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FAC application queries…


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Posted (edited)

Hi guys,

 

I live in the middle of the Surrey countryside, on a 12 acre estate, where we let rooms to lodgers in the house. We’ve got rabbits digging holes everywhere, which have almost caused several broken ankles over the years (and definitely a few sprained ones), foxes that manage to come into the house via the cat-flap in attempt to steal the dog bowls, and pigeons that produce so much cr*p, you wonder if they’ll ever run out.

 

I’ve never owned an FAC, but have many years of experience handling and shooting various firearms, from shotguns, to rifles, and am now interested in applying for my own licence.

 

Ideally, I would like to own a 12-bore Remington 870 (or 1100) for the rabbits and pigeons, and a Remington Model 700 (in .223 or .308) for the foxes. I realise that a .308 for fox control might be considered a bit overkill, and thus not granted. The idea behind the 1100, over the 870, is to be able to get off as many shots as possible, in quick succession, as the rabbits are often in groups.

 

Is there any advice you guys can offer me before I embark on this journey, to increase my chances of being accepted? I have no criminal record, nor do I have a history of any mental health issues. I’d be happy to answer any questions.

 

Many thanks for taking the time to read my message.

Edited by Shooter Ready
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You can't shoot the pigeons just because they are there. Take a look at the general licences.

A rifle would be a more effective solution for the rabbits. A HMR would give effective rabbit control and deal with the occasional fox. A .22 rf would do both and would not alarm your guests.

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21 minutes ago, oowee said:

You can't shoot the pigeons just because they are there. Take a look at the general licences.

A rifle would be a more effective solution for the rabbits. A HMR would give effective rabbit control and deal with the occasional fox. A .22 rf would do both and would not alarm your guests.

Thank you. I’ll check out the General Licences.

A few people I’ve spoken to consider anything less than a .223 for a fox to be “inhumane”. Is this not the case?

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Calibre preference for fox depends upon your FEO and licensing department. If you put down .223 REM or whatever your preference is and state the reason as fox control then they are likely to advise you on calibre if they deem it inappropriate. 

.308 WIN on a 12 acre estate seems very unsuitable and unlikely to be granted. Gardens are 12 acres not shooting estates. Add three zeros on the end and you may get it. The most suitable calibre for such a small piece of land would be .17HMR as the bullets are frangible. .22LR are slow lumps of lead, likely to ricochet out of bounds on your land. It may be that FAC air rifle and a SGC would suit best for rabbit and fox control respectively. You can squeak such tame foxes in and ambush them with field craft rather than snipe from distance.  

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Don't underestimate  a decent pcp sub 12 airrifle for the rabbits very quiet and reliable and accurate and capable of taking multiple rabbits in one go .

As for section 1 shot gun they can be desperately  difficult to sell on if you don't get on with it  .a sec 2  ,  3 shot semi auto should more than enough in most cases .

Personally I'd go this route its way easier and you can always apply for a .17 hmr on ticket later if you need range on the rabbits or fox  .

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Posted (edited)

Hello, I would consider, short range rabbits, HW 99S spring rifle, longer range and occasional fox a HMR, by all means buy the Remington but I would not use on rabbits, pigeon will come under the GL rules, eg livestock feed,  and crop protection, the HW 99 will sort out grey squirrels if you need to,

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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2 hours ago, Shooter Ready said:

Thank you. I’ll check out the General Licences.

A few people I’ve spoken to consider anything less than a .223 for a fox to be “inhumane”. Is this not the case?

For the entire lat century more foxes were killed with .22 rimfire than any other calibre. Perfectly capable at 50/60 yard ranges.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, London Best said:

For the entire lat century more foxes were killed with .22 rimfire than any other calibre. Perfectly capable at 50/60 yard ranges.

I agree, a .22LR will easily and humanely kill a fox at sub 100 yards. However in my opinion it is one of the most difficult calibers for a beginner to be able to safely use without a ricochet skipping down the lane. On a small parcel for an inexperienced rifleman I would be uncomfortable to recommend it.  I have .22LR, .17HMR, .223REM, .308WIN and my shotgun collection. On Monday I killed three foxes, one with a shotgun and two with the 17HMR due to the lay of the land and location of cottages in relation the earth. 

Edited by WalkedUp
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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, I would consider, short range rabbits, HW 99S spring rifle, longer range and occasional fox a HMR, by all means buy the Remington but I would not use on rabbits, pigeon will come under the GL rules, eg livestock feed,  and crop protection, the HW 99 will sort out grey squirrels if you need to,

You will also need the FEO to approve any FAC rifle on 12 acres, and as mentioned a 22 L/R is capable on short range foxing, 

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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get a pcp air rifle for the rabbits as for the pigeons if you mean feral pigeons the GL is different for them a lot easier than wood pigeon  for foxes just lock the cat flap simples  as for  f.a.c.  you may struggle having lodger's  some departments won't happy

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1 hour ago, scarecrow243 said:

get a pcp air rifle for the rabbits as for the pigeons if you mean feral pigeons the GL is different for them a lot easier than wood pigeon  for foxes just lock the cat flap simples  as for  f.a.c.  you may struggle having lodger's  some departments won't happy

This.

For clarity, the General Licence is GL41. However, if you want to try for the FAC for fox (and Rabbit) think 22WMR.

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I was going to say the 22wmr as well for the foxes, at the shorter ranges it's going to hit like a train, then have your sub12lb/ft air gun for rabbits or pigeons. Don't think you have any need for an FAC shotgun as by the time you have belted 2 rabbits in a group the rest will be out of range/travelling fast which may result in unacceptable levels of wounding. A 3 shot semi will be plenty, especially as you can stick a BB or treble A load in it, like a close range flak cannon against a short range fox

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8 hours ago, Shooter Ready said:

Thank you. I’ll check out the General Licences.

A few people I’ve spoken to consider anything less than a .223 for a fox to be “inhumane”. Is this not the case?

As a dedicated fox rifle probably not, but as an occasional fox rifle it would be fine. If you go for any of the rimmies the reason to acquire on your FAC would be for pest control. 

 

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I fid myself in general agreement with what's already been posted. 

In your position, I'd probably go for a PCP air rifle for rabbits, and a Section 2 (SGC, not FAC) 12 bore shotgun for fox. You could quite feasibly get an O/U shotgun rather than a semi-auto - if you miss with the first shot then the fox is going to be out of range for the second, never mind the fourth or fifth shot !

A 12 bore firing a 3 inch Eley Alphamax BB cartridge will drop a fox at 30-40 yards every single time.

The biggest trick is letting the fox come in - if you're quiet and still then they'll get within 10 yards of you before they wonder if something isn't right. 

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More or less what others have said. PCP for rabbits rather than a shotgun unless you’re ferreting them. Even if they’re in groups they won’t be when they see you, and certainly not after the first shot. 
If you have time any the inclination you could ferret them to nets. 
.22WMR will sort both the longer range rabbits and fox. 

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Don’t be put off shooting the woodies. The general licence basically gives you a green light for preventing damage to  “feedstuffs, crops, fruit and vegetables” and also “spread of disease.” Re air rifle use, watch out for pellets exiting your property if shooting in to boundary trees. As others have mentioned - sub FAC is great for bunnies too. Nice and safe for a small acreage. 

You’ll obviously need a second gun for foxes - but again safety is your major consideration. 
Good luck and happy hunting!

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