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Stalking Schemes

BASC currently has four stalking schemes in operation – Arran (Scotland), Baronscourt (Northern Ireland), Dorset (various locations) and Hockwold (Norfolk/Suffolk border).deerschemes These schemes have been developed to provide a variety of different stalking opportunities for members who wish to take up stalking and to provide those with limited access to stalking of their own, the opportunity to gain practical experience and increase their knowledge.

BASC Deer Management Scheme – Isle of Arran

The Arran Deer Management scheme is open to all BASC members who have their own stalking rifle and hold DSC1 and also hold or are registered for DSC2.  Members are given the opportunity to stalk red deer (there are only red deer on the island) unaccompanied in a commercial forestry environment. The scheme is designed to provide practical follow-on experience for those who have completed the DSC1.

Stalking on Arran is a mixture of open hill and commercial forestry, so the terrain can be arduous and physically demanding. Stalkers should ensure that they are fit and are not suffering from any medical condition which may endanger their own safety or restrict the activities of their stalking partner.

The stalking area is extensive and is in the southern half of the Isle of Arran, which is situated in the Firth of Clyde west of Ardrossan. You can get to Arran on the Caledonian MacBrayne passenger/car ferry, which runs between Ardrossan to Brodick four times daily in both directions during the winter.

All stalking through the BASC scheme is under the overall supervision of a co-ordinator who will supervise the briefing, deployment of stalkers and conduct of all culling operations. The co-ordinator is a qualified assessor/approved witness for the DSC2 so the scheme offers members some limited opportunity to obtain evidence towards the DSC2. The co-ordinator is principally there as a safety supervisor and can only provide witness evidence for DSC2 if his primary duties allow. It is emphasised that this scheme is not a DSC2 course.

 

 

2018/19 DATES

HIND WEEKS

HIND 2: 7 – 11 JANUARY 2019- FULLY BOOKED

HIND 3: 21 – 25 JANUARY 2019- FULLY BOOKED

HIND 4: 4 – 8 FEBRUARY 2019- FULLY BOOKED

 

STALKING PROCEDURES

The stalking lease covers a vast area and is divided up in to a number of widely-dispersed beats in order to accommodate multiple stalkers. The BASC scheme co-ordinator has the overall responsibility for all stalkers attending the scheme, with assistance from the Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) wildlife ranger. Both of these co-ordinators are very experienced stalkers and they will each have an ATV to assist with extraction of deer carcasses.

Participating stalkers will be paired off and each pair will stalk together on their allocated beat. Pairing will provide a measure of safety if an injury or illness occurs and will also help the initial extraction of the very large red deer found on Arran. At all times there will only ever be one rifle loaded and in use within each pair of stalkers and the loaded rifle will always be carried by the person who takes the lead. The lead stalker will continually ensure that their rifle is always pointed in a safe direction and the stalkers will take turns at leading with the rifle. A more detailed safety briefing will take place prior to outings in the field.

RIFLES AND AMMUNITION

Anyone who applies for the scheme must have a basic knowledge of deer stalking and be confident / proficient in using their rifle in field conditions. Practice is therefore essential! Potential stalkers should have taken the time to practise live firing from the sitting, standing and kneeling positions, using a stick or other support. Before stalkers are allowed onto their beat they will be required to demonstrate that their rifle is zeroed by putting three shots in a 4-inch group at 100 metres. Stalkers who cannot achieve this will not be permitted to continue.

Rifles and ammunition must comply with the Scottish legislation for shooting red deer:

Not less than 100-grain bullet weight

Not less than 1750 ft lbs muzzle energy

Not less than 2450 fps muzzle velocity

Ammunition that is designed to deform in a predictable manner

All rifles must be prepared and zeroed prior to arrival on the programme.

The Co-ordinator may have up to 16 stalkers (in 8 pairs) to supervise and he cannot spend a lot of time trying to sort out rifles that have not been properly prepared. Stalkers should bring bring enough ammunition to last for the five days. The nearest gun shop is in Ardrossan on the mainland so it will require a return ferry trip if stalkers need to buy more ammunition or have their rifle serviced or repaired..

The Arran scheme involves stalking over demanding terrain in a climate where the weather can change for the worse in an instant. Anyone considering taking part should be aware of the challenging nature of managing deer under these conditions and should be sufficiently fit. During warmer periods midges will be prevalent; stalkers should be prepared with repellents and/or head nets.

A full synchronisation and safety briefing will be undertaken on the first day before beats are allocated. Each pair of stalkers will be issued a safety pack containing such items as a two-way radio, marked maps and an emergency strobe light etc. The BASC scheme allows stalkers to cull any deer on the cull plan that is in season. The choice of individual animals to be culled will be at the discretion of the stalker and there will be no additional trophy fees for male animals.

