Q) Last week I shot a roebuck, which was standing on the bank that forms a boundary between my farm and that of my neighbour. The buck ran 20 yards and then collapsed in my neighbours field. Was I within my rights to recover it from there?
(Name and address supplied)
A)The bank must belong either to yourself or your neighbour. If the buck was on your ground, you were entitled to shoot it, but not if it was on your neighbours, or you would have committed civil and criminal offences. As for the recovery of the carcase, you must have entered your neighbours land to remove the roe. In the absence of an agreement with your neighbour, or a genuine, soundly based belief that he would not have minded, you had no right to set foot on his land without his permission, let alone follow up the buck. Though you may think of it as your buck, you may again be liable in civil law for trespass and guilty in criminal law of trespassing with a firearm and illegal carcase removal. Similar liabilities might apply if you fired from your land over ground belonging to another at a buck on land belonging to you but on the other side of it. This would at least be a case of constructive trespass. Usually, all the ensuing unpleasantness can be avoided by prior liaison with neighbours.