National Parks & Wildlife Service have confirmed the introduction of mandatory training, assessment and certification (HCAP) for first-time applicants for a Deer Hunting Licence (DHL) with effect from 2021. This follows a fifteen-year campaign by Deer Alliance HCAP and partially fulfills the Irish Deer Management Forum’s recommendation on mandatory certification and both Deer Alliance HCAP and IDMF welcome this statement from NPWS.

Date Released: Friday, March 13, 2020

Mandatory training and certification for first time applicants for deer hunting licenses is being introduced.

Under the Wildlife Acts, annual licences are required to hunt deer during the Open Season which is the period during which deer can be legally shot. The Open Season for deer operates generally from 1 September to 28 February of the following year, depending on the species and gender of deer. About 5,500 deer hunting licences are issued each year of which in the region of 1,000 are first time applicants. For the 2021/22 deer hunting season which starts on 1 September 2021 it will be a requirement for first time applicants to have the necessary training and certification.

The Department will put in place an appropriate oversight regime to ensure that the training and certification are delivered to an appropriate standard.

See the NPWS statement here.

The syllabus for training, assessment and certification follows the HCAP Model and can be accessed here.


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