Author Archives: Liam Nolan

HCAP MCQ SATURDAY 9th MARCH 2019 – ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES

The first HCAP MCQ in the 2019 Series will take place on Saturday 9th March 2019 (3.30 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 4th May 2019 at the Midland National Shooting Ground, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly from 10.00 a.m.

Candidates are requested to make a permanent note of their individual HCAP Number (eight digits).

Burke, Brian, 2019/0018
Burke, Ronan, 2018/0128
Breslin, Charles, 2018/0075
Byrne, Michael, 2019/0011
Condren, Sean, 2019/0001
Davitt, Michael, 2019/0006
Durnin, David, 2018/0123
Edge, Robert, 2018/0104
Flaherty, James, 2018/0051
Heffernan, Clive, 2019/0017
Hussey, Fergus, 2018/0125
Jackson, Greg, 2019/0002
Kelleher, Jason, 2019/0005
Kelly, Gavin, 2018/0126
Kirby, Colm, 2018/0124
Lucas, Nik, 2019/0013
Lucas, Timothy, 2019/0012
Mackevicius, Arunas, 2018/0127
Mahon, Sean, 2019/0009
Martin, David, 2018/0122
McDaid, P. J., 2019/0015
Moore, Ordhran, 2019/0016
O’Toole, Niall, 2019/0008
Quinlan, Ken, 2018/0082 (IFA1)
Robertson, Drew, 2019/0010
Sweeney, John, 2019/0004
Tice, Patrick, 2018/0007
Toomey, Ian, 2019/0007
Webbon, Peter, 2019/0014
Whelan, John, 2018/0080 (IFA1)
Yavtushenko, Valeriy, 2019/0003

(This list will be updated as applications are received. The Closing Date for Applications is Monday 4th March 2019).

The MCQ will be supported by an optional Training Workshop, running from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on the same day as the MCQ (same venue). Bookings for the Workshop can be made by text message to 086 1927 845 or by email to deeralliance@gmail.com. Payment €50.00 is to be made on the day.

The Deer Alliance Stalker Training Manual, on which the MCQ is based, is an optional purchase, cost €35.00 inc. p. & p. The Manual can be purchased through the Online Applications section of the Deer Alliance website.

HCAP MCQ SATURDAY 9th MARCH 2019

This HCAP Certificate could be yours!

(Click to enlarge)

The first Deer Alliance Hunter Competence Assessment Programme (HCAP) MCQ of the 2019 Series will take place on Saturday 9th March 2019 at 3.30 p.m. in the Ionad Dara Community Centre, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny. Applications are now open and can be made through the Online Applications section of the Deer Alliance website, www.deeralliance.ie.

The MCQ (50-question Multiple Choice Question written examination) take 50 minutes to complete and will be followed in May by the Range Test stage of the process, which takes place on Saturday 4th May 2019 (commencing at 10.00 a.m. sharp) at the Midland Range, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

HCAP cost remains fixed at €165.00.

The MCQ will be supported by an optional Training Workshop, running from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on the same day as the MCQ (same venue). Bookings for the Workshop can be made by text message to 086 1927 845 or by email to deeralliance@gmail.com. Payment €50.00 is made on the day.

The Deer Alliance Stalker Training Manual, on which the MCQ is based, is an optional purchase, cost €35.00 inc. p. & p. The Manual can be purchased through the Online Applications section of the website.

Hunters are reminded of the Ministerial commitment “to consider the introduction of an appropriate training and certification process for first time applicants for deer hunting licences to commence from a date which will be determined in due course but certainly no later than 2020”.

The Minister’s full statement on certification for licensed deer hunters can be found on the NPWS website (click here).

Certification will be required for the grant of a Deer Hunting Licence (DHL) on private land as well as on Coillte forest property, on which it has been mandatory since 2005. The effect of the Ministerial commitment is that certification will become mandatory for all first-time DHL applicants this year (2019), and for all existing holders of the DHL from a date to be fixed.

Approximately 50% of all existing licensed deer hunters (holders of the DHL) are HCAP-Certified.

ILLEGAL HUNTING ON THE RISE AS ‘PSYCHO’ POACHERS POSE WITH THEIR KILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The following article on illegal hunting of wildlife (including deer) by Debbie McCann appeared recently on the online news source, Extra.ie

‘Psycho’ poachers, who have been uploading pictures of their illegal kills on social media sites are driving an increase in wildlife crime that gardaí say is now reaching epidemic proportions.
The activities of bloodthirsty illegal hunters and poachers have grown to such an extent that more than 60 gardaí have signed up for special training in this area at the National Parks and Wildlife Service this week.

