April 2022 Newletter see more
Kevin Ball, and Katie McCaffrey of Templeport Gun Club in Co Cavan, checking the load before heading for Ukraine. Kevin has successfully delivered the consignment
From the Chair
The last month seems to have just flown by. It was an extremely busy month for meetings, some crucial ones at that. I attended 17 different meetings on behalf of the NARGC over the month of April, thankfully most business is now conducted by Microsoft or Zoom from the comfort of your own home (or maybe the seat of the car ) but it is important to also meet across the table from time to time.
Once again the Firearms License is being looked at by an "Expert Firearms Review Group" made up of a Chairman and four other individuals. The Minister in charge published an EOI document recently and invited applications from interested people. The terms of reference was also published as part of this EOI. We have held a meeting with the Minister on this and will be closely monitoring progress as it unfolds.
Another of those meetings was the first to be held by the new Implementation Group on the Lead Shot over Wetland Restriction. This group consist of NPWS, FACE Ireland, AGS, CAI, NARGC , IFA and ICSA. We have been calling for this meeting since February 2021 when the restriction was made law. It was quite clear from the start that very little if any homework had been done in preparation for this meeting. After lengthy discussions, two key areas were identified as needing attention. One being to clearly show on maps where the restrictions would be affecting. The second being how to get the message to firearms holders on the implications of the restrictions on them. Our next meeting is scheduled for the end of May where hopefully we will have some answers to those questions, in the meantime a full report of the meeting will be available shortly from our National Secretary.
Most of our sub-committees have by now held their first meeting and are planning the year ahead. I will be following progress on those plans with interest and reporting back to you with results. Our Game Crop has begun its journey around the country thanks to Padraig our GDO. Great to see this initiative by the NARGC. It is important clubs avail of this and work with their landowners in promoting the benefits of this.
Other concerns are with the recent unprecedented move by NPWS to not renew the Derogations for the year ahead but to extend the existing one by three months. It is worrying some of the stuff going on within that Department and you have to wonder who is actually in charge. We do know also that there is an internal review of the Open Seasons and after the Junior Minister eleventh hour press statement last August just before the hunting season opened, one can only but worry what they will try next. The Open Seasons on birds are by in large controlled by the EU Birds Directive and therefore needs that to be a consideration in any changes. We will be closely watching what develops from here.
In the meantime please let your local politicians know of your concerns around the issues affecting your sport and let them know how you feel. We have to hit back at the attacks on our sport before it is to late.
Until next month.
NPWS - Birds Directive Derogation - Problem !!!!
The NPWS have surprised us and all the Stakeholders in this area by issuing or as they call it, extending the Derogations for only three Months. The Derogation have been issued on a yearly basis for many years. They are citing 'Legal Advice', as the reason, but they failed to tell what this legal advise is, and indeed failed to flag this to all the stakeholders during the very recent / late in the day consultation they carried out.
See the Derogation issued here, for 3 Months;
While Minister of State Malcolm Noonan is in charge of the NPWS, the Derogations are signed by the Minister in that department, Daragh O' Brien, who is a Fianna Fail (FF) Minister.
The NARGC is seeking an urgent Meeting with Minister O'Brien, to explain to us what exactly is going on.
If you know or have a contact means to any government TD, Particularly FF TD's question them about this.
This is a very dangerous development, because in three Months time, the TD's will be on holidays, the Dail closed up, and we will have no mechanism for questioning the decisions (or no decisions then).
Transition Year Course
Students partaking in some supervised Rifle Shooting at Harbour House Range.
NARGC Instructors were busy on Friday the 29th when 40 students of St Mary's Knockbeg College Carlow undertook The NARGC's transition year course. Practicals and demonstrations took place at Harbour House Sports Club. Many thanks to the Staff at St. Mary's College, Harbour House Sports Club in Co Kildare, and all who took time out of their busy schedule to assist.
A special word of thanks to the students who really engaged and enjoyed the day.
Youth development is an active program across all Game Conservation and Hunting Organisations world wide. The NARGC is no different, our Youth Development Committee have two courses that are available.
