In essence, gaining shooting permission is asking someone you may have never met, for permission onto his/her land with a gun to control their vermin or game.
Think about what you would look for in a person asking you the same thing. With years of experience of successfully gaining shooting permission,here are few useful tips.
In general, you will NOT gain shooting permission:
• By posting ‘permission required’ on internet forums
• By writing letters (sometimes works, but with low success rate)
• By sending emails
Actions that may help you gain permission are:
• Getting out there and looking at what is going on, for instance:
1. Are there crops being hammered by pigeons or rabbits
2. Are there playing fields/golf courses etc overrun with rabbits?
3. Are farmers complaining about increasing fox numbers and attacks?
• Knocking on doors, or speaking to the people responsible for the land in question. This way the person gets to meet you, and is able form an opinion of your character, there and then. It is also harder for them to refuse you face to face than it is to throw another letter in the bin.
• Joining a club, or ‘networking’ with like minded local people
• Socialise, track down the landowners or farmers in their local and mingle
• Once you get into the dialogue, find out exactly what they are looking for and make sure you cover the “do’s and don’ts”
• Contact your local keeper and ask him if he needs any beaters, and then stick with it, be punctual and polite. Once you are known you may well be rewarded.
Once you have gained permission:
• Look after it, there may well be someone like you, just waiting for you to mess up so they can take over.
• Use your common sense, don’t leave gates open or drop litter and always pick up your empties.
• Don’t shoot anything you haven't the authority to shoot.
• Get a decent map and make sure you know the boundaries, footpaths, etc.
• Look after your host (farmer, landowner etc), find out what they like to drink. Buy them a bottle at Christmas time. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a thank you.