The Irish Deer Commission has reported on its recent discussions with Coillte Teoranta, at which Coillte advised on processes now in place in relation to disruption of hunting activities on Coillte forest property as a result of Covid travel and other restrictions.
In what must be seen as a major concession on the part of Coillte, both deer hunting and bird shooting licence holders will benefit from financial relief where they had paid in full or in part for licences held from Coillte for the Season 2020-2021.
The following concessions will apply:
Recreational hunters – not allowed to cross county boundary or limited by 5 km travel restriction: if the 2020-2021 licence fee was paid in 2020, licensees will benefit from no charge for the 2021-2022 season. If the 2020-2021 licence fee was not paid, licensees will pay for the 2021-2022 season in full. This is regardless of whether hunting was limited or restricted at different levels of lockdown.
Licences expiring at end of 2020-2021 season: if Season 2020-2021 was paid in full, licensees will enjoy a one-year extension to the licence for the 2021-2022 season free of charge. If the licensee doe not want an extension to the licence in question, the area will be put up for tender and the outgoing licensee, who paid but could not shoot, will receive a credit on any other tender offer on which they are successful. It would appear that no cash rebates will be made.
Licences expiring at end of 2020-2021 season but not paid: if 2020-2021 was not paid for, the licensee will receive a one-year extension but with no discount. The licence fee must be paid, otherwise the licence will be put up for tender in 2021.
Licensees hunting on licensed areas with Section 42 DHLs: no concessions will be made as such licensees and permit holders could shoot without breach of Covid regulations.
Separate arrangements are in place for holders of commercial licences.
It is assumed that individual licence holders will be communicated with by Coillte.