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Thread: Deer tags - how does it work?

  1. #1

    Deer tags - how does it work?

    There's a lot of change going on over here in Ireland at the moment in relation to deer management.
    I've read a few of the submissions by the various stakeholders and some are pushing for a tagging system to be introduced.

    So how does the tagging work in other countries?

    I only shoot what I can process myself - never dealt with a game dealer - so we're talking relatively low numbers per season.
    Say I get 20 tags for next season - I shoot an animal and process it myself so who's to know whether I used a tag or not?

  2. #2
    Its simple,
    The are going to make us pay for the tags. you will pay for male and female tag ie. pricket hind/doe and you will pay extra for a trophy tag.

  3. #3
    Looks like American ideas have landed in Eire then? I can see the point in America where public land is a plenty and they don't want everyone going out and shooting everything. But does Ireland really need that? Sounds like government profiteering to me?
    I'm telling Captain - from the Wee'est of men.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by tjwaines View Post
    But does Ireland really need that? Sounds like government profiteering to me?
    Their bank balance must make them think they do.

    Not a great system then.

  5. #5
    are you not confusing carcass tags which are for traceability of meat entering the food chain and the american system where by you bid for or buy a ticket that allows you to take deer. I dont know if deer are viewed as being wild as in no ones property with the rights to" take deer" being attached to the ownership of ground or the sporting rights pertaining to the ground or whether the state views deer as belonging to the country . If it's just carcass tagging it will not make any difference to you shooting for your own consumption only if you sell the meat via a game dealer or indeed to any other party . We have a carcass label with an individual number that the stalker signs to attest that there were no abnormalities detected that would prevent the carcass entering the food chain.

  6. #6
    Both systems may be be introduced - here are some extracts from the proposals and the responses from our representative groups -


    6.9 Policy should support and enable the introduction of a tagging system for culled animals. Carcass tagging would form a critical element of a set of integrated measures aimed at improving the overall traceability of venison from field to fork and enable the exclusion of illegally sourced meat from markets”.

    CAI Response


    • CAI supports the prerequisite for tagging systems. This can only be achieved once deer densities per DMU is achieved and can set out the harvest levels for the given area. This is a long term objective that will also help DAFM trace carcasses. In addition, mandatory tagging may serve as a deterrent to illegal hunting/ game handling. These tags should be issued by the Department at the same time the DHL is issued.



    7.3.12 Recreational hunters operating in DMU’s would be allocated tags according to target harvest levels. Each hunter would be allowed an agreed minimum quantity of tags without charge at the beginning of the hunting season, based on the allocated cull. Unused tags must be returned and accounted for at the end of the season. Tags would consist of trophy tags, which would have a fee attached, and hind cull tags which would have no charge attached. Additional tags over the allocated cull limit would carry a commercial fee.

    WDAI Response


    • A tagging system is something we have suggested for some time however it is a meaningless exercise at this point in the absence of any meaningful data to support tag allocations. There are practical issues such a system would face versus their use in other countries due to our current deer ranges and culture towards deer management. Tags should only be used to provide meaningful data & traceability and not the promotion of any stakeholder interests. In the current economic climate & due to recent increased costs in providing deer management we would see any fee for the issuing of tags as unacceptable & only serve to restrict deer management, other than where commercial interests apply, where trophy tags may be appropriate.


    CAI Response


    • Additional tags requested over the allocated cull should be assessed by the local Deer Manager within that DMU before granting. A commercial fee to obtain more tags could result in over cull for the allocated area.



    7.3.13 Licensed commercial hunters and commercial operators catering to hunting tourism would be allocated tags under a commercial fee structure. Tags would only be issued to commercial operators on receipt of a current tax clearance certificate.

    &

    7.3.14 All licensed hunters would be allowed access to the primary tier of the national deer management database for input and personal recording, and generic local level reporting. Suitable software is currently available off the shelf to provide the type of software infrastructure required and would require minimal additional development work. Additional modules would permit reporting of damage severity and location by land managers within the catchment. Access and reporting would be available at hunter, land use manager, Deer Manager and regional and national level. A strong spatial analysis element should be built in to the IT system and should be inter-operable with GIS systems used by both departments.

    CAI Response


    • On-line and hard-copy log books should be made an obligation to access a DMU population, to further develop and sustain a long term deer management objective.



    • CAI also asks the question, will licensed commercial hunters/operators be given first priority of the allocated tags per a DMU as opposed to recreational hunters?


    7.3.17 Recreational deer hunters would operate at DMU level through a club system, analogous to existing current structures such as district gun clubs. To obtain a licence and tags to hunt in a particular DMU, hunters will have to join the club for that particular DMU. Clubs would operate under the aegis of a suitable national body. DMU hunters will be responsible for anti-poaching measures within their own catchment, under the guidance of the DM and in conjunction with the relevant authorities NPWS/Garda Siochana.

    WDAI Response


    • We would have grave reservations about this suggestion and why it is included in the draft document. Again this suggests a lack of understanding on how deer management is undertaken in Ireland. While local deer management is a preferable option. Such management practices in other countries form part of a culture developed over generations, whereas Ireland has a varied approach due to a number of factors. In addition many deer ranges are not in gun club areas. Gun clubs are increasingly fragmented and closed to members outside their own communities, which would restrict many deer managers/stalkers & existing deer management arrangements. Gun clubs manage small game and vermin to a high standard, not deer. Fishing clubs manage fish populations, not deer. While there have been suggestions gun clubs have recently taken an interest in deer management, the reality is that the majority have no interest or knowledge in deer management & this suggestion may have introduced for other reasons. Small game & deer management practices are not linked & this is reflected in legislation in other countries such as the UK where deer are protected under separate legislation to that of game.
    • A possible suggestion would be to appoint a regional coordinator to areas where factual data shows a high population of deer, unsustainable to the local habitat & land uses, such a person would have access and an open line of communication to resources in that area such as deer managers, licensed deer stalkers, NPWS, IFA, DAFF etc. when required, they would also be responsible for setting cull targets, implementing anti-poaching measures etc.


