CONSULTATION ON THE LICENSING AND USE OF SOUND MODERATORS

Sound moderators - what to choose and how to care for them | ShootingUK

SOUND MODERATORS – “RESTRICTED FIREARMS” OR A USEFUL AND OFTEN NECESSARY ACCESSORY?

Section 4 (2) (d) of Statutory Instrument 21 of 2008, Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order, 2008 provides that silencers capable of being used only with long rifled rim-fire firearms are defined as Restricted Firearms, subject to additional licensing criteria. The definition includes “any devices fitted or capable of being fitted to the firearms for the purpose of moderating or reducing the sound made on their discharge”. For deer hunters and others in Ireland, this definition is widely regarded as illogical and unnecessary, while militating against user hearing protection and efficient control and management of deer in certain circumstances.

Across the water, where there are currently 198,602 sound moderators covered by firearms certificates, the UK Home Office has launched a consultation on proposed changes to firearms licensing controls for sound moderators. Applicable to England, Scotland, and Wales, this consultation seeks input on using a legislative reform order under the UK.’s Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 to exclude sound moderators from firearms licensing.

The proposed amendment to the (UK) Firearms Act 1968, specifically in Section 57(1)(d) of that Act, aims to remove the reference to sound moderators. This change reflects the belief, seemingly now adopted by the UK Home Office, that sound moderators, though firearm accessories, do not themselves pose any inherent dangers, and their exclusion from licensing controls will not compromise public safety whilst saving time, work, and cost for all those involved.

To observers here in Ireland, this is an eminently sensible move, and we will follow the results of this consultation process carefully.

The full background to the Consultation process can be accessed HERE.

 

HCAP – CURRENT & FUTURE DATES

The following is the final list of candidates eligible to participate in the HCAP Training Workshop & MCQ taking place on Saturday 2nd March 2024 (10.00am to 5.00pm). The venue for the Workshop & MCQ is the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow R93 N207.

This list includes No-Shows from previous MCQs but who remain eligible, If such candidates do not participate on 2nd March 2024, these candidates will be de-listed as eligible and if they wish to complete their HCAP certification, they will have to re-enter as Repeat Candidates.

ABDELMONIEM, Ayman, 2023/0096
ATKINSON, Liam, 2024/0033
BEKIC, Danijel, 2024/0039
BROPHY, Tommy, 2024/0002
BYRNE, Jonathan, 2024/0003
CANNING, Adam, 2024/0038
CANNING, Jack, 2024/0037
COMMANE, Brendan, 2024/0004
CORNELIA, Brian, 2024/0005
CULLEN, Tom, 2024/0018
CUNNINGHAM, Alan, 2024.0006
CURLEY, Robert, 2024/0027
CURTIN, Eoin, 2024/0007
FLYNN, Declan, 2022/0113
GARIB, Sayf, 2024/0028
GLYNN, Alan, 2024/0014
HALLIGAN, Bobby, 2024/0013
HANRAHAN, Gerard , 2024/0024
KANE, Patrick, 2023/0091
KAAR, Eoin, 2024/0025
KEATING, Michael, 2024/0026
KELLY, Robert, 2023/0087
KENNEDY, Stephen, 2024/0043
KIRWAN, Edward, 2024/0019
KIRWAN (Jnr.), Edward, 2024/0020
KIRWAN, Jason, 2024/0021
KIRWAN, John, 2024/0022
MANAHAN, Jordan Guiry, 2024/000
MARUKASHVILI, Mamuka, 2024/0040
McCABE, John (Jnr.), 2024/0031
McGIFF, Mark, 2024/0032
McINERNEY, Fergal, 2024/0036
McMORROW, Oonagh, 2024/0012
MULLEN, Alan, 2024/0034
NEWTOWN, Thorfinn, 2024/0035
O’BRIEN, Jason, 2022/0098
O’GRADY, Gary, 2024/0017
O’LEARY, Anthony, 2023/0049
O’NEILL, Michael, 2024/0041
O’SULLIVAN, Bob, 2024/0029
O’SULLIVAN, Leon, 2024/0030
PHIPPS, Richard, 2024/0023
RONAN, Darren, 2024/0015
SAVAGE, Sean, 2023/0056
SUCIU, Razvan, 2024/0009
SUSKA, Lukasz, 2024/0042
TICE, George, 2023/0130
TOOMEY, Kevin, 2024/0016
UDDIN, Imran, 2024/0010
WHELAN, Chris, 2024/0011

