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I've been out of pigeon shooting for some years, and having restarted now after retirement I'm absolutely bloody gobsmacked at the amount of people I've come across just wandering about the fields I'm  shooting. It must be a new thing as I can honestly say that when I was a regular shooter before I never experienced it, only the other day a woman with 3 little uns and 2 dogs came wandering across the field probably a mile and a half from the nearest footpath, when i challenged her i was told to "**** off i walk here every week" and that I should be ashamed of myself for frightening her kids with that banging. Do we not have enough bloody hoops to jump through with footpaths,  roads , houses and livestock to consider when out, without people wandering about where they shouldn't be, so can anyone tell me if this is commonplace or is it just rural Kent that full of bloody self righteous walkers?

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I think what you describe (trespass) causing issues for land owners and shooters up and down the uk, I’ve heard plenty of accounts just like yours through friends in the shooting community, people seem to think they can wander wherever and whenever they like. 

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We shoot clays at a shooting ground which is situated in a series of small quarries with steep banks. Actually had two women with a dog appear over the top of the one we were shooting in. WE WERE ACTUALLY SHOOTING IN THEIR DIRECTION. Completely oblivious to any danger. Must have been about 50 yards from us. So to have them walk across your field is nothing to worry about.😀

 

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I had a daft woman with a baby in a sling come up to me whilst I was shooting, miles from a footpath, to ask if I could catch her dog for her. I explained that it wasn’t safe for her to be there but she wasn’t interested. Her dog turned up, stole my decoy and ran off again. I packed up my hide and pattern.

Next time I shot there the police turned up, they were great and declined my offer to pack up. 

Same fields a couple of weeks ago pushing rabbits out of brambles I didn’t take a shot as I heard something, suddenly a lurcher appeared and went for my pal’s lab. I stepped out of the cover and sent my dogs over, I cycled the three cartridges out of my semi auto and popped it on the floor. The lurcher packed it in once outnumbered. You could tell from the desperation in the man’s voice he was worried his dog was about to be killed. After he slipped it back on a lead I left my dogs sat with my gun and walked to 15ft from him. I said “You’re quite far from the footpath”, he enquires where it ran. I explained. Then he said “But how am I meant to make it a circular walk without coming across here?”  I just said that’s not my problem, what you are doing is an offence but I cannot shoot ground game with others about. We got into the truck and moved on. 

Three times in one parcel, just not worth the hassle. 

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I am always careful about challenging people on land I shoot, as it may turn out they have permission to be there from the landowner, farm manager etc. It's not always the public wandering anywhere they like, though I agree that is often the case.

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With housing estates being built ever closer to peoples perms this problem with walkers is here to stay , people have got more free time, kids have been off school and a lot have bought puppies , add on the lighter days and the warmer weather you can easily see why the problem isn't going away . 

We have got signs everywhere arsing people politely to stick to the foot paths and for some walkers ( and bikers ) they are totally ignored . as long as the dogs are not running wild I find it best to just a social word with them about sticking to footpaths and explaining a lot of the other areas are grown for conservation such as wild flower mix , beetle banks and hope this will be the last time they are seen of the beaten track .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, marsh man said:

We have got signs everywhere arsing people politely

Arsing people, is that a Norfolk thing? Is it legal? How do you do it politely? 😂

Sorry, couldn’t resist 

Edited by moondoggy
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It's getting quite common. One woman way way off the footpath said "I'm not walking on the footpaths, they're too muddy"

Last year I was in  hide, heard people so laid my gun down and stood up. Daddy ran off leaving an approx 4 year old by her self. I knelt down to talk to her as I knew she be frightened, 5 mins later accompanied by angry mummy he reappeared. Said I frightened him by standing up. No excuse for leaving his kiddy though.

Another day a family pushed its way through the crops, when asked why, they said they had come to see why the pigeons were flying round in circles.

I've had dogs running into the pattern and biting the decoys, people walking across the fields to see what I've shot and the amount of red bull cans, beer cans and disposable bbqs I've picked up is quite ridiculous. 

Derbyshire/S Yorks.

22 minutes ago, moondoggy said:

Arsing people, is that a Norfolk thing? Is it legal? How do you do it politely? 😂

Sorry, couldn’t resist 

It must be illegal, you can go to prison for arson.

