ArticleNewsletter - August 2020 see more
From the Chair:
I would like to welcome everyone to our new website and hope that you all enjoy it. It will hopefully be an additional mechanism by which we can interact with our members and keep them informed and up to date on happenings within our association.It will also provide all necessary information on all aspects of the day to day needs of our association, be it research, vermin control, bag counts, game development,conservation, information on different Government Departments in relation to our sport and of course the opportunity to do some necessary shopping for ourselves. It will evolve over time and additions where necessary will be added and your input and observations will be most be welcome. Thank you. Dan Curley.
The breeding season is now coming to a close and clubs are turning their attention to game release and enjoying the birds going out on their land for the first time. Clubs should ensure that their birds are familiar with their feeders in the wild by taking away all feeders out of the pens the week or two before release and allow access only to barrel feeders. This will ensure birds hold in the area that they are released in. Birds need three things in the wild and try and ensure that where you release your birds that they have all three. The need food, shelter and suitable places for roosting. Do not forget once you release all your birds from the pens, immediately disinfect the pen with a suitable solution to kill off any bacteria that may be present, leaving them to breed and harbor in the pen will only cause you problems next year. Enjoy you season.
The two most important times of the year to carry out predator control for game birds is before the breeding season and just before you release your birds. Young pen reared birds can be very vulnerable for the first few days after release at this time of the year and that is when most birds are lost to predation. They are just getting use to their new surroundings and boundaries and need to be protected. Gun clubs should carry out surveillance of the area that they intend releasing birds into prior to their release. Foxes, mink and winged vermin should all be eradicated in that area before you release your birds. As with all vermin that void will soon be filled but by then hopefully your game birds will have become street wise and be capable of looking after themselves. For information on derogation click here.
Unfortunately Covid-19 disrupted most if not all of our plans for this year. We had a number of Transition Year Proficiency Courses planned but only got to do one so far. Our Junior Trained Hunter Courses were also planned for roll out but also fell victim. However we hope in time to be able to resume in some form with them when the schools get back up and running. The safety of our students takes precedent over everything else. It is a good time however for RGC and clubs to be looking at ensuring that they have a Youth Development Officer in place and if you need any help or information in this regard with policy booklets or literature please do no hesitate to contact us. click here.
Normally I would have done a number of safety days at this time of year and we did have to cancel a number of Proficiency Course so far. Hopefully we will soon be in a position to resume with some of these, albeit with a totally different formatting. We just will have to adopt to our new normal. That should in no way interfere with the core message of safety and the proper use and handling of a firearm. I would encourage safety officers around the country to contact me if the need any information on courses or on anything concerning safety. County Safety Officers and Club Safety Officers are encouraged to keep the Safety message to the forefront especially in the lead up to the start of the new season. While the Covid - 19 restrictions may keep us apart in having courses and meetings lets all be united on the "stay safe" message.
As the season approaches I would ask all our members to download our new website to their phone and start recording your bag returns and sightings from the beginning .This will prove an invaluable piece of data in the days and months and years ahead. For those of you that may not have access to it on our phone you can always do it as soon as you get access to you computer or i pad or whatever device that you use when you get home. If none of those methods are available to you , no worries, hard copies are still okay.We sent out the call for evidence on the damage to cereal crops and livestock by winged predators including pigeons earlier in the year. Some have made returns already, can anyone that has material around this get it in to us as soon as possible as we need to collate all of this into a results based document. At a recent meeting with the Minister, he indicated that he would be looking at this again in the New Year. Thanks.
Before you will be reading our next newsletter our season will have started and hopefully everyone will have got out for a shot, be it deer stalking, duck shooting or a walk in the mountains for grouse. Our message as always is to be careful and practice safety at all times, respect each other and fellow hunters and users of the countryside. Ensure landowners are aware of the start of the season and do not just assume that they know, a call or text just to let them know. We have noticed and have being informed of a rise in the activity of The Hunt Saboteurs recently in Ireland. If you happen to encounter them in you legally legitimate right to pursue your sport please follow the following guidelines that we have agreed upon. Click here.