Scotland arms grouse

red grouse by jim woodWith thanks to @_Firebirding, the following piece appears in today’s Daily Mash:

Scotland arms grouse

THE SNP is to provide all grouse with sidearms and training before the start of shooting season.

More than half a million grouse around the Highlands will be given specially adapted automatic handguns and a crash course in target shooting in the month-and-a-half before the Glorious Twelfth.

Selected grouse will also be given flags bearing the image of their venerated leader, the Famous Grouse, with which they can claim territory if they manage to beat their foe.

Gamekeeper Bill McKay said: “Grouse are very, very stupid, prone to panicking and flapping around wildly and should ordinarily never be given guns.

“On the other hand, they’re facing off against wealthy idiots intoxicated on single malt and the correct wearing of tweed.

“The blood of man and grouse will soak the heather together, but it’s anyone’s guess who will win.”

If the scheme is a success, the Scottish Assembly plans to provide salmon with auto-targeting harpoon guns.

Photograph by Jim Wood

19 thoughts on “Scotland arms grouse”

  1. Maybe they should team up with the harriers and set up machine gun nests in the butts, a speciel forces team made up of Goshawks and peregrines could snipe at them from the tops of the burnt off heather braes.

    1. If you’ve followed this blog from the start you’d see that grouse shooting and Raptors don’t mix very well together, in fact I’ll rephrase that, grouse shooting and Raptors don’t mix at all because there are very few or no Raptors where there are grouse shooters !!!

  2. I have traveled around a lot looking at estates and none shooting estates and see raptors on shooting estates and waders small song birds ect. To be fair I was on a RSPB reserve not to long back and there was less diversity of birds than on shoot managed ground! I think times have changed and maybe some peoples opinions need to do so along with? Surely it would be better to work along shooting estates to educate and build bonds with them. Instead off pushing them away.

    1. There are still too many crimes against raptors, while other predators are killed willy nilly. The shooting estates need to re-address their thoughts on conservation and come out of the Victorian era.

      The prejudice and naivety of the folks that “manage” the estates is constantly ingrained into each new generation of gamekeepers. They doff their caps and continue their dirty work to please the BOSS!

      Attitudes need to change!

  3. if you name the RSPB reserve I’m sure we can get a checklist of all the species seen recently on the reserve and then compare it to all the birds you would expect to see on a grouse moor, Red Grouse, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Curlew, Redshank, Whinchat and Wheatear. have I missed any. same old story why dont you try to educate the ignorant amongst the shooting fraternity, look at the convictions of gamekeepers reported on this site that backs this comment, it isn’t our opinions that need changing

  4. You have missed a lot to many to mention infact. Weadow pipits merlin peregrine plover dunlin woodcock snipe short eared owl dipper ring ouzel. Are just some of the species seen on my last outing.
    It looks to me that if some one has a different opinion to the masses of this blog then you don’t like it. Even if it’s some one that’s into all birds. Over my time I have seen good and bad towards the ecology of grouse moors and shooting estates but times ARE moving forward (maybe not as fast as you would like)
    If estates can change and adapt then then I think it’s time that you did to! You go on saying that you carnt educate the ignorant then maybe it’s time to look at your selfs because you are looking verry narrow minded and can not accept things are moving forward. Hopefully you will see the light and help work with estates for a better life in all aspects of he countryside and it’s birds and wildlife. Looking at this blog tho I thing you have a long way to go and it’s upsetting. There is estates and there is us and neither are going to disappear over night or any time soon so accept the fact and move forward on that instead of wasting time on things that don’t work

    1. Could you name the RSPB reserve please? Did you consider giving them the benefit of your experience on how they could improve their reserve?

    2. I’ve already posed the question (which was conveniently ignored), as have others (also conveniently ignored), so please name the RSPB reserve, and only then can we make any judgement. Please remember that it was yourself that made the sweeping statement that shoot managed ground has a greater diversity than on this RSPB reserve.

      With Merlin’s assistance, you have managed to account for an amazing total of sixteen species, some of which are questionable. I’ll allow you a chance to add a few more species to your fabled list, and once you have named the RSPB reserve, then we can compare the species lists from the two locations.

