Hunting in Ireland: A Complete Guide (Seasons, Places & More)

hunting in ireland

You may be an experienced hunter, but hunting in Ireland can be tricky. There are different laws and regulations to follow, not to mention the language barrier.

Even if you’ve hunted all over the world class, Ireland is a unique experience worth exploring. But with all of the new information to take in, where do you start?

This blog post contains everything you need to know about hunting in Ireland, from what time of year to go to, which places are best for a specific game, to what animals you can hunt in Ireland. You’ll have all the information you need right at your fingertips.

Can You Hunt in Ireland?

The simple answer is yes; you can hunt in Ireland. But there are a few things to consider before you start your trip.

First and foremost, you need to have the proper licenses. To hunt in Ireland, residents and non-residents must have a hunting license.

You can apply for a license online through the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine.

There are two types of licenses available: a game license and a deer license. The license covers small games, such as foxes, hares, and wild birds. The deer license covers, well, deer.

You’ll need both licenses if you want to hunt small game and deer. And if you’re a non-resident, you’ll need to have your license before entering the country.

Now that you know you can hunt in Ireland and how to get a license let’s talk about when the best time to go is.

How Popular Is Hunting in Ireland?

The popularity of hunting in Ireland has increased in recent years, with the number of people getting licenses rising every year.

One reason for this could be that it’s a great way to see the country. Ireland is full of stunning landscapes, and what better way to experience them than by going on a free-range hunting trip?

Plus, with the proper preparation, it can be a very successful trip. Ireland is home to various animals, including deer, wild boar, foxes, and hares. Various animals include hybrid deer, foxes, hares, and wild birds.

So, whether you’re looking for a trophy or want to stock up on meat for the winter, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for in Ireland.

How Many Hunters Are in Ireland?

The number of hunters in Ireland has been on the rise recently, with residents and non-residents getting licenses. In 2016, there were over 23,000 licensed hunters in the country.

Of those hunters, around 15,000 were resident hunters, and 8,000 were non-resident hunters. Most non-resident hunters came from the UK, followed by the US, Germany, and France.

The number of hunters has been slowly rising since 2006 when just over 18,000 licensed hunters were in the country.

Though there are no definitive numbers, Ireland is estimated to have anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 hunters. This places the country ahead of the United States, which has about 16.3 million hunters, or about 5 percent of the population. 

Ireland’s high hunter-to-population ratio can be attributed to several factors. For one, hunting is deeply ingrained in Irish culture and tradition. It’s not unusual for generations of families to pass down their hunting knowledge and skills from one generation to the next. 

In addition, the Irish countryside is ideal for hunting, with its big game and beautiful landscapes. And with so much land available for public hunting (nearly 10 percent of the island.

Hunting in Ireland Law

Now that we’ve answered some of the most common questions about hunting in Ireland let’s get into the nitty-gritty: the law.

As we mentioned before, you must have a fishing license in Ireland. But there are a few other things you must remember regarding the law.

For starters, you need to be familiar with the Firearms Act. This act covers everything from who can own a gun to how to transport it.

You also need to be aware of animal welfare laws. These laws are in place to protect the animals you’re hunting, as well as the ones you’re not.

Finally, you need to know the rules and regulations for the specific area you’re hunting in. Each hunting ground has its own rules, so it’s essential to be familiar with them before starting your trip.

When Is the Hunting Season in Ireland? (Ireland Hunting Seasons)

The hunting season in Ireland runs from October 1st to February 28th. During this time, you can hunt various animals, including deer, foxes, hares, and wild birds.

The deer hunting season is divided into two parts: the red deer stag season and the red deer hind season. The stag season runs from October 1st to January 10th, while the hind season runs from December 15th to February 28th.

Foxes can be hunted year-round, but the most popular time to hunt them is during the cub hunting season, which runs from October 1st to February 28th.

Hares can also be hunted year-round, but the best time to hunt them is during the breeding season, which runs from September 1st to February 28th.

Finally, the wild bird hunting season runs from October 1st to January 31st. During this time, you can hunt various birds, including pheasants, partridges, ducks, and geese.

What Kind of Hunting Can You Do in Ireland?

There is a wide variety of hunting available in Ireland, with several different species of deer and some feral sheep and goats to choose from. Red deer, sika deer, fallow deer, hybrid deer, feral sheep, and goats can all be hunted in Ireland.

Each brings its challenges, so it depends on what you’re looking for in a hunt as to which one would be the best option. Red deer would be the way to go if you’re after a big game animal.

