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View Full Version : Shooting Magpies in your garden???



DEL67
06-02-2009, 08:53 PM
Can someone confirm once and for all, can you legally shoot Magpies in your garden if they are killing/destroying songbird eggs, chicks, adult birds etc. if it is done safely without the pellet leaving your property. I ask because there has been some misunderstanding on a thread currently running. On reading the licensing act it can become unclear and confusing.

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 09:18 PM
Don't know where the confusion is?

Go to the BASC site and find the general licence section. Follow the link and it takes you to all the licences for ENGLAND.

There is a licence that allows certain species of bird to be killed for the protection of wild birds.

Magpies are on the list.

HTH,

Steve.

DEL67
06-02-2009, 09:25 PM
Don't know where the confusion is?

Go to the BASC site and find the general licence section. Follow the link and it takes you to all the licences for ENGLAND.

There is a licence that allows certain species of bird to be killed for the protection of wild birds.

Magpies are on the list.

HTH,

Steve.

Well i thought you could but you know what regulations are like, you think you understand it but actually you are wrong. 'Solicitors speak' and all that!

Raygun
06-02-2009, 09:25 PM
There should be no problem as long as your not "Baiting" them in and as long as no pellet leaves your boundaries.

ATB
Ray.

pellyman
06-02-2009, 09:29 PM
thats ok i want to shoot magpies in my garden because they are always trying to attack my guinea pig,just wondered what would happen if the neighbours report me ??;)

aandu
06-02-2009, 09:47 PM
Here is a simple checklist

* Are you old enough to shoot the weapon without supervision (Over 18) and you have license (if gun is FAC)?

* Are you authorised? (Yes, the land is yours or the owner gave you permission)

* Is the bird you are shooting on the General License? (Magpies are in WML Gen-L08 - Licence to kill or take certain birds to conserve wild birds)

* Is your reason justified & valid for the bird you are shooting
Prevent damage to crops,
Conservation of other wild birds, (Magpies do affect local wildlife count)
Preserve public health etc

Note: you cannot shoot a wild pigeon saying it affects local wild life... similarly cannot say magpies eat all your crops... simple really...

* Will the pellet stay within your land's boundaries If no, do you have permission from the neighbouring land owner for your pellets to fall in his land?

* Finally, the kill should be made humanely, the carcass must not be displayed in a manner that is offensive to passer's by who might happen to look at it... (Chances of your neighbour complaining)

As a final note make sure the magpie doesn't drop dead on thier garden tea table (esp. when they are having tea).

Farmerpalmer
06-02-2009, 10:01 PM
thats ok i want to shoot magpies in my garden because they are always trying to attack my guinea pig,just wondered what would happen if the neighbours report me ??;)

protection of livestock :D

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 10:04 PM
Indeed;):D

Steve.

thesmi
06-02-2009, 10:07 PM
Here is a simple checklist

* Are you old enough to shoot the weapon without supervision (Over 18) and you have license (if gun is FAC)?

* Are you authorised? (Yes, the land is yours or the owner gave you permission)

* Is the bird you are shooting on the General License? (Magpies are in WML Gen-L08 - Licence to kill or take certain birds to conserve wild birds)

* Is your reason justified & valid for the bird you are shooting
Prevent damage to crops,
Conservation of other wild birds, (Magpies do affect local wildlife count)
Preserve public health etc

Note: you cannot shoot a wild pigeon saying it affects local wild life... similarly cannot say magpies eat all your crops... simple really...

* Will the pellet stay within your land's boundaries If no, do you have permission from the neighbouring land owner for your pellets to fall in his land?

* Finally, the kill should be made humanely, the carcass must not be displayed in a manner that is offensive to passer's by who might happen to look at it... (Chances of your neighbour complaining)

As a final note make sure the magpie doesn't drop dead on thier garden tea table (esp. when they are having tea).


this is not true you must try other means possible of scaring the bird away first

supersonic
06-02-2009, 10:08 PM
You need to tread very carefully.

Unless you are able to demonstrate that magpies are killing songbirds etc. ON YOUR PROPERTY you could be at risk of prosecution.

And you need to be able to argue that other methods of scaring them off are ineffective.

