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. NARGC, Countryside Alliance and IFA Countryside 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. In certain limited circumstances and always subject to prior notification, Candidates may use a firearm which they do not themselves own, provided that the certificate holder is present with the Candidate at all times.
6: All Candidates are therefore 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.
7: Following experimentation over a number of Range Tests, the Deer Alliance have 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 a maximum of 16 positions (up to 16 Candidates to each Detail). In certain circumstances, depending on which Range is in use, the maximum number may increase to 20.
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) 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.
h) Candidates taking two or more attempts at the 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.
i) 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 when participating in the Programme. 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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