Monthly Archives: February 2018


The closing date for applications for the HCAP MCQ to be held on Saturday 3rd March 2018 is midnight on Monday 25th February 2018. Applications received after that deadline will be listed for the next MCQ after 3rd March 2018.

Intending Candidates are reminded that the HCAP Fee will increase from €150.00 to €165.00 with effect from 1st March 2018 (see previous posting under the heading “Increase in HCAP Fee”).



Wicklow Sika stag: is management of deer on State lands to be privatised, and if so, what will be the effect on deer populations and on the ordinary licensed hunter?

The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine has published a Request for Tenders (RFT) for the provision of deer management services in the Co. Wicklow region. The tender calls for the establishment of at least three deer management units in the Wicklow region to include the development of deer management plans for each of these groups and implementation of these plans over a three-year period. The contract is valued at €120000.00 (excluding VAT) over the three-year life of the contract. The RFT was published on 1st February 2018 with a closing date for tenders of 12.00 noon on 8th March 2018. All queries relating to the tender must be submitted not later than 12.00 noon on 24th February 2018.

Full details of the RFT are available on the Government’s eTenders Procurement website,

Parties tendering for this contract will be required to satisfy stringent criteria as to competence, experience and the structural capacity to fulfil the conditions of the contract. They will be required to carry Employer’s Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance, and to be fully tax-compliant i.e. to possess a current Tax Clearance Certificate. The areas targeted as Deer Management Unit (DMU) zones are not identified. There is no indication whether the successful contracting party will be permitted to operate outside the normal hunting framework e.g. whether night shooting will be permitted, whether Closed-Season shooting will be permitted as a matter of course under Section 42 licences, or, where Coillte forest property is involved, whether ordinary hours of access only will apply (dawn to 11.00 a.m., Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays) or whether use of vehicles will be permitted. There is no mention of what is to happen to culled deer e.g. whether they become the property of the contracting party and accrue to his benefit financially. There is provision under the ordinary terms of any Government contract for the involvement of sub-contractors, which may allow the contracting party to achieve financial benefit from allowing downstream persons (e.g. individual hunters) to participate as members of any deer management group operating in one or other of the DMUs. Finally, the contracting party will be expected to produce and maintain a Deer Management Plan for each DMU in accordance with the precedent set out at Annex B of the tender documentation. The full tender documentation (72 pages total) can be accessed only by registering as a User on the eTenders website.


The process of tendering is complex and provides that Tender replies should include the following headings to outline how tenderers propose to deliver deer management services in the Wicklow region:

a) Tenderers must provide a detailed description of the operations; resources; and methodology to be deployed to meet the requirements and the specifications. Tenderers must demonstrate in their replies that they have knowledge and expertise in delivering similar services and that the proposed approach is consistent with best practice.

b) A detailed project management plan should be included in the tender reply showing clearly the various steps/stages in the process including timelines and milestones for delivery.

c) Number of days for each task, arrangements proposed for quality control of the outputs/deliverables and project management and leadership arrangements should also be included. This should include a brief outline of the proposed approach in the following areas;

  • Establishing baseline data on damage levels (using most up to date methods from Irish research)
  • Data Collection, data management, security and reporting
  • Establishing deer management units
  • Implementation of deer management plans
  • Incorporation of existing systems, structures and relationships
  • Provision of advice and technical support to landowners, hunters and other stakeholders
  • Support for awareness, education, knowledge transfer and training (this may include knowledge transfer outside the Wicklow region in an effort to promote best practice in areas where deer issues are emerging)
  • Applying support and advice from applied research
  • Deer welfare safeguards

The project plan should state that the tenderer will comply with the principles set out in “Deer management in Ireland, A framework for action”.

d)  A payment schedule should also be set out in the tender reply tied to project milestones.

Deliverables shall include the following:

• Establishment of at least 3 deer management units (DMU’s) in the County Wicklow region (this may include parts of south County Dublin north County Wexford and east County Carlow see Annex 1 map).

• Preparation and implementation of structured deer management plans for each of these deer management units (a single management plan can cover all DMU’s). Such should represent a collaborative action plan between landowners, hunters and key stakeholders and should be an active document insofar as records are logged and used throughout the 3-year management period for key decision making.

• Final report

The successful tenderer will report annually to both Departments immediately prior to and
following hunting seasons and keep the Irish Deer Management Forum (IDMF) updated on progress.

