Poaching can be difficult to tackle because it’s falls under several different laws. It’s even harder to measure the impact of poaching in the UK because police don’t record all poaching crimes in the same way.
It’s illegal to trespass in pursuit of game, woodcock, snipe or rabbits. This extends to sending a dog onto land from a public right of way. Deer also get protection from anti-poaching laws, which stop people from intentionally killing deer without permission, removing the carcass or killing deer within the close season, at night or trading in venison unlawfully.
Keep up-to-date with the latest poaching news and legislation:

Fallow deer buck

WhatsApp poacher avoids jail for illegally killing fallow deer

A poacher who was convicted after police read a ‘WhatsApp’ chat has avoided jail. Earlier Shooting Times reported the conviction of Mark Bond of Maidstone in Kent. Bond was found guilty of illegally killing a fallow deer and of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. The cruelty offence related to…

mobile phone

Poacher caught out by incriminating WhatsApp messages

Thirty-eight year old Mark Bond, of Westwood Road, Maidstone, was found guilty of killing a fallow deer and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog after a trial at Maidstone Magistrates Court. Among the evidence offered at the trial were video and voice notes sent via WhatsApp. These included one where…


Why poaching has been part of rural life for centuries

Poaching has been part and parcel of rural life for centuries, usually carried out to procure food or as a means of making a slightly better living than other country people. The practice was particularly rife during the late Victorian and the Edwardian periods, when penalties were less harsh than…

Lamping foxes

Why you shouldn’t tackle rural crime by yourself

As sure as day follows night, hare coursing and the poaching of gamebirds and deer become more prevalent after harvest. The seasonal increase in poaching and rural crime generally isn’t for any noble reason or observation of a season of any sort, it is simply due to the fact that…

Deer calls

Police arrests in Devon for poaching and wildlife crime

Business and residential properties were searched to investigate alleged offences for poaching and the illegal supply of meat. Two men aged 37 and 42 were arrested for poaching offences and a further two men aged 19 and 57, and a 53 year old woman arrested in connection with firearms offences.…

Roguish poacher

Modern poachers are not the affable rogues of old

Thirty-odd years ago, poachers were still poaching game for their own pot, or flogging it at the backdoors of country pubs and hotels, where it would get converted into tasty game, or more accurately, poacher’s pies. There was still an element of “old country romanticism” involved. The culprits were roguish but…

Shooting Times 10 Jan 1931

From Shooting Times – Saturday 10 January 1931

“At Faversham County Petty Sessions, Walter James Fisher, of Maidstone was summoned for trespassing in pursuit of game, taking game without a licence and firing a gun within fifty feet of the centre of the road at Newnham, on October 15. Defendant pleaded guilty. Superintendent Hoare said that the wife…


How to stop poachers

Liam Bell suggests ways you can stop poachers, such as putting equipment out of sight, locking gates, recording as much information as possible and reporting everything to the police

baked river trout recipe

Baked trout with beetroot, fennel, and orange

Make the most of the closing days of the trout season with this deliciously colourful baked trout recipe. It’s a light, summery dish that combines the fresh fish with the crisp fennel, orange and beetroot flavours. And it’s good for you: trout is an oily fish packed full of the…

anti poaching conference

Gamekeepers and police join forces to fight poachers

Gamekeepers joined wildlife crime officers from around the country to pool their experience and expertise at the UK’s first national anti-poaching conference on 11 September at JCB’s world headquarters in Staffordshire. The event, which was organised by the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and backed by the National Wildlife Crime Unit and…

How to make a complaint about a shoot

How to make a complaint about a shoot

Our sport is possibly one of the most evocative of any pastime, and good memories from the season linger throughout the summer, sometimes enduring for years when a chance reminder brings the moment back to life again. On the whole, we are very positive about our sport, and the casual,…

Why poaching is inhumane

The many laws around deerstalking are designed to protect animal welfare, which is why poaching is not only illegal but often also cruel