Monthly Archives: March 2021


Sika The Wild Deer









In the light of the ongoing impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and restrictions on numbers gathering indoors or outdoors, Deer Alliance cannot fix dates or venues for HCAP assessments until restrictions are eased or lifted. Dates and venues will be posted here immediately restrictions are eased.

In the meanwhile, the following is a list of those candidates eligible to participate in the next scheduled HCAP MCQ, date to be fixed.

The list includes all confirmed (paid) applications received since our last MCQ and Range Test in 2020.

Some previous candidates have been de-listed as eligible due to repeated non-attendance at scheduled MCQs in 2019 and 2020. Such candidates can re-apply for assessment and certification, subject to the standard Repeat Fee of €50.00.

A date for the next MCQ will be posted here as soon as possible after easing of current Covid 19 restrictions on travel and on numbers gathering indoors or outdoors, as per previous News & Updates posting.

Applications remain open and can be made online from the Home Page of the Deer Alliance website.


ARMSTRONG, Robert, 2021/0006
BABBINGTON, Robert, 2021/0015
BEHAN, Conor, 2021/0012
BERGIN, Patrick, 2021/0002
BEWICK, Stuart, 2021/0001
BYRNE, Tommy, 2021/0003
COLOHAN, Donal, 2021/0013
COOKE, Declan, 2020/0056
CORR, Francis, 2021/0011
DEDAJ, Kristian, 2019/0078
DOWLING, Mark, 2021/0014
HANNON, Colm, 2020/0067
HAMILL, Michael/2020/0021
HARVEY, Brendan, 2020/0008
HEALY, David, 2021/0009
HENDERSON, Simon, 2020/0020
HUTCHINSON, Robert, 2009/0108
KELLY, Joe, 2020/0060
KENNY, Alan, 2020/0066
KENDELLEN, Barry, 2020/0013
LARKIN, Andrea, 2020/0016
LAZZARI, Tojo, 2020/0065
LEAVY, Niall, 2021/0007
MANNINGHAM-BULLER, Edward, 2020/0018
MERRIGAN, Ian, 2020/0062
MURPHY, James, 2020/0038
MURPHY, Paddy, 2020/0039
MURPHY, Patrick, 2020/0040
O’CALLAGHAN, Michael, 2019/0079
O’CONNOR, Dean, 2021/0004
O’FLYNN, Sean, 2021/0005
PAILLARD, Etienne, 2020/0064
REDMOND, Patrick, 2020/0061
SCANLON, Callum, 2020/0063
STYNES, Christopher, 2021/0010
WALKER, Ian, 2020/0027
WATSON, Christopher, 2021/0008

This list will be updated as applications are received. Last update 27.3.2021.

Minister Noonan opens applications for the 2021/2022 Deer Hunting Season and welcomes hunters back to the countryside to support sustainable deer management







The following statement has today 15th March 2021 been published by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

“The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has announced that application forms and guidance notes for the 2021/2022 Deer Hunting Season are now available on the NPWS Website .

The NPWS is striving to ensure that all applications are dealt with in a timely manner and has put in place measures to ensure the least amount of disruption, despite the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Applications can now be emailed or posted using the appropriate application form and, similar to last season, there will be no requirement for a landowner’s signature but landowner details must be provided on the application form.

Commenting on the need for a smoother application process and welcoming hunters back to the countryside, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D., said:

“Last year was extremely challenging in terms of the administration of deer hunting licences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we have made changes to ensure a smoother process and are confident that we will be able to deal with the demand the 2021/2022 season will bring. We’ve all had our movement curtailed due to the pandemic and hunting activity last season was greatly reduced. As restrictions ease, I’d like to welcome hunters back to the countryside and encourage anyone with an interest in hunting to engage with the relevant groups. Deer populations are abundant across much of the country, and in some places can cause extensive damage to habitats, native woodlands, commercial timber forests and arable crops. For many years, I’ve been a committed vegetarian and animal rights activist. However, I also believe that responsible hunting, with the correct training, oversight, equipment and – of course – licence can reduce pressures on biodiversity and have an overall positive impact on nature by helping to manage deer populations at a sustainable level, in the absence of predators.”

Minister Noonan also reaffirmed his commitment to introducing mandatory certification training for first-time hunters:

“My Department is committed to introducing mandatory certification training for first-time hunters. It had been intended to introduce it for the 2021/22 season but unfortunately, this project, like so many others across all sectors of society, has had to be deferred due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Much work has gone on behind the scenes to put the foundations in place for this project and this requirement will be introduced once it is viable and safe to do so for all concerned, and my Department will make sure it is delivered to the highest standard possible.”    

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 in a given year to 28 February the following year, depending on the species and gender of deer. About 5,500 deer hunting licences are issued each season, of which in the region of 1,000 are first-time applicants”.






Applications for Deer Hunting Licences for the 2021/2022 season, under Section 29 (1) of the Wildlife Act 1976 to 2018, are now available on the National Parks & Wildlife Service website. Application for the DHL can be made online.

Click here for a link to the NPWS website.

The following documents including full instructions can now be accessed:

  • Email Application Form
  • Manual Application form
  • Guidance Note
  • Wild Deer Open Season Dates






The Wildlife Licencing Unit of National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, has today announced that mandatory certification for first-time applicants for the Deer Hunting Licence (DHL) has been postponed and is now set for the Season 2022-2023 and not for 2021-2022 as previously announced.

The reason given was “the ongoing impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic”. No further explanation has been provided.

This can be seen as a major setback to any question of mandatory certification, and raises a  question mark over official commitment to safe, efficient and humane management of wild deer by competent and certified licensed hunters.

Deer Alliance HCAP has campaigned for training, assessment and certification since establishment in 2003, in partnership and with the support of all relevant stakeholders including NPWS, Coillte, Forest Service and different deer organisations.

Deer Alliance HCAP remains committed to the principle of the safe, efficient and humane management of wild deer by competent and certified licensed hunters, through training, assessment and certification of committed hunters, despite this setback.





National Parks & Wildlife Service have confirmed that Deer Hunting Licence (DHL) application forms will NOT be posted out individually to existing licence holders this year, as would be usual. Instead, application forms will shortly be available to download from the NPWS website.

NPWS have also confirmed that individual landowner permissions will NOT be required this year.

These changes arise from the impact of Covid 19 on the operation of the NPWS Wildlife Licensng Unit.

First-time applicants for the DHL will still be required to provide evidence of landowner permission, as well as evidence of HCAP certification or equivalent.

See NPWS statement here.

See also NPWS statement on mandatory certification for first-time DHL applicants, published on 13th March 2020 here.