(Applications for the Workshop & MCQ on 2nd March are now closed)

NEXT EVENT (APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN)

The next event in the 2024 Series of Deer Alliance HCAP Training Workshops & MCQs will be held on Saturday 11th May 2024, followed on Saturday 18th May 2024 by the supporting Range Test for successful MCQ Candidates. The venue for the Workshop & MCQ is the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow, Co. Carlow, R93 N207. The Range Test will be held at the Midland Range, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly R35 NC58.

APPLICATION

Application can be made online through the Online Applications section of the website or in hard copy by post. Online payment is through PayPal using any valid debit or credit card (applicants do not need their own PayPal account) or by post with cheque or postal order. Hard copy application forms can be downloaded from the website.

The cost of HCAP remains unchanged at €165.00, and €35.00 for the Deer Alliance Stalker Training Manual (also purchased through the Online Applications section).

DISCOUNT FOR MEMBERS OF IFA COUNTRYSIDE

Members of IFA Countryside can avail of an inclusive special discount price of €120.00 (covering HCAP Application, Stalker Training Manual, Workshop, MCQ, Range Test and certification), generously subsidised by IFA Farm Business Skillnet. New and intending members of IFA Countryside should call 0818 924 982 or 01 426 0368 for membership information, which includes insurance cover for all hunting and other countryside activities, compliant with requirements for the HCAP Range Test.

SIKA THE WILD DEER

In addition, thanks to a special sponsorship deal offered exclusively to Deer Alliance HCAP, the first 100 HCAP Candidates in 2024 will receive a complimentary copy of Sika the Wild Deer (retail value €25.00), the story of the life of a sika stag in Wicklow from conception to maturity, seen through the eyes of a stalker.

FIREARMS FOR RANGE TEST

HCAP Candidates who do not have access to their own deer-legal rifle have two options open to them. If they have a friend who has a deer-legal rifle and is prepared to let the candidate use that rifle for the Range Test, that is permitted, provided that the friend holds a valid Firearm Certificate for the firearm in question, holds valid shooting insurance and is present with the Candidate on the Range at all times. Alternatively, the candidate can avail of a Club Rifle in calibre .243, available from the Midland Range. Booking must be made at least two weeks in advance and is subject to Garda vetting. The current cost of rifle hire is €60.00, to include ammunition sufficient for the standard Range Test. Candidates with no previous experience of full-bore rifle shooting may be required to undertake basic tuition and competency testing on a one-to-one basis at the Midland Range (to include the Range Test Course of Fire but not as part of the Range Test), the current cost of which is €150.00 (one person, one day tuition and test preparation). Hire of a Club rifle and/or arrangements for tuition and test preparation, including all costs, are entirely a matter between Midland Range management and personnel, are outside the ordinary HCAP process and Deer Alliance HCAP has no responsibility or obligation in this regard.

MANDATORY CERTIFICATION

Certification has been mandatory for all first-time applicants for a Deer Hunting Licence since 2022 and has been obligatory for all persons hunting on Coillte forest property since 2005. In addition, the recent Irish Deer Management Strategy Group report published in December 2023, recommends phased certification for all hunters over the next 3 to 5 years (including licensed hunters not hunting on Coillte forest property and/or holding a Deer Hunting Licence prior to 2022).

ABOUT HCAP

HCAP is the only training programme in Ireland developed in partnership with Coillte Teoranta, National Parks & Wildlife Service, An Garda Síochána and all principal deer organisations. HCAP completed its twentieth year of operation in 2023 and to date approximately 3700 licensed deer hunters have participated in the programme. Enquiries by email to deeralliance@gmail.com or by ‘phone to 086 1927 845 (office hours).

