Figures recently released by the National Parks & Wildlife Service show that the number of Deer Hunting Licences (DHLs) granted annually has increased from 4422 in 2014/15 to 4900 to date in the current season, 2017/18, with an average of 600 first-time applicants over each of the last four years. At the same time, an average of 400 existing licence-holders failed to renew their licence in each successive year.
These figures suggest an annual nett increase each in the order of 8% in the number of DHLs issued. An incremental rise of 8% per annum could lead to the total number of licences issued annually increase to over 7200 over the next five years. It remains to be seen whether this growth pattern will be maintained, more importantly, whether the deer population can survive such added and continually increasing shooting pressure.
Mandatory Certification (HCAP or equivalent) will be introduced with effect from 1st January 2018. From that date all first-time applicants for the DHL will be required to be HCAP-Certified before grant of licence. Existing holders of the DHL (holding a DHL on or before 31st December 2017) will have a grace period of five years ending on 31st December 2022 during which to become HCAP-Certified.
Deer Alliance HCAP will shortly announce a schedule of MCQ and Range Test dates for 2018. This will be available here on this News & Updates Section of the Deer Alliance website. Application for HCAP can be made online through the website at any time.