I did say I'd update everyone on how I'm getting on, even if I'm not one of the sponsored, as it will at least give a different perspective.
Found a few discrepancies with the materials relating to the BDS Course, not sure whether this has been picked up on before, but here goes.
The Ultimate Deer Data CD appears to indicate that the Open season for Red Hinds in N Ireland is 1 Nov - End February inclusive, which it turns out is correct, but only on checking online with three sources;
The Stalking Directory - UK Deer Seasons
I think someone should also point out to the BASC that they have the dates posted incorrectly for Red Hinds, Sika Hinds, and Fallow Does, in N Ireland.
Interestingly the CD (which I understand is a few years old and needs an update), shows a question relating to the Scottish Game Licence, yet this doesn't appear in the BDS Training Manual for Deer Stalkers issued in January 2013.
No doubt I'll find a few other issues and have to do a bit of research, and arguably this in itself is helping me to retain the right information, but it doesn't help when you think you've learned something, only to find its incorrect.
As far as General Knowledge, in the last couple of weeks I've got through Deer Biology & Ecology, Shooting and Equipment, Safety, Law England & Wales, Law Scotland, Law General, Law N Ireland, Ballistics, and Roe Deer. I still have the other five species to study, but so far I'm averaging over 97% correct.
I've not even looked at the Large Game and Hygiene Sections yet, or any pictures of Deer, but despite the errors in the BDS Material, the CD is a fantastic tool for learning, I'm glad I invested in it, even if I had to fix an old Windows XP laptop to run it (I normally use OSX), ok the repair consisted of fitting a new CPU fan and blowing out years of dust, the new fan cost £5.48 from eBay and took me 45 minutes to fit, and for the first time I had no spare parts and screws left after I'd finished!
The shooting off sticks is going alright-ish, I've not done this before, but on a 50 metre range with a .22lr CZ 452 at present I'm managing 2.5 - 3 inch groups of five while standing/leaning and using sticks, while on crutches. Although to be fair, if I do more than five targets I'm really in too much pain and the groups widen to 4 inches. I can't see me using sticks ever while hunting, as I'd prefer a high seat or shoot from a stationary vehicle/ATV (with the engine off), and therefore will be donating them in some way to someone on the Stalking Directory soon after gaining a successful pass.
Sitting and using sticks is giving me 2 - 2.5 inch groups of five on the same range, and using a bipod at the bench (I can't shoot prone), I'm getting groups of .5 - 1 inch, again at 50 metres.
I'll do another couple of weeks with .22lr, I'm getting through about 150 - 250 rounds in a session, and then think about doing 20 rounds of .223 on 50 and 100 metre ranges, and see what happens.
So thats where I am at present, I hope I didn't bore too many folks.