Police regret that some people may not have a current licence when the duck shooting season starts in ten days. The Police continue to wade through a backlog of applications and renewals and this time last week there were 8869 applications in the pipeline, 5629 of which were new.  The average time from application to completion is 322 days for a new application, and 222 days for renewing a licence. Superintendent Mike McIlraith says all licence applicants must be interviewed, their safe storage checked, and referees interviewed and first time applicants also have to sit theory tests and go through practical training. The Duck shooting season begins  in the first weekend of May the Police say existing licence holders should check the expiry date on their licence and apply four months before it expires. Around 40 per cent of applications are from people who applied  for renewal on the expiry date or less than 31 days before their licence expired.