Many BASC members find their social life unimproved by shooting.


BASC carried out a survey of ‘the public’ and asked 1457 people some questions back in March 2015.

However, the public were 84% BASC members and 16% non-members.

Only 77% of respondents (remember 84% were BASC members) said their social life would be poorer without shooting.  Clearly at least 8.3% of BASC members would have an unimpaired social life if they couldn’t shoot.

A further survey by BASC, thought to be due to be released before Christmas, found that 99% of birds questioned said that their populations were unaffected by driven grouse shooting (95% of those questioned were Ostriches, 4% were penguins and 1% were Swifts).

When presented with the results of this survey, 95% of Conservative MPs who spoke in the debate on banning driven grouse shooting said ‘I’m not very good with numbers but I’ll read this nonsense out for you if you like’.

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40 Replies to “Many BASC members find their social life unimproved by shooting.”

  1. The stone curlews, in an independent survey, said that their numbers on grouse moors had been reduced by 100% since August 2016 but so far as they knew none of them had been shot by a cheap city shirt.

  2. This is hilarious, Mark. And I've just asked 100 of my friends 'of UK' if their lives are enhanced by shooting birds and remarkably, no-one said yes. Can't understand it.

  3. I am not sure this kind of article does the dgs campaign any good. It positions you as anti shooting as a whole. With previous articles and comments polarising to be anti countryside, traditional sports or insulting anyone rural. I just don't see the value.

    1. Humour, Tom, the value is humour. I wouldn't wish to broach you with an exact statistic but I'm going to take a guess that x percentage of the shooting community finds claims of this kind as worthy of mockery as i do. If Mark should present as fact that 99.9% of the British public oppose driven grouse shooting based on a survey of regular commentators on this blog, well, do feel free to join in the mirth.

      1. Appreciate that Jim. I was trying to make the point that dgs is likely not supported by many in the shooting community, nor for that matter persecution of protected birds of prey. It seems a shame that these very valuable voices will be alienated by a polarised view of all game shooting bad, rural communities bad, traditional sports bad or organisations with many rural community members bad.

        1. Tom - this post is about BASC lying about what they found and your comment is about how awful this blog is. Do you support BASC's press release on this subject which was inaccurate? Let's start there shall we?

          And then please indicate which very valuable voices from the shooting community have come out against dgs in the last 30 years?

          1. I am not saying the blog is awful at all. As I see it and I am sure others in the shooting community do too. The grouse shooting side seem fairly unpleasant but then sadly so do you guys but then that is what happens when you align with animal rights extremists and hunt sabs. The whole thing now just seems more to do with class war than birds or nature.

          2. Tom - so you haven't answered the question about whether you support the BASC misleading statement - I thought you might not.

            And you haven't named anyone from the shooting community.

            But you have slagged me off again.

            Well, that's completely clear, thank you.

        2. I've said this before but, as you seem to be a relatively new commentator on this blog, I hope long-term regulars will allow me a repetition; this really would be the most singularly whimsical attempt at class war ever attempted - criticising a specific sporting use of Britain's upland, well it's not really a concerted effort to seize the means of production is it? I'm sort of struggling to conceive of 'rural' as an economic class too. I don't get out of the city so much but I have heard The Archers once or twice and it's given me the impression that the situation is slightly more nuanced. Have I, yet again, fallen victim to the communist conspiracy that is the BBC?

    2. Tom, the response here is predictable. They don't get it and I guess they never will. Those of us looking for some glimmer of hope for nature would do better to look for winners rather than what's on offer here. Think of it as a Message from Rowan.

      1. Do explain 'it', dear Rowan, the thing we are not getting. What is the nature of The Message, what meaning must we decipher in The Word (the word being 'It' presumably).

    3. It is nonsense to suggest that this blog and the regular commenters on it are anti-countryside - I'd argue that this is the precise opposite of the truth.
      For myself, I live in the countryside, I endlessly study the animals and plants in the countryside, I eat, sleep and breathe countryside issues and I love it with a passion.
      But that doesn't mean I support recreational slaughter or criminal persecution of wildlife, let alone the thuggishness, casual brutality and endless lying that sometimes accompany these activities.
      So who are the 'real' countrymen?

    4. Tom, I assume you can tell the difference between being anti-BASC and anti-shooting? Mark is on record (and now in Parliament, no less) as not being anti-shooting. Neither am I as it happens. But in today's short blog Mark was (a) having a bit of fun at BASC's expense and (b) slightly more seriously pointing to their having misrepresenting the facts. In this case their own 'facts'. Mark's 8.3% is an inescapable arithmetic conclusion from the BASC survey figures. The actual figure will have been, equally as a matter of logic, higher than 8.3% - perhaps quite a lot higher. I doubt that all BASC members live in a post-truth world, but perhaps a few slip towards it so just a little reminder of what looks to me to be a habitual carelessness on BASC's part seems worthwhile.

    5. What's all this "anti countryside" crap? Most folk who comment here care passionately about our countryside. We're just sick and tired of seeing it degraded and abused by those who seek to appropriate it for their own selfish reasons.