I suggest you keep a record of the number of songbird nests, eggs, fledglings, visits to your bird table and feeders etc. and photograph e.g. eggs eaten etc. so you could demonstrate that the Magpies you shot were a problem on your property, and that your control measures have improved the survival rate of songbirds.

Its not enough to state that magpies are unpleasant creatures which destroy songbirds... so should be killed at every opportunity.

That is unreasonable, they are a native species and are expected to live in balance with other birds. Extermination would be no more acceptable than extermination of native raptors. Citation on an open license does not mean that they may be shot at will.

Just as it would be illegal to shoot a pigeon in your garden, unless you could argue that it was causing damage to your crops and that you had tried or could argue that other non lethal control measures had either been tried or would be ineffective. Or you could try the health risk option too :rolleyes:

The bottom line is that shooting any birds in a domestic garden is just asking to be prosecuted. Its a different matter when engaging in genuine pest control over e.g. a smallholding or farm.

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 10:18 PM
Hi super,

please don't think i'm on your case:) but in the licence for protecting wild birds we have both linked i can't find where it says you must demonstrate 'other methods' of control like with the licence for preventing serious damage or disease does in paragraph no. 5.

ATB,

Steve.

fullbandit
06-02-2009, 10:28 PM
I'd say have a chat with your neighbours first cos if it upsets them they'll moan to every body (RSPCA ,cops ) whether your in the right or not and make you life hell!!!

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 10:34 PM
I totaly agree even if the person shooting is fully within their rights.

All it takes is one narked neighbor who knows his law and and some fired pellets on their property whether it came from your gun or not:(;):rolleyes: and the shooter could be in trouble.

Steve.

kentfallen
06-02-2009, 10:36 PM
The law is based upon what is reasonable in the circumstances. No need to go to the extreme lengths above. Providing what you do is reasonable you will have no problem...

laity
06-02-2009, 10:39 PM
I did not know that..you learn something new every day. I figured that if a Maggie or pigeon land in your then its game on as it were?

Well i stand corrected. Another good reason to read the BBS everyday!!!

LAity

DEL67
06-02-2009, 10:40 PM
I am not asking for me but am trying to clarify for anyone who may consider this. It's not a pigeon making a mess of your garden furniture, its Magpies killing songbirds/chicks etc. As already has been said it's a bit of a grey area that needs to be clarified. A 'YES' or a 'NO' would be what people are looking for but it would seem not. This is the trouble with laws and regulations people can read into them differently.

bushtrekker
06-02-2009, 10:45 PM
There was a post on here a couple of weeks ago about someone whose son had shot a pigeon. A chat to the neighbours can have unexpected results. a couple of years ago we had a major problem with squirrels in our garden, but
I was wary about shooting them as the woman who backs onto our garden feeds birds and this is what was attracting them. I bumped into her boyfriend in Sainsbury's and he mentioned the squirrels, adding that his girl friend hated them and could I do something about them( He knew I had an air rifle after a rat problem, again caused by her bird table.) I started ambushing them from the patio door early in the morning and soon got rid of a few, but was horrified the next time I saw the neighbour to hear that he had been deliberately putting down rat poison for them...ON THE BIRD TABLE!!!

Cheers, John

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 10:48 PM
Kent, i think reason is going out the window as each year passes. People may be lucky in their shooting career and never have a problem but there are people totaly againsed shooting that can lead to trouble if us shooters stray from the law, stupid or not.

I personally would be mortified if i was nicked for breaking air-gun laws so do my best to keep within them. At times it may interfere with our shooting to stay legal but to me it means everything.

Are you still a copper? If so you must know how our justice system works and how 'reasonable' can be interpreted from one party to another.

Steve.

supersonic
06-02-2009, 10:48 PM
i can't find where it says you must demonstrate 'other methods' of control like with the licence for preventing serious damage or disease does in paragraph no. 5.

I think you are correct. It would certainly make sense ;)

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 10:56 PM
Del,

There is no grey area. You are most definitly allowed to shoot maggies on land where you have permission if the said maggies are a threat to the wild birds present as stated by this licence....

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/WML%20Gen-L08_tcm6-7672.pdf

You don't need to employ other scare tactics before killing them like with woodies which are dealt with by this licence....