The scheme coordinator’s main role is to ensure stalkers’ safety and that all activities are conducted to current best practice. The coordinators are also there to offer advice and guidance to participants attending the scheme. Stalkers are encouraged to contact them at an early stage if they are struggling to find deer or have any other concerns relating to the scheme.

While all arrangements for a satisfactory outing will be made in good faith, BASC can give no guarantees that deer will be encountered.

Stag programmes will cost £410 for 8 outings, and Hinds will cost £260 for 8 outings. These fees are exceptionally competitive and are a unique BASC membership benefit.

If any stalker wishes to take venison home with them, then it can be purchased through the FCS ranger at the private sales rate.

TIMINGS & PROGRAMME

All stalkers are required to be at the meeting point at the Arran Sports Association Hall, Shore Road, Brodick. KA27 8DA on the first day. A map, directions and time of the meeting will be provided by BASC.

The programme for a typical event is likely to be as follows:

Day prior to start

PM – Majority of stalkers will arrive on the island

First day

AM – Stalkers meet at briefing venue

AM – Briefing and issue of safety equipment

AM – Move to range – check zero rifles

AM – Walk beat areas

PM – Stalking under co-ordinator supervision

Last light – Carcasses located and marked for morning extraction if necessary, check-in with co-ordinator and return to accommodation

Middle days of programme

1st light – Check-out with co-ordinator. Stalking in pairs

AM – Recover carcasses to larder

Change over and walk new beat area if necessary

PM – Check-in with co-ordinator. Stalking in pairs

Last light – carcasses located and marked for morning extraction if necessary, check-in with co-ordinator and return to accommodation

Final day

1st light – Check-out with co-ordinator. Stalking in pairs

AM – Recover carcasses to larder

Pick up any venison required under larder sales

Return to FC office for debrief / feedback and return safety kit

PM – Disperse and return to mainlan

OTHER FEES

Stalkers are expected to arrive with their rifles zeroed and the programme cannot cater for lenghty delays to allow for rifles to be adjusted. Before stalkers are allowed onto their beat they will be required to demonstrate that their rifle is zeroed by putting three shots in a 4-inch group at 100 metres. Stalkers who cannot achieve this will not be permitted to stalk live quarry. A penalty fee of £50 may be charged for any deer missed or wounded.

Accommodation options on the island are numerous and should easily cater for all tastes and budgets.

GENERAL CONDITIONS

A permit authorises the holder to shoot specified deer on BASC leased ground on certain dates.  Stalking will be by agreement with the BASC Game and Deer Department.  The permit will only be valid for the period booked and will be forfeited if not exercised within that period.

The Permit Holder will be required to:

  1. read conditions and complete booking form;
  2. give notice as detailed within the cancellation policy.  A refund will only be provided where the place can be reallocated and an administration fee  for legitimate and unavoidable cancellations will then apply;
  3. comply at all times with any instructions issued by the co-ordinator;
  4. use a rifle and expanding ammunition of not less than 100grain bullet weight which produces a muzzle energy of not less than 1750 foot pounds and a muzzle velocity of not less than  2450 feet per second. The ammunition must be designed to expand in a predictable manner;
  5. fire a group of sighting shots – on request – at a range and accuracy to the satisfaction of the co-ordinator  or other authorised person;
  6. produce – for inspection on request by the co-ordinator or other authorised person – a valid Firearms Certificate and proof of current membership of BASC (which gives third party insurance cover with an indemnity limit of £10,000,000 legal liability) and proof of holding a game meat handling qualification;
  7. indemnify BASC against any loss, injury or damage;
  8. shoot any injured or diseased deer that may be encountered;
  9. all shots fired must be notified immediately to the supervisor who will make the final decision on any follow up action required;
  10. stop stalking if a deer is wounded, until it has been despatched or otherwise accounted for to the supervisor’s satisfaction
  11. ensure that he/she does not  shoot from any vehicle or by artificial light;
  12. pay to BASC fees as set out on the attached advisory paper by the times stipulated;
  13. note that the carcass is the property of the Forestry Commission. Weight and other measurements of interest will be recorded officially. The Permit Holder may purchase the venison at the current market price and make their own arrangements for its removal;
  14. note that while all arrangements for a satisfactory outing will be made in good faith, BASC can give no guarantees that deer will be encountered;
  15. note that BASC reserve the right to suspend or withdraw a Permit at any time and its decision in any matters arising from the granting of a Permit will be final;
  16. note that BASC reserves the right to vary all conditions, dates and charges without notice.
  17. this stalking opportunity is solely for the benefit of BASC members and permits may not be bought and resold for any commercial purpose or for financial gain. BASC reserves the right to cancel or withdraw without recompense; any permit which the Deer Management team believes may have breached this condition.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Please note carefully before making a booking

Full payment must be forwarded with any application for a permit.

