I feel I must write in the forum commending the great three days I have just had on the DSC Level 1 course that was organised by Malcolm Harman at UK Outfitters.
The instructor was Jon Snowdon of Greenlee Deer Management, who, I am in no doubt, has forgotten more about Stalking than I will ever know.
Day One consisted of a series of talks given by Jon going over most of the items we had been studying in the supplied training manual. He is a great trainer and had soon worked out that we had all ‘done the work’ and read the manual. He then decided we could do the ‘dreaded’ (by me anyway) deer recognition test on the first day! No really nasty ones in there, but I have to admit I know I got a couple wrong.
Day Two was quite full on with talks on Disease and Hygiene by Jon, both of the written exams, and a simulated stalk. I must say at this point that Jon normally conducts the exams on the last day but he judged (correctly) that we all wanted to get the written tests out of the way (however nervous a couple of us were, me included!). Then came an unexpected but very welcome surprise. Jon had shot a Fallow with Malcolm the day before the course started so instead of a DVD we actually got to handle a real pluck. I sure know where to look for glands far better than I would have done from a DVD or PowerPoint demonstration. Top marks to Malc and Jon there and, if I might be so bold, I would recommend doing that again if you run another course Malcolm, deer permitting!
Day Three came all too soon and saw us all ‘on the hill’, literally, so we could do the shooting test which we all passed, even though the weather was sh*t with bouts of hale.
The other guys on the course were great company with a number of e-mail addresses being exchanged by the end of the last day. I have no doubt I will meet a few of you again and I really enjoyed your company (note to Paddy from Durham, if you ever do a standup comedy show I want tickets).
But my great thanks must go to Jon and Malcolm. Malcolm doesn’t have more than 6 students on these courses so their was a great camaraderie and it was all the better for it. The location in an Estate in Sussex is absolutely fantastic and I cannot recommend this venue, organiser, and trainer enough. Malcolm even agreed to sell me the deer Jon had shot and they both showed me how to butcher the carcass after the course had finished, my freezer is now all the better for it.
Top weekend had by all. So if you are like me, a complete novice, live in South East England, and are thinking about doing DSC Level 1, you could do no better than e-mail Malcolm and book up for his next course.