Why Is Bow Hunting Illegal In Ireland? – A Quick Answer

People had liked hunting as a hobby for years, recalling a period when you had to live off the land and seek your food supplies in this manner. Many individuals believe it to be a kind of animal cruelty. Also, hunting with weapons and bow and arrows may and has hurt people in the past. That is why this activity is banned in many countries.

Among those countries, Ireland is known for its prohibition of bow hunting. But why is bow hunting illegal in Ireland? If you still can’t answer these questions, this post is for you. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of hunting and discuss some reasons behind the ban on bow hunting in Ireland.

About Hunting In Ireland

Ireland has become more and more popular in recent years. There were over 23,000 licensed hunters in the country in 2016. In which around 15,000 hunters were residents, while 8,000 were non-residents. Most non-resident hunters came from the UK and US.

Hunting is popular with people in Ireland, with 72.8 hunters per 1,000 of its inhabitants. This hobby is so common in this country because Ireland has many wonderful landscapes and a wide range of wild animals.

Is Bow Hunting Legal In Ireland?

Bow hunting is not permitted in Ireland under the Wildlife Act. Please keep in mind that the fines are quite substantial. Anyone caught breaking this law faces a fine of up to €6000 or up to 6 months in prison.

You can’t even get a license for bow hunting. If you want to hunt with a bow, your only option is to travel to a country where it is permitted and legal. Some locations provide hunting trips. It’s also worth noting that you might need a permit.

Is Owning A Bow Illegal?

A bow is legal if it measures at least 28 inches in total length. In another case, an arrow is defined as a projectile with a total length of at least 20 inches. With the broadhead attached, an arrow must weigh at least 300 grains. During the archery equipment-only season, crossbows are not legal weapons.

Why Is Bow Hunting Illegal In Ireland?

Moral Issues

It was banned in 1965 because it was deemed morally reprehensible, as an animal would likely not be killed outright but would instead suffer a violent and prolonged death.

Hunting involves exploiting and killing innocent animals to benefit humans, which is wrong on principle. These sentient beings should be shielded from unnecessary and cruel pain. Pain is a universally recognized negative state of being that we all strive to avoid. As an experienced, animal pain is no different than human pain.

Additionally, there are laws governing firearm hunting and the use of the appropriate caliber and kind of ammunition for various types of hunting. Hunters who use inappropriate ammunition may face criminal charges under animal protection laws.

An expert and humane hunter can accomplish a quick kill with a firearm or a bow, and an immoral person can create a mess with both weapons. Nonetheless, an animal is likelier to survive a poor bow shot than a poorly placed bullet.

Safety Reasons

Using a bow for hunting is never an easy and safe practice. According to the National Safety Council, 94% of archery injuries are caused by hunters cutting themselves on razor-sharp broadheads. Handling an arrow with a broadhead safely is similar to handling a sharp kitchen knife. 

While cuts are the most common injury reported by bowhunters, they are not the most serious. A 2005-2006 study in Georgia found that tree stands caused 54% of hunting accidents that year. According to surveys of deer hunters, more than a third have fallen from a tree stand at some point in their lives. Approximately 3% of these resulted in serious injury.

why is bow hunting illegal in ireland

What Kinds of Hunting Are Available in Ireland?

Ireland offers a diverse range of hunting opportunities, including several species of deer, feral sheep, and goats. In Ireland, you can hunt fallow deer, red deer, hybrid deer, sika deer, feral sheep, and goats.

Each has challenges, so the best option depends on what you expect in a hunt. Red deer is the way to go if you’re expecting a big game animal.

why is bow hunting illegal in ireland

Read More: Hunting Turkeys With A Crossbow – Need-to-know Basics For You


We hope this article has answered the question, “Why is bow hunting illegal in Ireland?”. Bow hunting, or hunting in general, has always been an important part of European cultures and traditions. 

However, with consideration of the cruelty of bow hunting and its impacts on biodiversity, this method was banned in Ireland in 1965. For more information, you can go to the FACE website and read related documents in hunting. We wish you could remember this ban and avoid breaking the law while hunting in Ireland.

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