If a permit is cancelled then BASC will endeavour to reallocate the permit but if this is not possible, then the following scale of charges will apply:

  • Reallocation of permit by BASC at any stage – admin fee of £30
  • More than 8 weeks before start of permit – admin fee of £30
  • Less than 8 weeks but more than 4 weeks before start of permit – 30% of permit fee
  • Less than 4 weeks but more than 2 weeks before start of permit – 60% of permit fee
  • Less than 2 weeks before start of permit – 100% of permit fee

INSURANCE

BASC operates a cancellation charging scheme and it would be prudent to consider an insurance policy to cover cancellations due to unforeseen eventualities. Stalkers should ensure that the ‘holiday element’ is covered by separate insurance cover and should inform any potential insurer that the ‘shooting element’ is covered under BASC membership.

VEHICLES

A 4×4 vehicle is not essential but as forest tracks will be used some of the time, it can be an advantage. The lease does not allow stalkers to use quad bikes or similar all-terrain vehicles and they should not be brought to the scheme.

HOW TO MAKE A BOOKING

Those interested in booking must contact the Game and Deer Management department by phone (01244 573019) to confirm availability. Card payments over the phone and cheques sent in by post are both accepted.

BASC reserves the right to cancel any booking at any time at which point a full refund of the outing fee will be made. BASC will not be liable for any other costs incurred by the member in booking the outing.

BASC cannot accept responsibility for delays or inconvenience caused by cancelled or re-scheduled ferries due to adverse weather conditions or any other reason.

Game and Deer Management Team, The British Association for Shooting & Conservation, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham, LL12 0HL, Tel: 01244 573019, Fax: 01244 573013, email

Dorset Deer Management scheme

Roe

 

The Dorset Deer Management scheme is open to all BASC members (who have their own stalking rifle and hold an Open Certificate) and is designed to provide practical follow-on experience for those who have completed the Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 and therefore anyone wishing to attend the scheme must hold this qualification.

A combination of foot stalking and high seats will be used to give members the opportunity to shoot roe deer in a lowland environment. Opportunities to shoot other species may be available in some locations at various times of the year, although bookings should be made on the basis of roe only. All stalking which takes place as part of the scheme is under the overall supervision of a co-ordinator who will supervise the briefing, deployment of stalkers and conduct all culling operations.

For each individual event a fee of £185 is charged for each outing, regardless of the number of animals culled. This fee is not refundable if no deer are shot. There are no additional trophy fees for male animals.

 

Please check back for the 2019 season dates

 

STALKING PROCEDURES

The stalking lease area is widespread throughout the county of Dorset with many larger areas grouped together in clusters. A central point to the main area is between Shaftesbury and Blandford Forum. Where possible, stalking events will take place on core areas where continuous leased farmland can be used to accommodate two stalkers. Some travel between different areas may be required to ensure participants have maximum opportunity.

A single event can accommodate two stalkers and will comprise two stalking outings over two days. The first will be a PM outing on the afternoon/evening of the first day followed by an AM outing the following morning. One stalker will be positioned in a high seat unaccompanied and the other will be accompanied by the co-ordinator to stalk on foot in a different area. The two stalkers will then swap over for the second outing. A different area may need to be used for the second outing depending on what is seen/shot during the evening before.

Scheme participants will be briefed by the co-ordinator before heading out onto the ground. The stalker visiting the high seat will only be permitted to shoot from the high seat and a finish time will be agreed with the co-ordinator prior to each outing. A more detailed safety briefing will take place prior to outings in the field.

 

RIFLES AND AMMUNITION

It is essential that anyone who applies for the scheme has a basic knowledge of deer and stalking and is confident and proficient in using their rifle in field conditions.

For the shooting of roe deer in England and Wales, firearms and ammunition must conform to requirements laid down in the Deer Act 1991(as amended) These are stated as follows:

  • Calibre not less than .240 inches
  • Not less than 1700 ft lbs muzzle energy
  • Ammunition that is designed to deform in a predictable manner

 All rifles must be prepared and zeroed prior to arrival on the programme.  Stalkers should bring enough ammunition to last the two days. Factory ammunition and home loads are both acceptable.

 

GENERAL CONDITIONS

 A permit authorises the holder to shoot specified deer on BASC leased ground on certain dates.  Stalking will be by agreement with the BASC Game & Deer Department. The permit will only be valid for the period booked and will be forfeited if not exercised within that period. 