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/WML%20Gen-L05_tcm6-7669.pdf

How a case could be proved to a conviction if a complaint was made for shooting maggies for the conservation of wild birds is beyond me?

HTH,

Steve.

fullbandit
06-02-2009, 10:59 PM
at the end of the day it doesn't matter if you in the right or not if your neighbours keep ringing the cops every time you have your rifle in the garden your life is going to crap :(

kdubya
06-02-2009, 11:01 PM
shooting maggies crows woodies gulls etc in your garden is NOT worth the risk
make a larson trap and use it problem solved, it catches them when your in out or whatever.

cheers KW

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 11:03 PM
Maybe lloyd, but there will be a time plod will get the hump with being called out to a legal shooting session and then the snitch will get a rolliking for wasting police time:):)

Shoot well my friend,

Steve:)

fullbandit
06-02-2009, 11:06 PM
Maybe lloyd, but there will be a time plod will get the hump with being called out to a legal shooting session and then the snitch will get a rolliking for wasting police time:):)

Shoot well my friend,

Steve:)

I agree but a 5 min chat can stop many a problem :)

Raygun
06-02-2009, 11:07 PM
shooting maggies crows woodies gulls etc in your garden is NOT worth the risk
make a larson trap and use it problem solved, it catches them when your in out or whatever.

cheers KW

And what do you do with the maggies you catch ?

ATB
Ray.

fullbandit
06-02-2009, 11:09 PM
And what do you do with the maggies you catch ?

ATB
Ray.

shoot them out of sight :)

Raygun
06-02-2009, 11:15 PM
shoot them out of sight :)

So cut out the middle trap and shoot the buggers on sight.

:D

ATB
Ray.

Born Again
06-02-2009, 11:19 PM
The law is based upon what is reasonable in the circumstances. No need to go to the extreme lengths above. Providing what you do is reasonable you will have no problem...

That's the key really. Shooting baited Woodpigeons on your lawn because you fancy a snack would not be considered reasonable. Shooting Grey Squirrels in your loft because they are chewing cables would be OK. Shooting Rats in your pigeon loft ? Fine. Shooting Magpies because they might be preventing songbirds nesting in your bushes ? Not fine unless you have good reason to believe that they are doing it.

If you have a genuine reason to shoot something on general licence then you'll be fine, if you just fancy hunting something for the fun of it then you'll likely fall foul of the law.

That doesn't mean that you can't enjoy hunting, I do, it just means that you must have a realistic reason for doing it. Nothing does the airgunner more harm than the publics perception of us killing anything that lands in our garden, for fun.

I understand the desire to shoot in the garden, shooting land isn't easy to come by and the temptation to put your skills to use on live quarry is strong - especially when you read hunting stories on these sites - but you have to ask yourself if the garden is really the place to do it.

ateallthepies
06-02-2009, 11:21 PM
If you think larson traps are the way to go, read this site and see what you will be up againsed...


http://www.againstcorvidtraps.co.uk/

Steve:rolleyes:

DEL67
06-02-2009, 11:46 PM
[QUOTE=Born Again;3324773]

Haven't seen your name pop up in a while!
Are you still keeping those squirrels in check.

EMcC
06-02-2009, 11:57 PM
I had the same problem with magpies and the neighbour complained, I was using a 'springer' then.
Now I use an AA 410 with moderator, she hasn't got a clue and I am doing quite well six so far.

Born Again
07-02-2009, 12:15 AM
Haven't seen your name pop up in a while!
Are you still keeping those squirrels in check.

I've hammered the squirrels myself and have two retired fellas with shotguns shooting there too, although they prefer to shoot the pigeons. I'm overrun with rabbits but the warrens are so deep that ferreting isn't very effective - the rabbits run around underground and the ferrets get bored and come up with their claws full of fur. To make things more difficult I have warrens with foxholes in the middle - the ferreters won't send them down because they don't know which holes lead to rabbits and which to foxes.

To cap it all I'm told there are now deer there too.

All in all I'm having a torrid time with pest control at the moment and I'm supposed to be felling four acres this March.

On the bright side, the FEO has been up there and cleared it for 0.17, 0.22 and Hornet so at least I'll be able to zap the buggers from 100yds ( except the deer but I've got a man with open FAC to sort them ).