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2 hours ago, Paulem said:

I've been out of pigeon shooting for some years, and having restarted now after retirement I'm absolutely bloody gobsmacked at the amount of people I've come across just wandering about the fields I'm  shooting. It must be a new thing as I can honestly say that when I was a regular shooter before I never experienced it, only the other day a woman with 3 little uns and 2 dogs came wandering across the field probably a mile and a half from the nearest footpath, when i challenged her i was told to "**** off i walk here every week" and that I should be ashamed of myself for frightening her kids with that banging. Do we not have enough bloody hoops to jump through with footpaths,  roads , houses and livestock to consider when out, without people wandering about where they shouldn't be, so can anyone tell me if this is commonplace or is it just rural Kent that full of bloody self righteous walkers?

If she’s on private land it’s ‘trespass’ and if she swears at you it’s ‘aggravated trespass’ - both of which are illegal. You could involve the police - but not a great way to spend your day (?!). Perhaps if she’s a regular offender, it could be worth pursuing? 
 

Unfortunately there are just an awful lot of people wandering about the countryside at the moment due to lockdown / furlough etc. The countryside around me is like Piccadilly Circus, and some of them drive much further than they should to access it. Most are willing to understand when approached - some aren’t so reasonable. I’m sure it’s just a phase. 

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Fortunately I don't get it happening very often but should someone be walking where they should not be I will challenge them with “are you lost” if the answer is no I then ask “do you have permission to walk off the footpath” if the answer is no again I inform them what I am doing is legal and they could possibly be in danger by not sticking to the foot paths, if that does not work there is very little else you can do to get them to leave the field as I don't think trespass is a criminal offence but a civil one.

Bit naughty I know but if I spot someone off the footpath and some distance away I will let a few shots off, this usually stops them in their tracks and they head back to the footpath.

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4 minutes ago, old'un said:

Fortunately I don't get it happening very often but should someone be walking where they should not be I will challenge them with “are you lost” if the answer is no I then ask “do you have permission to walk off the footpath” if the answer is no again I inform them what I am doing is legal and they could possibly be in danger by not sticking to the foot paths, if that does not work there is very little else you can do to get them to leave the field as I don't think trespass is a criminal offence but a civil one.

Bit naughty I know but if I spot someone off the footpath and some distance away I will let a few shots off, this usually stops them in their tracks and they head back to the footpath.

That is my approach too. 'Are you lost' diffuses the situation somewhat. Or rather it usually does. There is always one ignoramus.

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14 minutes ago, JDog said:

That is my approach too. 'Are you lost' diffuses the situation somewhat. Or rather it usually does. There is always one ignoramus.

Very true, that's when you have to decide to up the ante or keep quiet, unfortunately for a few like that and when I was a lot younger I would escort them off the field. :)

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"The owner said it was OK for me to walk the dog here"

I usually reply with mostly swear words but the gist of it being that it is my land, I have never seen you before and even if I had I wouldn't say it was OK to walk yourself on my land never mind a dog. But as I said, mostly swear words.

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5 minutes ago, 39TDS said:

"The owner said it was OK for me to walk the dog here"

I usually reply with mostly swear words but the gist of it being that it is my land, I have never seen you before and even if I had I wouldn't say it was OK to walk yourself on my land never mind a dog. But as I said, mostly swear words.

At that stage I usually ask them the name of the owner?

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4 hours ago, moondoggy said:

Arsing people, is that a Norfolk thing? Is it legal? How do you do it politely? 😂

Sorry, couldn’t resist 

Yes, I believe it is only practised in the out backs :lol:, is it legal ? , as long as it carried out ( behind ) closed doors .

How do you do it politely ? , sorry I have never taken part , as it would involve a lot of traveling backwards and forward to the venue :good:

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Out zeroing a new rifle last week.   Spied a bloke and his dog walking half mile from any footpath on a course that would take him 30 yards behind my target.   He was half way up the bank that I was using as a backstop...

Packed up and went home.   He didn't even notice me as he was yacking on his phone the whole time.

You can't win.

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Its a problem that will not go away any time soon, I've had idiots phone the police and tell them that i have live tethered pigeons!!!!!! (flappers) the stupidity of some people is unbelievable. 

Edited by dead eye alan
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I love watching their faces as the penny drops as they approach a pattern and possibly a pair of madly spinning wood pigeons!

