Poaching is viewed by many people as an acceptable crime, or even as not being a crime at all. The very word poacher conjures up romantic images of a lone traditional countryman stealthily hunting late at night, silenced rifle to hand, in the hope of bagging a rabbit or some such for the pot.
Perhaps he is seen as following in the footsteps of his forebears, carrying on the ways of the countryside in an age when most things are fast moving and fast changing, not really doing any harm. If only this were true.
The reality is somewhat different.
Poachers today are most often gangs of highly organised, selective and effective killers of the countryside. They stake out their target areas to find the best times to go in and wreak their terror and destruction make a quick killing (literally) and get out again without detection. Of course, the trail of carnage left behind is clear for all to see the following day, but they don’t care. By then they will be many miles away, having sold their illegal carcasses, celebrating their success at another good nights work.
The Lincolnshire Deer Group instigated the formation of a committee to tackle this problem, which was set up in the autumn of 2001 and has had considerable success in raising the profile of the problem with the police and the public through the media. The South Lincolnshire Poaching problem has been publicised throughout the local press, Shooting Gazette, The Field, Shooting Times as well as BBC Radio Lincolnshire, BBC Look North and East Midlands today.
The committee is made up of representation from local estates, BASC, CLA, NFU, Police, RSPCA, National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Lincolnshire Deer Group.
For further information contact the local coordinator William McLaughlin on 01778 422649 or 07774 730363 or by email at [email protected]
You can assist with the aims of the Poacher Watch Committee by following this simple advice.
- Restrict access by Four Wheel Drive Vehicles by securing gates, digging shallow trenches where access would otherwise be easily gained.
- Maintain hedges and the fences on your property.
- Join the "Poacher Watch" scheme and work with neighbours to organise night time patrols to work with the Police.
- Buy a "Poacher Watch" Road Sign – It is fact that prominent signs are a good deterrent against damage to property.