There is considerable concern and growing frustration among thousands of licensed deer hunters and deer management groups due to a delay in the issuing of permits by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Wildlife Licensing Unit.
Approximately 5,500 permits are issued annually by NPWS to allow for the management of deer during the open deer season which runs from September 1st to February 28th.
In the absence of a natural predator it falls on humans to maintain deer numbers at sustainable levels and to reduce any negative effect they may have on farming, forestry, and the wider ecosystem.
While unverified, data released by NPWS show that 41,148 deer were culled by 5,515 licensed deer hunters in the 12-month period up to February 28th, 2019, highlighting the important role carried out by licensed deer hunters.
In a statement to the Roscommon People, a spokesperson for the Irish Deer Commission said: “While we sympathise with the challenges caused by Covid-19 for NPWS in the issuing of permits, we have engaged with NPWS in good faith since June while representing our members regarding the potential permit issues caused by Covid-19. However, we have been left frustrated and dismayed by NPWS’ inability to engage and adapt”.