I did the Jelen Advanced Deer Management course a few months ago. The subject of academic further education has been discussed forcefully on SD and I thought it would be useful to give an active recreational stalker's view point on this type of course and whether it's value for money.
First off, when I did DSC 1 I learned a lot. DSC 2 on the other hand was an assessment of what I already knew as an experienced stalker rather than an educational process. I wanted to gain more knowledge and so did Jelen's Advanced Deer Management Course. I learned loads - much more than I could have done by simply stalking.
So, was it worth it? Well, from my point of view the formal learning has increased my knowledge about deer, added an additional element of enjoyment to my stalking, given me a greater appreciation of my role as a deer stalker/controller/manager and enabled me to put more of the right deer in the larder. I did the course with an interesting group of like-minded people and I really enjoyed the process.
Recently, I was fortunate to be asked to manage the deer on an estate. I had been recommended to the landowner as a person suitable for the job. However, I am sure that the fact that I was able to show that I had continued with my professional development went a long way to reassure the landowner that I was serious about doing the job right.
Today I got an email from Mike at Jelen Deer. He had attached the latest course lecture notes which had some additional material not delivered on my course. This was quite a surprise as I would have expected to pay for updates like these. It appears that Jelen's policy is to let previous course delegates have the latest material as part of the service. Thanks Mike.
I can only comment on the Jelen course as I haven't done any others (I think the BDS course is the only other one). For me, the money I spent with Jelen was worth every penny and if there were a follow-on course to this one, I'd sign up like a shot.