The Permit Holder will be required to:

  1. read conditions and complete booking form;
  2. give notice as detailed within the cancellation policy.  A refund will only be provided where the place can be reallocated and an administration fee  for legitimate and unavoidable cancellations will then apply;
  3. comply at all times with relevant  legislation, general conditions of the permit and any instructions issued by the co-ordinator. Failure to do so may result in termination of permit without recompense;
  4. use a rifle calibre of not less than .240 inches and expanding ammunition which produces a muzzle energy of not less than 1700 foot pounds. The ammunition must be designed to expand in a predictable manner;
  5. to arrive with a zeroed rifle and to fire a group of sighting shots – on request – at a range and accuracy to the satisfaction of the co-ordinator  or other authorised person;
  6. produce – for inspection on request by the co-ordinator or other authorised person – a valid Firearms Certificate and proof of current BASC membership (which gives third party insurance cover with an indemnity limit of £10,000,000 legal liability) and proof of holding a game meat handling qualification;
  7. indemnify BASC against any loss, injury or damage;
  8. shoot any injured or diseased deer that may be  encountered;
  9. to notify the co-ordinator of all shots fired who will make the final decision on any follow up action required;
  10. stop stalking if a deer is wounded, until it has been despatched or otherwise accounted for to the co-ordinator’s satisfaction
  11. ensure that he/she does not  shoot from any vehicle or by artificial light;
  12. pay to BASC fees as set out on the attached advisory paper by the times stipulated;
  13. note that the carcass is the property of BASC.  Weight and other measurements of interest will be recorded officially. The Permit Holder may purchase the venison at the current market price outlined by the co-ordinator and make their own arrangements for its removal;
  14. note that while all arrangements for a satisfactory outing will be made in good faith, BASC can give no guarantees that deer will be encountered;
  15.  note that BASC reserve the right to suspend or withdraw a Permit at any time and its decision in any matters arising from the granting of a Permit will be final;
  16. note that BASC reserves the right to vary all conditions, dates and charges without notice.
  17. this stalking opportunity is solely for the benefit of BASC members and permits may not be bought and resold for any commercial purpose or for financial gain. BASC reserves the right to cancel or withdraw without recompense; any permit which the Deer Management team believes may have breached this condition.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation options are numerous and should easily cater for all tastes and budgets. The central point to the main area is between Shaftesbury and Blandford Forum, however, we recommend that you contact the BASC Game & Deer Department before booking any accommodation to confirm the best location in relation to the area being used for that event.

 

INSURANCE

BASC operates a cancellation charging scheme and it would be prudent to consider an insurance policy to cover cancellations due to unforeseen eventualities. Members should ensure that the ‘holiday element’ is covered by separate insurance cover and should inform any potential insurer that the ‘shooting element’ is covered under BASC membership.

 

VEHICLES

A 4×4 vehicle is not essential but as farm tracks will be used some of the time, it can be an advantage. The lease does not allow participants to use quad bikes or similar all-terrain vehicles and they should not be brought to the scheme.

 

DOGS

Participants who wish to bring dogs with them must seek prior permission from BASC. Some locations, at certain times of the year, may have a high level of livestock grazing and therefore dogs may not be permitted. The co-ordinator will have access to a deer dog if required.

 

CANCELLATION POLICY

Please note carefully before making a booking

Full payment must be forwarded with any application for a permit.

If a permit is cancelled then BASC will endeavour to reallocate the permit but if this is not possible, then the following scale of charges will apply:

  • Reallocation of permit by BASC at any stage – admin fee of £30.00
  • More than 8 weeks before start of permit – admin fee of £30.00
  • Less than 8 weeks but more than 4 weeks before start of permit – 30% of permit fee
  • Less than 4 weeks but more than 2 weeks before start of permit – 60% of permit fee
  • Less than 2 weeks before start of permit – 100% of permit fee

 

Email: game.deer@basc.org.uk

BASC Game & Deer Management Department

British Association for Shooting & Conservation

Marford Mill

Rossett

Wrexham

LL12 0HL

Tel: 01244 573019 – Fax: 01244 573013

The BASC Hockwold Deer Management scheme

deerhockwold

Credit: N.E.Wildlife

Introduction

The BASC Hockwold Deer Management scheme is open to all BASC members and the scheme is designed to provide practical experience for stalkers of all levels of experience and ability.

The scheme has an ‘estate rifle’ facility which provides the opportunity for complete novices and beginners to go out on their first stalks under the supervision of an experienced deer manager.

An area of 962 hectares at Hockwold, part of Thetford Forest on the Suffolk/Norfolk border is licensed exclusively to BASC permit holders. The area consists of a mosaic of mature and newly planted blocks of conifer and is relatively flat. Under the scheme participants will have the opportunity to stalk roe, fallow and muntjac deer throughout the relevant seasons to each species.

All stalking activities, which takes place as part of the scheme are under the direct supervision of a coordinator.