Sika the Wild Deer. The first 100 HCAP Candidates in 2024 will receive a  complimentary copy, thanks to sponsorship received.

APPLICATIONS CLOSED

APPLICATIONS FOR THE HCAP TRAINING WORKSHOP & MCQ TAKING PLACE ON SATURDAY 2ND MARCH 2024 ARE NOW CLOSED. THIS COURSE IS FULLY BOOKED. DETAILS OF THE NEXT SCHEDULED DATE WILL BE POSTED HERE SHORTLY.

DEER HUNTING LICENCE APPLICATIONS TO GO ONLINE

National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) have announced that applications for Deer Hunting Licences (DHLs) will shortly go entirely online through a new Licence Customer Portal.

This portal will become a one-stop-shop for all licences issued by NPWS in due course. As a first step, hunters applying for a Deer Hunting Licence for the 2024/2025 season will do so online through the new Customer Portal.

NPWS are carrying out some initial testing of the system at present, and further information will be available once this testing of the new system is complete.

Stakeholders including Deer Alliance HCAP will have an opportunity for input through an online demonstration that will be rolled out in advance of making the system live, so that users will be able to familiarise themselves with the new system and also ask questions and/or provide feedback.

THE NEW E-LICENCING SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BRING A RANGE OF BENEFITS INCLUDING:

  • Fully online, fast, efficient licencing process with no need to fill out and post documents.
  • Each hunter will have their own login and password.
  • Applicants will be able to track the status of their application through the portal.
  • Once approved, applicants will receive their licence instantly and will be able to view their licence(s) online and print them, if they so wish.
  • The requirement of the minimum of 100 acres landowner permission has been removed.
  • Applicants will no longer have to provide written landowner permission.
  • Hunting returns can be completed online throughout the year.
  • Commercial shoot operators will be able to see the status of applications from their clients.

HOW WILL THE APPLICATION PROCESS CHANGE?

The application process for deer hunting licences will be online only. Within the portal applicants will be required to:

  • include a photograph with their application to ensure the individual issued the licence can be identified.
  • sign a declaration verifying that they will only hunt on land where they have permission, as set out in Section 28 of the Wildlife Act.
  • upload a firearm certificate and/or proof of firearm purchase.
  • sign a declaration that they are compliant with the minimum firearm requirements when hunting deer, as set out in Statutory Instrument No. 239/1977 (Wildlife Act, 1976 (Firearms and Ammunition) Regulations, 1977.
  • Deer hunting licences will issue via email/through the portal only, they will not be posted.

 

HCAP TRAINING WORKSHOP AND MCQ, SATURDAY 2nd MARCH 2024

The first event in the 2024 Series of Deer Alliance HCAP Training Workshops & MCQs will be held on Saturday 2nd March 2024, followed on Saturday 9th March 2024 by the supporting Range Test for successful MCQ Candidates.

APPLICATION

Application can be made online through the Online Applications section of the website or in hard copy by post. Online payment is through PayPal using any valid debit or credit card (applicants do not need their own PayPal account) or by post with cheque or postal order. Hard copy application forms can be downloaded from the website.

The cost of HCAP remains unchanged at €165.00, and €35.00 for the Deer Alliance Stalker Training Manual (also purchased through the Online Applications section).

DISCOUNT FOR MEMBERS OF IFA COUNTRYSIDE

Members of IFA Countryside can avail of an inclusive special discount price of €120.00 (covering HCAP Application, Stalker Training Manual, Workshop, MCQ, Range Test and certification), generously subsidised by IFA Farm Business Skillnet. New and intending members of IFA Countryside should call 0818 924 982 or 01 426 0368 for membership information, which includes insurance cover for all hunting and other countryside activities, compliant with requirements for the HCAP Range Test.

