|                    Current Deer Hunting Seasons|
|SPECIES||OPEN SEASON DATES||LOCATION|
|Red Deer Male||1 September to 31 December||Throughout Rep. Ireland exclusive of the County of Kerry|
|Red Deer Female and Antlerless Deer||1 November to 28 February||Throughout Rep. Ireland|
|Sika Deer Male||1 September to 31 December||Throughout Rep. Ireland|
|Sika Deer Female and Antlerless Deer||1 November to 28 February||Throughout Rep. Ireland|
|Fallow Deer Male||1 September to 31 December||Throughout Rep. Ireland|
|Fallow Deer Female and Antlerless Deer||1 November to 28 February||Throughout Rep. Ireland|
Relish in the stealth and wariness that's required in the sporting pursuit of the magnificent deer, amid the primal and imposing forests and woodlands of Ireland, a truly intoxicating way of discovering the ancient Irish countryside at its most potent. With three species of deer, Red Fallow, Japanese Sika ( spotted deer) and the European Red deer. It is the elusive Sika that will truly entice the intrepid hunter, with its innate intelligence, keen vision and understanding of its terrain, making it the most difficult to bring to bag. The mature animal which can weigh in at 130 Lbs. poses a true challenge!
The Red Fallow Deer and European Red Deer with their preference for grazing amid secluded coniferous woodlands coupled with their incredible cunning will stretch the ability of any hunter. Weighing up to 170LBs as mature adults, (a red Stag weighing anywhere between 400 to 600 Lbs.) bringing down one of these magnificent creatures is without doubt the ultimate hunting experience. Hone and develop your skill level, and count on a hunt that's both challenging and exciting amid the sylvan splendour of Ireland, and take that elusive trophy you have been waiting for.
Sika Deer also known as Japanese Sika Deer were introduced into County Wicklow, Ireland in 1860 by the seventh Lord Powerscourt. Since that time Sika have slowly spread through the mountains of Wicklow and now found throughout Ireland in woodlands, bogland and on the mountain sides. Being smallest of Ireland's three deer species, their rut season begins at the end of September and continues throughout the first week in November. These diligent creatures are hard to hunt due to their superb eye sight and hearing.
The taking of a mature Sika is a true accomplishment for any hunter. The best times to hunt these animals are early morning or late evening. There are three distinct populations of Sika found in Ireland in Co. Wicklow, Co. Kerry and Co. Tyrone but sightings of this species are common throughout the counties of Dublin, Donegal, Carlow, Cork, Kildare and Fermanagh.
They were introduced to Ireland around 150 years ago to large private estates and have escaped over time, establishing themselves in pockets across Ireland. They rut in mid October through to the end of November. A good mature fallow weighs up to 175 pounds, and the pelage ranges from cream to almost black.
Protection and Control
Fallow deer are a protected game species and may only be hunted with a licence from the National Parks and Wild Life Service. Fallow bucks may be hunted from the 1st of September until December 31st and Does may be hunted from the Ist of November to the February 28th. Wild Deer Association of Ireland is fully committed to the conservation of Irish Deer and the protection of habitat. The Association also offers to promote the interests of legitimate hunters and offers guidelines to same with meeting on Topical issues, Code of Conduct/ Safety, Target Shoots etc.
Red Deer are found across Ireland in woodlands, mountain sides and private estates. Being the largest of Ireland's land mammals, their rut season begins mid-September and continues through to the end of October. With very few native deer found in Ireland today, Male Red Deer cannot be hunted in Co. Kerry as they are the only true native herd left.
The rest of the Red Deer population across Ireland are of English, German and New Zealand decent which had interbred with the remaining native herds. There are several distinct populations of Red Deer found in Ireland in Co. Kerry, Co. Donegal, Co. Wicklow, Co. Meath, Co. Down and Co. Galway but sightings of this species have been reported throughout the counties of Cork, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Wexford, Carlow, Louth, Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Sligo.
A relativly new addition to the deer family, the Hybrid deer is a mix of Native Irish Red Deer and the Sika deer which were introduced to Ireland around 150 years ago. These deer are disparate and not commonly found outside Wicklow which is believed to be the origin of this species.