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A deerstalker was doing something completely legal. So why were the police called?

A deerstalking friend of one of Robin's pals ran into trouble from the police ... at a landfill site


There will be exceptions, but most countryside and wildlife police officers that I’ve come across have gained the trust of many shooters. The best appreciate that the support of the shooting community is key to their role. And the effective ones use a quality too often lacking in job descriptions these day: commonsense.

Metropolitan police are different

What a pity this doesn’t extend to some of their metropolitan colleagues, who wouldn’t know a pheasant from a partridge when stuck under their noses. I’m not kidding.

The other day, my best pal’s stalking buddy endured the worst of ordeals caused by an urban cop’s unthinking ignorance, sparked at a landfill site in the Greater Manchester area.

After gralloching a deer on land he rents, our stalker took the carcass home to finish the task of removing its feet, head and outer jacket. Job done, he packed the remains neatly in a dustbin liner and deposited them – as is perfectly legal – at his local rubbish dump.

Local news story

Next day, a CCTV picture of him, taken at the landfill site, is plastered over local newspapers with police demanding: “Do you know this man?”

Turns out the cop believed the tipper was part of a poaching gang “murdering deer” in the neighbouring countryside and needed to be traced, toute suite. This all too public appeal worked a treat.

Within hours, social media trolls identified the hapless stalker – threatening him with beheading – and harming his primary school daughter along the way.

Needless to say old matey head-footed it down to the nick, only to be interviewed (under a caution he should never have agreed to) and told: “Next time you get rid of deer remains, use a stronger binliner.”

There wasn’t the hint of an apology for their crass actions putting his daughter at risk, or his own life, nor revealing to criminally-minded residents the whereabouts of legally-held firearms.

Beggars belief? Yes. But you can bet the same cops won’t bother bringing those social media vipers to book, nor discipline the officer at the heart of this fiasco.

Be careful at landfill sites

And for the rest of us who routinely bin game/pigeon/rabbit/deer/wildfowl remains on landfill sites as the law allows? Watch how you go. As from now, double (even treble) the number of bags the “evidence” is wrapped in, or risk being exposed by the police as a murderer of wildlife.