Shooting Times talks to BASC council candidate Alisdair Troup
Alisdair Troup, aged 35, is the managing director of well-respected stalking, hunting and shooting retailer Bushwear. He lives in Auchterarder, Perthshire. He is standing for one of five contested seats in this year’s BASC council elections.
What is your shooting and conservation background?
I grew up on a small sporting estate, actively involved in estate and wildlife management. After a degree in forestry, I returned to wildlife management and worked as a gamekeeper before deciding to pursue the opportunity that has now become BushWear.
What will you do for BASC and for shooting?
This is my second election and through my first term on council, I have participated in one of the greatest periods of change and modernisation in the organisation’s history. We are just starting to see the results of that change come to fruition, and I think that I still have a significant amount more to offer to continue to shape that change in the next five years for the benefit both of the organisation and the sport.
What skills in your working life would you bring to BASC?
In addition to my organisational, business and financial skills, I am also the only person in the retail or wholesale trade on council. I think that this insight gives council a good balance and is something it would be poorer without.
How would you improve BASC?
The organisation has come a long way in the last few years and we need to keep building on this change. We need to continue to grow membership and strengthen the core of the organisation. As an industry, we need to become more united, so we can speak as one when confronted with challenges. I hope to help BASC lead this spirit of co-operation and unification.
What bad practices in shooting would you tackle?
I see two big challenges: becoming more unified and vocal in defence of our passion; and helping to introduce new entrants to our sports so that it is guaranteed a future.
Too often when we face a challenge, all we see is a quiet whimper from a small group of individuals. We need to stop the apathy and get everyone more motivated and engaged to defend our way of life, or piece-by-piece we will lose it.
The other greatest threat is that too often we close our doors and block others out. If you have no background in shooting, it can be a very difficult sport to become involved in. In order for our industry to stay strong and healthy, preserving our traditions into the future we need to have a continual stream of new entrants into each part of our sport. This is something we should all take more responsibility for.
Do you think support for all field sports is necessary for a member of BASC council?
Support yes, participation no. You can respect and value the traditions and pursuits of other fieldsports without engaging (or engaging regularly) in them. But it is critical that when threatened we all stand together in a united front.
How would you encourage new people into the sport and new members to join BASC?
We need to give as many children and teenagers as possible exposure to fieldsports, and to the food that results from it. I know many (or even most) will move away as other life opportunities take priority (education, jobs, money, partners) but once they have their life on a firm footing it is a great deal easier to get these people back into the sport once they have some time, money and stability in their life.
What’s your idea of a perfect shooting/sporting day?
Whether you are sitting at the edge of a field for pigeons, lamping for foxes, walking up pheasants or stalking for deer, it is the company and companionship of an experience shared with like minded people (and perhaps just a little banter along the way) that makes any experience memorable.
What’s your favourite game dish?
I know its not exactly gourmet, but I think that a great home-made venison burger, cooked on the BBQ and eaten outside with friends and family has to be my favourite way to enjoy game. Though a friend makes a mean mixed game scotch pie that runs a very close second!
The 12 candidates standing for the five contested BASC council places are as follows:
In the Northern Irish and Welsh council seats, for which there will be no ballot, the new council members will be Oliver McCullough (Northern Ireland) Jonathan Garton (Wales).
Profiles of those standing will also be sent to BASC members in the March/April issue of the members’ magazine, along with voting forms. The results will be announced at the organisation’s AGM in June.
For more information about the 2015 elections and BASC council, click here.