Rattled? Much?

Have a read of Letter of the Month in the latest edition of Shooting Gazette (‘Driven shooting’s finest journal‘):

He wants the British game-shooting industry to emulate the NRA, one of the most ridiculed and dangerous bastions of far-right lunatics on the planet? And this is the star letter?!

Perhaps those Dubarrys should be swapped for a pair of jack boots.

24 Responses to “Rattled? Much?”

  1. January 10, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Did anyone suggest to him that the NRA are on the verge of bankruptcy, to say nothing of the suggestion that their funding of US politicians (predominantly Republicans) is thought to have been subsidised by foreign donations – the presidential election being a case in point. That and the fact that in the past the NRA have rated and financially supported politicians against gun control, A+ being the top rated and most likely to have higher NRA donations to campaign funding. Their funding and sources of funding is now under investigation – that’s likely to have been more than a contributory factor in their vastly reduced contributions to politicians in the recent mid-terms.

  2. 2 Les Wallace
    January 10, 2019 at 3:50 am

    This reminds me of the star, letter of the week, that appeared in Angler’s Mail in the summer of 1996. The writer suggested an excellent way of dealing with the growing ecological crisis caused by the spreading American signal crayfish would be…….by introducing the American small mouth bass to feed on it. He won a Ryobi reel for that. The jack boot reference is spot on RPUK, the NRA is vile – it’s the badness in the recreational killing fraternity coming to a head in a pus filled boil. They’ve stooped to calling students who’ve survived school shootings and called for tighter controls on gun ownership ‘drama queens’ and ‘attention seeking’. Does killing for fun draw the very worst people to it or does it make people bad? From what goes on on social media all too clear we have NRA types here, just not the NRA. Maybe as the screw keeps getting turned and they become increasingly desperate they’ll show more of their true selves and the thin veneer of respectability they still have for some will dissolve.

  3. January 10, 2019 at 7:47 am

    That is indeed a terrifying thought. I already see the NFU in a similar position vis-a-vis the whole matter of badger culling and other matters. It is hard to stand up against them on this as they lobby hard for their position and have te wherwithall to do so. The NRA has completely shut down any conversation about gun control in the USA. To want the British game-shooting industry, and that is a very telling way of talking about it, to act in a similar fashion – bullying and theatening does not bode well.

  4. January 10, 2019 at 7:52 am

    I think those who oppose the actions of the ‘fraction of a handful’, the ‘fraction of 1%’ ( 1% is 50) of the ‘5000 gamekeepers in the UK’ ‘who have let us all down’ have also ‘got a responsibility to act’. We are doing so, and reasonably effectively, but not yet successfully.
    Surely those in the ‘grouse shooting industry’ and other related sports have a responsibility to get rid of the fraction of 50 gamekeepers giving them a bad name?
    Within the industry identifying and removing or changing the behaviour of the fraction of 50 individuals cannot be much of a task. I suggest that it would be easier than taking to social media and defending the indefensible.
    Or perhaps the problem does not only lie with the fraction of 50 individuals?
    Surely not?
    Maybe the solution for them is to make the present illegal actions legal? Oh yes, they are well on the way with that one, and as RPUK suggests, perhaps some of those in charge of deciding what is illegal are quite liable to agree to that.

  5. 5 Fight for Fairness
    January 10, 2019 at 8:24 am

    The article suggests the industry has been let down by the 1% of ganekeepers whi behave illegally. If 1% of the population were involved in any other crime there would be a uproar. Given every chance to remove offenders from their organisations, in many cases the grouse shooting industry has failed to act. Given that it is very difficult to find the evidence to prosecute offenders in this kind of crime, I beleieve that there are two options; firstly to remove the offence and make raptor killing legal under licence or, and of course the option I favour, to licence shooting estates such that penalties can be imposed if there is a lower threshold of proof than that required for prosecution, such as finding illegal poisons and ending stink pits ad the destruction of mountain hares and the burning of heather. If this makes grouse shooting uneconomic, so be it. There are far better and oroductive uses of the moorland than the money from their sport.

  6. 6 Richard Would
    January 10, 2019 at 9:35 am

    1% of gamekeepers, my arse, more like 75%…

  7. 7 Paul Fisher
    January 10, 2019 at 9:44 am

    This may have been written by a shoe repairer. A load of cobblers.

  8. 8 Paul V Irving
    January 10, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Even in None grouse shooting the proportion of Keepers committing wildlife crimes must be more than 1%. however if we look at the travesty that is modern grouse shooting, especially the successful breeding of Hen Harriers and Peregrines on grouse moors not the paltry criminals caught we find there are essentially none. This indicates that most if not all grouse keepers are almost certainly at it! ” highlight the fantastic work gamekeepers do” is this numbwit for real all keepers do for most of the time is kill stuff and fill our countryside full of biodiversity damaging bloody pheasants!

  9. 9 workshy333
    January 10, 2019 at 10:12 am

    This chap worried that they may go the same way as the hunting crowd. If only…to see that video of the fox that had been kicked into the river by the huntsman and picked up by the sabber, dead with its entrails hanging out. At what stage was it lucky enough to die I wonder. We should apply for licenses to shoot too. Perhaps a different quarry., but somewhat more destructive and dangerous.

