It’s hap­pen­ing in the city

Air Gunner - - YOUR LETTERS -

I read the ar­ti­cle by Char­lie Portlock about get­ting per­mis­sions to shoot, with great in­ter­est and whilst I agree with ev­ery word he wrote, I also dis­agreed with the fact that it’s the same nar­row- minded view we have that per­mis­sions are only in the coun­try­side on farms, and that no one ever shoots any­where else.

I live in Birm­ing­ham,. I have eight per­mis­sions, and all of them are fac­to­ries. A sim­ple in­tro­duc­tion, fol­lowed by a let­ter with a few risk and method state­ments gave me per­mis­sion to shoot rats, rab­bits and pi­geons in these fac­to­ries. I shoot in­side the build­ings to re­move pi­geons only, and rats and rab­bits and pi­geons out­side.

I don’t bother with fancy camo or IR-vi­sion kit. No nancy- boy PCP ri­fles for me! They leave the out­side flood­lights on and I stomp around like a herd of hef­falumps. Most of the shoot­ing is walked up on, and oc­ca­sion­ally, I sit and hideshoot rats. I don’t bait or bug­ger around, I just turn up af­ter a shift change, do a brief with the man­ager, sort out any is­sues he has, and then walk the out­side.

Air ri­fles are bril­liant for this, be­ing low-pow­ered, quiet and clean and I only get High-viz hunter? Oh yes is­sues when I try to sneak, so loud is best! All firms must have a pest- con­trol pro­to­col, and if you’re good, and work the sys­tem well, there are thou­sands to choose from. There are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to shoot in the ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment, and I think your team are too out of fo­cus to see that. Get off the grass and get in the con­crete for­est and open another chap­ter on ur­ban shoot­ing.

Love the mag, love the sport, love what you’re do­ing

Char­lie replied- Dear Peter, Many thanks for mak­ing con­tact. I think you’ve raised an ex­cel­lent point. Be­ing the nar­row-minded, grass-fed bar­bar­ian that I am, I feel that you’ve helped me to see the light (pol­lu­tion) on this im­por­tant is­sue. Quite right you are, too. I agree that the ded­i­cated air­gun­ner is the per­fect per­son to con­trol rat and feral pi­geon pop­u­la­tions in ur­ban ar­eas where pub­lic health is a pri­or­ity. You’re of­fer­ing so­lu­tions to the prob­lem of per­mis­sion, which can only be a good thing. You have my full sup­port. Per­haps the mag­a­zine’s coun­try­side bias is based partly on the fact that an­cient wood­land and rolling hills are slightly eas­ier on the eye than the rust-hewn con­tours of the ‘con­crete for­est’. There are some beau­ti­ful old fac­to­ries in As­ton and Dig­beth, though. In­ter­est­ing what you say about the lack of need for stealth etc. I’ve re­cently read that some ro­dents (grey squir­rels) can de­tect de­lib­er­ate stalk­ing be­hav­iour and body lan­guage, but will not go onto the alert if ha­bit­u­ated to dis­in­ter­ested hu­man move­ment. Makes per­fect sense and you seem to be ex­ploit­ing this suc­cess­fully. I’d be in­ter­ested to find out if their be­hav­iour changes as a re­sult of your ac­tiv­i­ties.

So good to hear that you’re not one of those, PCP-lov­ing philistines; they’re ev­ery­where you know. I wish you all the best with your shoot­ing.

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