The majority of game can only be shot during specific times of the years to allow them to breed and/or allow them to successfully migrate.

A comprehensive guide to the shooting seasons is given below.

Game birds

SpeciesEngland, Wales and ScotlandNorthern IrelandRepublic of Ireland
PheasantOct 1 - Feb 1Oct 1 - Jan 31Nov 1 – Jan 31 (Cocks only)
Grey PartridgeSep 1 - Feb 1Sep 1 - Jan 31 -
Red-Legged PartridgeSep 1 - Feb 1Sep 1 - Jan 31Nov 1 – Jan 31
Red GrouseAug 12 - Dec 10Aug 12 - Nov 30Sep 1 – Sep 30
Black GrouseAug 20 - Dec 10  - -
PtarmiganAug 12 - Dec 10 -  -

Additional restrictions:

England and Wales

  • No game may be killed on Sundays or Christmas Day.
  • Game may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Scotland

  • Game may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Northern Ireland

  • All wild birds are protected on Sundays and Christmas Day.
  • Wild birds may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Wildfowl, Geese and Waders

SpeciesEngland, Wales and ScotlandNorthern IrelandRepublic of Ireland
Duck and Goose (inland)Sep 1 - Jan 31Sep 1 - Jan 31-
Duck and Goose (below high water mark)Sep 1 - Feb 20

Sep 1 - Jan 31


-
Common SnipeAug 12 - Jan 31Sep 1 - Jan 31Sep 1 – Jan 31
Woodcock

Oct 1 - Jan 31



(Scotland Sep 1 - Jan 31)


Oct 1 - Jan 31Nov 1 – Jan 31
Golden PloverSep 1 - Jan 31Sep 1 - Jan 31Sep 1 – Jan 31
Coot and MoorhenSep 1 - Jan 31Protected-
Canada Geese (Countrywide)--Sep 1 – Oct 15
Canada Geese
The counties of Cavan (exclusive of the townlands of Eonish Island, Rinn, Deramfield)
and Leitrim (exclusive of the River Shannon)
Oct 16 – Jan 31
Greylag Geese (Countrywide)--Sep 1 – Oct 15
Graylag Geese
Lady’s Island Lake, Co Wexford and Gearagh East, Gearagh West in Co Cork only
Oct 16 – Jan 31
Woodpigeon--Nov 1 – Jan 31
Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Jack Snipe, Ruddy DuckSep 1 – Jan 31
Additional restrictions:

England and Wales

  • Sunday shooting of wildfowl is not permitted in the following counties or county boroughs: Anglesey, Brecknock, Caernarvon, Carmarthen, Cardigan, Cornwall, Denbigh, Devon, Doncaster, Glamorgan, Great Yarmouth County Borough, Isle of Ely, Leeds County Borough, Merioneth, Norfolk, Pembroke, Somerset, North and West Ridings of Yorkshire.

Scotland

  • Wildfowl may not be shot on Sunday or Christmas Day.

Northern Ireland

  • All wild birds are protected on Sundays and Christmas Day.
  • Wild birds may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Ground Game

SpeciesEngland, Wales and ScotlandNorthern IrelandRepublic of Ireland
Brown HareJan 1 - Dec 31
(Scotland Oct 1 - Jan 31)
Aug 12 - Jan 31-
Mountain HareAug 1 - Feb 28/29 --
RabbitJan 1 - Dec 31No close season-
Hares, (excluding the following townlands in Co Wexford: North East Slob, North West Slob, Big Island, Beggerin Island and the Raven).Sep 26 – Feb 28


Additional restrictions:

England and Wales

  • Ground game can only be killed with firearms on moorland or unenclosed land between 11 December and 31 March.

Northern Ireland

  • Ground game may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Deer

SpeciesEngland, Wales & Northern Ireland
ScotlandRepublic of Ireland
 MalesFemalesMalesFemalesMalesFemales
RedAug 1 - Apr 30Nov 1 - Mar 31Jul 1 - Oct 20Oct 21 - Feb 15Sep 1 – Dec 31
(exclusive of County Kerry)
Nov 1 – Feb 29
FallowAug 1 - Apr 30Nov 1 - Mar 31Aug 1 - Apr 30Oct 21 - Feb 15Sep 1 – Dec 31Nov 1 – Feb 28/29
SikaAug 1 - Apr 30Nov 1 - Mar 31Jul 1 - Oct 20Oct 21 - Feb 15Sep 1 – Dec 31Nov 1 – Feb 28/29
RoeApr 1 - Oct 31Nov 1 - Mar 31Jul 1 - Oct 20Oct 21 - Mar 31-
Chinese Water DeerNov 1 - Mar 31Nov 1 - Mar 31 - -
MuntjacNo close seasonNo close season-

Additional restrictions:

England, Wales and Scotland

  • Deer may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Northern Ireland

  • Deer may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Wild Boar

  • No statutory close season, but culling should not include sows with dependant offspring.
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