SIKA THE WILD DEER

In addition, thanks to a special sponsorship deal offered exclusively to Deer Alliance HCAP, the first 100 HCAP Candidates in 2024 will receive a complimentary copy of Sika the Wild Deer (retail value €25.00), the story of the life of a sika stag in Wicklow from conception to maturity, seen through the eyes of a stalker.

FIREARMS FOR RANGE TEST

HCAP Candidates who do not have access to their own deer-legal rifle have two options open to them. If they have a friend who has a deer-legal rifle and is prepared to let the candidate use that rifle for the Range Test, that is permitted, provided that the friend holds a valid Firearm Certificate for the firearm in question, holds valid shooting insurance and is present with the Candidate on the Range at all times. Alternatively, the candidate can avail of a Club Rifle in calibre .243, available from the Midland Range. Booking must be made at least two weeks in advance and is subject to Garda vetting. The current cost of rifle hire is €60.00, to include ammunition sufficient for the standard Range Test. Candidates with no previous experience of full-bore rifle shooting may be required to undertake basic tuition and competency testing on a one-to-one basis at the Midland Range (to include the Range Test Course of Fire but not as part of the Range Test), the current cost of which is €150.00 (one person, one day tuition and test preparation). Hire of a Club rifle and/or arrangements for tuition and test preparation, including all costs, are entirely a matter between Midland Range management and personnel, are outside the ordinary HCAP process and Deer Alliance HCAP has no responsibility or obligation in this regard.

MANDATORY CERTIFICATION

Certification has been mandatory for all first-time applicants for a Deer Hunting Licence since 2022 and has been obligatory for all persons hunting on Coillte forest property since 2005. In addition, the recent Irish Deer Management Strategy Group report published in December 2023, recommends phased certification for all hunters over the next 3 to 5 years (including licensed hunters not hunting on Coillte forest property and/or holding a Deer Hunting Licence prior to 2022).

ABOUT HCAP

HCAP is the only training programme in Ireland developed in partnership with Coillte Teoranta, National Parks & Wildlife Service, An Garda Síochána and all principal deer organisations. HCAP completed its twentieth year of operation in 2023 and to date approximately 3700 licensed deer hunters have participated in the programme. Enquiries by email to deeralliance@gmail.com or by ‘phone to 086 1927 845 (office hours).

Sika the Wild Deer. The first 100 HCAP Candidates in 2024 will receive a  complimentary copy, thanks to sponsorship received.

HCAP DATES 2024

Events 2024 - IRDG

Deer Alliance HCAP will hold Training Workshops & Assessments on the following dates in 2024:

Saturday 2nd March 2024 (Training Workshop and MCQ) and Saturday 9th March 2024 (Range Test)

Saturday 11th May 2024 (Training Workshop and MCQ and Saturday 18th May 2024 (Range Test)

Saturday 29th June 2024 (Training Workshop and MCQ) and Saturday 6th July 2024 (Range Test)

Training Workshops and MCQs will be held at the Woodford Dolmen Hotel Kilkenny Road, Carlow, Co. Carlow and Range Tests are held at the Midland Range, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

Full details will be posted here shortly. Applications can be made online at any time.

DEER MANAGEMENT STRATEGY GROUP PUBLISHES FINAL REPORT, 7th DECEMBER 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Deer Management Strategy Group, established in 2022 to explore and initiate actions in relation to deer management policy across Ireland, published its “Final Report into Developing a Sustainable Deer Management Strategy for Ireland” on 7th December 2023.

In their 27-page Report, the Group has identified a series of short- and medium-term actions for implementation over time. These are:

Short Term (9 months)

1. Appointment of a program manager to set up deer management units with local coordinators
2. Program manager, in conjunction with Deer Management Strategy Group, to develop an
Implementation Plan
3. Set up Deer Management Units, in critical/hot spot areas initially, following on from
localised stakeholder meetings
4. Revise the deer Open Seasons Order to align with the current dates in Northern Ireland
in the first instance*
5. Investigate the feasibility of establishing a Deer Management Agency and research the
best model for such an Agency set-up
6. Investigate support incentives necessary for national deer management program
(including for Venison market)
7. Review of changes to Statutory Instruments and current legislation
8. Revision of the process of Section 42 licence applications under the Wildlife Acts to
ensure consistency of approach

