All HCAP Candidates are required to note the following matters in relation to Range Tests conducted at the Midland National Shooting Grounds (“MRC”), at Blue Ball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly:
1: Only Candidates who have passed the HCAP MCQ may take the HCAP Range Test.
2: Candidates must use a rifle of calibre legal for hunting deer in Ireland, i.e. minimum legal calibre .22/250.
3: All firearms must be transported in sleeves or cases. The firing bolt should be removed and carried separately. Firing bolts should be inserted only when preparing to shoot. At all times when not actually shooting, the bolt should be removed and a breech flag inserted.
4: All Candidates are required to carry fully adequate Shooting Insurance and must provide evidence of insurance to MRC on the day of any Range Test. Current Countryside Alliance, IFA Countryside or NARGC membership all satisfy the insurance requirement.
5: The law requires that a valid firearms certificate must be carried when using or transporting any firearm. The firearm certificate covers the “use, possession or carriage” of the firearm. MRC require HCAP Candidates to exhibit their firearm certificate before proceeding to the Range Test.
6: All Candidates are required to sign in at the main MRC check-in desk on arrival at the Range, and before proceeding to the Windmill Range on which the HCAP Range Tests take place, and to exhibit evidence of insurance and firearm certificate on request. No insurance, no Range Test; no Firearms Certificate, no Range Test.
7: Sound Moderators are permitted only where MRC Range Officials are satisfied that the Moderator is factory-fitted and that the firearm in question is in proof.
8: Following experimentation over a number of Range Tests, Deer Alliance HCAP has adopted the following procedures in respect of Range Tests:
a) All Candidates will be listed alphabetically (surname first) and allocated to firing details accordingly.
b) Each Firing Detail has up to 16 positions (up to 16 Candidates to each Detail).
c) The first Firing Detail will always kick off at 10 a.m. sharp, with approximately 45 minutes allowed for each Detail.
d) All Candidates are urged to arrive at MRC not later than 9.30 a.m. on the day of any Range Test, to allow time for registration procedures as set out above.
e) Thereafter, HCAP Range Officials will allocate positions on each Detail according to alphabetical order and actual presence on the Range.
f) Deferrals must be notified in writing (email or text message) to the Deer Alliance not less than 3 days before any Range Test. “No-shows”, i.e. non-attendance without notification, may result in loss of entitlement to complete the HCAP Certification programme.
g) The Range Test consists of accurate grouping of three shots in a four-inch circle at a distance of 100 metres, taken in the prone position; followed by accurate placement of six shots in the heart/lung area of a life-size deer target (two shots prone or sitting at 100 metres, two shots sitting or kneeling at sixty metres and two shots standing at 40 metres). Normal stalking aids may be used e.g. slings, bipods/tripods or stalking sticks. Candidates are permitted two attempts at the grouping target followed by one attempt at the deer target or one attempt at the grouping target and two attempts at the deer target.
h) After shooting, each Candidate, pass or fail, is given a slip with his or her name on it and indicating pass or fail, and attempts taken. This slip (pass or fail) must be presented to the HCAP Administrator Liam Nolan before leaving the Range in order to receive the HCAP Certificate and/or to register for any subsequent Range Test.
i) Candidates taking two or more attempts at the overall Range Test on any given day are required to pay a Repeat Fee of €25.00. The Repeat Fee if taking the Range Test for a second or further time on any subsequent Range Test day is €50.00. Repeats on the day of the Range Test are entirely at the discretion of the designated HCAP Range Officials.
j) Safety is paramount at all times and any lapse will be severely penalised. All Candidates are issued with the Deer Alliance “Safe Stalking” safety leaflet and. copies will be available at each Range Test. It is the responsibility of each Candidate to ensure that best practice safety procedures are followed at all times.
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