MANDATORY Certification for Deer Hunters in Ireland

After several years of talks, the National Parks & Wildlife Service in Ireland finally introduced mandatory training and certification for first-time applicants for deer hunting licenses. It goes into effect in the 2021/2022 deer hunting season. The full text of the announcement can be found here.

The reaction to the decision has been positive in most cases, although there are people who are not happy with this development. So far, there is no word about introducing the requirement for previous license holders but it is reasonable to expect that this will eventually happen.

In either case, it is an excellent opportunity to remind you about our two-part video series about the HCAP exam and certification. This is one of the certifications that meets the National Parks & Wildlife Service requirement.
A detailed syllabus was also published to ensure that training and certification are delivered to an appropriate standard.

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Episode 66: African Wildlife Conservation with Adam Hart

The issue of African wildlife conservation is very complex and difficult. There are many factors that have to be considered, some of them are literally a matter of life and death. All that immersed in a highly emotional atmosphere. This subject is infinitely interesting to me. So, today I am delighted to bring you my conversation with biologist, broadcaster, academic and author, Professor Adam Hart. During the podcast, we discuss the elephant situation in Botswana, the role of rural communities in wildlife management and the highly emotional subject of trophy hunting.

Hunting Knife Sharpening with Lansky Sharpening System

This video is not a review of the Lansky Controlled Angle Sharpening System. You can find a ton of videos on YouTube that review it in great detail and discuss all the different variations of it. My intention with this video is simply to show you the sharpening process of my heavy hunting knife after I put it to good use during this past deer hunting season. Somewhat surprisingly, I have found that this type of real-life content is often very popular and even preferred to formal reviews. As always, like, share, comment and subscribe if you haven’t already.

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Episode 61: African Swine Fever Awareness and Prevention with Shane McAuliffe

The issue of African Swine Fever, ASF for short, is important for hunters and other outdoors people who might get to travel to countries with wild boar populations. In fact, all tourists travelling to and from countries where ASF is present should be aware of the basic facts and take the necessary precautions.

To raise awareness of this serious disease, I sat down with Shane McAuliffe, who is the director and secretary of the Irish Pig Health Society, to talk about ASF, what it is and what you should and shouldn’t do if you are coming back home from one of the countries where ASF is present.

Episode 59: National Association of Regional Game Councils with Dan Curley

A few weeks ago I published a series of videos on YouTube (and this website) regarding the proposed EU ban on all lead in shooting and fishing. At that time, Dan Curley, the chairman of NARGC, helped a lot by providing me with the information and documentation regarding this issue.

In this episode, I met with Dan in person to discuss what has happened since. And a lot has happened. In fact, you should check Dan’s appeal here regarding the action you ought to take if the issue of lead use in shooting and fishing is something you care about.

But the ban on lead is far from the only thing we discussed in this podcast. We discussed the work and role of NARGC, the scientific projects NARGC is involved in, the state of the countryside, woodcock population research and predator control issues.

Episode 57: Wild Deer Association of Ireland with David Dunne

The Wild Deer Association of Ireland was on my radar for a long time for all the obvious reasons. I have even had one of their long-time members, Paul Dowling, on the podcast. But we ended up talking about deer hunting in general, rather than about the Wild Deer Association of Ireland.

So, more than one year later, I am pleased to host on the podcast David Dunne, who is a seasoned deerstalker and the event organizer for the Wild Deer Association of Ireland. During our session, we talked about the association and its goals and campaigns. We also discussed many more general subjects related to wild deer, hunting, and the environment.

Episode 55: Tick Talk Ireland with Mary Ferry Smyth

Listeners to this podcast, outdoors people, are a high-risk group when it comes to Lyme disease, a serious bacterial infection that gets passed to humans through tick bites. Spending long hours in the wild, often off the beaten track, exposes us to insect bites more than regular folks. But Lyme disease is not only a threat to bushwhacking deerstalkers. Even children on the playground are at risk.

The consequences of untreated Lyme disease can be devastating and nothing short of life-changing. To make things worse, the diagnosis of Lyme disease is very difficult, knowledge about it among medical personnel is weak and treatment is prolonged and complicated. As always, prevention is a much better option. 

Listen to this episode where I talk with Mary Ferry Smyth of Tick Talk Ireland about everything you need to know about Lyme disease, ticks and how to decrease the risk of contracting this nasty condition.

Episode 54: The National Biodiversity Data Centre with Dave Wall

Many of us outdoors people like to keep records of the animal and fish species we have encountered, caught or seen during our time in the outdoors. To keep those records we use spreadsheets, databases, dedicated apps and, perhaps, a pen and paper if you’re a little old-timey chap. As it turns out, there is a website that can not only help you record and explore your sightings but also include your data in the national dataset that is used by scientists. This website is operated by The National Biodiversity Data Centre and, in this episode of the podcast, our guest is their Citizen Science Officer, Dave Wall.