In recent days Gardai in the County have been receiving reports of deer stalking in different areas of rural Donegal. With assistance from the members of the public Gardai in Donegal Town were successful in capturing a number of persons shooting deer illegally on Coillte lands at Lachlum, Donegal Town on Tuesday.
Sgt Paul Wallce said: “In order to shoot wild deer species the requirements under the Firearms Acts 1925 in relation to the storage, possession carriage and use of Firearms must be achieved. A deer hunting licence is required & Gardai have power to demand production of a users firearms certificate, and deer hunting licence. Permission to shoot across lands is also a requirement Powers are also provided to stop,search,seize firearms and the arrest of offenders.
“The weapons required for deer hunting/shooting are high powered rifles ranging from .2250 .243/.270..308.330 mm calibre. The storage of Firearms of this type is subject to certain and strict requirements as set out Firearms Secure Accommodation Regulations.
“It should be noted the use of lamps, mirrors etc in the hunting of deer species is also prohibited. The use of vehicles in the shooting or hunting of deer is similarly prohibited unless an order under section 42 of the wildlife act 1976 has been granted. Gardai have powers to search, examine and seize any vehicle for the purpose of further investigation if required.”
The hunting / open season for male red deer is from 1st of September to 31st of December annually.
The hunting for female deer is from 1st of November to 28th February annually.
People living in isolated rural areas are asked to become more vigilant for the movement of jeeps vans & cars in rural areas in the evenings or late at night. The careless & indiscriminate use of firearms in rural areas is dangerous and poses a significant risk to the public.
Vehicles which would be categorised as ‘strange’/ not from the area should be reported to local Garda District Headquarters Station which provides a 24/7 service for your area.
The salient details i.e. registration numbers, colour and if possible the make/type of vehicle will be useful in the investigation of this activity.
District Headquarters stations (see below) which are open on a 24/7 basis should be contacted so that this information can be considered for further dissemination amongst the community via the Community Text Alert Scheme which are in operation in conjunction with Community Alert in various areas throughout the County.
Text Alert is designed to facilitate immediate and cost effective communication from An Garda Siochana to the public working in conjunction with Community Crime Prevention initiatives i.e. Community Alert & Neighbourhood Watch .
Your Local District Headquarters 24/7 Service Garda Stations are:
Letterkenny 91-67100 / Buncrana 93-20540 / Milford 91-53060 & Ballyshannon on 071-98-51102 Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.