It is suggested that this proposal will put sustainable deer management within the county on a more professional basis and promote knowledge transfer in the county, as well as mainstreaming of the project and sharing of knowledge where required outside Co. Wicklow.

The final report will include the following:

• Description of actions undertaken to increase awareness for landowners around the mechanisms for control and management of deer both within the project area, and in surrounding areas.

• Outline of implementation (across all DMU’s) of impact assessment method on grass and forests.

• Establishment of baseline data and objective damage levels using the standardised measuring techniques specified. And monitor damage levels over the 3 years period.

• Determination of appropriate cull levels on an annual basis per DMU and provision of assistance and advice to landowners about this process

• Results and analysis of monitoring and recording of cull activity within the project area, including mechanisms aimed at recording and verification of cull levels within the project areas

• Analysis of the work completed in the past three years, what worked well, what didn’t, what improvements could be made to the collaborative DMU approach to deer management. Conclusions and recommendations for the future should be included.

• The report should include a comprehensive analysis outlining whether or not a sustainable deer population has been achieved based on impact analysis and density surveys.



The next HCAP MCQ in the 2018 Series will take place on Saturday 3rd March 2018 (4.00 p.m.) in the Ionad Dara Community Centre, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny. The Range Test for successful candidates from this MCQ will take place on Saturday 24th March 2018 at the Midland National Shooting Ground, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly from 10.00 a.m. on the day in question.

The Candidates listed below are eligible for this MCQ. Candidates with the numerical prefix 2016 applied for HCAP in 2016 but did not sit any MCQ in 2016 or in 2017. Failure to participate in any MCQ in March or April 2018 will lead to striking off of these candidates from list of eligible candidates. Such candidates may re-apply later subject to payment of Repeat Fee €50.00. HCAP Fees are non-refundable. This apples also to 2017 Candidates with a HCAP Number ending 2017/0172 or earlier.

Application for HCAP can be made online. Payment €150.00 can also be made online through PayPal using any valid debit card or credit card (individual PayPal accounts are not needed).

The HCAP Fee will increase with effect from midnight on 28th February 2018, from €150.00 to €165.00 (see previous posting headed “Increase in HCAP Fee”).

All candidates listed below are eligible for the MCQ taking place on 3rd March 2018.
Candidates unable to attend on 3rd March 2018 will be automatically carried forward to the next scheduled MCQ date and so on until they sit the MCQ and can proceed to the Range Test but must notify Deer Alliance HCAP in advance of any deferral.

Balukonis, Valentinas, 2018/0011
Brillant, Philippe, 2017/0057
Brophy, Justin, 2016/0076
Brown, Bernard, 2016/0005
Bury, Dariusz, 2017/0196
Canavan, Hugh, 2018/0022
Carey, John Paul, 2016/0006
Carton, Pauraic, 2017/0137
Cashman, Vincent, 2018/0006
Connolly, Paul, 2018/0030
Connolly, Steven, 2018/0031
Cunningham, Bryan, 2016/0013
Delaney, James, 2017/0192
Delaney, Liam, 2017/0175
Fitzpatrick,Robert, 2017/0197
Forde, Desmond, 2017/0177
Fox, Denis, 2017/0118
Gacesa, Milorad, 2018/0033
Gajdos, Martin, 2017/0193
Gallagher, Thomas, 2018/0034
Galvin, Emmet, 2018/0005
Gillespie, Liam, 2016/0026
Graham, David, 2018/0028
Hegarty, Michael, 2017/0186
Hickey, Gary, 2017/0176
Horan, Barry, 2017/0138
Horgan, John, 2017/0149
Hourigan, Gerard, 2017/0187
Howell, Myles, 2017/0179
Hyland, Enda, 2017/0181
Hynes, Eddie, 2017/0185
Jolondcovschi, Serghei, 2018/0001
Joyce, James, 2017/0183
Kearney, David, 2017/0174
Kearney, Luke, 2017/0189
Kelly, Gary, 2017/0201
Lane, Michael, 2017/0081
Meere, John, 2018/0024
McCloskey, Mark, 2018/0003
McDermott, Sean, 2017/0188
McManus, Rory, 2017/0184
Moore, Karl, 2018/0023
Morrissey, Mark, 2018/0027
Mullen, Philip, 2017/0180
Murphy, Tyrone, 2017/0198
Murray, Patrick, 2017/0178
O’Brien Ralph, 2018/0004
O’Hanlon, Chris, 2017/191
O’Keeffe, Flavian, 2017/0190
O’Mahony, Killian, 2017/0200
Prendergast, Denis, 2016/010
Rosoiu, Ionut Bogdan, 2018/0029
Rotaru, Ion Marius, 2018/0032
Serafinski, Tommy, 2018/0002
Smith, Donal, 2018/0008
Smyth, Gary, 2017/0182
Stoffell, Barry, 2018/0009
Stuart, John, 2018/0025
Tice, Patrick, 2018/0007
Tierney, Mark, 2017/0045
Walsh, Peter, 2017/0199
Warren, Alan, 2017/0173

