for the wealthy few has slipped in to history with Victoria.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=...e=1&theater

This is from last season, I took my W. Thorn hammer gun out for driven grouse. A fantastic experience. No many shoot them with non-rebound hammer guns these days but the old girl was ideal on fast targets in a wind.

I certainly hope any threat to grouse shooting is halted in its tracks.
Posted By: lagopus Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 07/01/14 03:42 PM
LFG, yes all that ended many years ago. First with the Protection of Birds Act 1954 and then the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The last Keeper's gibbet I saw was in the early 70's and contained only legally killed vermin such as foxes, and crows. The thing could be smelt from hundreds of yards away in hot weather. Most Gamekeepers that I know are keen practical conservationists and amature naturalists. Lagopus.....
Posted By: lagopus Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 07/01/14 03:46 PM
LFG, yes all that ended many years ago. First with the Protection of Birds Act 1954 and then the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The last Keeper's gibbet I saw was in the early 70's and contained only legally killed vermin such as foxes, and crows. The thing could be smelt from hundreds of yards away in hot weather. Most Gamekeepers that I know are keen practical conservationists and amature naturalists. Lagopus.....
Posted By: LGF Re: Want to go Grouse Shooting in the U.K. - 07/06/14 02:08 AM
Ian, Damascus and Lagopus - sorry for the slow response, but thanks so much for your information on modern grouse management. It is very encouraging to hear that moors are valued and managed for more than just grouse these days; when I watched the shooting videos linked on anther recent post, I could not imagine that those clouds of birds could be produced without drastic predator control. Glad to hear I was wrong, and that more holistic management is compatible with productive shooting.

I do predator conservation work on ranches in Kenya, and while most of those guys are pretty good conservationists, some of the most influential ones are still wholly immersed in the 19th century gamekeeper mentality - you essentially farm the 'good' animals (ones tourists pay to see) and shoot the 'bad' animals, the ones which might eat the good ones. Lions are doing okay, but hyenas and leopards still catch hell.
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