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Thread: Advice for DSC1 please?

  1. #1

    Advice for DSC1 please?

    Hi all

    I'm going to be doing my DSC level 1 in mid-December, over in Essex (yes I know the Gloucester/Dorset locations would have made a lot more sense given my location but I've been itching to get on the course and that one was available! )
    My stalking experience consists of shadowing a friend on 3 stalks, the last of which I shot my first deer (a fine young roe buck); not much experience but I'm trying my best to gain more, so that I have the practical to complement the theory element that the course offers - I can then present a good case to the FEO when applying for my variation
    Anyway, I just wondered what advice you can give me for the course? I have the manual and am happy to mug up on the material in it, however I am slightly worried about the 'simulated stalk' section..... how hard is this? As I've heard if you get the slightest thing wrong, it's an immediate fail?? Is it mainly safety stuff like is there a backstop behind the target, and unloading before handing the gun to someone else??
    Also, the shooting test..... I have a .22lr and will try and practice with that, as I have extremely limited experience with a centrefire - just 4 shots with my friend's 6.5x55! (3 for him to check my accuracy at range, and 1 for that roe buck!) do you think that practice with the .22 will be enough, or should I really try and seek some more experience with fullbore guns? It's just that my friend doesn't take me out very often at all (3 times in 5 months), and I can't really afford to spend out on those 'centrefire experience' sorta days at ranges
    On that note - I'll be borrowing a gun from the course centre, and not sure what calibre that may be, I'm guessing it's likely to be a fairly common entry-level deer round like the .243?

    I better leave it there as I am rambling on a lot!! I'll leave any more questions I have for another day!

    Any help/advice is very much appreciated, cheers all!!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by .Skinner. View Post
    Hi all

    I'm going to be doing my DSC level 1 in mid-December, over in Essex (yes I know the Gloucester/Dorset locations would have made a lot more sense given my location but I've been itching to get on the course and that one was available! )
    My stalking experience consists of shadowing a friend on 3 stalks, the last of which I shot my first deer (a fine young roe buck); not much experience but I'm trying my best to gain more, so that I have the practical to complement the theory element that the course offers - I can then present a good case to the FEO when applying for my variation
    Anyway, I just wondered what advice you can give me for the course? I have the manual and am happy to mug up on the material in it, however I am slightly worried about the 'simulated stalk' section..... how hard is this? As I've heard if you get the slightest thing wrong, it's an immediate fail?? Is it mainly safety stuff like is there a backstop behind the target, and unloading before handing the gun to someone else??
    Also, the shooting test..... I have a .22lr and will try and practice with that, as I have extremely limited experience with a centrefire - just 4 shots with my friend's 6.5x55! (3 for him to check my accuracy at range, and 1 for that roe buck!) do you think that practice with the .22 will be enough, or should I really try and seek some more experience with fullbore guns? It's just that my friend doesn't take me out very often at all (3 times in 5 months), and I can't really afford to spend out on those 'centrefire experience' sorta days at ranges
    On that note - I'll be borrowing a gun from the course centre, and not sure what calibre that may be, I'm guessing it's likely to be a fairly common entry-level deer round like the .243?

    I better leave it there as I am rambling on a lot!! I'll leave any more questions I have for another day!

    Any help/advice is very much appreciated, cheers all!!
    The theory information and answers to the safety questions are in the manual, the simulated stalk is basic commonsense, just imagine that you are actually shooting and ask yourself where the bullet might stop. You could do with some more centrefire experience but as much practice as you can get with a rimfire or dry firing is very beneficial. Just try to eliminate small movements as you fire and develop comfortable shooting positions.

  3. #3
    So you've been on 3 stalks and shot a roe - thats more than some people who do the DSC1 have done, so you're already partway there

    I did my DSC 1 in the Midlands. I think each centre will be different in the way it approaches things so i can only tell you how mine went. First we did the target shooting. For some reasoon my own rifle was playing up like a sulky kid so I was borrowed the estate rifle, 6.5 x 55 - mine being a 308. Was told where to aim using the reticle and I passed the shooting test. The estate rifle will be a good one, the ammo tried and tested so you should have no worries about that.And you should also get a chance for a few shots before the actual test. Yes practise your shooting with whatever you have to hand. It's the art of shooting, not necessarily what you shoot with that makes you a good shooter.

