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 Post subject: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK)?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 696
Location: Samara, Russia
Dear residents of this board,
(I feel like a bit of introduction is appropriate here. I'm an assistant professor of philology (and teacher of English), from Samara, Russia. I hunt, ducks and hares mostly, with my two sbs shotguns, a workhorse 16 or an almost-fancy 12, and my wife, who has a shotgun of her own, and makes the best possible companion).
I have a question about affordability of hunting in England (or elswhere in the UK, for that matter). I don't mean fancy stuff like dirven pheasants every Tuesday. Just a simple "go out shoot something" (waterfowl, rabbits, snipe or woodcock over a bird dog, something like that). I've read some Brittish shooting magazines online, but they somehow make it sound that hunting in the UK is an "if you have to ask how much it costs you can't afford it" thing.
Putting it in a closer context - let's say I'm an a$$.prof. in your average university. Wife, child, single income. Can I hope to do any hunting? How hard is it going to be, financially and otherwise, on a scale from from 100 to 0, like "anytime" = 100, "impossible" = 0, with "Can be done", "Can be done, but...", "Well, if you absolutely", etc., in between.
What if we figure a seond income into the equation?
And, do you have to be a citizen of the country to be able to own and use a shotgun?
I'd really appreciate your answers, they will be a lot of help in making a very important decision. Life without at least 3 or for hunts a year doesn't sound very exciting to me.
Thank you.

P.S. I know a number of people from the UK, but there's not one of them who ever saw a shotgun. That's why I'm asking online.


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:24 pm
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Location: Beyond the Pale
I'm sure someone will come along soon who can answer all your questions about guns and hunting in Great Britain. I would be interested in hearing about guns and hunting in Russia. Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Northamptonshire, England
Hi Humpty Dumpty

I live in England about 60 miles north of London.

As you probably know there are lots of hunting opportunities in the UK. We have some of the best driven game shooting in the world, which can be really expensive. We also have many smaller shoots where you can have smaller days (less birds) for a very reasonable cost. We also have walked up days, often known as rough shooting, which costs even less per day.

We also have various types of duck hunting from full driven days where a team of 8 guns would pay for a day where say 250 would be shot, to duck flighting on a small pond where 2 hunters may shoot 10 or 15 birds in a evening.

Wood pigeon shooting is also very popular here with both UK and visiting hunters, often shooting the birds over decoys from a hide.

You would be able to bring a shotgun over, but you would need a visitors shotgun permit. I think these are relatively easy to get but take about 6 weeks. More information here:

http://www.basc.org.uk/en/departments/firearms/

With regards to costs I have no idea what someone in your position would earn, but the cost of hunting here would be approximately as follows:

Driven pheasant or partridge £1,000 to £2,000 per day (per hunter based on a team of 8 shooting 300 birds)

Smaller driven day £200 to £350 per day (per hunter based on a team of 8 shooting 75 birds)

Walked up days £100 to £200 per day

Pigeon shooting £50 to £100 per day

Have a look at the websites below to get more of an idea of what's available:

http://www.angliasporting.co.uk/

http://www.gunsonpegs.com/

As you will see, there is something for all budgets and it doesnt have to cost a fortune. You will find that UK hunters are generally very friendly, helpful and welcoming, if you get the chance to come over I am sure you will have a great time!

Kind regards

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 696
Location: Samara, Russia
Thank you :)

The prices seem shocking at the first glance :) last year I paid 300 rubles (that makes about 6 pound 40 at today's rate) for the rights to hunt waterfowl, quail and dove on a 9000-ga area. The price is for the whole season, lasting from 3rd Saturgay of August to 2nd Sunday in November, and of course it's just for access, with zero guiding services included or offered. You get your paper and you're free to do whatever you want (as long as you stay legal, of course). Most of the Russian hunters are quite happy with this arrangement, and in fact many wouldn't enjoy being put on a peg and told "shoot this way".

When it comes to shooting the managed preserves, though, the picture begins to look similar. The same per-hunter cost based on a team of 8 shooting 75 birds in my region will be about 350 pounds (quite a new thing for us here, these raised pheasants, only one outfit offers it, so the prices might get down if it becomes popular enough for competition to appear). Shooting a wild boar, the most popular "managed" hunt, will cost about 300 to 1000 pounds, depending on the size of the trophy.

Things are beginning to look clearer now, thank you :)

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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:54 am
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Location: Middle England
you can also simply and cost effectively go and ask a farmer for permission to do a bit of rabbit or pest shooting

I have loads of hunting land and some i can shoot over for nothing just helping out with pest control on vermin

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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Northamptonshire, England
compo wrote:
you can also simply and cost effectively go and ask a farmer for permission to do a bit of rabbit or pest shooting

I have loads of hunting land and some i can shoot over for nothing just helping out with pest control on vermin


This is ok if you live in the UK, but not practical if you have just come over for a couple of weeks on vacation


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:52 pm
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Location: Samara, Russia
Thank you, too :)
My question actually implyed "living in", rather than "visiting" the country, so compo's answer is right on topic :)

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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:54 am
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Location: Middle England
Humpty Dumpty wrote:
Thank you, too :)
My question actually implyed "living in", rather than "visiting" the country, so compo's answer is right on topic :)



that was the way i read your post.....it seems your applying for a job here?

I am 40miles north of london where i actually commute to work

sadly your impression and Colin's answer is the wrong impression of the basic type of hunting and shooting here in the UK, it is not all expensive driven days and paid shooting.

Lots of farmers will allow you on their land to shoot vermin, so if walking around a few fields and shooting a grey squirrel, a couple of woodpigeons and a rabbit are your idea of a fun afternoon then there are lots of shooting opportunities in the UK.