They’re the largest deer species that can be hunted here and weighed in at around 15-20kg on average. Sika deer are smaller than red deer but are still a decent size at 10-15kg. Fallow deer are the smallest of the three, weighing around 5-10kg.

Feral sheep or goats might be the way to go if you’re after something a little different. These animals are not as challenging to hunt as deer but can still provide a good day’s hunting.

Several species of feral sheep and goats can be hunted in Ireland, including the European mouflon, the Balkan chamois, and the wild goat.

So, whatever you’re looking for in a hunt, you’re sure to find it here in Ireland.

How Much Does Hunting In Ireland Cost?

The cost of Ireland hunting trips varies depending on many factors, such as the type of hunting you’re doing, the length of the hunt, and the number of animals you’re hoping to bag.

However, there are a few general things you can expect to pay for when hunting in Ireland. The first is the license fee. A hunting license in Ireland costs €80 and is valid for one year. You can get your license from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

The second is the deer tag fee. You have to pay this fee for each deer you kill. The fee for a red deer stag is €100, while the fee for a red deer hind is €50.

When Can You Hunt Deer in Ireland? 

According to the Irish organization National Parks & Wildlife Service, “deer may be shot during the open season which generally runs from 1 September in a given year to 28 February the following year.” There are, however, certain caveats.

For example, red deer may only be hunted in some regions of Ireland (designated as red deer hunting areas). In contrast, fallow deer may only be hunted on private land with the landlord’s permission.

In addition, any hunter must have a valid license issued by the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht to hunt deer in Ireland. 

Finally, all hunters must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the National Parks & Wildlife Service regarding the humane treatment of animals.

Where Is the Best Place to Hunt in Ireland? (Public Hunting Land Ireland)

The Emerald Isle is a haven for hunters who want to pursue red deer, sika deer, and fallow bucks on its beautiful mountains and lakes.

There are also several varieties of feral sheep & goats running wild across all sorts of land, providing an unforgettable experience in this natural paradise!

Some of the best areas to hunt in Ireland include: 

  • The Galtee Mountains
  • The Lake District
  • Mayo
  • County Kerry
  • The Wicklow Mountains
  • The Slieve Bloom Mountains

Each area offers something unique, so it depends on what you’re looking for in a hunt as to which one would be the best option for you.

How Much Is a Hunting License in Ireland?

The shotgun and rifle licenses are priced at €25 per year. A separate deer hunting license is free from the Wildlife Service, though it’s not required if you only plan on using your firearm as part of an approved competition or exhibition event!

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask away! And happy hunting!

Irish Hunting Holidays: (Shooting Holidays Ireland)

Many different companies offer hunting holidays in Ireland. The cost of these holidays varies depending on several factors, such as the length of the holiday, the type of hunting you’re doing, and the number of animals you’re hoping to bag.

However, there are a few general things you can expect to pay for when booking a hunting holiday in Ireland. The first is the license fee. A hunting license in Ireland costs €80 and is valid for one year. You can get your license from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

Bow Hunting In Ireland: Is Hunting with a Bow Legal in Ireland?

Under any circumstances, it is illegal to hunt with a bow in Ireland. The Wildlife Act 1976 prohibits hunting all animals with bows and arrows. This law is in place to protect both hunters and hunted animals.

The act allows exceptions, such as hunting with a bow while on private land, to thin out the deer population.

However, killing any animal other than a deer while hunting with a bow on private land is still unlawful. Anyone caught violating this law can face fines up to €5000 or up to 6 months in jail.

What Animals Can You Hunt in Ireland?

Trying to figure out which animals you’re allowed to hunt in Ireland can be confusing. There are a lot of different rules and regulations when it comes to hunting animals in Ireland. It can be hard to track what’s legal and what’s not.

We’ve created a comprehensive guide to hunting animals in Ireland. Whether you’re looking to hunt deer, boar, or pheasant, we’ve got you covered. Our guide is updated regularly so you can stay up-to-date on the latest hunting regulations.

Can You Bird Hunt in Ireland? (Bird Hunting in Ireland)

There is no closed season for shooting game birds in Ireland, so that you can go bird hunting any time of year! The most popular game birds to hunt in Ireland are pheasants, partridges, ducks, and geese.

There are a few things to keep in mind when bird hunting in Ireland. First, you must have a shotgun license, which costs €25 per year. You can get your license from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

In addition, you must have a valid hunting permit from the landowner before you can go bird hunting on their property.

