Warning issued as Duck Hunting Season Begins
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has issued a warning to hunters to obey the Wildlife Acts as this year’s open season begins.
The open season for certain wild duck and goose species is from the 1st September to the 31st January but under strict regulations issued by the NPWS.
Two people were recently convicted under the Wildlife Acts for the illegal hunting of ducks during the last open season. The case – brought by the NPWS against two men from counties Offaly and Kildare – was heard in Longford District Court. It related to the use of a moving boat which was being propelled by an engine for the purposes of hunting wild duck.
The offence occurred on the 1st of September 2018 at Lough Kinale located on the borders of Counties Longford, Cavan and Westmeath.
NPWS Conservation Ranger, Tríona Finnen, gave evidence in court in support of the case against the two hunters. They were both convicted under Section 36 of the Wildlife Acts and each fined €250 with €370 expenses.
Following the conviction, Ranger Finnen said “The rule prohibiting the use of boats which are being mechanically propelled, while in the act of hunting, applies to all waterbodies and includes engines which are electrical or partly electrical and mechanical and could only be carried out under a special licence issued by the Minister.
She explained that the reason for this law was for the conservation of wild birds like duck and geese. Hunting or disturbing wild birds while using a motorised boat causes excessive disturbance to water birds, flushing them from the reedbeds and making it easier to shoot them. She added that “this activity is considered unsporting and dangerous”.