    Then we went on an accompanied "stalk" - the safety test. Basically I was walked along a course through forest, path and open areas and deer targets were pointed out to me. I had to say if the targets were safe to shoot at. Some were plain and simply dangerous and some were equally safe shots. However some were ambiguous. Provided you could justify your reasoning then your answer was accepted, if they werent plain dangerous. Ie, i said i wouldnt shoot at a deer because there was no safe back stop. It was also pointed out to me that there was a concrete area beneath the deer and I was asked to comment on that - no instant fail . More than a test mine a
    was a discussion of the rights and wrongs. Oh and learn the safety questions - they'll ask you about them as you walk round. Be careful to look around because there might be a half hidden man in the tree line, or a tractor in the line of flight of the bullet, so remember your binos. The people who took my test were sensible and were aware of nerves and didnt treat it as if they were out to trick you - they were there to get the knowledge out of you.

    The written tests were just that. Gen up on the questions. Learn the answers and there will be no probs. i found getting a mate to test me was the way to go - he was also taking the test.

    All the best mate and if you need any more help PM me and we can chat it over

    Atb

    Scrun

  4. #4
    I did the same assessment as Scrun he was not a happy bunny with his 308 :-). It's exactly as he said, everything you need to know is in the book, practice your species recognition, learn the safety questions and you will be fine.

    One day I want to be as wonderful as my dogs think i am .....

  5. #5
    As scrun63 said the simulated stalk is relatively straight forward as the manual tells you the situations that they are likely to present you with and all you need to do is say which one it is and they are straightforward, so don't panic about that one.

    The safety questions too should be straight forward provided you learn the answers which are provided in the manual.

    Get as much practice with the rimfire as possible, shooting off sticks at 40 metres is easy enough as is 100m prone, the one some people struggle with is the 70m sitting or kneeling, so I would spend more time on that one if possible. I found kneeling was a bit unsteady for the way I shoot and opted to use a harris 12-25inch extending bipod which made things sitting a hell of a lot easier.....maybe someone will lend you some if you ask nicely.

    The BDS Ulitmate Deer Data is excellent help and particularly helpful with the visual assessment.

    Good luck.
    By three methods we may learn wisdom:
    First, by reflection, which is noblest;
    Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
    and third by experience, which is the bitterest

  6. #6
    Skinner

    I dont disagree with anything already posted. Dont worry about 'rambling' - the test process can be nerve wracking and thats quite a normal reaction.

    A big part of the nerves is concern over the unknown. Things that are really quite minor, all start to nag when its cumulative with a dozen or so things. So asking questions and settling as many as you can beforehand is all to the good.

    The safety test is a pass or fail assessment. That does cause some jitters. However, the questions are in the manual. Often it can be hard to recall the various points in the heat of the moment - so try memory phrases/ songs/ etc - whatever works best for you. The required safety standard is also in the manual - so just try to take things calmly and trust in what you have learned. Never feel pressured to give a quick answer - there is no time limit mandated in the assessors instructions. As has been noted, take bins and dont be afraid to use them to have a good look at the target and the surrounding area. Key question to ask is - where will my bullet end up?

    Shooting test - there's an article I did under the tips page on the Stalking School website. Unless the kick/ bang of centre fire is causing you problems, practise with a 22 is excellent. Dry practise shouldnt be underrated either - particularly on unfamiliar positions such as sitting/ kneeling etc.

    The course rifle should be suitable - very likely something mild kicking and will be shooting straight. Rather than worry about it - give the course a quick call and ask what you will be using.

    We've had a number of first time shooters through us ( and I suspect most centres have ) and with the shooting revision the day before, all have passed that element. Sounds conceited - and if I wasnt so perfect it would be - but most instructors prefer complete beginners; because they havent acquired bad habits. Shooting is mindset, technique and a distant third is equipment.

