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Hunting Seasons for Wild Birds in Rep. of Ireland 2012
SPECIES OPEN SEASON
Red Grouse 1st September to September 30th
Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Snipe, Jack Snipe 1st September to January 31st
Red-legged Partridge 1st November to January 31st
Cock Pheasant, Woodcock 1st November to January 31st
Curlew 1st November to November 30th
Canada Geese 1st September to October 15th
Greylag Geese 1st September to October 15th
Greylag Geese (Lady's Island, Co. Wexford and Gearagh East Gearagh West in Co. Cork only) 16th October to January 31st
Wood pigeon 1st November to January 31st
Ruddy Duck 1st September to January 31st

Wild Bird Shooting

With its myriad of wild fowl, both indigenous and migratory, and untouched rural habitats, Ireland offers the enthusiast a second to none shooting experience. Savour the wilds and romance of the Irish hinterlands, be it mature groves, sprawling marshlands, estuaries, or briar and bramble, you will experience the discipline at its most raw and pure. Being a most important landfall for many migrating species, the shooter is spoilt for choice amid such variety and large numbers of fowl; this is shooting as it was meant to be.

With gohuntingireland.com you can locate the best wild bird hunting by migratory patterns, season and county by county search. Wood cock, Snipe, Duck, Pigeon, Pheasant, Partridge, Geese are some of the tempting quarry found in abundance throughout Ireland.

 

Golden Plover

Summer visitor from France & Iberia (though possibly some remain year-round in Ireland) & winter visitor from Iceland. Most in Ireland between October & February

 

Teal

Resident & winter migrant. Most of the Icelandic population winter in Ireland, and also some from Fennoscandia and northern Russia.

 

Goldeneye

Winter visitor, most occurring in Ireland between November and April. , Strangford Lough in County Down and Larne Lough in County Antrim are among the best wintering sites, each supporting between 200 and 7,500 birds.

Shoveler

Resident & winter migrant. Most occur between October and March.Ballyallia Lake in County Clare, Little Brosna Callows in County Offaly, Southern Roscommon Lakes in County Roscommon and Lough Rea in County Galway are among the top wintering sites (200-400 birds).

 

Canada Goose

Resident and feral. Also, a rare winter visitor with Barnacle Geese to counties Donegal and Sligo. Most regularly recorded at Strangford Lough in County Down and Upper Lough Erne in County Fernanagh (c. 200-300 birds at each).

 

Gadwall

Scarce resident at wetlands mainly in the south and east of Ireland. Strangford Lough in County Down and the Corofin Wetlands in County Clare are among the top sites (each supporting 80- 150 birds).

 

Wigeon

Common winter visitor to wetlands throughout Ireland from September and April. Shannon & Fergus Estuary in County Clare and Tacumshin Lake in County Wexford are among the top sites (5,000-9,000 birds).

Pintail

Local winter visitor to wetlands throughout Ireland from October to March Top sites include Tacumshin Lake in County Wexford, Strangford Lough in County Down, Dublin Bay in County Dublin, Little Brosna Callows in County Offaly and Dundalk Bay in County Louth (100-300 birds).

 

Scaup

Winter visitor, from Iceland, northern Europe and western Siberia, mostly occurring between November and April. Loughs Neagh & Beg in County Antrim by far the most important, supporting almost 4,000 birds.

 

Tufted Duck

Resident & winter visitor. Birds breeding in southeast England have been seen to move to Ireland, possibly influenced by cold weather. Loughs Neagh & Beg in County Antrim the most important site, supporting >20,000 birds.

 

Pochard

Scarce summer visitor and widespread winter migrant - most occur between October & February Loughs Neagh & Beg in County Antrim and Lough Corrib in County Galway support almost 25,000 birds and 12,000 birds respectively.

 

Snipe

Snipe are a relatively common bird in Ireland with a population thought to be over 10,000 pairs. This number vastly swells in the winter months with migrating birds seeking sanctuary in Ireland due to its mild winter climate, its types of cover and its feeding grounds. Snipe are not easily seen during the day unless they are flushed out, as snipe generally feed at night. Camouflage may enable snipe to remain undetected by hunters in marshland. If they are flushed out, their erratic flight pattern may cause difficulty for the hunter in estimating a correct aim. The difficulties involved in hunting snipe gave rise to the term 'sniper', referring to a skilled anti-personnel military sharpshooter. The hunting season stretches from November 1st to January 31st and the highest numbers tend to be found in the counties of Clare, Cork and Kerry.

 

Jack Snipe

They occur in Ireland throughout the winter period, and also on passage. Most in Ireland between September & March. Where to see: Carriggower Bog in County Wicklow and Larne Lough in Antrim.

 

Curlew

Winter visitor to wetlands throughout Ireland, as well as breeding in small numbers in floodplains and boglands. Strangford Lough in County Down and the Wexford Harbour & Slobs in County Wexford support between 1,500 and 2,500 birds.

 

Woodcock

The woodcock migrates every year from their breeding grounds in Scandinavia, Finland and Russia and usually reach Ireland's shores between the ends of October to mid November. If their breeding grounds remain warm, or are hit by strong winds the migration may be delayed or should an early cold spell occur at the breeding grounds the migration may be earlier than expected. Ireland attracts a high number of woodcock due to its mild winter climate, its type of cover and its feeding grounds. The hunting season stretches from November 1st to January 31st. Woodcock are considered the ultimate sporting birds due to their size, flight pattern and speed and are very testing even for the most experienced shot.

       

Mallard

Duck are a relatively common bird in Ireland with different species populating the land. The Mallard is considered to be the species of choice for hunters with captive birds released into the wild for the hunting season but the species of Teal are greater in number. Duck can be found in several areas throughout Ireland in woodland settings, bog and marshy land. The hunting season stretches from September 1st to January 31st with the best time to hunt being the late afternoon or early evening. The highest numbers tend to be found in the counties of Antrim, Wexford, Donegal, Derry and Down.