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 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).


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.