Can I shoot Canada geese with a rifle or air rifle?

It is not illegal under The Wildlife and Countryside Act to shoot Canada geese with an air rifle or either rimfire/centrefire rifles. However, you will need to ensure you have the authority to do so listed on your firearms certificate conditions. i.e. for the shooting of Canada geese, pest birds, or any lawful quarry or similar must be stipulated. If your firearms certificate does not have the necessary condition, then you cannot shoot them with the rifles listed on your certificate. Rifle shooting of geese is not sporting and should only be used as a control and management method in a safe area with relevant safety zones and backstops in place. The shooting of Canada geese with an air rifle, although not illegal, is not recommended on welfare issues.   Lead shot restrictions do not apply to rifle or air rifle shooting of wildfowl.

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Can I chase Canada geese on water in my boat?

This depends on whether the boat is under power or not. If an engine is being used, then this would be an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. Section 5 (e). If the boat is being paddled by hand or powered by wind, then no offence would have taken place. You can shoot geese from a stationary boat with an engine on but not in immediate pursuit. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69

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What size shot should I use?

Attention should be paid to ensure that the correct pellet size is used relevant to the quarry species sought, this is to ensure there is enough energy available to penetrate to the vital organs – The bigger the pellet the more energy available. The size of shot depends on what shot type you are using e.g. if you are using steel then you should not be using any shot smaller than a number 3, (that is number 2, or number 1, and BBs). The decision as to which shot size cannot be made on energy alone, you need to ensure you have the necessary pattern available i.e. enough pellets inside a 30” circle to ensure the vital organs are hit if you are on target. The pellet count required for geese is minimum 55 pellets of size 3 or larger in a 30” circle. A steel proofed gun will be required to use High Performance (HP) steel cartridges with a shot size 3 and above as they are considered high velocity and cannot be used in a standard nitro proofed gun. Ensure you check the ammunition packaging for designation of standard or HP. Other ammunition types such as standard steel loads, bismuth, tin, tungsten and copper can be used through a non-steel proof gun. For further information about alternative shot types please refer to the fact sheet here.

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What type of ammunition can I use?

In England and Wales, the lead shot regulations ban the use of lead shot over all foreshores, specified SSSIs, and for the shooting of all ducks and geese. This applies even if you are shooting under the terms of the General Licence. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the use of lead shot is only permitted away from sites designated as wetlands. For more information click the Scottish legislation below. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2004/358/contents/made

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Can I shoot Canada geese on a Sunday?

Some counties do not allow the shooting of wildfowl on a Sunday. If this applies to you then you cannot shoot on a Sunday even if you are shooting under the terms of the General Licence. The byelaws for shooting on a Sunday take precedence over General Licences. Scotland and Northern Ireland do NOT allow shooting of wildfowl on a Sunday! Below is a list of counties that do NOT allow Sunday shooting AngleseyBrecknockCaernarfonCarmarthenCardiganCornwallDenbighDevonDoncasterGlamorganGreat Yarmouth County BoroughIsle of ElyLeeds County BoroughMerionethNorfolkPembrokeSomersetNorth and West Ridings of Yorkshire For more information consult the fact sheet by clicking the link. (Sunday Shooting fact sheet)

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When can I shoot Canada geese?

Open/shooting seasons for wildfowl (ducks and geese) are listed below: - WhereWhen  Wildfowl in England, Wales and Scotland on the foreshore – Defined by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as “in or over any area below the high-water mark of ordinary spring tides”   *(excluding Isle of Man)      1 September - 20 February  Wildfowl in England, Wales and Scotland inland - Defined by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as “anywhere above the high-water mark of an ordinary spring tide”   *(excluding Isle of Man)    1 September - 31 January  Wildfowl in Northern Ireland anywhere    1 September - 31 January  Isle of Man    1 July – 31 March

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Can I shoot on a Sunday and during the night?

Northern Ireland On Sundays, Christmas Day or during the period commencing one hour after sunset on any day and ending one hour before sunrise the next day, it is illegal to shoot game birds and wildfowl. Scotland Wildfowl and waders may not be shot on Sundays or on Christmas Day. England and Wales Wildfowl and waders may not be shot on Christmas Day or in certain counties. Before the passing of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, orders prohibiting the shooting of wildfowl on Sundays were made under the Protection of Birds Act 1954. These orders have not been rescinded, so shooting cannot take place in the following counties/part counties on Sundays: AngleseyBrecknock CaernarfonCarmarthenCardiganCornwallDenbighDevonDoncasterGlamorganGreat Yarmouth County BoroughIsle of ElyLeeds County BoroughMerionethNorfolkPembrokeSomersetNorth and West Ridings of Yorkshire The restrictions relate to the exact location of the shooter. Our guidance that if there is any doubt at all of your position, you are better off not shooting in the area on a Sunday.

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How does my club apply for a Wildlife Habitat Trust grant?

The Wildlife Habitat Trust is made up of three trusts. The Wildlife Habitat Trust lends money to BASC clubs, syndicates and members to enable land purchase for shooting and conservation purposes. 2. The Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp Trust administers the merchandise and annual stamp programme. 3. The Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT) grants money for conservation projects for the benefit of migratory wildfowl. The WHCT is a charity and is therefore regulated by The Charity Commission. In granting money, the WHCT trustees will need to be satisfied that the aims and objects of the WHCT are being met, and are of public benefit. Any club interested in grant funding can find more information on the WHT website. You may also wish to speak to Paul Williamson, BASC’s head of land management and also secretary to the WHT trusts.

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