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Thread: Deer ID, open/closed season and Legislation for DSC1??

  1. #1

    Deer ID, open/closed season and Legislation for DSC1??

    Hi Folks.

    I have my DSC1 in March at Greenleas in Hexham and was wondering if anyone has any tips on deer id?
    I have only ever had any experience with Fallow, Roe and a Red.

    And does anyone have any tips on how to remember open/closed seasons? I'm rubbish with dates and stuff... and I'm dreading this part.

    Also do I need to learn the legislation for England/Wales, Ireland and Scotland? or just England/Wales and Scotland?

    Thanks for any help....

  2. #2
    You need to learn all of it. Or at least you did when I took mine back in the dark ages

    One photo ID for deer they generally use, is Spotted Fallow mixed in with Sika in summer coat, which are also spotted. This catches a great many people out.

    There are a number of differences between the two species, but the dead give away is the white metatarsal gland on the back legs of Sika. However you hardly ever see this in the wild as the cover is generally too high

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    I did my DSC1 in July 08 at Sparsholt. We never touched on Ireland Law. Only learn the OPEN seasons for all species, don't worry about Closed, if you know the open then you will automatically know the closed, some people on mine had tried to learn both and were getting confussed . You will be talked through the recognition with many PowerPoint slides, infact, every PP presentation we had, we got asked what species and why (identifiable features) and also the sex of the Deer also. It's a good course, I thoroughly enjoyed it, had a good laugh with the Instructors and other Students. Don't worry about it, relax and enjoy it.

    Practise your shooting from the 3 positions, especially if you have a moderator fitted as this makes you more unsteady.

    Good Luck


  4. #4
    Also, for the Sika you should see a prominent u shape on their forehead. You will notice that some species open seasons are the same, learn the dates first, then the species that match that date.

  5. #5
    It says in the manual,
    As from ,1/1/2008
    The candidates will be shown 20 slides of the six species of deer.
    The slides will be all single animals or single sex groups.The candidates will have to identify the species and tick the box "male or female"

    I dont think you will get pictures of mixed groups as the slides are only scored 1 point per slide . There shouldnt be any "trick " questions either .

    16/20 for pass

    The ID pictures in your manual are fairly good,just keep working on it .
    You,ll be fine !!!

  6. #6


    When I did mine I spent a lot of time learning all the stuff for the questions and in fact that was easy enough to prepare for. Start learning the4 doe seasons first as they are nearly all the same. Then learn the stags/bucks then do the scots. Take it one lot at a time otherwise its easy to confuse yourself.

    With regards the ID i was really nervous because I had only got experience of Roe. To be fair though the slides are all chosen to show the key features. Just spend a bit of time looking at pics of sika/red and fallow hinds as they are the ones that could trip you up.

    Few tips;

    fallow - longest tails - noticeably long
    sika - spots form a line down the side, gland as mentionned by mal and frown
    red - tail patch is not outlined by black and is clearly visible from the side of the deer.

    As everyone has said though practice your shooting from standing, sitting and prone as its harder than it seems when you're being tested.

    I think you are from the North so if you wanted to get together for a beer before to run through some stuff for confidence then pm by all means

  7. #7
    Sika and red stags that both have 8 points can be distinguished by the brow tine.

    Sika, angle between brow tine and beam is less than 90 degrees
    Red, angle between brow tine and beam is more than 90 degrees

    roe in Nov, Dec, Jan bucks will not have antlers tell the differance by the anal tuche (like a shaving brush on the back of femail and kidney shaped caudal patch on buck.)


  8. #8
    I too was a bit worried about the deer ID as I'd only ever seen reds, fallow and sika in real life and am in Ireland so we don't (officially) have CWD, roe or Muntjac.

    I did it in August last and they said that the photos for the ID were new. However, they were all pretty easy and there were no trick photos at all. Each and every photo had some very obvious key feature quite clearly on display and there was never any room for confusion in terms of sex. If you know all the basic ID stuff then you will have no problems at all.

  9. #9
    Don't worry Steve - I did mine with John Snowdon last June. They have changed the marking with the ID and John had encountered problems with a group the previous week. We were taken over the ID loads of times and shown lots of slides - you will be okay. Remember key ID points ie roe have 2 white chin spots, sika look like they have a frown mark on their brow and metatarsal glands on hocks, caudal patch on reds goes up onto the back, fallow have a black stripe down a long tail and the black border which surrounds the white caudal patch comes into the white patch at the bottom this is not the case with sika
    I got my wife to go on the internet and pull up pictures of deer and then ask me to ID them.
    You do not get a lot of time on each slide however we were told that if we did get mixed up with the sequence of slides just raise our hands and we would stop, regroup and move on.
    I was apprehensive about attending the course but the small group was really friendly and the pace and course content was just right - I enjoyed it. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Regular Poster buck52's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    England, a large country south of the Scottish Border
    Just one tip on the diffrence between a Sika Hind & Fallow Doe in summer coat, look hard at the ears of each, Sika Hind has bigger fluffier ears, as well as the other tips. Its not a trick question, its just at a quick glance they look very similar.

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