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Bow Practice

Whats happening in your neck of the woods ?

Bow Practice

Postby Bayou » Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:40 pm

I am gonna shoot my bow today.I know it's a little early but I have been itching to pop something. :lol:
You will find me 25 feet up in a tree.
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Postby nobucks » Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:09 pm

Good to hear from you bayou.I got my recurve out.I think Im going to shoot it a little. :)
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Postby Roebuck » Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:21 am

We are not alowed to hunt with a bow in U.K. Pity, I would love to have a go. A bit sad from the home of Robin Hood, don't you think?

Hope you are successful in your hunt.

Roebuck.
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Postby gtk » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:10 pm

Roebuck, what is the reasoning for the U.K. not to allow bowhunting ?
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Postby Roebuck » Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:21 am

I have no idea what motivates successive Governments in the U.K. to ban practices that have gone on from time immemorial. Our laws prohibit the taking, killing or wounding any animal with a hand launched missile, which includes arrows, spears, etc. I believe that most of Europe is the same. Probably instigated by those professional antis who would not know a quarry species if they met it in their soup!! The latest ban was the ban last month of fox hunting with hounds. That had been a U.K. tradition for hundreds of years. Target archery is still a popular sport though. I believe that there is an old law, reputedly enacted by Henry the Eighth, which demands that every able bodied Englishman practise with the bow on the village green every Sunday after church. It has never been repealed though I doubt anyone obeys it! Come to think of it, you could be hard pressed to find a village green these days!

Our firearms laws are very restrictive too. You have no idea how obstructive our police can be in issuing a permit to have a rifle or shotgun. With rifles, permission has to be obtained for each rifle and "good reason" has to be proved by the applicant before the police will grant permission. I recently applied for permission to buy a 300WSM and a 22-250. It took three months to get it and a fee of $50 had to be paid. When permission came, there were a number of conditions attached to my licence. One said that I could only use my rifles for target shooting. Another said I could only use them for deer hunting and vermin control. Effectively, this meant that I could do neither without breaking the law. At this time all I can do with my rifles is to clean them!! I am waiting (more than a week now) for the police to resolve the issue.

They banned pistols over here, in 1997. I lost seven. They banned semi auto rifles and large capacity magazine shotguns in 1989. I lost six then. Give them a generation or two and none of us will have firearms here.

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Postby gtk » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:05 am

Roebuck,

thanks again for the information.

Another question for you. Did the U.K. ever have groups like our "NRA" to try and help gun owners over there ? Have the laws regarding weapons in the U.K. come about over the last generation or so, or has it taken many, many years to implement those laws ?

Its very frightening to think that one day, we could be like the U.K. in regards to guns & bows. I imagine that people in the U.K. once thought that they would "never" be able to take you guns away..

I really enjoy hearing your point of view from the U.K.

thx again.

Greg
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Postby Roebuck » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:49 am

Yes Greg. We do have an organisation called The National Rifle Association (NRA) but there is no similarity with the NRA of America. Our NRA operates, arguably, one of the finest shooting complexes in Europe and is really run by the establishment, rather snooty in its attitude to the hoi polloi. However, they are at great pains to point out that they are non political. Basically, they exist for target shooters and they cater for target shooters pretty well, running competitions and the like. They are quite happy to see any branch of the sport that they do not control, sent down the river. I left them about seven years ago. When they came for our semi autos, they did nothing but tell the politicians that there was no real need for a semi auto and that bolt actions were perfectly adequate for target shooting. We had been shooting with our standard infantry weapons since I can remember. Back to the 1800s. Likewise, they did nothing to fight the pistol ban in 1997.

There are other organisations for other branches of the sport. Like hunting. We have the British Deer Society. This is run by a bunch of yes men, usually wealthy and landowning, who like to think they control deer hunting in U.K. (They don't) Like the NRA, they did nothing to fight the semi auto ban or the pistol ban. At the time of the semi auto ban, their stated view to the Government was that they could see no reason why any deer hunter would require a semi auto. Never mind ladies and disabled hunters, who appreciated the lesser recoil of this type of rifle. I fell out with them big time over that and left that society. This lot favours the imposition of hunter testing before anyone can have a rifle or hunt deer. They, along with others, instigated a voluntary hunter qualification which is now called Deer Management Qualification Levels 1 & 2. (DMQ 1 & DMQ 2). Most of mainland Europe has mandatory hunter training and testing.

Other organisations are the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), National Gamekeepers’ Association (NGO), Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA), The Game Conservancy (GC) and The Shooters’ Rights Association (SRA). I am a member of the BASC, SGA and SRA.

BASC is about the best of a bad bunch. They are a little bit political and do try to lobby against unfair legislation, as successive Governments vie to see what more useless restrictions that they can place on decent, honest firearms owners, aided and abetted by the raft of nutty antis which abound and a paranoid police force that has stated that it is their ultimate aim, to reduce the number of firearms in private hands, to an absolute minimum. An absolute minimum is zero! Most of these antis are professional protesters, who do not have any detailed knowledge about that which they protest against!