Medium Term

1. Review the results of feasibility of setting up a Deer Management Agency
2. Secure changes to legislation following review of Wildlife Acts and other deer related
legislation
3. Monitoring of the impacts (on biodiversity, forestry, farming & road safety) arising from
Implementation Plan
4. Review Open Seasons Order again as required on foot of 3 above.
5. Engage with state bodies to develop a structured deer management policy on State
lands
6. Phased certification for all hunters over next 3-5 years
7. The integration of a deer management module into agricultural, forestry, land
management & environmental training courses
8. Review of forest design and scheme specifications in relation to deer management

*The current Open Season for male deer in Northern Ireland is from 1st August to 30 April, The current Open Season for female deer (all species) is from 1st November to 31st March. Seasons for red and sika includes each separate species and hybrids. Thee is no Close Season for Muntjac in Northern Ireland.

The Report has met with mixed reaction across the range of stakeholders, with both positive and negative aspects having been identified.

The full Report can be accessed HERE.

HCAP DATES IN 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medal quality Sika Stag, Wicklow.

October dates saw the last in the 2023 Series of HCAP events for the year.

Dates for 2024 will be posted here early in the New Year, when all dates are confirmed.

Training Workshops and MCQs will continue to held in the Carlow area, and supporting Range Tests will continue to take place at the Midland National Shooting Centre of Ireland, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (“the Midland Range”).

Where a team of NOT LESS THAN TWENTY candidates (e.g. a stalking syndicate or club) is put together by any individual, HCAP Administration can arrange to hold Training Workshops and MCQs in venues other than Carlow, but not otherwise.

Application for HCAP can be made online at any time, in advance of publication of scheduled dates, but applications cannot be processed without payment. Payment of the HCAP Fee (€165.00) or for the Stalker Training Manual (€35.00) is through PayPal, using any valid credit card or debit card. Applicants do not need their own PayPal account.

RESULTS OF HCAP RANGE TEST 28th OCTOBER 2023 – NEW HCAP-CERTIFIED CANDIDATES

ROSE GIBBONS, FROM DONEGAL, COMPLETED HER HCAP CERTIFICATION ON 28th OCTOBER 2023 AT THE MIDLAND RANGE

The candidates listed below all completed their two-stage Deer Alliance Hunter Competence Assessment Programme with their Range Test at the Midland Range, Blue Ball, Tullamore on Saturday 28th October 2023. Thanks, as always, go to the Midland Range management and personnel, including Tony Saunders and J. P. Craven, and to Deer Alliance Range Officers Liam McGarry and Pat Scully. Successful candidates received their HCAP Certificates and badges from HCAP Course Director, Liam M. Nolan.

NEW HCAP-CERTIFIED CANDIDATES, DATE OF CERTIFICATION 28th OCTOBER 2023:

BREHENY, Colin, 2023/0107
BRUCE, Nick, 2023/0104
BYRNE, Ciaran, 2023/0083
CALLAGHAN, David, 2023/0128
CLAVIN, Anthony, 2023/0123
CURTIN, Mark, 2023/0103
DALY, Dylan, 2023/0067
DONNELLY, James, 2023/0116
EGAN, Michael, 2023/0118
FOOT, Adam, 2023/0109
GIBBONS, Rose, 2023/0120
GILLESPIE, David, 2023/0088
KEHOE, Michael, 2023/0121
KELLY, Colin, 2023/0110
MAGUIRE, Conor, 2023/0044
MASON, Ian, 2023/0113
McEVOY, Ian, 2023/0111
MURPHY, Alex, 2023/0124
MURRAY, Noel, 2023/0117
POCIUS, Raimundas, 2023/0106
QUINN, Anthony, 2023/0127
RAFFERTY, Colm, 2023/0122
SHANAB, Mohammed, 2023/0125
STALENIS, Donatas, 2023/0105
TROY, Brian, 2023/0112
WALSH, Wayne, 2023/0108

The list of successful candidates included 16 members of IFA Countryside, who benefited from a 40% subsidy of the ordinary HCAP fee, courtesy of IFA Farm Business Skillnet.

