My sponsored DSC1 and route to stalking PLUS puppy diary
My "epic journey" begins
by, 05-02-2014 at 14:04 (2169 Views)
Welcome to my first ever blog, cataloguing my progress into stalking via a sponsored DSC1 course courtesy of SD. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, thank you to all who made it possible.
A little background first:
I'm probably about as green as they come. Whilst I've been interested in the idea of shooting and stalking for some time, these are my first positive steps towards the world of fieldsports. I'm a fairly keen fly fisherman, and I was brought up to love the countryside from a young age. Between the ages of 13 and 20 (I'm 26 now) I was an Air Cadet, and lucky enough to be at a very active squadron with our own rifle range. We learned to handle and shoot .22 in the prone position, although accuracy wasn't my greatest skill I was better than most of my peers. On camps we'd have use of the 5.56 L98 cadet rifle, effectively an SA80 modified for manual cocking and loading rather than it's semi/automatic cousin. That was probably the last shooting I did, except for occasionally plinking or ratting with terrible air rifles at one of my old jobs.
Whilst I'm happy being out and about, seeing wildlife and taking in the scenery I've often felt that stalking or game shooting would be something I'd love to add to my list. Paper targets were fun, but the fieldcraft, nature knowledge and challenge of stalking intrigued me. Stalker vs deer, pitting your wits and skill against a wild animal, with the satisfaction of success or the lessons learned from failure. Like fishing, but better! All that, and I do like a bit of venison too. I joined SD mainly because it was interesting reading. It gave me a bit of an insight into the world I thought I might someday like to join, and I quickly got hooked.
Anyway, it wasn't long after joining and with some advice from the members that I decided DSC1 was probably the way to go. I don't know any stalkers, and I don't live in a rural area, so this course looked like the best way forward to gaining some knowledge with a view to eventually paying for some outings or trying my luck at getting free permissions. I began saving my pennies with a view to perhaps paying for a course late this year and some stalking the year after.
Since deciding to invest the time and money, things have taken quite an upward turn on what I anticipated would be a pretty drawn-out process. The aptly-named Roedinator very kindly offered to take me out with him for my first ever stalk. It was only a few days later that I saw the announcement that SD were once again offering the DSC1 bursary. I was over the moon to be accepted. Now the money I would have put on the course will go towards a combination of my FAC application and some paid-for stalking after (hopefully) passing my course. The timescale is suddenly much shorter and much less daunting than it was, thanks to the generosity of SD individuals and as a whole.
I seem to have let my fingers run away with me there, I've produced an epic blog and haven't even started on my preparation and learning yet. Apologies for those who are bored, and congratulations to those who read the whole lot!
I'll be sure to update once the next steps are taken. In the meantime, any comments or advice are welcome.
Thanks for reading.