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Question for shootists


Mr Fro
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I've just bought a new place out in the sticks and was over there yesterday making a start on the wiring when the OH came bounding up the stairs to tell me there was a pheasant in the back garden.


I had a look and there it was, pottering about without a care in the world. I was quite hungry at the time and had an instant image of roast pheasant. :-)


Now, I'm not a firearms nut and don't fancy having a bloody great shotgun knocking about the place but does anyone know what the rules are about say high powered air rifles and the legality of nabbing the odd stray pheasant/similar?


I can't envisage me crawling through the undergrowth of some woods, hunting down squirrels at the weekends but the thought of leaning out of the window to get free and tasty dinner is somewhat appealing.


The garden is about 70'-100' long so I don't know what the appropriate rifle would be. My thought was air power, simply for the fact that I don't want to piss off my neighbours with a massive KABLAM! when the opportunity presents itself.

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I don't know a great deal but a lot of guys where I work are into shooting, so from what I understand a 2.2 air rifle will take down a pheasant. There is an actual pheasant shooting season, the rest of the time I don't think you can shoot them?? Though to be honest, who would know??? Hah

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Under the Firearms Act 1968 air guns over a certain power need a firearms licence (air rifle with a muzzle energy of more than 12 ft lbs and an air pistol with a muzzle energy of more than 6 ft. lbs). You would need to be very accurate to kill a pheasant with an airgun, you are more likely to wound it, so a low powered non licensed airgun would not be enough and you could get into bother under the animal cruelty legislation.


Just because it strayed into your garden does not make it yours. Furthermore under the Game Act 1831, pheasant is now out of season and it is illegal to kill them.

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The clue as to legality is; if you are buying an air weapon which needs a forearms licence, the person you are buying it from should have a licence and they should be checking to make sure you have one as well.

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Any air gun under 12ft/lbs you don't need any licence or security. But if there's kiddies in the house it must be out of reach to them. They come either spring or pressurised air (pcp) that needs refilling. Pcp is easy to shoot, no recoil but higher mantainence then a springer. Max range is about 30m unless your a good shot.

Any air gun above 12ft/lbs needs firearms certificate and a cabinet to store the gun, these go upto about 65ft/lbs.


But, pheasants are out of season, you can only shoot them October to end of January.


And then there's plucking and gutting them.


If you really want pheasant then ask about the local shoot and nip down there and ask for a brace on shoot day. They will probably give you them.

Or have a go bush beating for the guns.


Just a note on calibers. They come in all different sizes. The most common is .22 and .177.

.22 is a biger pellet and retains more energy at the target and is less effected by wind then .177 but the .177 is lighter and drops less over the range but is more effected by wind.

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Under the Firearms Act 1968 air guns over a certain power need a firearms licence (air rifle with a muzzle energy of more than 12 ft lbs and an air pistol with a muzzle energy of more than 6 ft. lbs). You would need to be very accurate to kill a pheasant with an airgun, you are more likely to wound it, so a low powered non licensed airgun would not be enough and you could get into bother under the animal cruelty legislation.


Just because it strayed into your garden does not make it yours. Furthermore under the Game Act 1831, pheasant is now out of season and it is illegal to kill them.

 


A headshot from a air gun will kill a pheasant no problem. Range is limited but 30m is the norm for air guns and depending on how good you are.

Target area is so small that it will be a hit or a miss, unless you hit its beak if it's side on.

Don't aimfor the Heart because a air gun will not penetrate the breast bone.


Plenty of practice and you can shoot playing cards side on.

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Under the Firearms Act 1968 air guns over a certain power need a firearms licence (air rifle with a muzzle energy of more than 12 ft lbs and an air pistol with a muzzle energy of more than 6 ft. lbs). You would need to be very accurate to kill a pheasant with an airgun, you are more likely to wound it, so a low powered non licensed airgun would not be enough and you could get into bother under the animal cruelty legislation.


Just because it strayed into your garden does not make it yours. Furthermore under the Game Act 1831, pheasant is now out of season and it is illegal to kill them.