If you end up here and are anywhere near me i would willingly take you out for an hour or two of roughshooting, either over my spaniel or at bolting rabbits that my ferrets will chase out of their warrens.....you could then buy me a pint of beer at a pub as a thank you.....a lot cheaper than a days driven pheasants or a guided day at woodpigeon

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Baikal single shot 12g ejector with "HUSHPOWER" silencer

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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:13 pm 
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Location: Middle England
edited to add if you live here you would be able to apply for a shotgun certificate and buy a shotgun, its a civic right and the police have to show why you cant have a gun (you are forbidden from having a gun if you have been sentenced to a prison sentence of 3+ years, and are not allowed a gun for 5 years if you were senteneced to 6months -3years) you would need a countersignature from a professional person who lives here though and who has known you at least a couple of years...........if any of your friends in the UK are also university professors or teachers they can sign as a countersignature (my friend who is an art teacher signed mine for me)
The police firearms licensing unit would help you and give advise if/when you get here.
where were you thinking of moving to? what county?

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Baikal single shot 12g ejector with "HUSHPOWER" silencer

Boito single barrel 12g


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Northamptonshire, England
Sorry, I thought the opening post was asking in respect of a hunter coming to the UK on vacation.

I agree with most things Compo has said, and there is definately free shooting/hunting to be found. However, I am not sure it is as easy as Compo has said to find a farmer willing to let you on his land for free, especially if you are not known locally.

Of course, once you are established in an area and shoot on one farm, it's relatively easy to get permission on the next farm etc. Getting the first one can be very difficult sometimes, especially as most farms will already have someone controlling vermin for them.


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:54 am
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Location: Middle England
Colinf wrote:
Sorry, I thought the opening post was asking in respect of a hunter coming to the UK on vacation.

I agree with most things Compo has said, and there is definately free shooting/hunting to be found. However, I am not sure it is as easy as Compo has said to find a farmer willing to let you on his land for free, especially if you are not known locally.

Of course, once you are established in an area and shoot on one farm, it's relatively easy to get permission on the next farm etc. Getting the first one can be very difficult sometimes, especially as most farms will already have someone controlling vermin for them.



Yeah your right.....you have to gain the landowner/farmers trust,

Humpty dumpty some more advise

what i did and advise others to do is get some letters printed up, explaining what you are after, your experience, your insurance and what methods you want to use, then drive round knocking on as many doors as possible, introducing yourself and asking nicely , leave a letter even if they say no, and leave a letter at the ones with no answer. If you are a reliable professional person (as in a university professor) ensure you explain this in teh letter to try and gain trust.It all helps.

There are also opportunities for those willing to think outside the box, ask at golf courses and equestrian places, offer to help round the place for some shooting,

or find a proper pheasant shoot and ask the gamekeeper to allow you to join his beating team.
On driven pheasant shoots where the guns are paying thousands of pounds to shoot, they employ people to walk the woods driving the game towards the guns, its a fun day out in like minded company and you get a few pounds pocket money and sometimes a few pheasants to boot and as the gamekeeper gets to know you , you may get some vermin shooting after the pheasant season and/or you may get invited on the shoot helpers pheasant shoot at the end of the paid season.

And the offer i PM'd you still stands if you end up near me, i will take you out for a day roughshooting or shooting rabbits bolted by my ferrets

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My Website
http://www.ferretingandy.webs.com/

Baikal single shot 12g ejector with "HUSHPOWER" silencer

Boito single barrel 12g


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Northamptonshire, England
compo wrote:

or find a proper pheasant shoot and ask the gamekeeper to allow you to join his beating team.
On driven pheasant shoots where the guns are paying thousands of pounds to shoot, they employ people to walk the woods driving the game towards the guns, its a fun day out in like minded company and you get a few pounds pocket money and sometimes a few pheasants to boot and as the gamekeeper gets to know you , you may get some vermin shooting after the pheasant season and/or you may get invited on the shoot helpers pheasant shoot at the end of the paid season.


This is very good advice. Beating is a great day out in it's own right, and you will meet lots of good contacts. It doesn't have to be a large scale shoot, there are literally hundreds of shoots which are too small to warrant a full time gamekeeper who are always looking for beaters. I run a small shoot and we pay beaters £20 per day to cover expenses and a brace or two of pheasants each day. At the end of the season the beaters get to shoot on their own day, and they also have the opportunity to shoot vermin in the woods for three months after the season.


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 696
Location: Samara, Russia
Thank you very much, what you post is very interesting and encouraging.
Sorry for not responding earlier, don't have many chances to go online these days.
I'll be back in touch in a while :)
Thanks again!

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Experientia est optima magistra.


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 Post subject: Re: How affordable is hunting in England (and the rest of UK
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 696
Location: Samara, Russia
In case someone is wondering...
The job thing didn't work out yet.
I was largely away from the computer as we were having the worst hot and dry spell anyone can remember... comparable to 1920/21 when the resulting famine killed lots of people. Nothing of the kind now thankfully, but it forced us to move to my parents' summer place where it was at least bearable. We mved back t town by September 1st, of course, but there was always some one thing or another, beginning of the academic year and all crap like that.
The worst thing is with that heat and forrest fires and all they banned all hunting in the region. The season is going to start only on October 2th, instead of the regular 3rd weekend of august. Wouldn't be much use if the season was pen anyway, because the steppe lakes are all dry.

Again, thanks for the posts. It's amasing how much stereotypes exist in our heads, and it's good to have them busted.

Good hunting all that keep the jungle law :)

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