Pigeon shooting pair targeted police

?On 13 February, a friend and I were attending the second of our pigeon roost shooting Saturdays in Merseyside,? pigeon shooter, David Aspinall, told Shooting Times magazine.

?At dusk, a police helicopter ordered us to ?come out of the bushes?. Our response was to telephone the police headquarters immediately to explain that we were pigeon shooting legally. We were then told to wait beside our vehicles. Eventually, after 20 minutes, two squad cars arrived with their lights flashing.?

Police officers then pointed guns at the men and ordered them to put their hands on their heads.

The pair were given a pat-down search and put in the rear of the squad car.

Mr Aspinall added he was questioned by the police on why he was shooting in the dark.

?I told them it was perfectly legal and that I had shot on this same land for more than 40 years without incident. I also told them that most of the woods in the area were manned with people roost shooting every Saturday in February. Eventually, after confirming with the landowner that we had permission, we were allowed to go.?

BASC spokesman, Simon Clarke, said he was disappointed by the news, especially as 5,221 copies of its leaflet, Police Guide to Shooters, which helps police identify legitimate shooters, have now been distributed to UK police forces.

?This appears to be another example of complete overreaction by the police. It is a waste of everyone?s time and taxpayers? money, and puts legitimate shooters in danger of their lives.?

Mr Clarke added: ?BASC will be contacting Merseyside police to ask for an explanation. We know they have a difficult job policing against gun crime, but these sort of misunderstandings are completely unnecessary. We will, of course, send them some extra copies of the BASC Police Guide to Shooters to help them decide on the best course of action in future.?

Talk to other readers about how the police deal with legal shooting.