Stay your fire
Sporting Gun|April 2021
Geoff Garrod on how to approach some of the difficult decisions posed by the lockdown
Geoff Garrod

At the time of writing, we’re still in lockdown and it looks very likely that we will still be when you read this in February. So I will go through some of the problems this poses for pigeon shooters and the work they do.

As with the majority of things related to shooting, applying common sense will cover most situations, along with reading the invaluable advice given by the shooting lobby groups. I see many social media pigeon forums, and it alarms me what is said by people who clearly haven’t read up on the restrictions we’re currently under.

Interpretation

There are many grey areas in the Government’s wording about how and when we’re allowed to go out and shoot pigeons during the pandemic. It seems that these grey areas are interpreted in different ways by different constabularies, too.

An obvious one is how far you should travel to go shooting; for example, if the farmer on one of your permissions has called to see if you could help to protect his crops. There is no mileage limit set as to how far from home you can go but we’re all asked to ‘stay local’ when we exercise and shooting is classed as exercise for this lockdown.

I would advise that you have a long and hard look at any situation that arises then make a judgement. Check advice from the shooting lobby groups — BASC, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, Countryside Alliance and so on. If you are in any doubt about the distance you’ve been asked to travel and pest control isn’t your profession, could you justify your trip to the police if you were unlucky enough to be stopped or be in an accident?

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