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Thread: Why Not Qualifications to shoot other species?

  1. #1
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    Why Not Qualifications to shoot other species?

    I mentioned this on another thread and got no takers. It would perhaps have been "off topic" to answer me or maybe my question was implied rather than asked specifally. So I ask again here.

    Why do we in the UK not require a "Certificate" of competence to kill all the other game?

    I realise it is not even mandatory for deer and will not become mandatory anytime soon, no matter what rumours there are. However, many seem to believe that the day is not far off when DSC1 will be a minimum statutory requirement before shooting deer would be lawfully permitted.

    There is already a tendancy among some official bodies to require Deer Stalking Certificates (of competency) to be held e.g. various forestry groups require it prior to considering a candidate for a stalking tenancy and even the Police appear to be cottoning on to the idea of DSC as a desired/required qualification before granting a Firearms Certificate, for the possesion of a firearm to be used for taking deer..... and it always puzzles my why should only deer stalkers need the qualification?

  2. #2
    Tamus

    Are you wanting another "Certificate". This is how these things start. Too much hot air

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    Tamus

    Are you wanting another "Certificate". This is how these things start. Too much hot air
    That's a very telling response.

    So, do we have an Elephant in the room and everyone wants to ignore it?

    Do we really not actually approve of Qualification?... but will suffer what is imposed.

    So, for goodness sake "shush" about any more of "bits of paper" because we've got away with it so far and maybe "they'll" not notice.

    Come off it, "they" already notice. So what are the answers to my questions?

  4. #4
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Tamus

    I'm not saying it's right, but my guess is that within 10 years there will be something more like a generic "Hunter's Certificate" that will cover "any lawful quarry", much the same as the condition on the FAC. Whether this will be in place of, or in addition to, the current DSC1/DSC2 is the question. What I believe will bring us to this point will be the steady drip, drip, drip of accidents/injuries involving air rifles, foxing, etc.

    As to why deer stalker's specifically need the qualification, it's more about the fact that what we shoot is, or could be, put into the food chain. The issue is that the connection between the DSC1, deer, food supply and FAC conditions has become muddled, at least in the eyes of some.

    As I say, I'm not advocating this or saying it's right, it's just what I think will come to pass.

    willie_gunn
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  5. #5
    Perhaps they should add boar a module to DSC1
    They could do it for foxes, rabbits and crows, but I can see the badger module being a bit controversial!
    Next would be a DPPGSC1 - Driven Pheasant, Partridge and Grouse Shooting Certificate level 1.....
    PWSC1 - Pigeon & Wildfowl Shooting Certificate level 1.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    Tamus

    I'm not saying it's right, but my guess is that within 10 years there will be something more like a generic "Hunter's Certificate" that will cover "any lawful quarry", much the same as the condition on the FAC. Whether this will be in place of, or in addition to, the current DSC1/DSC2 is the question. What I believe will bring us to this point will be the steady drip, drip, drip of accidents/injuries involving air rifles, foxing, etc.

    As to why deer stalker's specifically need the qualification, it's more about the fact that what we shoot is, or could be, put into the food chain. The issue is that the connection between the DSC1, deer, food supply and FAC conditions has become muddled, at least in the eyes of some.

    As I say, I'm not advocating this or saying it's right, it's just what I think will come to pass.

    willie_gunn
    I could tell from your posts what a sensible man you are. I agree with you totally

    By the way, much/most of what I shoot goes into the food chain. I usually kill several times a week but only shoot deer about once a month. So why deer get singled out for special treatment still puzzles me.

    What you foresee is what our continental neighbours do already. One test, one Permit to Hunt, all species covered and it is a prerequite to gaining firearms ownership permission in many countries too and actually fast-tracks the process.

    Speaking for myself, I'd rather cut straight to it than spend the next 20 years fannying around bolting on one bit at a time.
    Last edited by Tamus; 06-10-2011 at 10:07. Reason: I meant... pre requisite... Ooops!

  7. #7
    I think that of all the creatures/birds that are shot by sportsmen/vermin controllers deer hold a perhaps iconic position. They are a natural asset that requires to be managed. Bodies such as the Deer Commission Scotland (now covered by SNH) and British Deer Society developed/were appointed by Government to look after this asset. In respect to the animal and it's position within the countryside I would think it a natural step to be developed by these bodies that if culling is required it should be carried out by qualified deer managers who would ensure deer welfare and proper handling of the carcass. Specific legislation be passed to further safe guard this asset.
    I do not think that DSC1 or 2 should be used as a level of competence to grant a firearm certificate even although a certain amount of firearm safety is included in obtaining these qualifications. After all somebody could apply for a "deer calibre" rifle but only intend to shoot boar/goats which are obviously not covered by DSC1 or 2. Should they be refused on the basis that they do not have DSC1.
    I have been involved in many pheasant shoots where the birds are intended for the food chain. Although some shoots do take great care over carcass handling (one I know of returns birds to a chiller after each drive) I have also witnessed some horrendous practices both in carcass handling and gun safety.
    IMO all grants of firearm certificates and shotgun certificates should be subject to obtaining a "qualification" in firearm handling and safety. Whether you thereafter wish to obtain qualifications specific to your intended quarry would be voluntary but could still be asked for by FC etc.

  8. #8
    I think - and thats the operative word; not claiming fact - it comes down to a combination of things.

    If I understand correctly BDS started up courses simply as a way of promoting good management and introducing new stalkers. At the time no intent of it evolving into DSC scheme or being particularly used as a national certifcation scheme. I attended the 5 day course run by Dieter Dent back in 1984. I think St Hubert club had things going well before this.

    So part one answer is we have a deer certificate because interested bodies started the ball rolling. There wasnt a fox, rabbit etc body to do it.

    Course evolved via NSCC to DSC1 etc and when subsequent EU regulation affected Food Chain side there was a ready made scheme for it to bolt on.

    Not into pheasant side - but isnt there an equivalent Hygiene cert for feathered game?

    My feeling is the DSC1/2 could be better - but it isnt all that bad as it stands and is providing a very useful service in thwarting a politically driven mandatory alternative. The absence of a similiar thing in other areas does potentially leave the door open.

    Part 2 answer - its an imperfect world, housing imperfect people and managed by an imperfect system. Hence we get less than perfect/ seemingly incongruous results.
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  9. #9
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamus View Post
    So why deer get singled out for special treatment still puzzles me.
    Tamus

    They don't. What about small game and the need for a trained person, viz the Wild Game Meat Hygiene Level 2: http://www.lantra-awards.co.uk/train...athygiene.aspx

    willie_gunn
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  10. #10
    Although I would agree with the above from Willie, in that it is partly about large game entering the food chain, I suspect that the main driving force behind DSC training lies elsewhere!
    Sadly, the insistance of many police forces advocating DSC training has nothing to do with food hygiene, or indeed, deer welfare.
    It is purely the safety aspect! The police have a 'duty of care' towards the public when issuing firearms. So what is the difference betwen deer and other species? Absolutely nothing when it comes to welfare or the food chain!
    So why the disparity?
    I believe it is mainly due to the tools of our trade!
    Shotguns, rimfires and air rifles, although potentially lethal, don't have the same 'aura' to them as a large high powered centrefire rifle with scope, bipod, moderator, expanding ammunition, etc......
    We now live in a society where risk assessments are required for almost every activity we do, and everyone that is responsible for completing them is well aware of the consequences of litigation that may follow any incident.
    We are at the top of the pile and the obvious place to begin with application of restrictions. You can also be sure that it won't stop there though!
    MS
    Last edited by Monkey Spanker; 06-10-2011 at 10:45.

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