DSC1 Course, Been and done!
by, 19-05-2014 at 11:39 (1166 Views)
The course started with a rather lengthy introduction, where everyone was getting to know one another and discussing their various shooting and stalking experience. A friend of mine (Will) was also doing the course and was indeed staying at my house for the duration rather than driving to north somerset every day. There was a total of 11 of us doing the course, to my surprise i knew someone else there ( i actually used to work for him). After an early lunch we went over how the course was going to be run over the next few days and general stalking advice and more discussion for various people. To finish the day we watched a promotional film from Blaser, which although full of product placement and rather obvious plugs, did contain some interesting information on zeroing rifles and bullet drop and wind drift. We were also told that due to availability of the local range we had to do both the safety and the shooting tests on Friday. With this in mind Will and I went home and picked up the rifles to get some last minute practice in. Will was primarily doing the DSC to persuade Avon and Somerset to let him have a .243 on his ticket, something they are reluctant to do unless you have DSC1 apparently, so hasn't been able to do much with a centrefire and was a little nervous about the shooting side of things.
Friday dawned as perfect for a day on the range could be. After one or two detours, purely to admire the scenery and not at all because we were lost, we arrived at the range. After a safety briefing, the rifles were brought out by those that owned them, to much OOHing and AAHing by everyone. The rifles themselves ranged from an Accuracy International .308 with a S&B PM II to (my) 30 year old Parker Hale .243. The instructor also brought some rifles, for those that didn't own their own. I only mention this as one was a Ruger No. 1 in .30-06, which he was very proud of. I'm just glad i wasn't using it. Those that hadn't zeroed the rifles before hand had the opportunity to do so now on the targets. As there were only three targets on the range we were split up into groups of three and waited for our turn. Luckily, everyone had come equipped to cope with the delay with seats, sunshades, food, drink, sweets, and anything else that could possibly be required to spend a day in the sunshine on a range. When my turn came to shoot, I a pleased to report that not only did i complete the test with the minimum number of bullets but also in the shortest time ( not that i'm competitive at all) with both the prone shots going through the same hole. The safety test went equally smoothly, with some predictably daft questions eg. "Would you shoot that deer on the skyline?" to which the temptation to reply "why yes of course, there might be another one in the valley behind it" nearly got the better of me. However self control won through and i managed to deliver something slightly less scathing.
Started with a practice deer identification test. Although we were told it was harder than the actual test i was still pleased with the result, only missing out that one of the deer was a red/sika hybrid, although it still looked exactly like a red. Still passed though so once again, happy with the result. The rest of the morning was taken up with ballistics, at this point i must confess to being a bit of a sad git when it comes to ballistics, as some people on here may know. There was however some interesting terminology and a few other bits an pieces that i picked up on so still very interesting. In the afternoon we covered the meat hygiene section of the course and and identification of disease and health of deer. This was very interesting, although most of the hygiene was common sense the disease and parasite ID was very interesting and i do feel inn a better position to do a better job when I do next get to gralloch a deer. We finished the day with a general deer biology and behavior section that was very interesting, this was probably my favorite part of the course, and the part i was looking forward to the most. Then it was home to swot up for the remaining exams on Sunday.
As the shooting and safety test had been done on the Friday, all that was left to do was the deer ID, the Meat hygiene and the Deer biology/best practice/legal side of things. The meat hygiene was mostly common sense, and straightforward. The Deer ID I know i passed as the instructor went back through the slides and told us what they were after collecting the test papers to put us out of our misery, so happy with that. And the final exam, there were a few odd questions that had obviously been put in there to try and catch people out but with a little bit of logic the answers could be worked out. Anything i was sure about i looked up as soon as i got home and much to my relief anything i wasn't 100% about i seemed to have got right so once again really happy with that.
My over riding thoughts on the course would be that for someone looking to get into stalking without very much knowledge already it would be a great way in. Anyone with anything more than minimum experience an knowledge would probably find it quite basic, but it is very much a way into the stalking world if no other avenue is open to you. It was nice to meet people with similar interests, and be able to talk things through without boring people to death while doing so.
I hope this has been interesting to anyone thinking about doing the DSC1 and if anyone is thinking about doing it and wanted to ask me anything that has gone on over the last few days please feel free to PM me and ask away.
Once again a huge thank you to everyone that has allowed this to happen.