Stalking Procedures

Accompanied Stalking / Deer Stalking Certificate (DSC) Level 2 Witnessing

All stalking is accompanied by the scheme coordinator. For those who are considering or have completed the DSC 1, the scheme offers the chance to gain more experience under expert supervision, and for those working towards DSC 2, it offers the chance to make witnessed stalks for assessment. An accompanied stalk may be made up of a foot stalk, high seat or a combination of the two. For an accompanied stalk a fee of £125 is charged for each outing, regardless of the number of animals culled. This fee is not refundable if no deer are shot.

Unaccompanied High Seat Outings

There will be some limited opportunity for those members holding DSC 2 to participate in unaccompanied high seat sessions. These sessions will be under the direct supervision and control of the coordinator. For an unsupervised high seat outing a fee of £90 is charged for each outing, regardless of the number of animals culled. This fee is not refundable if no deer are shot.

Group Cull events

There is limited opportunity for those members holding DSC 2 to participate in Group Cull events. A single event can accommodate up to eight stalkers and will consist of two stalking outings over two days. The first will be a PM outing on the afternoon/evening of the first day followed by an AM outing the following morning. All stalkers will be positioned in a high seat unaccompanied.

For a Group Cull event a fee of £145 is charged for each twin-session outing regardless of the number of animals culled. This fee is not refundable if no deer are shot. All scheme participants will be briefed by the co-ordinator before heading out on to the ground with a detailed safety briefing.

Before stalkers are taken out by the coordinator they will be required to demonstrate that their rifle is zeroed by putting three shots into a 4 inch group at 100 metres. Subsequent bookings made will not require a shooting test but participants must ensure their rifles are zeroed.

Stalkers should ensure that their rifle is zeroed before coming on the scheme as those who cannot achieve the 4-inch group will not be permitted to shoot. Members using the estate rifle will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the rifle before taking the shooting test. The estate rifle is a moderated .308 and can be used for all species of deer.

Group Cull events

There is limited opportunity for those members holding DSC2 to participate in Group Cull events. These sessions will be under the direct supervision and control of the co-ordinator.

For a Group Cull event an outing fee of £145 is charged for each outing regardless of the number of animals culled. This fee is not refundable if no deer are shot.

All scheme participants will be briefed by the co-ordinator before heading out on to the ground with a detailed safety briefing.

Before stalkers are taken out by the co-ordinator they will be required to demonstrate that their rifle is zeroed by putting three shots into a 4-inch group at 100 metres. Stalkers should ensure that their rifle is zeroed before coming on the scheme as those who cannot achieve the 4 inch group will not be permitted to take part. Subsequent bookings made will not require a shooting test but participants must ensure their rifles are zeroed.

Additional Fees

There are no additional trophy fees for roe, fallow or muntjac, which makes the charges for the scheme very competitive.

There will be an option to buy venison from BASC at the current market price.

General Conditions

A permit authorises the holder to shoot specified deer over a part of a particular forest on a certain date. Stalking will be by agreement with and at times convenient to the coordinator or his delegated representative. The permit will only be valid for the season/date booked and will be forfeited if not exercised within that period.

The wearing of DPM or military style patterned clothing is not allowed while participating in the BASC Hockwold stalking scheme.

Only factory ammunition will be accepted, no home loads are to be used. All rifles must be fitted with sound moderators.

The permit holder will be required to:

a) Give notice as detailed within the cancellation policy.

b) In the case of novice and DSC1 holders, be accompanied by, and act under the direction of the scheme coordinator;

c) Use a moderated rifle of a calibre not less than .243 inches and soft or hollow-nosed bullets with a published muzzle energy of not less than 1,700 foot pounds.

d) Fire on request a group of sighting shots at a range and accuracy to the satisfaction of the supervising stalker or other authorised person;

e) Produce, for inspection on request by the coordinator or other authorised person, a valid Firearms Certificate (unless using the Estate rifle facility) and proof of current membership of BASC (which gives third party insurance cover with an indemnity limit of £10,000,000 legal liability);

f) Indemnify BASC against any loss, injury or damage;

g) Note that shooting from any moving vehicle or by artificial light is prohibited;

h) Note that if a deer is wounded, stalking will stop until it has been despatched or otherwise accounted for;

i) Note that the carcass is the property of BASC. Weight and other measurements of interest will be recorded officially. The permit holder may purchase the venison at the current market price outlined by the coordinator and make their own arrangements for its removal;

j) Note that while all arrangements for a satisfactory outing will be made in good faith, BASC can give no guarantees that deer will be encountered and/or shot;

k) Note that BASC reserve the right to suspend or withdraw a permit at any time and its decision in any matters arising from the granting of a permit will be final;

l) Note that BASC reserves the right to vary these conditions and charges without notice;

m) This stalking opportunity is solely for the benefit of BASC members and permits may not be bought or resold for any commercial purpose or for financial gain. BASC reserves the right to cancel or withdraw without recompense: any permit which the Game and Deer Management team believes may have breached this condition

n) Comply with best practice guidance at all times.

