Scottish gamekeeper fined for leaving loaded gun ‘on hillside’

A Scottish gamekeeper has been fined for abandoning a loaded gun that was found by two hill walkers.

Shaun Wilson, 29, had left his weapon ‘on the hillside above the village of Kippen’ , Stirlingshire, on 6 August 2015. He was fined £675 under the Firearms Act (see BBC news article here).

That description, ‘on a hillside above the village of Kippen’ is interesting. The main ‘hills’ around there are the grouse moors of Burnfoot Estate. That name might ring a bell with some of you. Burnfoot Estate is currently subject to a three-year General Licence Restriction Order, applied by SNH due to “some issues associated with poisoning birds of prey, birds of prey being found poisoned in that location, and illegal use of traps” (see here).

Kippen map

The name Shaun Wilson might also ring a bell. There was a gamekeeper of that name who, two years ago (then aged 27) was investigated for posting a video of himself on Facebook slitting a deer’s throat and drinking its blood (see here). Obviously just another of those strange coincidences.

16 Responses to “Scottish gamekeeper fined for leaving loaded gun ‘on hillside’”

  1. 1 against feudalism
    May 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Talk about gun licences coming with ‘lucky bags’

    Why was his licence not revoked ?

  2. 3 crypticmirror
    May 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Leaving a loaded gun lying around is the kind of gross negligence that has, in America, led to children being killed, it ought to be a jailable offence even on the first offence. A slap on the wrist fine like that is a total joke. Sickeningly light sentencing. What judge was it that let him off so lightly, and which shooting fraternity does he belong to? Rank corruption and nothing else.

  3. 4 Stewart Love
    May 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Yes another Guardian of the countryside doing a skilled job. Of course he knew where he had left it so it was perfectly safe. In any other “profession” ????? he would have been sacked immediately for gross misconduct and £675 is hardly a fortune but we don’t want the estate to be out to much money when they pay the fine for him.

  4. 5 Chris Roberts
    May 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Another ‘guardian of our countryside’ with no thought or regard to human safety. Leaving out loaded guns or leaving out banned poisons – its all the same to gamekeepers.

  5. 6 JW4926
    May 27, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    This may have been mentioned elsewhere but is he (still) a member of the SGA and if so, what action will they be taking (if any) d’you suppose …….. ?

  6. 7 nirofo
    May 27, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I’m glad this stalwart of society, this guardian of the countryside thought the best way to guard it is to leave his loaded gun behind on the hill for anybody to find, at least the so-called protected wildlife could feel safe for a while. Not so the public, if another idiot with a liking for guns had found it and decided to become a cowboy like a few of the nutters in the USA, who knows what could have happened. What I can’t understand is why the police didn’t revoke his gun licence immediately.

  7. 8 Les Wallace
    May 27, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    This brought back an old memory. In 1989 I was fishing on the banks of the river Ure in Yorkshire when out of nowhere came a mink hunt. The wildlife on the river scattered to all points of the compass due to the horrendous chaos caused by the hounds (making me think that this would drive away any otters which would probably do a far better job of getting rid of mink) and my ‘quiet and solitude’ was futher compromised a few minutes later when a mink that had been treed about 40 ft downstream of me was blasted out of it with a rifle shot. The hunt moved on, but close on their heels was a pack of hunt sabs – prompting me to think ‘oh shite I’m an angler’ and keep my head down – but apart from one or two muttered comments they left me alone and one or two actually gave me a wee smile and asked how I was doing, yes those vicious hunt sabs at it again! Not so safe was the mink hunt, in the process of treeing a mink upstream of me they realised they had left the rifle at the first tree – a hunt member ran back past me, in waders, giving me an embarassed smile saying they’d forgotten the rifle ha, ha. This was quite a busy riverbank and anybody could have just strolled along and helped themselves to a serious piece of killing kit. How much does ‘legitimate’ shooting contribute to a culture where neds think its OK to go out with an air rifle and take pot shots at anything they fancy? How much does the pool of firearms in the countryside help supply gangsters above and beyond the ones discussed on this page? The SGA were against licensing for air rifles FFS, can see why!

    • 9 Dave Griffiths
      May 30, 2016 at 7:49 am

      But driving a metal hook into the mouth of a fish, dragging it round for a while and then removing it from its environment to one where it cannot breath whilst you either grin and take photos or bash its head in is ok?

  8. 10 crypticmirror
    May 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Remember folks if you are mad at this you can always Write to your MP or MSP and ask them to look into such lenient sentencing. The more email and letters they get, the more pressure there is to actually do something. Lets keep the pressure on them. And you can always mention the ban driven grouse petition and ask them to sign too.

    It only takes a couple of minutes to bash out a quick letter.

  9. 11 heclasu
    May 27, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Question: Was this weapon left out on the moor whilst the General Licence Restriction Order was in place?

  10. 15 Tony Warburton MBE
    May 28, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Did they give him his gun back?

  11. 16 nirofo
    May 31, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Interesting point, was the gun a rifle or a shotgun, it would make a difference as to the type of licence he held for it. While both guns are lethal in their own wright, a rifle could have far more severe consequences if in the wrong hands, to leave a loaded rifle lying around for anyone to find would probably be looked on as a more serious offence.

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