Successful candidates are enrolled as members of the Association of HCAP-Certified Hunters except where they have opted out of membership.

This was the last in the 2023 Series of HCAP Assessments. No further Assessments (Training Workshops, MCQs or Range Tests) will be held this calendar year. The 2024 programme of events will be posted here early in the New Year.

Candidates who were No-Shows at this Range Test will remain eligible to participate in the next scheduled Range Test except where they have missed two or more earlier events. Reminders are not issued.

 

ANTHONY QUINN AND MARK CURTIN

Colm Rafferty, Nick Bruce and Ian Mason

IAN McEVOY AND ADAM FOOT

ALEX MURPHY

BRIAN TROY

COLIN KELLY AND MICHAEL KEHOE

DAVID CALLAGHAN

MICHAEL EGAN

Ciaran Byrne and Mohammed Shanab

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES

HCAP RANGE TEST, SATURDAY 28th OCTOBER 2023

The following candidates are eligible to participate in the HCAP Range Test taking place at the Midland Range, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly on Saturday 28th October 2023.

Candidates should be present at the Range from 9.30 a.m., to sign in with Range management in the Clubhouse, with personal ID, firearms certificate, and evidence of insurance. Zeroing is not permitted on the morning of the Range Test. Sound moderators and all legitimate stalking aids e.g., shooting sticks, bipods and tripods are permitted. After registration candidates should proceed in their vehicles to the Main Range, in convoy under the direction of Range personnel. After successful completion of the Range Test, candidates will be given a card which they should bring back to the Clubhouse to receive their HCAP Certificate.

Candidates are permitted one opportunity at the Grouping Stage and two opportunities on the Main Target, OR two opportunities at the Grouping Stage and one at the Main Target (but not two opportunities at both stages).

At Stage 1 (grouping stage), candidates are required to place three rounds in a four-inch group, with a four-inch black aiming point on a six-inch white circle, in the prone position, rested.

At Stage 2 (deer target), candidates are required to place nine rounds within the heart & lung area on the life-size sika hind target – three rounds prone rested at 100 metres, three rounds sitting/kneeling at 60 metres and three rounds standing. All legitimate stalking aids are permitted. Sound moderators may be used provided they are factory-threaded.

Candidates wishing to avail of Club rifles should contact Tony Saunders at MRC directly, tel. 087 097 7589, in advance of the Range Test.

Candidates will be observed at all times for adherence to all safety protocols. Any lapse in safety standards may be followed by immediate expulsion from the Range, at the discretion of Range management.

ELIGIBLE RANGE TEST CANDIDATES

BRADBURY, Ross
BREHENY, Colin
BRUCE, Nick
BULBUC, Julian
BYRNE, Ciaran
CALLAGHAN, David
CLAVIN, Anthony
CURTIN, Mark
DALY, Dylan
DEEGAN, Paul
DONNELLY, James
EGAN, Michael
FOOT, Adam
FRANEY, Dillon
FURLONG, Conor
GIBBONS, Rose
GILLESPIE, David
HENNESSY, Liam
KEHOE, Michael
KELLY, Colin
MAGUIRE, Conor
MASON, Ian
McEVOY, Ian
MURPHY, Alex
MURRAY, Noel
POCIUS, Raimundas
POWER, Gavin
QUINN, Anthony
RAFFERTY, Colm
SHANAB, Mohammed
STALENIS, Donatas
TROY, Brian
WALSH, Wayne

The above list includes candidates who were Deferrals or No-Shows at previous Range Tests in 2023. For such candidates, failure to attend on 28th October 2023 without notice will lead to de-listing as eligible candidates and if they wish to complete their HCAP certification process, they will have to re-apply for the Range Test as Repeat Candidates.

Location of Midland Range