BASC reserves the right to cancel any booking at any time at which point a full refund of the outing fee will be made. BASC will not be liable for any other costs incurred by the member in booking the outing.

Those interested in booking a stalk must contact the Game and Deer Management team by phone (01244 573019) to check event availability. Card payments over the phone and cheques sent in by post are both accepted.

If you would like to discuss the scheme in more detail with one of the team please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01244 573019

Game and Deer Management Team, The British Association for Shooting & Conservation, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham, LL12 0HL, Tel: 01244 573019, Fax: 01244 573013, email

 

The BASC (Northern Ireland) Baronscourt Deerstalking Scheme.

Introduction

Please note that all enquiries should be directed to BASC NI office and not Baronscourt Estate.

Given the lack of deer stalking opportunity in Northern Ireland, BASC NI, working in partnership with the prestigious Baronscourt Estate, decided to launch a new stalking scheme that is exclusively for BASC members. All stalking under this scheme is accompanied and will involve either a morning or an afternoon stalk

The Baronscourt deerstalking scheme is open to all BASC members holding the Deerstalking Certificate 1 (DSC1) qualification. The scheme is designed to provide practical follow-on experience for those who have completed DSC1 and therefore anyone wishing to take part must hold this qualification.

Baronscourt Estate is willing to provide BASC members participating in the scheme with a ‘Letter of Deerstalking Opportunity’ in order to help them acquire a deerstalking rifle. The letter will remain valid only for the duration of the BASC member’s firearm certificate and only while the certificate holder remains a BASC member and registered for the Baronscourt deerstalking scheme. In order to qualify for the letter of deerstalking opportunity, BASC members must also have completed at least three accompanied stalks on the Estate. The letter will be supplied only on the condition that it may be revoked at any time and for any reason without explanation.

Under the scheme, participants (stalkers) will have the opportunity to stalk Sika prickets (young stags) and hinds. Occasionally, Sika stags may be shot, however this will be at the discretion of the Estate’s head gamekeeper/guide. This will involve a trophy fee, the level of which will be agreed with the Head Gamekeeper/guide either prior to, or during the outing.

To take part in this exclusive scheme, you must first complete a registration form which can either be downloaded here, or obtained by calling the BASC NI office on 028 92 60 50 50 or emailing nire@basc.org.uk

Completed forms must then be returned to BASC NI along with the registration fee (which is payable per season) of £30 inclusive of VAT. Please make cheques payable to BASC or alternatively, payment can be made over the telephone using either a credit or debit card.

By registering for the scheme, you agree to be bound by the schemes Terms and Conditions as shown below:-

Stalking procedures

Stalkers are asked NOT to contact the Estate in the first instance.

Once the completed registration form and the registration fee have been received, BASC NI will then advise the stalker to make contact directly with the Estate to arrange a mutually agreeable date and time for the stalk. A stalking fee of £120 inclusive of VAT per outing is payable directly to the Estate and this must be paid prior to any stalking being undertaken.

Stalking may take place on any part of the Estate’s 10,000 acres which is a mixture of spruce woodland and undulating farmland and scrubland. All stalkers will be accompanied by an experienced deerstalker who is also a member of the Estate’s cull team. Each outing will normally last for approximately four hours and will involve either a foot stalk or the use of high seats or a mixture of the two; however this will mainly be dependent upon the physical capabilities of the stalker and the terrain.

Stalkers may bring a guest, providing the guest is a BASC member and the stalker has obtained prior written permission from Baronscourt Estate.

Some travel between different areas of the Estate may be required to ensure stalkers have maximum opportunity to shoot cull animals, which will either be prickets (young stags) or hinds depending on the time of year.

The main quarry species will generally be sika deer, however stalkers may have the opportunity to shoot other species of deer if they are encountered, but this will be at the discretion of the Head Gamekeeper.

Stalkers will generally only be permitted to shoot one cull animal per outing. However, stalkers may be afforded the opportunity to shoot more than one animal within the stalking period, if they have the opportunity and time to do so. This will be at the sole discretion of the Estate’s Head Gamekeeper or his guide and there will be no additional charge.

Once an animal has been shot, the carcass will be recovered to the Estate’s game larder where it will be inspected, gralloched and tagged. Carcasses will remain the property of the Estate at all times. BASC members participating in the scheme may have the opportunity to purchase complete carcasses or venison products at a discounted rate, however this will be at the discretion of the Estate as it is obliged to meet the game demands of its existing clients.