Instances of gangs ‘posting with impunity’ on social media has led to a greater-than-ever prevalence of badger baiting, as well as deer, hare and bird poaching.

Conservation ranger Noel Bulger told gardaí: ‘It is a huge problem. There are psycho poachers out there. Social media is driving it, with a “Look what I have done” mindset.’ Some of the ‘bloodcurdling’ footage shown to gardaí at the training day included scenes of badgers being ripped from their setts by dogs, hares being torn apart and gangs posing on social media with ‘trophies’ of the animals they have killed.

Three inspectors have been appointed as wildlife liaison officers, while a further 62 gardaí were trained up on the appropriate legislation. The inspectors are based in Kildare, Wicklow and Westmeath, while the other gardaí are from the Eastern region.

Superintendent Martin Walker, of Kildare Garda Station, told Extra.ie that inspectors have been appointed with wildlife crime as part of their portfolio of responsibilities. He said: ‘We haven’t the luxury of having a wildlife crime unit. The wildlife rangers can now work with them specifically when they have an issue in their county.’

The Superintendent said specially trained wildlife inspectors are needed across the country. ‘The reality is that for the last 18 months, the media has addressed the issue of farm trespass, or farm invasion, as I would say. ‘There is a need for it for the sake of the farmers and also the animals who suffer tremendous cruelty. It is part of our natural heritage. We must keep them here for generations to come.’

Mr Bulger told the Gardaí how there had been a problem with ‘lurching’ — hare hunting with dogs — in north Co Dublin before ¬Christmas and that people were ‘terrorised’.

A ‘successful’ joint initiative with Gardaí as part of Operation Thor — a national crackdown on burglaries — helped to bring the situation under control. The conservation ranger said that badger baiting was happening in most counties and that ‘serious criminals’ were involved. ‘Bad people are doing it. As you saw from the footage, it is bloodcurdling to watch the badger being attacked by dogs.’

Mr Bulger also said that badgers are being removed from their setts and taken to a ‘clandestine arena’ where dogs are set on them. Supt Walker, who has been leading the way in the Gardaí in relation to wildlife crime, recalled how Gardaí were called after a six-man gang threatened a farmer and hunted on his land over three days last weekend. However, the farmer refused to make a statement on the matter out of fear.

There was a community alert that went around with a picture of a vehicle. A gang of six called in last Friday, Saturday and Sunday and threatened him and they went in and hunted across his land. ‘He reported it when they were gone. We know who they are, but he won’t make a statement of complaint.’ He said: ‘It is my theory these gangs also scope out the security arrangements on these farms.’

Wicklow and Kildare are ‘prime’ areas for the deer poaching, while Laois and Offaly are badly hit with gangs of hare poachers. In Kildare alone there are six live wildlife cases scheduled to be heard at different dates between now and March. These include two deer, two finch and two hare cases.

Wexford is also currently being targeted by the hare poachers, who are being driven out of the Eastern Garda Region because of a clampdown. A source told Extra.ie: ‘The guys behind it were prosecuted in the Eastern Region and now they are going to softer terrain. ‘They’re moving away from our area and going elsewhere. If we had everyone singing from the one hymn sheet, it would be great”.

‘Four units from Kildare and Wicklow were out with the NPSW on Friday evening. We need to keep the pressure on,’ the source said.

IRISH DEER COMMISSION JOINS RANKS OF DEER ORGANISATIONS

Killarney Red Deer (photograph by Michelle Cooper Galvin). Click to enlarge.

The newly-formed Irish Deer Commission joins the ranks of bodies dedicated to the best-practice management and conservation of wild deer in Ireland and invites membership applications, click here or here.

For recent commentary from the IDC’s Damien Hannigan on the proposed “significant” planned cull of red deer in Killarney National Park, click here.

The IDC will host a Rut Walk and Wildlife Photography talk in Killarney National Park to watch one of nature’s amazing spectacles, the annual Red Deer Rut which has taken place continuously in Kerry for over 6,000 years. This event is hosted by National Parks and Wildlife Service and is free of charge The walk takes place at the peak of the Red deer rut on Sunday October 14th 2018. Further information on the IDC website and pre-booking is advised.

