I have now passed my DSC 1 (yay!), having spent a pleasant weekend up in Moray with John and Andy from the stalking school (www.stalkingschool.co.uk) and thought I’d post a wee review of the course – I have no connection with the company other than as a satisfied customer.
Andy is listed on here as ‘Moray Outfitting’ and was our RCO for the course and I have to say a big thanks to him as his relaxed and patient style towards the candidates made sure everybody felt at ease and I think helped remove a lot of the pre-test nerves (certainly worked for me!).
When we met up on the Saturday John conducted a safety and range briefing at the classroom and this was backed up by a further one from Andy when we were at the range itself, before we went out to practice our marksmanship. Shooting practice was in the morning/early afternoon then back to the classroom for a revision session on the how to recognise the various deer – this may be in a different order for the summer courses, but daylight hours in winter dictate shooting first.
After this we had a run through of the hygiene questions (‘D’ and ‘H’ ones) to make sure everyone was happy with what the correct answer should be. This was especially beneficial as it gave me a reminder as we ran through that there was the odd part I hadn’t been 100% sure of. Questions are welcomed throughout so I then had correct answers to the questions and the reasoning behind them.
This was followed by a wee break for lunch, which we brought ourselves (fine for me as I’m pretty fussy with food). Tea and coffee were provided on a drink as much as you like basis.
We next ran through all the questions from the general section and this was very helpful as although I had already been through the manual and circled what I thought were the correct answers, a small misreading of the question or a slight misinterpretation of the information in the book in a few instances had resulted in me circling the wrong answer.
Throughout the day John and Andy kept us both entertained and informed with information from their experiences in the field and this added some useful background to information in the book.
You are sent the manual when you book onto the course and ideally I think you should spend a couple of weeks or more going through it prior to your test weekend, which will make you life easier (there’s quite a bit to learn).
All in all I would recommend this course, especially as it only takes a weekend. I would also suggest the winter courses as, like everywhere else in Scotland that isn’t a city full of diesel fumes, there would probably be quite a few midgies on the hill in summer. Or bring some repellant!