  10. 10 Mairi L
    January 10, 2019 at 10:13 am

    2 points initially spring to mind. Re the ban on NRW land in Wales he writes ‘ Despite hundreds of supporting review papers….’ would he like to list all the references to them? He says he doubts they’ll ever have their own hero. I wonder why not? Who can name a decent, respected ‘celebrity’ who would publicly support the killing of any wild animal for fun?

  11. 15 Douglas Malpus
    January 10, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Interesting to read the bias of a shooter and the codswallop spouted. I too find it difficult to believe the bad apples amount to only 1%. Alarming though, is his comment that the criminal element are “heroes”, at least that is how I read it.

    Is this another shot in the already perforated foot?

    We have over our recent history given too much power to the wealthy to allow them to flaunt the laws of this land.

    In my other activities I come across the nasty element from the angling industry. I and my friends are frequently told that it is illegal to canoe on rivers in England and Wales. They shout, on the grounds that they own the rivers. We’ve even encountered barbed wire strung across rivers at neck height.

    Angling Trust keep on trying to raise the issue and frequently threaten court action, asserting that rivers do not have a Public Right of Navigation. They have never declared the laws that they say support their claim. But we have documentary evidence, some of it ancient, that rivers have been used for navigation.

    AT even wind up the everyday anglers to enforce their dictate, some do with words not all polite, some involve violence and threats.

    In addition there is the persecution element against wild life, their targets include cormorant, goosander and otter. Even seals that accidentally venture into freshwater, the AT wanted a licence to shoot one on the R. Severn, under premise that it was eating “ALL THEIR FISH!”.

    • 16 crypticmirror
      January 10, 2019 at 3:02 pm

      There is a particular angling trust in West Central Scotland too, that doesn’t like either kayakers or wildlife too, always pushing the idea that river wildlife is taking too many of “their” fish and that beavers would be unhealthy for the rivers in its region. That these angling trusts frequently masquerade as environmental organisations ought to be a national bloody scandal. Pushing the idea that there are too many seals and porpoises in the area too.

      • 17 Les Wallace
        January 10, 2019 at 4:48 pm

        The angling lobby needs attention definitely. The Predation Action Group are truly lamentable, the only thing they have going for them is their bottomless reservoir of hate for anything that might eat any of their fish. I’m sure any half savvy politician would realise they are actually a joke, but if you have a bunch like them continually ear bashing you then you know you’d have to support them somehow as they aren’t going to go away. I’m realising how even an appalling outfit like theirs can gain significant political traction, it’s down to how loud you are. The intensification we’re seeing with grouse shooting is unfortunately the standard in field sports these days, down to stocked, bloated, domesticated varieties of non native carp that otters wouldn’t be much of a predator if they didn’t go for. It’s bearing less and less resemblance to nature and more and more like immediate gratification down at the shopping centre. Predators will never be welcome. The conservation NGOs need to deal with this pronto.

      • 18 Douglas Malpus
        January 10, 2019 at 5:27 pm

        The Scottish laws on access to the countryside including waters, are much more user friendly. There are no hidden or obscure laws or even fictitious ones. Just simply open access to all providing you respect that privilege.

        I did see an angling report about the beavers, from someone with little brain, suggesting that beavers need culling because they are ‘eating our fish’. When I finished laughing, I then passed on to other things and forgot where I saw it. But of course this is what we are up against along with backward ideas from bygone ages.


    • January 11, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      “Alarming though, is his comment that the criminal element are “heroes”, at least that is how I read it.”

      I think to be fair his use of the word “heroes” in inverted commas at that point was intended to be ironic. He begins by making the point that those gamekeepers who commit wildlife crime are giving shooting a bad name. Well, he’s not wrong in that. Unfortunately, he diagnoses the wrong solution – rather than the shooting fraternity driving the bad apples from their midst he suggests instead that they should go on the attack against the industry’s critics. They have, of course, been doing that already for years so it is a bit of a puzzle as to why his missive should be singled out as star letter – presumably the rest of their mail bag is pretty mediocre!

  12. 20 Pheasant beater
    January 10, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Only 1% of gamekeepers committing crimes, okay maybe if I’m being very generous. However, 99% of grouse moor game keepers, are most definitely at it.

  13. January 10, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I can’t disagree with anything that has been said so far….but I also noted the other headline on the cover.

    Hollow gestures. The shooting resolutions that are impossible to keep.

    Was this a confessional piece?

    • January 10, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      Not quite, Circus maxima!

      Here are the ten New Year’s Resolutions discussed:

      1. Stop shooting pal’s birds.
      2. Don’t party the night before a shoot day.
      3. Get back into competitive fitasc sporting.
      4. Look the other way when a greedy gun pushes up the bag by shooting low birds on a small let day.
      5. Don’t buy any more cartridges….(until I’ve used up all the odds and sods).
      6. Put off buying a gundog puppy.
      7. Turn a deaf ear to people who can’t keep quiet at the peg, or stay of their mobile phone.
      8. Stick to one shotgun.
      9. Be more adventurous when cooking game and wildfowl.
      10. Find a fair maiden to share days with gun, dog and rod.

      Of far more interest were some of the other reader’s letters. We’ll be coming back to those shortly.

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