DEL67
07-02-2009, 12:56 AM
I've hammered the squirrels myself and have two retired fellas with shotguns shooting there too, although they prefer to shoot the pigeons. I'm overrun with rabbits but the warrens are so deep that ferreting isn't very effective - the rabbits run around underground and the ferrets get bored and come up with their claws full of fur. To make things more difficult I have warrens with foxholes in the middle - the ferreters won't send them down because they don't know which holes lead to rabbits and which to foxes.

To cap it all I'm told there are now deer there too.

All in all I'm having a torrid time with pest control at the moment and I'm supposed to be felling four acres this March.

On the bright side, the FEO has been up there and cleared it for 0.17, 0.22 and Hornet so at least I'll be able to zap the buggers from 100yds ( except the deer but I've got a man with open FAC to sort them ).

Sounds like you've got your hands full to say the least. Just out of curiosity where abouts in North Kent are you. I know there are deer around the Canterbury area but not sure else where.

Derek.

Born Again
07-02-2009, 01:09 AM
Sounds like you've got your hands full to say the least. Just out of curiosity where abouts in North Kent are you. I know there are deer around the Canterbury area but not sure else where.

Derek.

You have PM

DEAN C.
07-02-2009, 10:17 AM
I wonder if anyone has shot a pigeon in their garden and said he was hungry!

Seriously I suppose we cannot just say we kill for food nowadays then! but a farmer can! The laws are becoming a contradiction in many areas as the PC brigade push further and further.

Enjoy your sport where you can and dont give way to the persecution of minorities!

Dean.

TURIN TURAMBAR
07-02-2009, 11:22 AM
As a final note make sure the magpie doesn't drop dead on thier garden tea table (esp. when they are having tea).

Shades of Gerald Durrells brother Leslie shooting sparrows to feed his brothers menagerie on Corfu. There bloody corpses were raining down on his mother and a woman visiting her!:D

mikemorton
07-02-2009, 11:44 AM
this is not true you must try other means possible of scaring the bird away first

Wrong.

Not in the case of corvids or feral pigeons.

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/WML%20Gen-L08_tcm6-7672.pdf

mattler
07-02-2009, 12:23 PM
I dont want to sound flippant here or at all irrisponsible....BUT!!
From my own point of view if a Magpie lands in my tree (30-40m range) then its history! Just because I dont like them and I know that they attack other nice birds nests. Simple really!
The chances of someone reporting me or even noticing, well less than slim. The chances of the farmer behind my property finding spent pellets, even slimmer. I really think that if you know you are safe, there iare no people or property in your line of sight or surrounding vicinity and you know that if your neighbours saw you they wouldn`t cause any drama then surely is there any point in worrying about the fact that you couldn`t prove that the magpies were offending??
I am generally the sort of person who abides by the law but some details are just ridiculous!
M

Airwolf337
07-02-2009, 04:44 PM
I'd say have a chat with your neighbours first cos if it upsets them they'll moan to every body (RSPCA ,cops ) whether your in the right or not and make you life hell!!!

Thats the absolute key to the whole argument here. Legal or not, if you p*ss your neighbours off they will report you and that my friend opens up a whole new world of pain.
Ask your neighbours straight out "can I shoot the magpies?" If they have any negative reaction - forget it. Don't even poke your gun out of the window.

Hinksy
07-02-2009, 05:06 PM
Could you try a live-catch Larsen Trap? Either buy one or build one?

I used one in my back garden several years back and over the course of a week took 12 (approx) Magpies.

The Larsen was placed out of site and the birds were also dispatched well out of site.

IMO far more effective and safer than using an air-rifle in residential areas.

HTH

Ben :)

aandu
08-02-2009, 08:57 AM
I'm overrun with rabbits but the warrens are so deep that ferreting isn't very effective - the rabbits run around underground and the ferrets get bored and come up with their claws full of fur. To make things more difficult I have warrens with foxholes in the middle - the ferreters won't send them down because they don't know which holes lead to rabbits and which to foxes.
To cap it all I'm told there are now deer there too.


Doesn't sound like a problem to me...Sounds more like hunter's heaven... :) :D