Reason for "Accompanied Condition" when deer stalking.
The six species of deer found in this country form an important and valued element of our flora and fauna. They are all, however, thriving and surveys conducted by various societies have shown them to be increasing in both numbers and geographic spread. In order to ensure the welfare of deer, protecting them from starvation due to overgrazing, and from road traffic accidents, it is important that they are managed.
It is equally important to protect other creatures sharing their habitat from the results of overgrazing, as well as to prevent the deer from causing unacceptable damage to crops and trees. Usually the management of deer means that they have to be 'culled' and it is important that the cull be carried out efficiently and humanely, by people who understand exactly what they are doing.
The law requires that any business or recreational activity is carried out safely in all respects: deer stalking is no exception, and the deer stalker has a legal responsibility to ensure their actions pose the minimum risk to anyone.
The laws concerning deer stalking are many and complex for a novice and having the correct permissions and the correct calibre of rifle on your Firearms Certificate is just the beginning.
To minimise the risk to public safety, Chief officers of police are empowered to impose conditions on firearms certificates and the condition applied in the case of a novice deerstalker that he must be accompanied by an experienced deerstalker is one such condition.
This condition is only temporary and relies on the novice gaining experience by accompanying an experienced deerstalker and gaining the confidence and experience of using his own personal rifle and learning new techniques over a period of time.
Once his mentor is satisfied that he has gained the necessary knowledge and is competent enough to go deer stalking without supervision he can put this in writing and inform the licensing authority that in his opinion the condition can safely be removed from the firearm certificate.
The Deer Management Qualification deer stalking level 1 certificate assesses the under-pinning technical knowledge and marksmanship skill expected of an unsupervised deerstalker and is a good starting point for novice deerstalkers to begin their training.
An example of an experienced deerstalker is a person who has gained his deer stalking experience over a number of years and does not have any land restrictions on his deer stalking condition. Preferably a person who has completed the Deer Management Qualification deer stalking level 1 and 2 certificates.