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Thread: New Stalkers

  1. #1

    New Stalkers

    I know this will open a can of worms but here goes. Do you think that new stalkers to the sport should be mentored at least a year before they go out on there own or have at least level 1 dsc. I say this because of a conversation I was having with some one the other day which led to me thinking that any one can get a firearms and go out and shoot deer even if they don't no what they are doing. Im not saying im a expert ive only been stalking for fifteen or so years and im still learning but I think if you hunt something you should know about your quarry first. Take Germany for example they have to take a hunters exam before they are aloud out to hunt.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    I suspect within the next 5 years, DSC L1 will become compulsary. It will bring us inline with continental Europe with their hunting (traditions).

    Looking back, now having my L2, I can see the requirment for some sort of training, but I think it will be that hard to impliment, do you grant "Grandfather rights" to those who have been stalking/hunting for 5 years/10 years, where do you draw the line.......As the FC are already insisting on L1 with progression towards L2, to stalk on land and L2 to hold the lease, I recon they will also within the next 5 years allow L2 only. I think others (Forrestry management) will shortly follow.

    When it becomes compulsary, you can bet your last , that the price of these courses, L1 and L2 (registration) will increase.

    Last edited by tartinjock; 19-07-2011 at 19:30. Reason: Spelling
    Position and hold must be firm enough to support the firearm
    The firearm must point naturally at the target without any undue physical effort
    Sight alignment (aiming) must be correct
    The shot must be released and followed through without disturbing the position

  3. #3
    I dont think its a bad idea. Im new to stalking and have only gotten into it properly over the last year or so. I have now taken 16 deer in different conditions and experience some of the different shot reactions and have also completed my level 1 and look to do my level 2 in the next year or 2. I am now at the point where I would be comfortable in taking a deer unaccompanied and know i could complete the gralloch to the right standard and have half a chance of getting to a shootable distance and take the shot. I think its wrong that someone (myself included) who can go out, legally with little to no experience when there fac has just hit the mat and go out and potentially shoot a deer and quite probably cock it up. Equally I can see why people are so heavily against the idea of the DSC becoming mandatory.


  4. #4
    Im fairly new to Deer stalking i have be rifle shooting for a long time but yes i think a dsc1 or other cousre should be a must.As there is so much more involed in shooting a Deer than say a fox or rabbit.
    I myself want someone with more experience to join me on my first stalk to keep me right .

  5. #5
    when one says mentoring i take it to mean go out stalking with a person who is time served in the art of deer stalking ,this is the route i took as well as buying stalks with a guide .in my opinium a level one on its own without someone to show you the ropes for some time is really not adequate .my mentor was not a requirement of my f/a cert he just took me under his wing and showed me everything he knows ,invaluble he is now a great mate .i am not knocking leval 1 but it is only a stepping stone, after that guides and mentors like my mate really educate new stalkers in the art .over the years certificates in every walk of life dominate our lives ,chain saw ,spray ,quad, fork truck you name it there is a cert for it stalking is no different ,but without the old boys back in the day i would not have learnt to drive ,put earthmoving plant to work ,keeper a shoot and lastly stalk deer ,if you are new to stalking search out an old boy to help you and if you think you qualify as an old boy try and help a new comer to the sport you never know you might make a mate !
    Last edited by norma 308; 19-07-2011 at 20:30.

  6. #6
    hi ive been stalking for 3 years and was introduced to it by my friend and business partner been stalking for 20 years.Ive held a FAC for 20 years mainly 222 lamping. Have been very lucky my first roe buck was a very good head and is on the wall at work along with my first red stag carcase weight 360lbs without head 13 point 42 inch span lovely thing ive shot about 20 roe 6 reds. he has taught me a lot but i now need someone different to further my knowledge and teach me new things it is very hard to find people to do this.I keep thinking about my level 1 but i think i need a little more know how and bottle. It is a good thing to have but have not spoken to anybody who has done it recentley. my mate did it 20 years ago.I joined a syndicate last year its a bit of a bummer not to say names but it has been on here. Wish i had known about this site sooner could have saved me quite a lot of money but you live and learn.

  7. #7
    Going to raise my head above the parapet here.
    I think level one DSC is excellent as a measure of a persons theoretical knowledge of deer and health and safety issues surrounding putting deer into the human food chain. I dont think it does anything to demonstrate a persons ability to stalk, assess a safe shot or take that safe shot and handle the carcass.
    Level 2 DSC is far more advanced and, in my opinion, should be the minimum standard required for new stalkers to stalk, unaccompanied and be able to put deer into the human food chain.
    I was introduced to stalking by a very experience stalker who is also an accredited witness so each stalk, shot, reaction to shot and grollach was performed and described is great detail. This learning experience has been augmented by stalks with various other experienced stalkers from whom I've learned an incredible amount. Getting my portfolio for level 2 completed and submitted was both difficult (one AW described the ground I stalk on as some of the most difficult woodland broad leaf stalking imaginable) but again highly rewarding.
    I now feel comfortable (24 deer since last October)to both stalk, identify a safe shot, take that shot and provide a safe carcass for the food chain.
    I'm sure there will be those that disagree with setting DSC level 2 as a minimum but my experience of being recently introduced to stalking and the responsibilities that accompany that privilege lead me to believe its the best way forward. T
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Herefordshire, Hampshire or Essex
    Crouch Valley,

