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Pheasants

A new visitor to our garden.A mate was waiting for it. The resultant chicks should be an interesting colour.

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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,836
    He’d better get on with it, mating season’s almost over for pheasants. 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,629
    A friend of mine who shoots says they don't kill the white birds. There was a good reason for it historically, something to do with stopping poachers or keeping an eye on where the birds were moving to, but now they just have some sort of 'fun' penalty system for people who shoot them that just seems to be a way for the keeper to make extra money. They buy the birds especially.
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 650
    A friend of mine who shoots says they don't kill the white birds. There was a good reason for it historically, something to do with stopping poachers or keeping an eye on where the birds were moving to, but now they just have some sort of 'fun' penalty system for people who shoot them that just seems to be a way for the keeper to make extra money. They buy the birds especially.
    Ugh, killing things for 'fun'.  :'(
  • A white pheasant is a real novelty here, I'm with you @FlyDragon I hate the thought of them being shot, it's one of those middle class rights - have money - will shoot whatever the cost to nature.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,302
    Not middle class, GD. Upper. You have to have a lot of money and time for that sort of amusement. That said, a local farrier was a keen shot and trained his own dogs. He would have claimed, proudly, to be a working man!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,282
    🤔 my farming family have always shot pheasants, on their own land and when invited they’ve joined shoots on other farms. We’ve always eaten what they’ve shot or it’s been sold to the local community  via the local butcher/game dealer.

     Pheasants are a ‘crop’ on many farms, just as pigs sheep and chickens are ... and I’ll guarantee that the pheasants have a much better quality of life than many of the chickens on our Sunday dinner plates, and they are killed just as humanely if not more so than many other poultry which meet their end in an industrialised process.

    There are farms and estates which sell places on shoots, just as other places charge people to fish or ride on their land, to drive quad bikes and motor bikes on created off-road tracks, or to play golf on courses created on their land. A proportion of the people paying to take part in all these activities are unpleasant unprincipled oiks and shooting is no exception. However the majority of them are normal, responsible and for the most part quite pleasant members of the community from all social classes ... I know a postman who enjoys a pheasant shoot, several garage mechanics, a supermarket worker and a couple of builders. 

    ‘Killing things for fun’ is putting one spin on it ... ‘taking pride in a job done skilfully and humanely’ is another way of describing it.  I can assure you that anyone behaving badly, and that includes firing at a bird out of range so that it’s injured rather than killed cleanly, is not welcomed again on most  shoots.

    Tagging a group of people who take part in game shooting as all being upper class toffs is just as wrong as saying that everyone who goes to football matches is a lower class foul mouthed lout. 

    As I said, my family have always shot pheasants... they’ve also always been season ticket holders at Luton and Ipswich Town 😢 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,302
    I accept your point. Round here the shooters don't eat their catch, but it does go to local restaurants. However, I still feel that there should not be pleasure or fun in killing. I'm not a vegetarian and I hope, not a hypocrite,  and I accept the death of animals that I eat, but I am uneasy with the backslapping, jollygoodfun, approach .I used to ride but would not hunt foxes, enjoy water but would not fish, keep dogs but would not course hares. There is no joy or triumph for me in killing things.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,282
    Not joy ... but pride in a job well done ... skilfully and therefore humanely.

    Yes shoots become social occasions ... so do most things involving groups of people. Remember that many farmers lead very isolated lives working on their own seven days a week for most of the year. Don’t begrudge them the enjoyment of a bit of social interaction when they get the chance. It’s very easy for onlookers to misread the banter and backslapping. Have you seen the depression and suicide rates for farmers? 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,302
    Well, true, but most aren't farmers, they are bankers and CEO's from London. And I see farmers meet at agricultural shows, sales, in pubs. They don't have to kill anything to get together.  The birds are bred to be shot - not like when farmers shot rooks, crows and pigeons,  which they regarded as vermin. They are protected,  now, but not the poor pheasants! I don't see the sense in it, myself.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,629
    An estimated 43 million captive bred pheasants are released annually into the UK to be killed (plus another 10 million partridge), about one in three are shot, a significant proportion of the ones that are shot aren't eaten and of the ones that are eaten a significant proportion contain dangerous levels of lead, including stuff that goes to restaurants and supermarkets. Vague numbers because the industry is quite unregulated and no one knows the real numbers. It's a bit more than mental health therapy for farmers, although the lead can't be good for their brains either.
    I have no problems with killing things for food and I've been given a few pheasants over the years from the local shoot that my BIL goes to now and then. His shoot is quite mixed socially and is run by a local farm. I think the tide is turning on the larger estate shoots though as the Glan Usk Estate near here has stopped its main shooting activities now to concetrate on more eco-friendly stuff like The Green Man Festival.
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