Deer hunting New Forest, UK back in the day (courtesy
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“My department grants some 5,000 licences annually to hunt deer during the open season, which is the period during which deer can be legally shot under licence,” the UK’s Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan told Let’s run some numbers! reports that 16.9 million Americans went deer hunting in 2017, out of a U.S. population of 321.1 million. I  make that roughly five percent. If 5k Brits out of a total population of 65,640,000 actually went deer hunting, that’s a mere .07 percent.

That stat may have something to do with the number of deer in the UK and the size of available hunting land. But here’s another variable: the difficulty in obtaining one of those deer hunting licences. Which is about to get even harder . . .

First-time applicants for deer hunting licences may have to undergo appropriate training and a certification process in the future, according to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan.

The need to ensure that the most appropriate training and certification process would ultimately be implemented having regard for the most up-to-date safety, conservation and hunting considerations – as well as taking account of both local and international best practice – would have to be considered, the minister explained.

They may as well add a psychological aspect to their certification so the would-be hunters can properly mentally prepare the deer for death. Their own death that is..

An Irish Deer Management Forum was established to implement the various actions listed in the report.

Irish deer? Are they green and drink Guinness?

The forum itself comprises of representatives from the main stakeholder areas, including: landowners; forestry; hunting and conservation organisations; as well as representatives from both departments, Minister Madigan explained.

The forum has issued a number of recommendations, including a recommendation that mandatory certification of deer hunters should be introduced on a phased basis over a five-year period from January 1, 2018, for existing licensed deer hunters and that new deer hunters should have the required certification from January 1, 2018.

Educating first time hunters isn’t a bad idea. However, mandatory training dissuades first-time hunters from engaging in the sport. I bet the Brits consider that a feature not a bug.

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  1. I thought they couldn’t hunt deer there all along. Couldn’t the Sheriff of Nottingham arrest and execute them?

    • Actually what are probably the finest sporting shotguns and rifles on the planet are made in England, and they have the price tag to prove it.

        • Of COURSE not. Now a Jihadi can have anything desirec/needed including an assault truck and really big knives.

        • Jihadis can load their cars up with full-auto AK47s smuggled through the mainland, and if you try to prosecute them under the same “laws” as those awful White people have to follow, then you are racist!

  2. Could always vacation in the USA and go hunting on private land, probably cheaper too, including the flight.

  3. Educating first time hunters is definitely a good idea. In the US, I thought most states required a hunter’s education course before a first hunting license would be issued? I took a hunter’s safety course from a certified neighbor, back around the mid-1960’s, in Oregon.

    The topics covered then were primarily about safe hunting practices. I’m not familiar with the current curriculum, but assume it covers not just safety, but some content on conservation, etc.

    Since the classes are mandatory, they fill up quickly and can be hard to find an open seat sometimes, is my understanding. It certainly doesn’t dissuade first time hunters where I live, currently in Washington.

    I see this as different from requiring mandatory training for a CCW. Training is still highly desirable, but a CCW holder is highly unlikely to ever actually shoot his/her carry weapon. And self-defense is a Constitutionally-protected right. Youngsters (and adults) out hunting on public land are exercising a privilege, which requires a license – in this case required training does serve a public safety goal.

    • Hunting (and not just with firearms) has been an American tradition since, well, forever. Accepted, cherished, and practised. Contrary to some popular belief, it is not guaranteed by the 2nd. It has however NEVER been considered a “privilege” in my mind. Other than private/public land/wetland access considerations, it has been an expectation and right constrained only by what we as voters have pissed away in self-imposed restraints over the decades. It may be a privilege overseas, but not over here. We’re NOT subjects!

      • We can post until our barrels of pixels are empty, but the only way we preserve our natural rights is by making the next generation familiar and realistic about firearms, and hunting. My father and the generation above him did that for me. We have to keep doing that for the next generation.

        That’s the strongest barricade we can have against the erosion of our rights. And sadly, if you want to see what happens if we don’t, look to England.

  4. It is very hard to hunt in Britain any way. From what I understand, some areas can only be culled by licensed game managers, the only allowed caliber is .243, only head shots may be taken, and the shot must be within 50 meters.

  5. “– as well as taking account of both local and international best practice –”

    …hmmmm, “international best practice”. That’s an interesting statement.

  6. I lived in Germany for a few years and while hunting certainly is fairly popular (the countryside is littered with deer stands), it’s definitely a rich persons sport. There is an extremely long winded and costly hunter education/licensing program, and that’s before starting the rigmarole of obtaining a suitable rifle.

    Deer hunting in the UK has also traditionally been a wealthy persons activity. “Good cause or reason” is required on ones centrefire (rifle) firearms certificate. Membership of a rifle club or access to hunting land could count. Add in the fact that often guides are hired, as well as the need to hunt on private estates pushes the cost higher than a family pass to Disneyland!

    Hunting in Europe certainly isn’t the same situation as in the US, which for historical reasons has been the common person, armed with a trusty rifle bagging a deer to feed his family.

  7. I really like the painting used for the thumbnail. It depicts a “Traditional” hunt on horseback using hounds to pursue the game. That sport has long since been outlawed in the U.K and is under serious attack here in the U.S. People really get triggered and there is great wailing and gnashing of teeth when I tell them that I use dogs to pursue and take bear, deer, hogs and small game! And I live in the south where it is still legal… for now. When you make hunting so expensive and difficult for the common man to do and then ban or highly regulate the most popular methods of doing it then it is not hard to see why only .07% of the population even bothers to try and hunt! Hunting (especially in Europe) is becoming the sport for the rich and well connected, the same way it was during the days of Lords and Earls and Serfs.

  8. “That stat may have something to do with the number of deer in the UK and the size of available hunting land. But here’s another variable: the difficulty in obtaining one of those deer hunting licences. Which is about to get even harder . . .”

    Also: culture. Even if you made it relatively easy to get a hunting license there I suspect you wouldn’t have NEAR the same amount of people doing it as here.

  9. There was a time when hunting the King’s deer was a crime punishable by death. I suppose that not much has changed except the punishment.

  10. Not wanting to spoil the article but this relates to the Republic of Ireland – there are no deer licences in the UK. You do have to have permission from the police – a ‘variation’ on your licence – but this also means the police will near enough automatically grant you a sound moderator as well.
    There are somewhere in the region. Of 1.8 million privately held firearms in the UK with some strange regional variations; the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland all still allow the private ownership of handguns.
    Ultimately UK deer hunting is easy if you own land, have permission from someone who does or are willing to pay for access to land. There are no tags and no restrictions on numbers, if the species is in season you can harvest as many years as you can find. Some deer managers remove hundreds of deer in a year.

  11. This is for Ireland, not the UK. It’s a republic, and as such has no king (and not too many firearms, either). There are more than enough clues in the linked article to give this basic bit of knowledge away. Y’all, please, like, read or something.

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