Meanwhile, the Irish Deer Society is the longest-established deer organisation in Ireland and also invites support. For more information, click here.

The Wild Deer Association of Ireland also invites membership. Click here to learn more or email secretarywdai@gmail.com (postal address PO Box 67, Kinsale, Co. Cork), or ‘phone 087 687 8228.

RESULTS OF HCAP RANGE TEST – HCAP-CERTIFIED CANDIDATES, 4th AUGUST 2018

HCAP-CERTIFIED CANDIDATES 4th AUGUST 2018

The following Candidates (13 total) are deemed to be HCAP-Certified following successful completion of their HCAP Assessment after the Range Test held on 4th August 2018 (names, followed by HCAP Number).

Date of Certification: 4th August 2018.

Adamus, Lukasz, 2018/0100
Barry, James, 2018/0117
Burke, Conor, 2018/0113
Butler, Brian, 2018/0114
Brennan, Gary, 2018/0121
Cherek, Marcin, 2018/0118
Dallaghan, Maurice, 2018/0069
Fenton, Roland, 2018/0107
Kecskes, Zoltan, 2018/0120
Lambert, Kevin, 2018/0111
Leskovics, Aldis, 2018/0119
Murphy, Robert, 2018/0116
Ó Conchubhair, Nick, 2018/0109

All Candidates in attendance were successful on this occasion and were presented with their HCAP Certificates, ID Cards and Badges at the conclusion of their successful Range Test. A high standard of marksmanship was evident from all candidates. Thanks go to HCAP Range Officers Pat Scully and Liam McGarry for their able administration of the Range Test, also to Tony Saunders and all at Midland National Shooting Centre of Ireland for their usual very professional management of the Test on the Range.

This Range Test was the last in the 2018 Series. HCAP Assessments are not conducted during the Open Season, September to February inclusive. Applications received during this period will be listed for HCAP in 2019, commencing in March. Dates for MCQs and Range Tests will be announced here in the New Year.

Candidates who were No-Shows on this occasion will be carried forward to the next scheduled Range Test in 2019, except where they have missed two or more Range Tests, in which cases they are automatically de-listed as eligible and can complete their HCAP only on payment of the standard HCAP Repeat Fee (€50.00).

DEER MANAGEMENT SERVICES CONTRACT ANNOUNCED

The following Press Release was issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine on Thursday 2nd August 2018:

“Minister Andrew Doyle T.D., and Minister Josepha Madigan T.D., announce the joint signing of a contract for the “Provision of Deer management services in the Co. Wicklow Region

“Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., and Minister at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaelteacht, Josepha Madigan T.D., today announced the signing of a contract with the Wicklow Uplands Council for provision of Deer Management Services in the Wicklow Region. The signing of the contract follows a successful bid by Wicklow Uplands Council, following a tender competition that took place earlier this year. This jointly funded project will run for three years and is designed to enable rapid local level capacity building and co-operation in relation to long-term management of deer populations in Co. Wicklow.

“Unsustainable deer populations have the potential to impact adversely on agriculture, conservation and forestry objectives, as well as road safety. Issues related to high deer populations frequently arise in Co. Wicklow, and are increasingly of concern to a range of land managers and conservationists in the county. Minister Madigan stated that “I am very pleased to be working with Minister Doyle on this important project for the region, the sustainable management of deer in County Wicklow is a significant issue for both land owners and those concerned with animal welfare.” Minister Andrew Doyle, said that “The objective of this project is the management of locally occurring deer populations within 3 newly established deer management units located in the Wicklow region. The project 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.”

“Unsustainably high deer populations have been an issue in County Wicklow for several years impacting on forestry, conservation and agricultural objectives in the county, as well as being a deer welfare issue in their own right. The guiding principles set out in the joint report called “Deer Management in Ireland, A Framework for Action” will be followed by the Wicklow Uplands Council during the three year term of the contract. The management of wild deer for example must take place within appropriate management, regulatory and spatial structures that reflect deer ranging behaviour and habitat scales, and the dynamic nature of modern land use practice and land use objectives. Minister Doyle said that “Wild deer should be managed in a sustainable manner, that is safe, humane, and ethically responsible, and that maximises the benefits of deer management to society”.

“This project will build on existing experience in the county, and will augment National level development in the area through the Irish Deer Management Forum and knowledge transfer measures”.

