Warning over deer hunter trying to con his way onto Wicklow lands
A person falsely claiming to represent Wicklow Uplands Council has been approaching farmers seeking permission to hunt deer on their lands.
The individual is also falsely claiming to have links with the Wicklow Deer Management Project, according to the council.
Wicklow Uplands Council today issued a statement in which it stressed the individual has “no involvement with the organisation or the Deer Management Project”.
It stressed no landowners would be approached by the council “in this manner, especially during the Covid-19 restrictions”.
The Wicklow Deer Management Project was officially launched in 2018 to address the adverse impacts of the high deer population in the county. The project is strategically managed in conjunction with Wicklow Uplands Council.
A spokesperson for Wicklow Uplands Council said the project has successfully established “five deer management units (DMUs) in different locations where issues have been identified”.
The spokesperson added: “Each of the units consists of landowners, hunters and other interested parties, who collectively agree upon key objectives on how best to sustainably manage deer found in their locality.
“It is widely considered that Wicklow is home to the largest deer population in the state, which creates challenges that includes extensive damage to forestry and agricultural lands, native woodlands and private gardens, the spread of diseases to livestock, negative impact to sensitive biodiversity such as upland peat-land habitats, road traffic collisions and deer welfare issues.”
The three-year project has continued to operate during the lockdown, albeit on a reduced basis, and physical meetings have not taken place, in line with Government guidelines.
The project is the first of its type to operate in the country and is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Pat Mellon, Project Manager of the Wicklow Deer Management Project, said: “The scope of the project does not include recreational shooting and all contact with landowners is conducted formally by myself rather than individual third parties. This development is of great concern to all involved and will be closely monitored to prevent any further incidents of false representation.”
Wicklow Uplands Council added: “The actions of this individual are potentially damaging to both the reputation of the organisation and the project, and therefore Wicklow Uplands Council is asking any landowner who may have been approached, or have concerns, to contact the project manager, Pat Mellon, at 087 341 0621 or 01 281 8406.”