If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Newbie advice.

  • 10-03-2023 9:59pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,059 ✭✭✭

    Hi Lads and Lasses if any,

    I'm a farmer in Kerry and being literally eaten out of house and home by sika and goats.

    I want to buy something to knock out a few of both and possibly a fox or two.

    Not fussy about makes/models as long as it works and isn't a tonne weight and shoots straight.

    Plenty experience with an old long .22 but never had a licence of any description.

    What should I buy and what will this cost me.

    Would I have all the vetting/course/general bullshit passed for October or November if I begin now?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 1,352 Mod ✭✭✭✭otmmyboy2

    Sorry, but not going to be a short answer to this ;)

    For foxes and goats a bolt action 223 would be quite sufficient, relatively cheap ammo by Irish standards also since the pocketbook is relevant here.

    Ballpark probably €750-850 for a new 223 Ruger American rifle(handy basic rifle), without silencer or optic. Alternatively head to some dealers and see what they have in stock second hand, and the for sale section here which has a 223 Ruger American currently for €350, a steal in my opinion.

    To apply you would need to show competence with firearms, easiest way to do so would be with a competency course run by either a dealer or the local NARGC/gun club.

    Once that is done you would need to apply for a firearms certificate at your local station, having a note from a gun dealer with the serial number of the firearm you wish to purchase(and paid a deposit on). You will need 2 references, land permissions(if you want to shoot anywhere bar your own land) a good reason for the firearm in question(pest control & hunting in your case), a passport style photograph, and a copy of your proof of competency(either a dealer letter or competency course cert usually suffices).

    You will be contacted by your local firearms officer who will advise you on the specific security requirements, but at minimum a gun safe secured to a solid structure. This level is the absolute baseline, and they can insist on a higher level such as an alarm, monitored alarm, etc. Security requirements here:

    Once the security is in place the crime prevention officer will come out to inspect the storage, and when they are satisfied you will have to wait til the Superintendent of your district gets the application across their desk, ticks the yea or nea box, and if all goes well you will get a request for €80 as a licence fee which you can pay at your post office, and usually the following week you will get your licence in the post. Then head to your dealer, present licence, pay balance and walk out with your firearm.

    Depending on where in Kerry you are from my own experience I can recommend Mike Duggan firearms, just outside Killarney:

    And Patrick O'Mahoney, midway between Tralee and Killarney:

    Now all of the above is for the foxes and goats, deer come next:

    So deer are treated differently from other pests here, you will need a rifle of a minimum energy and caliber(243 being the usual minimum accepted caliber). You will need to do a deer hunting course, and you will need a deer hunting licence, both in addition to your firearms licence.

    More details here on the deer stuff:,100%20acres%20(42%20hectares).

    You could simply get a 243 to do both deer and foxes/goats, which would likely suit you better, and your pocketbook, since you would only be paying for one rifle vs two, and only one ammunition, though 243 ammo is more expensive than 223 by a decent margin. And of course only 1 licence vs 2.

    If you really got on it I would say you could be sorted by October, but I wouldn't dally as there is a decent bit to do, and being finished early is better than after the season ;)

    As an interim while this is all in progress there is a thread in the hunting section for land permissions if you would be willing for a hunter to come and knock some of your pests:

    I know some chaps would be only delighted to spend a day stalking through the Kerry mountains, but obviously insurance and the appropriate licences should be checked beforehand, and a meeting in a neutral location to get to know them prior to any agreement is always a good plan.

    Hope that all helped, or at least didn't completely overload you with too much info and utterly put off the idea of becoming a licence holder ;)

    Never forget, the end goal is zero firearms of any type.

    S.I. No. 187/1972 - Firearms (Temporary Custody) Order - Firearms seized

    S.I. No. 21/2008 - Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order 2008 - Firearm types restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 - Firearms banned & grandfathered

    S.I. No. 420/2019 - Magazine ban, ammo storage & transport restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 - 2023 Firearm Ban (retroactive to 8 years prior)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,420 ✭✭✭garrettod

    Well done @otmmyboy2 that's a very good response!

    I'd second the suggestion that @Packrat consider bringing a few experienced, insured, hunters in to help solve the problem, in the short term. Not only will it help tackle the problem, but most lads will happily have @Packrat come with them, on the stalk. That's a great learning opportunity, at zero cost, so that every aspect of the job can be experienced, for free, and first hand. Thereafter, if @Packrat wants to apply for a licence, he know exactly what he is getting in to, having had a bit of time to see it first hand etc.

    @Packrat any deer stalker worth their salt, will happily show you evidence that they have an appropriate hunting licence, a suitable firearms licence, and personal insurance, so ask to see it all, if its not offered beforehand. They'll also have experience, so don't be afraid to ask a few questions, before agreeing to invite them on to your land. It's much the same, for other categories of hunter, with lots of good ones to be found.

    Thanks for posting, btw, it's great to have someone come along and ask the right questions, before trying to get a firearms licence.



  • Registered Users Posts: 38,829 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    .243 is a good option to cover fox, goat and deer. If you absolutely only want one rifle, that’d be my choice (in fact it is what I shoot). But getting a .223 also alongside a higher powered deer calibre is absolutely an option for the reasons mentioned above

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,984 ✭✭✭clivej

    I have a 308 for deer and had a 223 for fox. So go for a 243 which will do both, as will the 308. Look around for a second hand CZ, or Tikka great rifles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭pab1997

    I’m based in kerry myself offering control of said animals if your interested in the mean time 😊 have an ad on donedeal be happy to oblige while you go through the approval process … for the goats and foxes anyway deer out of season now

  • Advertisement