Just thought I'd write up my experience of doing the DSC1.
I'd best first of all cover my personal stalking experience prior to the DSC1. I was lucky enough to ghillie for 2 years for a pal so I had lots of open hill stalking experience. I also had shot a few sika locally with friends who had asked me out. On all occasions everyone was keen to teach me and I was shown how to gralloch, discussed shot placement etc etc. On the back of this experience I decided to do just a weekend DSC1 course, with the first day revision and the 2nd day the assessment. I am an avid reader and I had done my homework with the course book. I'd read it , highlighted key sections, written up a notebook as I went along and also worked through all the question banks.
The revision day started with safety best practice and range work. It was extremely useful and gave me an understanding of the level required and we also had a chance to practice shooting from the various positions. Everyone shot well but I did not shoot as well as I know I can and I had 2 shots that I knew I pulled and I got some guidance on preventing that habit.
It was the back to the classroom for deer id with pointers on distinguishing between common confusions, ie sika hind/fallow hind. This was followed with help on areas of the general question bank and hygiene bank that we felt we were weak on. Everyone had done their homework fortunately!
The assessment on the final day was definitely done under exam conditions through out but I got the feeling that the assessors didn't want to trip anyone up. The safety questions were done whilst walking to the range and the shooting went off for all of us without a hitch.
The slides were nice and clear with no pressure of time. The multiple choice were as expected though I can't remember having a question on season?!
Result- Deer id 20/20, general paper 46/50 and hygiene 39/40. With a pass on the safety and shooting I achieved the required level.
Thoughts post the assessment are its not as hard as we let ourselves think it is and that I learned a lot from going through it. Top of the list for the weekend would be meeting like minded people.