(end of press release)

Footnote: The Request for Tenders (RFT) for the provision of Deer Management Services in Wicklow issued in February 2018 (see previous posting here, dated 18th February 2018) valued the contract at €120000.00 (excluding VAT) over the three-year life of the contract (payable to the successful bidder).

 

HCAP RANGE TEST SATURDAY 4th AUGUST 2018 – ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES

HCAP RANGE TEST TARGET – THREE ROUNDS IN A FOUR-INCH GROUP ON A GROUPING TARGET, (PRONE POSITION) FOLLOWED BY THREE ROUNDS IN THE HEART/LUNG AREA IN EACH OF THREE POSITIONS (PRONE, KNEELING/SITTING AND STANDING), TOTAL TWELVE ROUNDS

The Range Test for HCAP Candidates having successfully completed their MCQ on 14th July 2018 will take place on Saturday 4th August 2018 at the Midland National Shooting Ground, Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, commencing at 10.00 a.m. sharp. The list includes candidates eligible for the Range Test following qualification at previous MCQs but having deferred their Range Test on previous occasions. Such candidates are reminded that if having deferred two or more Range Tests, they miss the Range Test on 4th August they will be delisted as eligible and may complete their HCAP only by re-entering for the Range Test stage and paying a Repeat Fee of €50.00.

Candidates should be present from 9.30 a.m. in order to sign in and to exhibit their current Firearms Certificate and evidence of insurance. Candidates are listed alphabetically and will shoot in firing details of multiple shooters (minimum twenty shooters in each detail). Procedures to be followed at each Range Test are posted separately.

ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES

Adamus, Lukasz, 2018/0100
Barry, James, 2018/0117
Burke, Conor, 2018/0113
Brown, Martin, 2017/0116
Butler, Brian, 2018/0114
Butler, Rupert, 2018/0086
Brennan, Gary, 2018/0121
Cherek, Marcin, 2018/0118
Corcoran, David, 2017/0166
Dallaghan, Maurice, 2018/0069
Dunne, Philip, 2018/0099
Fenton, Roland, 2018/0107
Ivanoff, Eftim, 2018/0050
Kecskes, Zoltan, 2018/0120
Lambert, Kevin, 2018/0111
Leskovics, Aldis, 2018/0119
McCann, Jim, 2017/0098
Monaghan, Jason, 2018/0020
Murphy, Robert, 2018/0116
Ó Conchubhair, Nick, 2018/0109
O’Keeffe, Danny, 2018/0012
Shanahan, Maurice, 2018/0058
Spencer-Jones, Luke, 2017/0024

 

HCAP MCQ – SATURDAY 21st JULY 2018 – RESULTS

The following candidates (HCAP numbers, followed by mark achieved) were successful in the HCAP MCQ held in Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny, on Saturday 21st July 2018 and are eligible to participate in the HCAP Range Test to be held at the Midlands Range on Saturday 4th August 2018. Procedures for Range Tests will be posted here separately in due course.

In addition, Eligible Candidates who were Deferrals or No-Shows at the Range Test held on Saturday 14th July 2018 will be eligible to participate on 4th August 2018 and will be added to the list of names when posted here.

The MCQ held on 21st July 2018 was the last in the 2018 Series. Assessments are not conducted during the Open Season September to February. A Calendar for 2019 will be posted here on the Deer Alliance website when finalised.

Candidates who were Deferrals or No-Shows at this MCQ on 21st July 2018 will be carried forward to the next scheduled MCQ in 2019, except where they have missed two or more MCQs without notice. In such cases they will be required to re-enter as Repeat Candidates (Repeat Fee €50.00).

On this occasion all participating candidates passed the MCQ.

2018/0100, 98%, Pass
2018/0117, 90%, Pass
2018/0121, 90%, Pass
2018/0118, 90%, Pass
2018/0069, 92%, Pass
2018/0107, 82%, Pass
2018/0120, 88%, Pass
2018/0111, 94%, Pass
2018/0119, 80%, Pass
2018/0116, 100%, Pass

LATEST FIGURES SHOW MASSIVE INCREASES

Figures recently made available by the National Parks & Wildlife Service show massive increases in both the number of licenced deer hunters, and in the number of wild deer shot nationally.

A total of 5249 Deer Hunting Licences were issued for the Season 2017-2018. This compares with approximately 4600 in the previous year.

According to hunters’ bag returns, a total of 37241 wild deer (three species) were shot in 2016-2017.