How to Report Suspected Deer Poaching Incidents
Keep Deer Poaching in Sight!
The Irish Deer Commission, facilitates its members to report suspected incidents of deer poaching or the illegal killing of deer. This facility is open to members of the Irish Deer Commission only. If you are not a member, go to the membership section of this website, and apply online or contact your local Garda Station or National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Ranger.
The Irish Deer Commission does not make a judgement, or hold a view or investigate any reports received.
On receipt of completed reports where the following information is provided: 1. Location of where the suspected deer poaching incident took place. 2. Date/time of the suspected deer poaching incident. 3. Your name, contact details and membership number are provided. All reports will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We will put the Member in contact with the dedicated Garda Liaison Inspector for the relevant Garda District. This approach is based on limited resources and at the request of An Garda Síochána.
The common forms of this crime are:
- Shooting deer at night with the use of firearms, dogs, a lamp for dazzling, image intensifying or heat seeking – in normal circumstances, deer can only be legally hunted one hour before dawn, and one hour after dusk.
- Shooting deer out of season – in normal circumstances, deer can only be culled from September 1st to December 31st for male deer, and November 1st to February 28th for female deer. There is no hunting season for Red deer in Co Kerry.
- Armed trespass – deer may only be hunted during the open hunting seasons and within legal hunting hours, and where the hunter has the permission of the landowner or sporting rights owner to do so. Hunting in our National Parks is not permitted.
- *Shooting deer with the use of unlicensed thermal or night vision equipment placed on a firearm, or the use of an electronic callers to emit the sound of a deer .
- It is illegal to snare or trap wild deer
- It is illegal to hunt deer from a mechanically propelled vehicle or to shoot from a public road, or near a private property.
- It is illegal to shoot deer with a shotgun or cross bow.
- Is it illegal to hunt deer with dogs.
- It is illegal to sell deer carcasses or part of, to a commercial premises or purchase deer carcasses or part of without the relevant authorization.
- The Regulations governing this, S.I. No. 239/1977 (Wildlife Act, 1976 (Firearms and Ammunition) Regulations, 1977 specify that you can only use a centre-fire rifle of not less than .22 calibre with a muzzle energy of not less than 1,700 foot pounds to hunt deer species and such rifles must use bullets weighing not less than 55 grains.
- You are required to hold a valid firearms licence and deer hunting licence to hunt deer in Ireland. Non residents visiting Ireland to hunt deer are also required to hold a valid European Firearms Pass.
*Department of Justice and Equality – the definition of a firearm under the Firearms Act 1925-2009 also includes: ‘telescopic sights with a light beam, or telescope sights with an electronic amplification device or an infra-red device, designed to befitted to a firearm’. Accordingly, authorisation is required from An Garda Siochana in order to possess such an item.
If you suspect deer poaching is taking place, we recommend you do the following:
- Never approach!
- Take note of all relevant details – vehicle registration, colour etc
- If safe and appropriate, take photograph or video of incident
- Contact your local Garda Station or National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Ranger.
- If you are an Irish Deer Commission member submit a report to our dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember deer poaching is a rural crime that puts rural communities and livestock at risk of death or serious injury. Deer poachers are criminals, and no friend of law abiding hunters, deer stalkers, nor do they play any part in the conservation of our wild deer and have no regard for animal welfare.
Do the right thing, and report a poacher!
Irish Deer Commission