• The transition year course
• Junior trained Hunter program
The Transition Year Course was developed to meet with the needs of students in their break year. It affords them the opportunity to take part in a day full of information and activity on all aspects of Firearms Legislation in Ireland. It includes Modules on The Firearms Act, The Wildlife Act, Safe Handling in the home and the field, Firearms & Ammunition Storage, Night Time Shooting, Fox Hunting & Vermin Control and Clay Target Shooting.
This Junior trained hunter course was designed by the Youth Development Committee for youths aged between 10-14 years of age. The course focuses on Game Birds, Habitat and Predator Control. The idea behind the course is to help juniors learn how to identify game birds in the wild, how best to protect them and also try and provide suitable habitat for them to flourish.
These programs aim to promote safe, responsible and knowledgeable hunting; and enhance hunting traditions and values.
If you or your club, would like to organise a course please drop us a line and we will arrange it.
Mervyn Briscoe, NARGC Youth Development Officer, (083) 3590564
L to R, Kevin Ball, Dan Curley, Katie McCaffrey, Padraig Murphy, Sean Cassidy.
A big 'thank you' to Co Cavan RGC, Templeport Gun Club, and all the RGC's, Gun Clubs, and Field Sports Clubs, and Field sport businesses who made this happen for our fellow citizens in Ukraine.
It is heartwarming to see the support this got from all the different field sports.
This is the fifth load to go from Bawnboy, Co Cavan, a remarkable effort by the local community and businesses there.
Well done all.
Heather / Bog Regeneration Open Day
The Site Visit by Geoff Eyre to Rahan Bog.
The NARGC is working with BNM to do this trial Plot, which we hope will be a template for the way many more BNM bogs will be restored.
Geoff Eyre's advice and guidance was of huge benefit. It was a really very interesting day, listening to an expert who was talking from his on the ground, and done it experience.
If your club has BNM bogs in your area, and you want to help in the management of them, please contact us, as the BNM management want to co-ordinate this centrally through the NARGC.
Contact John ;
firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 087 2040085
Game Crops 2022
The Gun Club 2 year holding mix, and the Glas Compliant Mix, have been distributed around the country fulfilling the order received.
If you or your club want to place an order, please do so ASAP, as our supplies are near depleted and we will only be ordering further consignments in relation to definite orders.
Just to remind you again of what is available;
Gun Club, NARGC Game holding 2 year Mix (above)
Contains; Game Maize, Poacher white Millet, Buckwheat, Sandoval Quinoa, Coleor Kale, Phacelia, Mustard, Chicory.
Available from the NARGC for €65 for a 12.5KG bag that sows 1 Acre.
NARGC 'Glas' Compliant Mix (above)
This mix is for farmers in the wild bird cover strand of the Glas Agri- environmental scheme. This mix is compliant and approved by the DAFM.
Contains; Triticale, White Mustard, Linseed, Phacelia.
Available from the NARGC for €35 per 22.5KG bag. DAFM recommend a sowing rate of 4 bags per HA.
Sowing recommendations for both Crops:
• Sow into a fine, firm and level seed bed.
• We would recommend at least 50 kilos of 10-10-20 or equivalent at sowing to give the best possible start to the young plants.
• Sow in April to May.
• Earlier sowing leads to higher seed yields and better cover over winter.
• Where soil tests show a low PH (Acidic Soils) this should be corrected with a lime application.
• Small areas can be corrected with the application of Gran-Lime (Goulding’s Fertilisers) available in 50 kilo bags from Agri merchants.
• An application of glyphosate pre ploughing is optional as certain plants Fat hen, Lambs quarter and thistle have a significant wildlife benefit.
To order or for further information contact;
Padraig Breen NARGC Game Development Officer
email@example.com 087 2838609
Coillte Leases / Tenders- 'Hams' app
At the Stakeholders meeting with Coillte on the 11.3.22, Coillte said they were not going to reduce the minimum letting amount of €300 for bird lettings.
So all Coillte lettings will be €300 or more.
However they did agree to work with the NARGC and other stakeholders to make sure no projects or sensitive areas were impacted by their actions in leasing a letting, or leaving a letting with no management. They indicated that they may not lease some lettings at all, if it did not fit into a local management plan for the area.
They asked us to try identify such areas for further discussion, and decisions.
The areas we are talking about are Grouse Moors adjacent to Coillte Forests, or areas containing threatened Species, or areas where conservation projects would be threatened by poor management of the Coillte forests.