    3. The moves forward that you reckon are happening are very very difficult to see, when the evidence of more dead and missing raptors tells a different story.
      At the present rate, England will not have any Hen Harriers in the near future. The shooting estates especially in and around the Forest of Bowland are ensuring their extermination!
      Which RSPB site are you referring to, in your earlier statement?

    4. The problem is the grouse shooting estates have changed out of all recognition to their previous methods of operation and have adapted the moorland massively in favour of unnaturally high levels of one species above and at the expense of all others, “Red Grouse”. The change in grouse moor ecology as you put it is probably as much as 100% on many grouse moors; where else can you see SSSI’s and SPA’s ignored and destroyed without recourse, excessive moorland drainage, tracks crossing the moors all over the place, excessive burning, excessive predator control, excessive and totally illegal raptor persecution (extermination).

      I’ve been around long enough to remember what the once beautiful moorlands used to be like for all sorts of wildlife including raptors and it saddens my heart to see the total disaster the grouse shooting fraternity have caused and are still causing. Yes, there’s always been some degree of moorland management, predator control and illegal raptor persecution, but it was nothing like the industrial scale destruction and annihilation that’s taking place these days. If you don’t believe that then you’ve not been involved around the moorlands long enough to know any different. The only thing that can save and hopefully help restore the moorlands and it’s wildlife is to bring an end to driven grouse shooting and allow nature to take it’s course, it should be banned now !!!

    5. Kestrel, will you name the RSPB reserve, or shall we conclude that as you have repeatedly fail to provide any evidence, that you are just a liar?

  5. you would be extremely lucky to get 15 different species in a day on moorland at least on the ones near me that are shot over, leighton moss my nearest RSPB reserve I’d be unlucky not to see 50 plus species, local water parks nearly 50 species, local woodland 40 species. you can check through your bird books to check but you’ll find moorlands are very poor for diversity. because I dont shoot birds doesn’t make me knaive, I’ve heard the same line spun time and time again that there’s more wildlife on land shot over than land not shot over, I’ve worked as a beater I know what your saying is wrong, I’m not being rude but the facts blatently prove it.

  6. Biodiversity is also about diversity of habitats, not just a wide range of species. It makes no sense to compare one site with another if you’re not comparing like with like. A well-managed nature reserve, a wetland for example, might support more species than an unmanaged site. The difference tends to be that the latter has experienced natural succession which can lead to loss of biodiversity. If the main objective of a grouse moor is to maximise the harvestable surplus of grouse, then presumably a well-managed moor is one which supports hardly anything other than grouse, and certainly no predators. Without laws to protect wildlife and public pressure, it is beyond doubt that grouse moor managers would eliminate all predators. Many already attempt to do so despite the laws, and almost all are completely ruthless with predators such as foxes and stoats, which have no protection.

    Some sites can be important for biodiversity in a wider sense despite having low biodiversity in isolation. Grouse moors generally have rather low biodiversity, but the presence of nationally rare species like Hen Harrier makes them important for biodiversity at a national level. With recent trends even the Red Grouse could soon be recognised as a Species of Conservation Concern, and for that reason alone we should stop shooting them. It is far more important and sustainable to manage their habitat so that overpopulation and disease do not drive the species into decline and possible local extinction. Driven grouse shooting is a thing of the past, and the sooner the wealthy land-owning elite realise that, the better off society will be for it.

    1. And with that mosaic of habitats, a vast diversity of invertebrate life, however the Kestrel person restricted his/her argument to bird life. Most nature reserves encompass a mix of habitats, so the chances that most RSPB reserves will have a far greater variety of avifauna than a grouse moor, are exceptionally high.

      But Kestrel has refused to provide us with any evidence to his/her biodiversity “claim”, so it looks like we have another pro-shooting liar that will explicitly ignore the basics of science, as well as common sense.

      1. He’s possibly referring to Forsinard in northern Sutherland, this remote RSPB outpost has probably one of the lowest bird species counts in the UK. Having said that I would hardly call this an RSPB bird reserve when it’s mainly dedicated to the study of Sphagnum Moss etc !!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s