    CAI Response


    • CAI does not agree that the administration for recreational deer hunters to apply for a licence should lie with local/district gun clubs. To ensure consistency of approach in terms of standards, fairness and so on, this must be a responsibility for the National Deer Management Unit, in conjunction with Coillte and the other government departments as necessary/
    • Local/district gun clubs vary in their approach and at times may be subjective. To insist that all recreational deer hunters must join a club within a DMU will prove prohibitive for many and indeed undemocratic.
    • CAI also disagrees with the choice of word used within the above text. “Responsible” is a poor word that can be read and used out of context. Poaching is an illegal crime that should only be dealt with by NPWS and An Garda Siochana. Responsibility for anti-poaching measures can be upheld by recreational hunters, but strong support and education must be provided by NPWS/Garda Siochana. Other methods to prevent poaching must be considered such as DAGH working to increase the penalties for poaching, public campaigns of awareness and a poaching hotline. Deer poaching initiatives such as WDAI’s “Shine a light on poaching” will help increase public awareness and decrease the incentive for illegal poaching.


    IDS Response


    • The DMU by its very nature would cover a number of different land holdings. The DMU would set a cull level for the entire. Recreational hunters would have to be members of a club to obtain a licence to shoot in that area only. The club would have to be part of a “suitable national body”. Outside the Irish Deer Society, the Wild Deer Association of Ireland and other dedicated deer management and conservation groups such as Wicklow Deer Group, no such “suitable national body exists”. The recreational hunters would be responsible for anti-poaching measures (under “guidance”). This proposal tramples on the sporting rights of land owners. It limits hunters’ licences to a particular location.
    • In summary a recreational hunter would need a firearms licence, a proficiency test in hunting, a hunting licence limited to an area, the requirements necessary to have membership of a club affiliated to a national body for each area, land owner’s permission, and the cost of tags as yet unknown. This suggests a radical and far-reaching departure from the existing scenario, and an undue interference with the concept of deerstalking as practised throughout Ireland over a very long period of time and as such, is likely to be strongly resisted.

  7. #7
    There are a number of factors that led us to where we are -
    - Poaching on a scale never before seen here mainly due to the economic situation
    - Strong demand for venison from the game dealers and no traceability - guys were turning up at the dealers with 20 animals in a trailer after a night shooting. The Revenue here have no way to chase them for tax purposes.
    - A very pro hunting junior minister in the government - problem is that he has ties to a certain sporting organization and wants them running the show even though they have nothing to do with stalking of any kind.
    - The deer stalking groups are using it as a way to push their own agendas - increase their own say in things. Sound fine in theory but as always if you're not 'one of the lads' you'll probably end up begging for tags or a place to shoot.

    The way I see it the things are going to get a lot more difficult for the more casual stalker like myself and it's going to be next to impossible for new people to get into the sport. People will still be poaching.

  8. #8
    Tagging the carcass is also done here but only to show that the person in possession of the animal shot it, lays claim to it, and will therefore not be in the field to shoot again. (illegally) Where I live you must, "Immediately upon making the kill" notch the month and day from the appropriate areas around the edge of the tag and then secure it to the animal. You don't even think of dressing it out until that is done. If you are caught with a downed deer and no completed tag you will lose your rifle and your vehicle... and pay heavy fines. The tag stays with the meat until it is processed and in your freezer.

    The up side is that the fees for licensing and tags goes to the preservation of wild public lands, parks, and game management in general. It must work because we have a lot of deer.~Muir

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Tagging the carcass is also done here but only to show that the person in possession of the animal shot it, lays claim to it, and will therefore not be in the field to shoot again. (illegally) Where I live you must, "Immediately upon making the kill" notch the month and day from the appropriate areas around the edge of the tag and then secure it to the animal. You don't even think of dressing it out until that is done. If you are caught with a downed deer and no completed tag you will lose your rifle and your vehicle... and pay heavy fines. The tag stays with the meat until it is processed and in your freezer.

    The up side is that the fees for licensing and tags goes to the preservation of wild public lands, parks, and game management in general. It must work because we have a lot of deer.~Muir
    That's interesting Muir.
    Doubt that would work here - there's no one to enforce it really. We have a handful of wildlife rangers and in all my years hunting I've only come across them twice ever - different sport though and they were called out by people that didn't understand that we're not part of the UK and therefore have our own laws

    I do everything strictly by the book now but it looks like laws aimed at stopping poaching are going to have the complete opposite effect.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Glendine View Post
    Its simple,
    The are going to make us pay for the tags. you will pay for male and female tag ie. pricket hind/doe and you will pay extra for a trophy tag.
    Pay for male tags yes but from what I've read females would be free - that's the current proposal anyway.

    My biggest issue is with how the DMU's will be setup - most of us here have permission dotted all over the place - mine stretches across two counties - a DMU will be based on a water system - how many DMU's will I have to join?

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