The BASC will help their members in the courts if required. They also do a lot for youth training, quarry and other wildlife research, etc. They too are into the DMQ 1 & 2 Training. As they see it, “Why not?” it makes money. The NGO and the SGA are basically for professional gamekeepers, GC is a research organisation and they do a lot of good quarry research work. The SRA is a militant and political body, but very small. They exist to fight unfair legislation but they do not get the support that they deserve.

Britain has no written constitution. Our constitution is unwritten. When your Founding Fathers drew up the Constitution of the U.S.A., I believe that they took the unwritten English constitution as their starting point. You are lucky that they had the foresight to enshrine in that Constitution, your right to keep and bear arms. Fight to keep it, as without it, you face the same danger that we have here.

Our firearms legislation has been creeping further and further, like the sea eroding the land away. Forgive me if I have the chronology incorrect but I will not be far out in the following.

In 1920, our Government was terrified that there could be a revolution by the working classes, similar to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Up until then, I believe that there were no restrictions on owning firearms and one could protect ones self as necessary. The first laws just required registration and from then on, there have been restriction after restriction imposed.

If one wants to have a firearm (rifle) one visits their local police station and requests a Firearm Certificate Application Form. One takes it home and fills it in. The first page is for personal details, name, address, age, height, occupation, telephone number etc. One also has to give the police permission to access your medical records, so your doctor must be identified. The second page is where you are specific for what you wish to buy. e.g. A .308 rifle, permission to buy 500 rounds of ammunition at any one time and 1000 rounds of ammunition to be in one’s possession at any one time (this must include bullet heads if you reload). The quantities I mention are much higher than is normally allowed. You must supply four recent photographs, one of which must be signed by yourself and another by a “person of standing in the community”, like a doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc. Also, one must get two referees, also persons of standing in the community, who have to say that you are a fit and proper person to own a firearm. You must then say where you will use the rifle and what for. If it is for target shooting, you must be a member of a recognised and approved club and proof of membership must be supplied. (If you are a member of a club and you do not shoot with that club for a period of twelve months, the club secretary is obliged by law, to advise the police of this, who may then withdraw your permit.) If it is for hunting, you have to provide proof that you have permission from the land owner to shoot on his land. The police will then send a Firearms Enquiry Officer to the land to inspect it for suitability for the calibre of rifle asked for and that suitable quarry species are present on the land. That’s a bit of a joke because these FEOs know next to nothing about firearms and less about ballistics and even less about quarry species!!

One then sends this form, with a fee of around $100, to the police H.Q. Each county has its own police force, policing national law. Each county has a Firearms Administration Department. When the police get your application form and your reference forms from your two referees, they then arrange for a FEO to come to visit you at your home. He will check your security. Door locks, window locks and your gun safe, which must be securely attached (bolted) to the fabric of the building (like a load bearing wall for instance). He will also quiz you about why you want to have the rifle and where you will use it and what for. The police will run a criminal background check on you and they will also check with the club secretary or land owner, to see you are telling the truth. If this part goes O.K., the firearm certificate will be considered and subsequently issued. Applications can take MONTHS to get issued. One has to get permission for every rifle you want to buy and justify the reason, to people who do not know and are predisposed to make it as difficult as they can for you.

Broadly speaking, that is how it is.

Now, U.K. does not have mandatory hunting tests. However, as I mentioned earlier in this missive, the shooting organisations have instigated a voluntary test. The biggest land owner for deer hunting land in U.K., is the Forestry Commission. The Forestry Commission is Government owned and run. The Forestry Commission say you must have at least DMQ Level 1 to hunt their land and Level 2 to hold a lease. Compulsion by the back door. The Government can still say “We do not have mandatory hunter qualifications”.

I have DMQ Levels 1 & 2. DMQ 1 consists of a two or three day course, at a recognised training centre, sponsored by an authorising body, such as an agricultural college, BASC, BDS, etc. The course will cost between £400 and $560. It will cover deer ecology, deer biology, firearm safety, exterior ballistics, firearms law, firearms knowledge, seasons, breeding habits, habitats and shooting proficiency. At the end of the course there are four separate assessments. A written paper of fifty questions on any of the above topics. A simulated hunt where safety and firearms handling, target identification, deer sex identification, use of equipment and shot placement are covered. A practical shooting test. (Two shots in a 4 inch circle, prone at 100 metres. Two shots in the kill zone of a deer silhouette, prone at 100 metres. Two shots in the kill zone kneeling at 70 metres. Two shots in the kill zone standing at 40 metres. A species and sex recognition test. (Ten pictures where the species must be identified and ten pictures where species and sex must be identified. We have six species of deer in U.K.) The paperwork required for the course is another $38. My accommodation costs were (two days) $114 and fuel to get there and back was $230. Quite a bit of money.

