HUNTERS HAD their best year last year in terms of the number of partridges shot since 2006, the Game Fund reported yesterday.
According to a phone survey carried out by the Game Fund, the average number of partridges captured per hunter saw a 16 per cent increase in 2012 compared to the year before.
Hare hunters were less successful as the survey revealed a decrease in successful captures by 2.7 per cent compared to the previous year.
The Game Fund highlighted that hunters in 2012 were given two less ‘hunting days’ for local game than in 2011, with 17 outings announced last year, compared to 19 the year before.
The summer hunting season for thrush also saw a decrease in success by 13 per cent, though the Game Fund noted this figure was likely not very accurate since a significant number of people who engage in hunting have not renewed their hunting licence and therefore were not included in the survey.
From the hunters contacted, almost all, 98 per cent, said they hunted last year, on average ten times, and for an average of five and a half to six hours.
According to the survey, the average age of hunters is 40. It also revealed that those who hunt with dogs have a greater success in hunting partridges and hares than those who do not.