This list will be updated weekly as applications are received. The ceiling number of candidates at any sitting of the MCQ is a maximum of 100. See our previous posting for a full schedule of all dates in 2018.


Subject to demand, MCQs are usually preceded by optional Training Workshops. Participation is optional. Such Workshops run from 10.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. approximately on the same day as the MCQ, at the same venue, and are subject to an additional cost of €50.00, payable on the day. Booking can be made by email to or by text to 086 1927 845 in the week prior to date of Workshop/MCQ.


The Deer Alliance Stalker Training Manual is an optional purchase and can be ordered through the Online Applications section of the Deer Alliance website,, cost €35.00 incl. p. & p.


HCAP Certification is required for all Coillte Licensees and all Coillte Nominated Stalkers. It is intended, and expected, that from an early date, not necessarily 1st January 2018, HCAP certification or equivalent will be required for all NEW first-time Deer Hunting Licence (DHL) applicants regardless of whether they are hunting on Coillte forest property or on private land. It is expected that existing DHL holders hunting on private land will also be required to be certified but will have a grace period of five years from implementation to obtain HCAP Certification.

Recent confusion has arisen because the outgoing Minister chose not to fully implement the Recommendation on mandatory certification put forward by the Irish Deer Management Forum (fully covered in other postings on this site and on the website of the IDMF) according to the recommended schedule and timeline, despite previous assurances to the Forum and to Deer Alliance that the Recommendation would be fully implemented in its original form. It remains the position of the IDMF that mandatory certification should be implemented within the shortest possible timespan. Evidence of competency for licences issued under the provisions of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended) is already provided for under the Act (see Section 28 of the Act) but successive Ministers have to date failed to bring this provision into effect. Implementation is the subject of ongoing dialogue with the newly appointed Minister, Josepha Madigan T.D. (appointed as Minister on 30th November 2017 and not previously engaged in the process of implementation).


The following Candidates are deemed to be HCAP-Certified following successful completion of a closed HCAP MCQ held on 9th February 2018 and Range Test held on 13th February 2018 for members of the Field Staff of National Parks & Wildlife Service (Conservation Rangers, District Conservation Officers and Regional Managers).

Date of Certification: 13th February 2018.

Byrne, Carl, 2018/0018
Duffy, Brian, 2018/0014
Edwards, Ian, 2018/0010
Foley, Ciaran, 2018/0021
Griffin, John, 2018/0019
Hassett, Seamus, 2017/0195
McLindon, Hugh, 2018/0017
Meskell, Eamonn, 2017/0194
O’Sullivan, Padruig, 2018/0013
Stephens, Raymond, 2018/0015
Thompson, Roy, 2018/0016
Webb, Andrea, 2018/0026

There were two qualified Deferrals, who will have their opportunity of completing the Range Test stage of HCAP later in the year.

All Candidates were presented with their HCAP Certificates, ID Cards and Badges at the conclusion of their successful Range Test.


The HCAP Fee will increase from €150.00 to €165.00 with effect from 1st March 2018.

The increase of 10% is the only increase in the HCAP Fee in the twelve years since 2006 and is necessitated by a doubling in the cost-per-candidate Range fee incurred by Deer Alliance HCAP in respect of the Range Test stage of HCAP.

Deer Alliance HCAP runs on a break-even, not-for-profit basis and apart from administrative expenses, all revenues are utilised to ongoing improvement and development of HCAP and to keep cost to candidates at the lowest possible level. Deer Alliance HCAP publishes its quarterly management accounts to its representative stakeholder groups at each meeting of the HCAP Assessment Committee and its accounts are independently audited annually in compliance with best practice.

The cost of HCAP compares favourably with other assessment models internationally, including the UK’s DSC1, Germany’s DJV and all other European models of training, assessment and certification. While Deer Alliance HCAP regrets this increase, it is necessary and unavoidable at this time.

Applications received between date of this announcement and midnight on 28th February 2018 will be honoured at the existing rate of €150.00.