If you have such an area, can you email ;
vice firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 086 2328356
NB : Reminder
At a stakeholders meeting on Friday 1.4.22, Coillte indicated that they are offering the leases for tender on the 22.4.22, with a Month period for the return of the tender applications / bids. Tenders must be submitted through the HAMS system. Online Video's below to help you in that regard ;
(1) Onboarding : https://youtu.be/zjBobvVCeSs
(2) Personal Profile : https://youtu.be/wC6aq3Tj0C0
(3) Inviting Permit holders : https://youtu.be/rxBQ-nKZk1M
(4) Reservations : https://youtu.be/fFEUXUTKUcg
They have agreed to reduce the points criteria award system as follows.
The award weighting for 'price' will be reduced from 50 /100 to 45 / 100.
Local interest and local involvement will be increased from 15 /100 to 20 /100.
This will be reviewed again next year.
We will report further in the next newsletter.
Grey Partridge - Boora
Boora visit, L to R, Kevin Sadler, John Butler, Padraig O' Donnell, Derek O'Brien, Seamus O'Brien, Dan Curley, Pat Nolan, Padraig Breen.
Last Saturday, the NARGC Grey Partridge / Grouse Committee visited the NPWS Boora Grey Partridge Project, by invitation of the Local Regional NPWS manager Padraig O' Donnell.
Padraig has ran and looked after this project for many years.
It was a very good exchange of views and knowledge. The Boora projects is an excellent example of what good management can do for many vulnerable .species. To see numerous pairs of lapwing going about their territorial maneuvers, was really lovely to see, particularly as they are so scarce in the wider countryside,
The Knowledge experience and best practice deployed in relation to the Grey partridge project there is a template of best practice for us all.
Well done to Padraig and his team in Boora.
It was agreed the NARGC will work closely with the Boora Projects, so that all our Grey Partridge Projects can move forward into a better place for Grey Partridge.
Signing into the website
Game and Vermin bag returns / Sightings
We are at seasons end for all game species, if you could do you game bag returns for the season, so that we can start doing up the seasons returns.
Please keep submitting the vermin returns and sightings also.
NB : To RGC's Clubs
A motion passed by the NARGC has demanded that 5% of the members of every RGC must do a bag return or that RGC is not eligible for NARGC grants ( Bird Grant of €4,000 per RGC etc ). Currently only 2 RGC's, out of 28 are near fulfilling that demand.
Bag returns are so important in their own right, but the above gives RGC's and clubs a further reason to do them.
In every member reading this newsletter could forward this newsletter by email to 2 or 3 more NARGC members, we could get a lot of members onto the system.
If RGC and Club secretaries could also forward this Newsletter to their email contacts also.
I have included two short videos, which should explain the signing in process and the Bag return process.
See attached a short video explaining how to do a bag return;
If you wish to do a paper return, print it and complete it over the season;
NPWS ( Deer License )
See attached Link;
The NPWS are now taking applications for Deer Licenses for the 2022 / 2023 season. If you are a new applicants, you must produce a certificate of competency in Deer stalking, with your application.
The NARGC are approved by the NPWS to deliver this course and issue the certificates.
This course will in time be available to all our member, but initially we will prioritise first time applicants.
We hope to start these courses in 4 weeks.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you are a first time applicants and you want to be on our first courses.
NPWS license application forms and criteria, see below;
Vermin Control, and assisting farmers is now the priority. Protecting nests is so important now at this time of year. The Grey Crow, and Magpie are the specialist nest raiders, and we really need to be stepping up our activity to reduce their numbers.
The NARGC has the following traps / Equipment in stock if your club are looking for them
(Please note most of this equipment is eligible for the NARGC vermin grant - Contact your RGC for more details on this grant).
Contact the Chairman John Butler to order any of the above equipment on 087 2040085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For advice on Predator Control, view the items on our website, or give our Predator Control Officer, Kevin Sadler a call on 087 1508682, or email
The RGC boxes awaiting collection by the RGC Fund Officer, in Mullingar on the 23.4.22.
We had our NARGC Fund Officers meeting in Mullingar recently, and the club packs are now with the County Fund Officers, for distribution to the clubs.
