Deer stalking expert
George Wallace
Are you really expecting me to put the answer to that in writing! I can deal with ‘officially’, but advice on using methods outside the law is not really a legitimate topic on a responsible website such as Sporting Gun.

If you are having problems with poachers it is certain they will be committing one or more criminal offences including, possibly, possession of unlicensed firearms, armed trespass, aggravated trespass, night poaching, trespass in pursuit of game or even theft if the deer are kept in a park or enclosure.

Their vehicle(s) may also be untaxed, have bald tyres and be running on red diesel so it’s always worth the police having a look.

Although you can’t expect the police to come whizzing round every night on a forlorn hope, they will certainly be glad to help if there is a good chance of catching the poachers and if enough evidence can be gathered to give some prospect of a conviction.

I would strongly suggest you get hold of a copy of Deer: Law and Liabilities by Charlie Parkes and John Thornley, published by Swan Hill Press with ISBN # 1-84037-096-3.

The book has an excellent chapter on poaching.

My copy dates from 2000 so no doubt it has been updated to cover changes in legislation. I really must get the new edition.

If you are having regular poaching problems it is a good idea to liaise with the police and also with local landowners, gamekeepers, rabbit and fox shooters and stalkers who may be having the same problem, or who may be out and about at the same times as the poachers.

Then you can speak to each other when poachers are about and perhaps take steps to prevent them driving away before the police arrive.

You are not supposed to stop them by putting a round through their car’s engine; you must prevent them by legal means.

Which is one more reason for getting the book!

May I finish with a word of warning? Some poaching gangs are very serious, violent criminals who think nothing of beating you into a vegetable, threatening you and your family, burning down barns and houses or wrecking property; so do NOT tackle them without first giving it some serious thought and then having appropriate back-up.