Hunting The Emerald Isle

Fog on the Hill
The Green Irish Countryside

Hunting The Emerald Isle
A Look at Hunting in Modern Day Ireland

By Art MacManus

Part I General Information

Ireland, ‘though famous as a place to visit, kiss old stones, drink black beer and buy Aran sweaters, does not figure large as a place to hunt. It’s very small in comparison with even the smallest states in the US. It has a total area of just over 27,000 square miles, and a population of some 4 million. But hunt we do, and hopefully, after reading this, you’ll know the how, where and what of it all.

Seasons are very similar to those in the UK, but with some unusual differences, such as Red Grouse, which has a short season of a month, that being September 1st to the 30th. In practical terms there are no managed grouse moors here, so all shooting is “walked up”, as opposed to having the birds flushed towards stationary guns as is done in driven shooting.



Other peculiarities include the Curlew, which is still listed as a game bird in Ireland. It too has a month long open season in November. That said, it is a bird that is very rarely shot, in fact I know of nobody, myself included, who would even think to shoot one.

The open season is, in general, from November start to January’s end.

Gamebirds: Pheasant (cock birds only for the most part), Red Grouse, Partridge, Woodcock, Snipe, Jack Snipe.

Wildfowl : Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Ruddy Duck, Canada & Greylag Geese.

Oddities: Brown Hare and Irish Hare are considered a game species, and special permission has to be indicated on your Firearms certificate if you wish to shoot them. Again, very few are shot for sport.

Red, Sika & Fallow.