  4. By all means let them shoot, at clay pigeons:)

    Conversely with cameras, perhaps they will be able to evidence the Stone Curlews breeding on upland moors?

  5. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed in your flippant response to the BASC survey Mark. For example, there are lots of opportunities for those who participate in driven grouse shooting to meet interesting people and socialise in new and exciting situations. From slopping out in the morning to not knowing who is behind you in the communal shower. Unfortunately, I understand that few involved ever get the chance to acquaint themselves with the social and recreational opportunities they so richly deserve.

  6. 27% of those questioned on this subject said the countryside experience would be enhanced if most BASC members aim was so poor they shot themselves.

        1. 'Slumming'...Yep couldn't have put it better myself. As for thinking Duncan Thomas et I have to? I am a member though of BASC (mainly for their shooting insurance) but do communicate my contempt for some of the rubbish they come out with (see the subject of this blog for a start)

  7. A great man once said:

    "Statistics are like mini-skirts, they give you good ideas but hide the most important thing."

  8. Sad, very sad. Humour? Scraping around at the bottom of the barrel more like. Time to find a new "nature champion" I think - Miles King perhaps?

    1. Made me chuckle. I'm easily pleased, Rowan, no doubt, but thanks, Mark. Best to know your audience, Rowan, and Godspeed finding a new hero.

  9. Funny at one level perhaps, but also yet another example of where the sort of uncorroborated 'factoids' (credit:Oliver Rackham) that litter the internet can mislead - only in this case lack of numerical/statistical awareness has shot the proponents in the foot.

    1. Roderick, reading Miles King, the strategy of slewing the argument towards your objectives doesn't appear to have done Bayer any harm (or the Brexiteers or The Donald for that matter). Or will it all turn out right in the end?

        1. Jim, my message is I'm dead and my family are heading for extinction.

          I need those fighting to reverse this trend to up their game. Nobody else will do it. It's currently heavyweights (your opponents) vs flyweights.

          Try looking toward successful professional negotiators and their methods. There's no shortage of them. You have the arguments but you tie your hands behind you back with the worst presentation skills, we'll ever.

          I note you were reduced to foul mouthed abuse a while ago. Not very clever really.

          1. So sorry to hear of your loss, Rowan, the whole Rowan line, rough! And, i'll grant you, I'm of somewhat modest intelligence, that much I readily admit. I would appreciate it if you could supply (for my records you know, the precise event seems to have slipped me by) a specific date for that precious moment 'a while ago' when my previously delicate and evenly measured prose descended into its more recent manifestation as caustic bile. On the subject of effective negotiations, may I reverse the mirror and hold it up to you? Reflecting on the rhetorical stylings that you have, thus far, graciously blessed us with, how persuasive would you judge your contribution to have been?

          2. Jim, November 22 @ 11:22 on this blog.

            I see little point in holding up a mirror to a mirror. Readers of high intelligence understand an illustration (of unproductive style) when they see it.

            If you'd stop gnawing the carpet for a moment you'd see that I am on your side in most respects. Your blind spot is the ability to project the power of your arguments to those who could formulate change. It's a bit like the best computer program ever created layered with an end user interface that is so unintelligible as to to render it useless.

            But then some of are aware that the "cult", for that is what this blog has become, binds and blinds. Melissa Harrison knows this for sure. Miles King may know it if he has read the book that Melissa recommends. It also includes a section entitled "How to win an argument".

            Interested in acquiring new skills?

          3. You are soaring far too high for me to follow, Icarus. I did, however, contribute a little to this wee victory this week;



            It does sometimes amaze me (must be cos it urts to fink so ard) what the untermensch can achieve when we put our skull peas to it. In terms of the old tangibles, how's your week going, Rowan?

          4. Jim, well done for extracting the apology from the council. The sad fact is, however, the trees are no more.

            Without in any way trying to diminish your efforts, In terms of continuous quality improvement, what lessons have been learnt with regard to the conservation campaign prior to the event?

            As for myself, it's been a bit cold in the ground in the mornings but I'm still looking out for my brothers and sisters and hoping the conservationists who purport to stand up for us get their act together. In this brave new right wing dominated world, that threatens to tear up the good conservation work already done, the need to fink about your own performance will be vital.

          5. Unfortunately having to point out the inevitably obvious - there are a few other trees at issue, Rowan. With this in mind I went and joined my brothers and sisters this afternoon (and was amazed not only by the numbers who turned out, but by just how galvanised their spirit of defiance had become);


            Think about our own performance? Well, the lesson, one would hope, is self explanatory.

          6. Jim, well I give you full credit for that. An infinitely better attitude than the norm, in my experience.

            Lets hope it rubs off and from this point forward we see proactive, smart campaigning to prevent further atrocities.

            Good luck!

  10. It is troubling, Roderick, but, in such a feverish body, humour can often be as much an antidote as anything else.

  11. I see an apologist for the shooting fraternity, going by the brave monicker of "Tom", has maligned hunt sabs: law-abiding people whose only interest is in ensuring that the illegal hunting of foxes is brought to an end, in the face of overt criminality from the hunting community and followers and hostility from the police, whose job they are doing a lot more effectively than the police themselves.

    What a fine specimen of the breed.


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