Finally, knowing the bag limits for each game bird species is crucial. The bag limit for pheasants is ten birds per day; for partridges, it is five birds per day; for ducks and geese, it is three birds per day.

Can You Hunt Rabbits in Ireland?

Yes, you are free to hunt rabbits in Ireland. However, there are some caveats to consider before engaging in this activity.

  • First and foremost, as with any hunting activities, familiarize yourself with the local regulations and obtain any necessary permits.
  • Secondly, while rabbits may not be protected in Ireland, they are still unprotected animals. This means they can be hunted without special permission from the Irish government.
  • Finally, when pursuing any hunting, use caution and common sense to ensure a safe and successful experience for everyone involved.

Can You Hunt Stag in Ireland? (Stag Hunting in Ireland)

Yes, you can hunt stag in Ireland! There are two primary ways to do so: rifle hunting and hunting with hounds.

Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the best method that suits your needs and preferences is essential.

Rifle hunting is typically reserved for more experienced hunters, requiring a steady hand and great aim. On the other hand, hunting with hounds is a bit more forgiving and can be an excellent option for those new to stag hunting.

Whichever method you choose, you’re sure to have a fantastic time making the most of Ireland’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife.

Fox Hunting in Ireland

Fox hunting in Ireland is an ancient and popular sport that many have enjoyed for centuries. The law surrounding foxes requires that they be protected from harm, but it’s challenging to achieve convictions when the animals don’t have much agency or power under human control.

The practice remains legal despite its controversial nature because there are no laws preventing people from going out into public spaces with dogs equipped for tracking prey such as rabbits, birds, etc.,

So long as these activities take place on private property where consent was obtained beforehand – something most would assume occurs naturally through common courtesy rather than needing formal agreement altogether!

Duck Hunting in Ireland

Ireland is the home to many ducks, which are beloved by gun enthusiasts. The shooting season runs from 1st September until 31st January inland and 20 February if you’re below the high tide mark!

There are a few things to remember before duck hunting in Ireland. The first is that you need a shotgun license, which you can get from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

Secondly, you’ll need to purchase a gamebird hunting tag for each day you plan to hunt. They cost €5 each and can be bought at any post office.

Finally, it’s essential to know the bag limits for each game bird species. The bag limit for ducks is three birds per day.

Sheep Hunting Ireland

There are several options when it comes to hunting sheep in Ireland. One of the most popular methods is to use dogs to flush the sheep out from their hiding places and into the open where they can be shot.

Another option is to hunt them at night with a thermal imaging scope. This allows you to see the sheep even in complete darkness.

Finally, some hunters prefer to use traps rather than guns. Trapping is a very effective way of catching sheep, but it can also be dangerous if not done correctly.

Fallow Deer Hunting Ireland

Ireland is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, and one such creature that you will find on almost any sampling plot or hiking trail is fallow deer.

These large-hooved mammals can typically be seen throughout most woodlands countrywide–whether it’s hill land like County Clare, where they flourish in the gentle hillsides with their natural food sources; low lying areas near rivers where these animals have been known to feed off aquatic plants while drinking water during summer months too!

Can you hunt wild goats in Ireland? (Goat Hunting Ireland)

Although there are no specific laws in Ireland protecting wild goats, sadly, this does not mean you can hunt them.

Hunting any animal without the landowner’s permission is illegal, and you could be prosecuted if caught doing so.

In addition, all animals are protected under the Wildlife Acts 1976-2000, which makes it an offense to intentionally kill, injure or take any animal listed in the Second Schedule of the Act, including goats.

So even if you did have permission to hunt on private land, hunting wild goats would still be illegal.

Sika Deer Hunting Ireland

While the sika deer have been around for quite some time, it was not until 150 years ago that they were introduced to Ireland through a private estate in County Wicklow.

There are three different types of Stags: The European or Common Buck (which can be found all over); Fallow Deer from Asia, which weighs up to 60 pounds; And then there’s SIKA STAG – weighing in at an impressive 100-150 lbs., he is arguably one tough cookie!

Conclusion

So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to hunting in Ireland. We hope you found this post helpful and that it has armed you with all the information you need to get started on your Irish hunting adventure. Always heed locals’ advice when looking for hotspots, and enjoy the experience! What animal will you be targeting on your next hunt in Ireland? So, there you have it! Now that you know the ins and outs of hunting in Ireland, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!

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