Game Shot, the NARGC paper annual magazine is already with you, or will shortly be with all our members. We hope you enjoy it.
We thank all the contributors, for taking time out to share their knowledge and experience with all our 25,000 members.
A special word of thanks to Chris and Margaret in the Fund Office, for putting this together and getting it out to all our members.
NARGC National Clay bird Competitions
One of the Photo from 2019 - Great to be getting back.
The NARGC Clay bird competitions are scheduled to take Place in Esker Shooting Grounds, near Banagher in Co Galway on Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of July 2022.
Esker is the Irish Clay Target Shooting Association (ICTSA) national shooting grounds and we thank them for facilitating our competitions in their excellent facilities.
In additions to the usual established competitions we are also running a competition for persons with a disability, provided we have enough Interest. If you are interested contact your RGC Secretary, or person looking after the clay shooting competitions in your RGC.
Please Spread the word about on this competition, as we want to be sure all our members are aware of it.
All the Above competitions are ran through your County body, so contact them for more information.
We know RGC's are in the process of selecting their teams and competitors, and we wish them well in that process.
Danish Wing Survey.
By Padraig Breen NARGC Game Development Officer
I have recently returned from a Waterfowl Network workshop on waterfowl wing aging and sexing at Denmark’s Jaegerforbund headquarters in Ronde near Aarhus in Denmark. The workshop was excellent and explained how useful a tool wing surveys are.
The Danish wing survey started in 1986 and is a voluntary scheme but set against a mandatory requirement for hunters to return a bag submission. To encourage involvement a lottery is held each month to encourage participation and to provide useful public relations opportunities. Prizes are usually inscribed hunting knives (some have become a collectors item) but have included hunting trips in the past. Danish hunters submit wings for sexing and aging to their national hunting organisation. A considerable volume of accurate and valuable data is recorded and this is available for decision making and season management. This information is used to manage bird populations and manage hunting seasons. The hunting seasons are reviewed every fourth year. A wildlife council makes a recommendations to the minister based on this data.
The original aims of the wing survey were as follows
- Describe the relative occurrence of species not individually reported to the bag record.
- Temporal distribution of the harvest.
- Sex and age distribution of the harvest.
- Juvenile/ratio breeding success.
- Information of specific geographical harvest.
The survey covers 24 species, duck (15) geese (5) waders (2) coots (1) gulls (1)
To aid with collection of wings envelopes are provided to transport the wings post free or they can be sent via a selection of freezers at gun stores through the country. When a freezer is full the contents are collected the electricity usage is usually covered. The data required is captured by a questionnaire on the outside of each envelope. The data captured gives an exact location and date where the birds were harvested. Each participant has a unique reference number that follows them for any entries they make to the survey. Participants also give an email address by which information and an after-season report can be sent to the hunter. Feedback is seen as a key part of the process and building of a rapport with the hunter is very important.
The front of the envelope has a map so the hunter may indicate where the birds were harvested. Data on hunting methods and time of day are also captured at this point. There is also a box where the hunter may indicate that they require more envelopes. Roughly twenty wings can fit in each envelope and they are sometimes provided with an internal plastic bag. Once this data has been inputted and the wings assessed the data is uploaded to a main programme.
From this data an annual species report can be collated on each hunt able bird. Overall trends and male/female and juvenile/Adult ratios assessed and compared. This allows action to protect each species and provides a stable platform to assess hunting decisions.
Wing and bag return data work in tandem, age and sex ratio are very important when assessing populations. The wing survey is not a stick by which to beat hunters with, but rather a tool to ensure a sustainable harvest.
While we are at a very early stage in wing surveying here in Ireland, the lessons learned from our Danish counterparts represents a great opportunity for us as hunters to protect and manage our migratory fowl stocks to ensure we are taking a sustainable harvest and to grow numbers of visiting waterfowl, to this end a wing survey is a key tool.
The wing surveys capture population dynamics in a way that observation alone cannot. The NARGC’s involvement in the Waterfowlers network provides us with a platform by which we can help provide population data for the whole of the European flyway. The arguments on bird numbers and trends increasingly take place in Europe and we must provide data to further the cause of sustainable hunting.
For further information contact me on email@example.com 087 2838609
Visit the Waterfowlers Website;
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