    It may be a can of worms, but you have consensus. As Groach and others rightly point out, it is much more involved. Knowing how to treat the beast with a little dignity in death and gralloching properly are key skills and not things you can really get away with making up as you go along. Like all things, unless you do it regularly, you can have all the theory in the world and still make a hash of it - been there!! The fact that FC and others are stipulating DSCL2 is for good reason and while some may say it is stopping some from pursuing the sport, we will be safer as a community if we have clear accepted standards. We tend to spend a shed load on our kit and don't factor the practice that will make the sport all the more enjoyable. I won't even go into the skills and joy of stalking, which is what I think you refer to in always learning. The shot and the kill are a very small part of a stalk and a culmination and reward for all the other things being done well - the shot is not a rite in a stalk. While the shot is a moment of adrenaline, it is not something to be taken lightly and there is a real responsibility with it that again you need to learn. What is it they say about the thrill of the chase? If you can't enjoy stalking in to watch, should you even be in the sport?

    I think you're right and have my head above the parapet with Limulus - and I'm still to complete DSCL2!

    E t R
    Nooooooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!! Our main weapon is.........

  9. #9
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Do you think that new stalkers to the sport should be mentored at least a year before they go out on there own or have at least level 1 dsc. I say this because of a conversation I was having with some one the other day which led to me thinking that any one can get a firearms and go out and shoot deer even if they don't no what they are doing.
    I would be most interested to know the identity of those Constabularies or Police Forces whose Chief Officers grant firearms authorities to "any one" "even if they don't know what they are doing".

    Without being rude if the person you were in conversation really thinks that is the casethey are very naive as to how the licensing system works in the UK. I would even suggest that they, in fact, don't have either an FAC or if they do, not for any form of shooting deer.

    To address your question. No absolutely not. Why?

    Because the situation in UK is very different form either Europe or the USA in that there are no "public hunting lands" here as there are there.

    So to demonstrate "good reason" to have an FAC to stalk deer you have to either:

    i) Own or rent your own "forest" and/or the stalking rights or

    ii) "Pay by the day" on someone else's land.

    In the case of i) it would usually if "new ground" be assessed by the police as to its suitability and in the case of ii) the person from whom you had bought the day would usually insist that you be accompanied if they had any doubt as to you abilities. Indeed even to the extent of directing you as to whichspecific beast to shoot.

    A lot of the whole DSC thing is "empire building" and those who seek to suggest it should be imposed as a mandatory requirement to be granted an FAC should be ashamed. Much of it is also totally pointless to many of those who stalk deer only in a set locality.

    As an example what is the relevance of knowing about muntjac when all that the stalker ever encounters or shoots are roe deer in Scotland? As an analogy would you suggest that the dedicated pigeon shooter should know about the life cycle of the woodcock or its legal seasons?

    Equally testing a person on their knowledge of sika deer is relevant in exactly what way to someone who only ever will require their rifle to shoot a park herd of fallow deer in Lincolnshire?

    And how can ignorance of the legal seasonfor roe deer in Scotland be a justification for denying a Welsh roe deer stalker an FAC? How many "guns" who maybe shoot inland reared mallard on one drive on a Northamptonshire pheasant shoot would be able to tell you the legal season for wild mallard on the foreshore?

    Yet that is just how the dictat of "No DSC = No FAC" would no doubt apply if translated to feathered game shooting. Refusing a firearms authority to a safe and competent shot because they fail an arbitrary test demanding they know all about a quarry that they will NEVER enciunter on "their patch" let alone ever even want to shoot?

    To my mind a lot of DSC 1 seems to be asking questions that are also totally irrelevant to the matter it purports to establish knowledge of which is deer stalking. Almost an "Aren't I clever because I know all this about sika deer?" sort of thing. They might be interesting but they are nevertheless irrelevant.

    If you personally want to do it then fine. But don't ever please seek to suggest that because you have it others must also have it.

    There is too much of this "Nobody else should be allowed to do anything other than in the way that I do it and then only in the way that I say they should".

    So. For UK? No I don't think it should be required in fact I would and do strongly oppose it.

    In France and or Germany? Well they do have a compulsory hunting licence. But answer me many fatalities do they have each year in the hunting (shooting) field compared to us (with no compulsory test) in UK?

    Now tell me that their way of regulating their system "works" better on the continent than does our system here!
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 19-07-2011 at 22:35.

  10. #10
    Not all new stalkers have an abundance of WEALTH and cannot afford DSC 1/DSC2 when they first get into stalking. Some people have had years of experience shooting ( fox control ect ) and then decide to get into stalking do they need all of the above ? If i had to have the dsc1 before i started i would never bother ( low wages wife kids mortgage ). We need more people to get involved in our sport or the ANTis will have the perfect exscuse to lobby for more controls. Sorry NO i dont agree.And yes i am saveing for my DSC1 but it takes time......



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