DMQ 2 consists of completing three separate and witnessed stalks, where you successfully select, shoot, gut in the prescribed manner and transport a deer to the larder and then prepare it to enter the food chain. All internal organs, liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys and heart have to be checked for disease. Lymph glands must be checked, as must mouth and hooves. Notifiable diseases such as anthrax, bovine tuberculosis and foot and mouth disease must be reported. All this must be witnessed by an Accredited Witness (one who is approved by the awarding bodies). The accredited witness fills in your portfolio which consists of four pages of assessment criteria covering thirty four topics. This has to be done on three separate occasions. I have my own land in Scotland so I did not have to pay anyone to go out and shoot the deer. Likewise, my accredited witness did not charge me either time or expenses. However, many do. If you had to pay, it would typically cost $190 for each of the three stalks. Whatever it cost you to get to the hunting ground, whatever it cost for your accredited witness to get to the hunting ground and his expenses if any. Accommodation and food would be extra.

So you can see, the cost mounts up. This is yet another way that “who hunts” can be controlled, by pricing it out of the pockets of many.

Still, our hunting here is pretty good and one does what one has to be able to continue. Don’t let them get the thin edge of the wedge in Greg. Fight all and every bit of restrictive legislation you come across for once the rockslide starts it is difficult to stop. It all started with registration here. “We don’t want to take your guns, just know where they are, for public safety”. B**l***t!! They have almost got all of ours.

I will now step off my soap box. Maybe you will think twice about asking further questions! :lol: :lol:

Seriously, ask as much as you want. I will try to be as accurate as I can in my answers and never knowingly be seriously incorrect.

David.
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Postby gtk » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:48 pm

Thanks Roebuck for the info.

I have read your post about 4 times now. All I can say is hunters & gun-owners here in the states better better stick together. We do not need any bickering amongst ourselves like dog -vs- no-dog hunting and baiting -vs- no baiting.

It COULD happen here, like you state, if they could just get a little "wedge" started.

Thanks again roebuck for the interesting posts.

Keep'm coming :) I enjoy reading your posts.
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Postby gtk » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:52 pm

Another quick question:

Did everyone register their guns in the U.K. when they were supposed too ? What is the penalty if you did not register and get caught ?

The reason I ask is, a lot of people like myself, have a lot of old guns. These guns do not exist in any database. If they asked me to register al of my guns, I would find it very tempting to keep all the old guns "off-record", perhaps storing them in a safe elsewhere.

I think the USA would have a very difficult time getting everyone to register their guns, especially the people like myself :)
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Postby Roebuck » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:00 am

Back in 1920, I suppose a lot of guns were not registered. The owners thinking the same as you (and I cannot fault you for it). There were also a lot of souvenirs brought back from WWII. However, since the introduction of controls, anyone wanting to obtain a legal firearm, had to apply for police permission before they could buy it. This meant that all legally held firearms, since controls started, were recorded, their owners known and their place of storage known. This made it really easy for Hitler when his troops invaded the Chanel Islands during WWII. The Germans just went along to the police station and looked up the lists. They could then just go along to the owner's home and they knew exactly what he or she had. Confiscation was then easy. Over the years, the police have held what they refer to as Firearms Amnesties. These are usually held after there has been a bad crime or incident involving firearms. Anyone can hand their illegally held firearms and ordnance over to the police, during such an amnesty. With no prosecution. These amnesties have reduced the number of illegally held guns to a minimum (Remember, only the good guys hand in illegally held guns. The bad guys keep theirs). Now no one can have a legally held gun that the police do not know about, for the police have given the permission to buy in the first place.

If anyone infringes ANY firearms law, it is a mandatory minimum five years jail and a fine. It is the same for me if I do not obey all the conditions that the police may impose on my permit. Firearms means any imitation firearm too, of any kind. Yesterday, on the news, I heard that a guy tried to hold up a store with a banana, held in a brown paper bag. He got caught. Now he is in jail. He was charged with roberry with misuse of an imitation firearm!! He should have been charged with gross stupidity as well!!

In your position, if registration was demanded, I would say nothing. Fight any and all firearms restrictions.

I believe that a number of States have introduced concealed carry permits and since they have, crimes against the person have greatly reduced. I have some friends in Houston who have carry permits. If I lived there, I would want such a permit too. :D

Roebuck.
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Postby bwm » Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:39 pm

Very interesting writings. It makes me appreciate the freedom of such.

I always enjoy reading what you have to say Roebuck. Thanks.
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Postby Roebuck » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:39 pm

Thanks BWM. I have some better news to report. Yesterday, I got fed up waiting for the police to take the stupid restrictions off my firearms permit, so I called the BASC legal guys. They called the police department and, would you believe it?, the head of the firearms department delivered my permit to my home in the early evening. He also offered profuse apologies for my trouble. Perhaps the meek don't allways inherit the earth. Sometimes a blunt legal instrument is a better policy. Now I can take my new 300WSM over to Africa on 31 March and get into those antelope!! :D
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Postby gtk » Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:11 am

Glad to hear everything has worked out for you ! Best of Luck.
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Postby Roebuck » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:34 pm

Thank you Greg. Stories to follow!! :D

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