My opening line is usually, good morning, I have the Farmers permission to be here shooting to protect his crops. Do you have his permission to be here?

They usually say they do and I enquire if they can tell me his name?

 

90% of the time they don't have a clue.

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I had a new excuse last week offered by some old geezer, he was wandering around the back of some secure compounds where local businesses store equipment, he didn't see me in the hide and was only 20 ft away when I stood up and challenged him, I just said in a loud voice  "oy what are you up to" , he turned a bit pale then claimed he was a civil engineer checking out the surface water drains in the area, the way he was dressed I would say he was more likely homeless or on the nick,  I informed him he was trespassing and told him to clear off, he went quietly looking back over his shoulder rather nervously, but left the land at the nearest gateway, I phoned the land owner and let him know , he was going to let the local plod know but by then it was too late anyway as he was long gone. NOT :welcomeani:!!!!!!!!BOOGER OFF

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Around here, Yorkshire, we very rarely have any townies causing bother even though the fields and footpaths are getting ten times as much use by said new in the area folk ( offcumdens) A couple of days ago a very nice chap called over to me from the edge of a wood that contains a footpath “ hello there, have you any picking up required from the wood? “ As he had a mongrel looking terrier with him I declined his assistance but left my gun unloaded in the hide and walked over to chat with him. I then realised he had left two black labs sat twenty’ish yards behind him. “Go on then” I said, “there’s certainly a couple in there plus a pricked pigeon that had disappeared into the wood”  After his dogs had brought back two of the dead birds he entertained me with stories of himself ( over seventy five years old) and his obviously very well off father’s shooting days of yore. He was well upset by the fact that he could never use his dad’s Purdeys again as they weren’t fit for steel shot. It seems his last foray into actual game shooting was a good twenty years ago and had been on duck and he thought everyone was now using steel shot even though he still offered his services as a picker up on some big local estate shoots. Now the moral of this story is, I cannot believe the number of pigeons that came to decoy while I was out in the field, but you can guess how many came in after I was back in my hide!

 

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On 05/04/2021 at 14:58, moondoggy said:

Arsing people, is that a Norfolk thing? Is it legal? How do you do it politely? 😂

 

It's no fun arsing someone politely.  The ruder the better ;)

On 05/04/2021 at 12:19, Paulem said:

can anyone tell me if this is commonplace or is it just rural Kent that full of bloody self righteous walkers?

You're not on your own, unfortunately.  I do the gamekeeping duties on part of my syndicate, not a massive patch, but last year during the first lockdown I kicked out over 200 people.  They think they're the first ever person to give you that particular lame excuse.  All of them have walked past at least one, and in some cases three signs telling them where they should or shouldn't be.  It's human nature, you'll struggle to change it.

As said above, the best way is NOT to approach people in an aggressive manner, and I too use the opening line "Are you lost?" because it makes you come across as helpful to them.  It goes two ways after that.  Usual response is "No, I'm just out for a walk" then you give them the usual lecture, but sometimes they genuinely are, it depends on the lie of the land and where the footpaths are.  Some people follow the dotted lines which are farm tracks on the OS maps thinking they are public paths so they genuinely didn't know.  We must remember that a lot of folks aren't as clued up as we are on what goes on in the countryside - some people just think it's a vast expanse of nothingness where nobody does anything.

But yeah there are some complete ****ers who I struggle to be polite to.  Second time I catch them I'm a bit more forthright with my opinion!

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never had too much drama in the pigeon hide touch wood. i tend to lay the nice on thick, unload and step out well in time and say hello.  its been annoying at times but i stand to win nothing by giving them a telling off.but stand too loose everything. all they have to do is take it bad, call the police and give some fabricated story saying somone in a field pointed a gun at them and  then the armed response are out.

 

i work in forestry and its pretty scary the amount of people think they have a right on land simply becasue they walk it often.  had people move signs to walk through,  come into a working area to watch. doesent matter how much high vis orange, noise or cordons you put out if its a path they walk daily theyre coming through.

as somone said above tresspass isnt a criminal offence its civil. unless you can prove its aggravated tresspass  i.e prove they are doing it to intentionaly disrupt or intimidate(good luck doing that) all the police can do is escort them off property they probably wont even come out

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