 


A headshot from a air gun will kill a pheasant no problem. Range is limited but 30m is the norm for air guns and depending on how good you are.

Target area is so small that it will be a hit or a miss, unless you hit its beak if it's side on.

Don't aimfor the Heart because a air gun will not penetrate the breast bone.


Plenty of practice and you can shoot playing cards side on.

 

It always seemed odd to me that to get a firearms licence you do not need to show you can actually shoot straight! I regard non certificated air weapons as suitable for targets and small vermin, where they are useful in confined spaces due to the low power, less risk of ricochet and piercing if you miss.


Using a calibre that is not suitable for an animal such that it is likely not to kill, is grounds for criminal charging under causing unnecessary suffering (Sec 19 Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 up here).

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Go stand 30m away and get someone to shoot you in the hand with a 12ft/lb air gun then tell me its unsutibal to shoot a pheasant in the head.


Aslong as the range is kept sensibel and headshots are taken then it will kill.


Dont take chest shots on any bird (pigeons/doves/crows) it will not penatrate the breast bone.

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Go stand 30m away and get someone to shoot you in the hand with a 12ft/lb air gun then tell me its unsutibal to shoot a pheasant in the head.


Aslong as the range is kept sensibel and headshots are taken then it will kill.


Dont take chest shots on any bird (pigeons/doves/crows) it will not penatrate the breast bone.

 

I understand and agree, that is why I said "You would need to be very accurate to kill a pheasant with an airgun....". I think a pheasant head shot at 30 m counts as being a very accurate shooter!

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I can see you are a townie. Wait until the season, and you can pick up a brace for a couple of quid. Or go to a shoot, They are giving them away. They shoot more than they can eat. It's a shame really. How many dead bird's end up in land fill.

John933

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Ive only ever seen birds go into a hole once, i was bush beating when i was about 16. I never went back there.

Bad practice, that shoot couldnt be bothered to put them in crates for the game dealer because they wanted to get to the pub.

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you could use a bat to kill a pheasant, theyre such dumb and slow animals, failing that a .22 would be fine, shotguns just make a mess unless you get a head shot. I wouldnt use a high powered rifle as the bullet would travel much further than you need it to unless youre shooting the bird from above towards the groud

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Thanks for the replies good people! Sounds like it'll be a pain in the arse with all the regs - might pop down the the local horse and firearm place when I'm settled in and see if I can nab someone else's shoot.


Failing that I'll try laying a line of seed or something directly to the oven and see if it toddles in of it's own accord...

 

I can see you are a townie.

Yes. Insofar as I don't walk around all day with a bit of straw sticking out of the corner of my mouth going "Ooh, arrr. Gerrroff my laaaand!" :-)

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When living in the stick, an air riffle is an essential bit of kit!

Regardless of it you shoot birds or not, they are great fun for target shooting in your own garden.

We used to setup the red swan Vesta (non safety) matches and shoot them. Get it right and the burst into flames.

Also if you load a few down the barrel you can have tracer fire to shoot in the dark!

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...if you load a few down the barrel you can have tracer fire to shoot in the dark!

I've got an ancient .177 that I inherited from my granddad and this is TOTALLY what I'm going to do once I've scraped the rust off it.


I had a black widow catapult when I was a teenager and they are bloody lethal. A "friend of mine..." shot my other mate in the arse from some distance at about half stretch and the boy was dancing for at least 20 minutes. :-D

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...if you load a few down the barrel you can have tracer fire to shoot in the dark!

I've got an ancient .177 that I inherited from my granddad and this is TOTALLY what I'm going to do once I've scraped the rust off it.


I had a black widow catapult when I was a teenager and they are bloody lethal. A "friend of mine..." shot my other mate in the arse from some distance at about half stretch and the boy was dancing for at least 20 minutes. :-D

 


yes, i had a black-widow too... one occasion i can remember, we build a rope swing over a river, let one of my mates test it out. whilst he was swinging about we used him for target practice. his only escape was to jump off and go swimming... happy days (not for him). To this day he'll still talk about the day we used him for target practice...

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