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Joined: Mar 2003
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Sidelock
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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


Regards - Ian Forrester
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signed here, best, Mike

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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 aren’t 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.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!
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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.

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lagopus Offline OP
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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.....

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lagopus Offline OP
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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.....

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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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