There have been a lot of posts on this subject, with many experienced stalkers questioning the validity of the qualification. Until very recently I had no intention of doing a course, as I had found a mentor to supervise me and the police had made the purchase of my rifle conditional on it only being used in the mentor's presence until such time as he would pass me as "fit for purpose" to allow me to use it by myself.
About two weeks ago, following an unfortunate incident, my mentor and I had an acrimonious parting of the ways, which, according to the police, left me without a satisfactory reason for owning the rifle. They said I must either find another mentor or sign up for a DSC1 course within the week. I know there are debates about the legality of such a requirement, but I'm afraid I took the easy route rather than starting a crusade against the system and signed up for a course which takes place next weekend.This plunged me into two weeks of intensive revision, and I have to say that I have learned an awful lot, some of it of questionable real value no doubt, but all information I would have never bothered to acquire unless pushed.
It was the subject of meat hygiene and carcass inspection which really prompted this post. While with my mentor I shot my one and, so far only deer, and as I previously posted, made a thoroughly bad job of it, missing the heart and shooting it in the stomach. I successfully despatched the animal, but obviously the graloch was very messy. As it was on the mentor's permission the carcass was his, and I went with him to the game dealer and watched him hose out the contents of the rumen and weigh the carcass in. Having read the training manual, I am now horrified at the potential spread of food poisoning I witnessed, but if I hadn't done the reading I would have assumed that this was the correct procedure for a fouled carcass. It seems that the loss of this mentor was a blessing in disguise.
So. Although I doubt that the acquisition of a certificate which cannot include any practical stalking will make me a "Trained Hunter" in anything but name, I now think that the reading necessary for the course has been useful in many ways, as well as really interesting.