Awkward….

An advert in this week’s edition of Shooting Times:

One of these ‘prestigious game shoots’, advertised here as ‘hugely successful’ appears to be Dyfi Falls, currently under a multi-agency investigation after covert video footage by the League Against Cruel Sports revealed a gamekeeper from Cambrian Birds flinging shot pheasant carcasses down a disused mine shaft on the edge of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (see here, here and here).

Awkward…

12 thoughts on “Awkward….”

  1. Blimey. Do you remember a couple of years ago, I was recalling a recent Welsh holiday and told a tale of stumbling across a pheasant shoot up a Welsh valley where the density of birds was simply ridiculous. Well this is the place.

    1. That video shows the worst slaughter imaginable. It is clearly fun to those participating. What sad folk?

      I wonder how many injured birds are left slowly dying in the undergrowth.

      It is not a justifiable activity, it is not sport, simply it is barbaric.

      Doug

      1. You are absolutely right, and from personal experience the answer to how many are injured and left dying in the undergrowth – a lot. One of the especially ugly features (and big selling point) of commercial driven shoots these days is the obsession for “high birds” of 50 to 60 yards and the rest, using larger shot sizes & heavy load cartridges. Problem is very few people are competent enough to select ones they can hit and do so cleanly – so all they are doing half of the time is little more filling the sky with pellets. For a chap to respect his limitations and to say ‘I’m only going to shoot at the 25 to 30 yard ones that I know i can kill’, is like a silent admission of his inferiority in the manhood department. The whole thing is just pathetic.

    2. It seems a fairly slick and well packaged “experience day” (ie edwardian aristocrat shooting party fetish) – that they are selling down there. Bloodthirsty? Well, perfectly ‘normal’ for a large driven shoot. Their website suggests a very efficient large scale hatchery and rearing operation. Watch out for any other spare bits of land around there that they can get their mitts on to xxxxxxxxxxxx run shoots. No doubt they will be looking to expand this money making formula wherever they can. But as they say in the Godfather ‘its nothing personal, its strictly business’.

    3. That is just relentless. There is literally nothing even slightly sporting about it. Would have been no more sporting if he had a machine gun. Probably wet himself when he had a go at the woodcock. ‘quick, red-listed species overhead’.. Bang.

      1. Hi Martin, a woodcock study ‘before & after’ the imposition of this highly intensive pheasant shoot on that land would be / (have been) interesting. The GWCT line is that the so-called habitat management and predator control done by keepers will promote woodcock numbers and outweigh those shot ‘for sport’. Personally I would be happy to bet several months pay that is not going to be the case at this place.

  2. Having watched some of the online videos showing the mass densities of pheasants in some of the enclosures situated in the countryside, or the staggering scale of birds being driven towards the guns from the woods were the birds were released, please could someone explain how this fits in with notions of wildlife conservation, protecting the environment or any of the governments aims laid out in the Environment Bill to enhance native British wildlife?
    What the videos depict appears to be a totally unnatural, industrial degradation of the countryside.

    I also don’t understand what any self respecting game shooter achieves from shooting birds in this manner.
    The birds were flying in what can only be described as a dense flock, and I fail to understand how shooting birds in such a formation can either be sporting, challenging or have any notion of requiring the shooter to have any skills other than to simply point the gun into the sky and pull the trigger.
    Birds flying at such a density and frequency towards the guns means there is little chance of proper target selection, tracking the flight path and shooting the bird with a clean shoot.
    How does this style of shooting fit in with the “Code of Good shooting practice”?
    Wouldn’t such rapid fire shooting be more suitable for the multiple release clays?

    How does rearing and releasing game birds in such high densities fit in with all the literature published by the shooting industry regarding sustainability, wildlife conservation and proper countryside management?

    The videos contrast completely with some of the local non commercial shoots I have witnessed, where the birds are at a much lower density, and fly towards the guns individually or occasionally as a pair.

    I would be particularly interested to read comments from those who engage in pheasant shooting.
    This is your sport.
    How does this intense industrial production of game birds, and shooting at what can only be described as an unnaturally dense flock of birds, where shooting into such a flock may kill some birds, but will likely injure many more make you feel?
    Is the game shooting industry being infiltrated with game management companies, whose only interest lies in the industrial production of game birds to create what appears to be very unethical shooting in order to make money for the individuals who own and manage these game shooting companies?

    There has recently been on the news reports regarding the terrible water quality in many British rivers. Much of this poor water water quality was blamed on agriculture and in particular industrial poultry farms where waste was entering the water courses- a question that pheasant shooters might want to consider is whether industrial game bird farms and dense game bird release sites could attract the attention of environmental campaigners, who might claim that such high densities of game birds is adversely effecting the countryside?- this might also be a matter for local planning departments in deciding whether to allow commercial shooting activities to take place?

    So please, if you are reading this blog, post your comments, as these intensive game shoots could impact on your activities?

  3. I really don’t see why they don’t just shoot them whilst they are still in their pens, or at least having just that instant, come out of the pen. It is canned hunting at it’s most ugly. What do the shooters get out of this, simply to brag about kill rates? With this many pheasants running around, skewing the predator populations, it’ll be no wonder that ALL other wildlife suffers. If they shot them whilst still in enclosures at least that might alleviate the predator problem to some extent.

  4. The thing is, if you gave the hooray Henry’s a rifle they wouldn’t have the skill to hit anything. So someone worked out that if you gave them a shotgun made by Purdey at twenty grand a time, they might have a chance of hitting something.

  5. A silly solution, that I have suggested on previous occasions.

    To compensate the pheasant shooters for their poor aim and to eliminate splattering lead over the countryside, is to get the gamekeepers to humanely kill the birds, they’d enjoy that. Then catapult them over the shooters, who will be awarded a clean kill every time. The shooters could fire blanks to get the “bang” for some authenticity. The “Hooray Henrys” would not notice the difference, especially after the copious alcohol consumption pre shoot.

    Or maybe, offer them an expensive hour or more in an abattoir. This could reduce the cost of meat, and eliminate damage to the countryside. With a slap up meal and copious drinks after their fun, they could go home happy with a satisfied blood lust.

    Canned shoots worldwide are criticised for the barbaric methods and questioned for why? It is no different here in the UK.

    Let us hope that we can rid the country of this insane practise and return the country to a more natural state.

    Doug

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