Over 100 hunt sabs have disrupted multiple grouse shoots in the Yorkshire Dales on the prestigious opening day of the grouse shooting season.
Despite repeated claims in the media that shoots were either delaying or cancelling their seasons due to low grouse counts we knew that many of them still wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to shoot on the Inglorious 12th and how right we were. We found our first driven shoot located above the village of Healaugh on Reeth Low Moor. A stand off ensued whilst the shooters called in the police and we held them there for several hours and monitored them for the rest of the day.
While some sabs stayed to manage that situation the rest of us moved to Arkengarthdale where spotters had been keeping an eye on another shoot throughout the morning. They broke for lunch and moved deep into an inaccessible area of moorland but indefatigable sabs followed them in and when they realised they couldn’t lose us they got in their vehicles and attempted to leave, only to be blocked in for over an hour by sabs who sat on the track in front of them.
We still had time to find, and stop, a third shoot on Woodhall Greets near Askrigg. They’d started a late drive at 3pm but had only just started beating when a line of sabs streamed over the horizon, only allowing them one or two shots before their day ended with the walk of shame back to their vehicles.
We know there are other shoots that we missed today and we know there will be other days but our message to anyone trying to kill animals – Expect us as you’ll never know when sabs will come and ruin your day.