Misplaced shots may result in the carcass being deemed unfit to enter the food chain.  In such circumstances the stalker will be required to pay a fee of £50.  The decision as to whether a carcass is unfit to enter the food chain will be at the discretion of the Estate’s Head Gamekeeper.

All stalking which takes place as part of this scheme is controlled, co-ordinated and supervised by the Estate’s Head Gamekeeper and his guides. The Head Gamekeeper and guides are responsible for ensuring the briefing and deployment of all stalkers and the conduct of all culling operations.

The meeting point on the Estate is the Estate’s game larder which is situated beside the Head Gamekeeper’s house and the kennels.

The post code for Baronscourt Estate is BT78 4EZ.

To find out more about Baronscourt Estate or for specific directions please visit http://www.barons-court.com/

Rifles and ammunition

Stalkers may use their own rifle providing that they hold a valid firearm certificate for that specific firearm which must be of .243 or above calibre. The firearm must also be “conditioned” on their firearm certificate for deerstalking.

Stalkers using their own rifle and ammunition must prepare and zero their rifle prior to arrival to the Estate. If the Head Gamekeeper and/or guide desires, stalkers may be asked to zero their rifles on the Estate’s approved range – failure to comply with such a request may result in the cancellation of the outing and no refund of fees will be due. Stalkers may be granted access to the Estate’s approved shooting range; however this will be dependent upon the conditions listed on the stalker’s firearm certificate and the availability of Estate staff.  Stalkers will not incur a charge for using the Estate’s approved range.

Stalkers should ensure they have sufficient ammunition to cover all eventualities. Stalkers must only use factory-produced ammunition as the Estate’s risk assessment does not permit the use of home-loaded ammunition.

Under the Schedule 1 paragraph 10 exemption contained within the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004, stalkers may use the Estate rifle; however this requires a deposit of £60 alongside a small hire charge of £20 inclusive of VAT per outing. The £60 deposit will be refunded provided the Estate rifle is returned undamaged at the end of each outing.

Anyone borrowing the Estate rifle must first sign a “Prohibited Persons Declaration” certifying that they are not prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under Article 63 of the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 or, Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968.  This form will be provided by the Estate and must be completed prior to handling the Estate rifle. All unused ammunition must be returned with the Estate rifle.

Travelling with firearms from GB to Northern Ireland.

There is no requirement for stalkers travelling from GB with stalking rifles (which they hold on certificate) to apply for a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Certificate of Approval.

A Certificate of Approval is only required when air guns not held on certificate in GB are being brought into Northern Ireland.  This must be applied for at least 4 weeks in advance and the form can be located here: http://www.psni.police.uk/30-15.pdf

Visitors travelling from outside the UK must apply to the Police Service of Northern Ireland for a visitor’s permit which can be located here: http://www.psni.police.uk/30-38.pdf

Travelling times to Baronscourt Estate

  • Average travel time from Belfast International Airport 1 hr 40 minutes.
  • Average travel time from Belfast City Airport 1 hr 55 minutes.
  • Average travel time from Larne port 2 hr 5 minutes.
  • Average travel time from Belfast port 1 hr 50 minutes.

BASC members travelling to Northern Ireland using Stena Line Irish Sea ferries can claim a 10% discount. To find out more please visit http://basc.org.uk/northern-ireland/

Terms and Conditions

By completing the scheme registration form, you agree to be bound by the scheme’s Terms and Conditions as shown below. Please note that these are subject to change, without notice, and it is the stalker’s responsibility to ensure that they have read the terms and conditions.

All stalkers are required to:

  • Read the information sheet and return the completed, signed registration form, certifying that they are not a prohibited person and confirming that they agree to be bound by the scheme Terms and Conditions.
  • Note that the £30 registration fee payable to BASC (per season) is non-refundable.
  • Note that the scheme is designed to provide BASC members with the opportunity to stalk hinds and prickets (young stags). Occasionally, sika stags may be shot however this will be at the discretion of the Estate’s head gamekeeper/guide. This will involve a trophy fee, the level of which will be agreed with the Head Gamekeeper/guide either prior to, or during the outing.  In certain circumstances, cull stags may be shot, for which no trophy fee will be charged, however this will be at the discretion of the Head Gamekeeper/guide. The level of fee payable will be based on the quality of any stag shot, which will be determined by the Head Gamekeeper whose decision will be final.
  • Note that both BASC and Baronscourt Estate reserve the right to refuse entry to the scheme or, to remove a member from the scheme for any reason whatsoever. In such cases, and where a registration fee has been paid, the fee will be non-refundable.
  • Note that all animals must be shot in the heart/lung area to ensure that they are dispatched quickly and humanely.
  • Note that stalkers will be required to assist with the follow up and carcass recovery.
  • Note that all carcasses will remain the property of the Baronscourt Estate at all times. BASC members participating in the scheme may have the opportunity to purchase complete carcasses or venison products at a discounted rate; however, this will be at the discretion of the Estate as it is obliged to meet the game demands of its existing clients.
  • Give cancellation notice as detailed within the Estates cancellation policy as shown below.
  • Comply at all times with the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (as amended 2011)
  • Comply at all times with the “General Conditions” listed on their firearm certificate and any instructions given by the Head Gamekeeper or his authorised representative. Failure to do so may result in termination of the stalk without recompense.
  • Use a rifle having a calibre of not less than .243 inches (6mm) with a bullet which must be designed to expand in a predictable manner with a bullet weight of not less than 100 grains (6.48 grammes) and a muzzle energy of not less than 1,700 foot pounds (2,305 joules)
  • Arrive at the Estate with a prepared and zeroed rifle and on request, fire a group of sighting shots at a range and accuracy to the satisfaction of the Head Gamekeeper or his authorised representative.
  • Produce for inspection on request by the Head Gamekeeper or his authorised representative a valid Firearms Certificate which must be conditioned for “deerstalking”.
  • Produce proof of current BASC membership (which gives third party insurance cover with an indemnity limit of £10,000,000 legal liability) and proof of holding a game meat handling qualification.
  • Indemnify BASC against any loss, injury or damage.
  • At the direction of the head gamekeeper or his authorised representative shoot any injured or diseased deer that may be encountered.
  • Stop stalking if a deer is wounded until it has been dispatched or otherwise accounted for to the satisfaction of the Head Gamekeeper or his authorised representative
  • Ensure that he/she does not shoot from any vehicle or by using any artificial light.
  • Pay to BASC a seasonal registration fee of £30 inclusive of VAT which BASC reserves the right to vary from season to season.
  • Note that while all arrangements for a satisfactory outing will be made in good faith, BASC can give no guarantees that deer will be encountered and/or shot.
  • Note that BASC reserves the right to vary the Terms and Conditions of the scheme without notice.
  • Note that this stalking opportunity is solely for the benefit of BASC members holding the DSC 1 qualification.
  • Notify the Estate of any and all accidents, no matter how trivial, the details of which will be recorded in the Estate’s accident book.
  • Note that no photographs may be taken without the approval of the Head Gamekeeper or his representative and BASC

Cancellation Policy.

  • Should Baronscourt Estate have to cancel any outing for whatever reason, members of the scheme will not be entitled to an immediate refund; however, the Estate will rearrange the cancelled outing at another date, at no extra charge. If, for any reason, a rescheduled date cannot be agreed a full refund will be given.
  • In the event that any statutory ban is set in place in respect of the culling of deer for whatever reason, any fees paid by qualifying members will not be refunded.
  • If a BASC member cancels an outing within 14 days of the scheduled date, they will not be entitled to a refund and may not be offered a rescheduled outing.
  • If the BASC member cancels an outing 14 days or more from the scheduled date, they will be entitled to a full refund or a rescheduled outing
  • Any rescheduled outings must take place within the same season.
  • At all times the rescheduling of any outings will be at the sole discretion of Baronscourt Estate.

Accommodation

Baronscourt Estate will offer a 10% discount on any accommodation taken with a deerstalking outing, subject to availability. Such accommodation is offered through the Clock Tower and Governor’s Lodge 4-star standard self-catering apartments.  Further Information is available on the Estate’s website http://www.barons-court.com/

Pike & Salmon Fishing

Baronscourt Estate offer Qualifying Members a 10% discount on all salmon and pike fishing on offer at the Baronscourt Estate throughout the duration of the Exclusivity Agreement.

DSC 2 witnessing

A number of the Baronscourt Estate stalking guides are accredited witnesses which means that they may, on agreement, witness stalks for persons completing their DSC 2 portfolio.  If you are registered for DSC 2 and interested in contacting one of the Estate’s accredited witnesses please contact the Estate office directly on 02881 661 683. Please note that any agreement between the stalker and the Estate’s accredited witnesses is outside the BASC/Baronscourt Stalking Scheme.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

CWD is highly infectious and is fatal in any infected deer.  CWD persists in the environment and there are currently no treatments or vaccines available to control the disease.

CWD has very recently been found in Scandinavia and the risk of CWD entering the UK is therefore likely to have increased now the disease is present in Europe.

Stalkers travelling from abroad or resident UK stalkers who have been stalking abroad, must be aware of the biosecurity risks, especially the risks of transporting CWD when visiting USA/Canada/Scandinavia.

Preventing CWD from entering the UK is currently the only effective control measure. If CWD were to become established in the UK stopping its spread is likely to be impossible, it could have major consequences.  Find out more here: https://basc.org.uk/deer-management/chronic-wasting-disease/

 

 

 

 

 

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