A nice looking pond for flighting but is your pond or shoot having problems with vermin?

Most gamekeepers and shooters know the importance of keeping vermin under control on their shooting areas. This page is designed to assist those new to the task of gamekeeping and vermin control. Remember the use of traps or snares means that you have a LEGAL obligation to check them a minimum of once in every 24 hour period. Breaking the law is not only bad for the sport in general but can lead to hefty fines for any offence committed. Foxes, Stoats, Weasels, Mink, Rats and Grey Squirrels are usually the main cause of problems on any shoot or pond.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 all birds and animals are protected by law. Certain species are considered pests and only those species can be legally shot, and then only by authorised persons. An authorised person is one having permission from the land owner to control those species on his or her land. Suitable quarry in law for controlling using an airgun under 12 ftlb are as follows :- Birds :- Crows, Rooks, Magpies, Jays, Wood pigeons, Collared Doves and Feral Pigeons. Animals :- Rabbits, Rats (brown), Grey Squirrels, House mice, Mink have recently been added to the list. These are not always considered pests and only Authorised Persons can shoot them in all circumstances.

Please note : KWACS members and their friends do carry out free vermin control on behalf of landowners/farmers, if you have a problem that you feel we can help you with please use the "contact the author" link on the main page to e.mail us and we will try and arrange some help to sort your problem out for you. We are based in the North Lincolnshire and will travel up to 30 miles south of the Humber from our home base in Scunthorpe.

"Live"traps :-

The term live trap is used to describe traps which catch and hold the intended quarry rather than killing it. Several forms of live trap are used the Larsen trap is just one of them. They are usually constructed of very strong wire or "weldmesh" as they have to withstand the struggling of the caged animal or bird until the keeper arrives to dispatch it. The keeper will visit the traps every 24 hours minimum as legally required and dispose of the animal or bird humanely, re bait and then reset his trap so it can continue it's work. The live trap is an excellent method for catching rabbits but may well be used for rats, mink, stoats, weasels and even foxes in some cases.

Air rifles :-

Air rifles may be used in "ambush" for winged vermin and ground vermin but obviously they are only active as long as you're there. A good air rifle can provide a certain amount of protection from crows, magpies etc but please remember to use a gun suitable for the task, an airgun is not suitable for shooting foxes. Unless you hold a firearms certificated airgun the legal limit is 12 ft/lbs for any air rifle and a good degree of accuracy is a pre requisite as with any live quarry shooting. Air rifles can provide a few hours of sport and much needed protection at times when and if the quarry becomes wary of cage traps.

 

Pheasants at the feeder

 

VERMIN QUARRY :- UK Laws relating to pest control.

THE LARSEN TRAP :- Controlling winged vermin with a live decoy and the "Larsen trap".

THE TUNNEL TRAP :- Controlling ground vermin with a spring trap.

SNARES :- Controlling ground vermin with wire snares.

IDENTIFYING THE QUARRY :- Signs to look for, tracks and other means of identification.

See the following link for more information on General Licences for pest control (adobe acrobat will be required)

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/licences/generallicences.aspx

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