    If the worries persist, have a look around, our full Sporting Rifle course is 90 for the day and a 1/2-3/4 day session in preparation for level 1 shooting test is 65 - not much more than two boxes of ammo. I'm sure there'll be someone close by offering similar.

    Finally - its the ones that express the worries that you have that generally sail through - because they have done the work!

    Good luck.
    Stalking, Courses, Gear - Moray Outfiiting Website here - Welcome
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at the Stalking Fair, Scone & Moy 2017




  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by .Skinner. View Post
    Hi all

    I'm going to be doing my DSC level 1 in mid-December, over in Essex (yes I know the Gloucester/Dorset locations would have made a lot more sense given my location but I've been itching to get on the course and that one was available! )
    My stalking experience consists of shadowing a friend on 3 stalks, the last of which I shot my first deer (a fine young roe buck); not much experience but I'm trying my best to gain more, so that I have the practical to complement the theory element that the course offers - I can then present a good case to the FEO when applying for my variation
    Anyway, I just wondered what advice you can give me for the course? I have the manual and am happy to mug up on the material in it, however I am slightly worried about the 'simulated stalk' section..... how hard is this? As I've heard if you get the slightest thing wrong, it's an immediate fail?? Is it mainly safety stuff like is there a backstop behind the target, and unloading before handing the gun to someone else??
    Also, the shooting test..... I have a .22lr and will try and practice with that, as I have extremely limited experience with a centrefire - just 4 shots with my friend's 6.5x55! (3 for him to check my accuracy at range, and 1 for that roe buck!) do you think that practice with the .22 will be enough, or should I really try and seek some more experience with fullbore guns? It's just that my friend doesn't take me out very often at all (3 times in 5 months), and I can't really afford to spend out on those 'centrefire experience' sorta days at ranges
    On that note - I'll be borrowing a gun from the course centre, and not sure what calibre that may be, I'm guessing it's likely to be a fairly common entry-level deer round like the .243?

    I better leave it there as I am rambling on a lot!! I'll leave any more questions I have for another day!

    Any help/advice is very much appreciated, cheers all!!
    Hi

    You sound exactly like i was going into my DSC1 with the exception that you have shot one more deer than i had!!!.....the main things are,read the manuals and when you think you know it all,read them again(all the questions and answers are listed in the back).....the stalk is all about safety,safety,safety,common sense all the way,dont be afraid to explain the reason for your answer/action..........the range work will be fine if you have .22 experience,nothing wrong with practicing more.....its not a walk in the park but remember that the trainer is there to help you pass and the assessor wants you to pass too,its up to you to fail if thats what you want.....

    enjoy it,theres the additional benefit of learning lots from spending time with a group of like minded folk....
    GOOD LUCK

  8. #8
    It may be pricey, but I can highly recommend the British Deer Society Ultimate Deer Data disc - the manual is in there to read up, but it also has the multiple choice exams as they are on the day - these also tell you when you've got the wrong answer and explain why, which I find helps things to stick in my head better. It also has all the questions for the "simulated stalk" randomly generated as they will be on the day and the REALLY good bit is 5 deer recognition tests, again generated at random, which test your recognition skills - I've run through those about 5-6 times each and have only seen the odd duplicate picture. I'm now getting my scores up by reading the manual over again and then trying the tests - this also gives you a really good indicator of when you are ready to do the course, once you are getting consistently high scores, you know you are ready to go for the DSC1 course - where you will get to go over everything again before the final exams anyway

    The disc is available here - http://www.bds.org.uk/product592.html

    (
    P.S. no, I don't work for the BDS )

  9. #9
    ....and if you want to recoup your money you paid for the disc you can revoke the license on your pc/laptop and sell it on to someone else. I kept mine but maybe handy for someone to know.
    By three methods we may learn wisdom:
    First, by reflection, which is noblest;
    Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
    and third by experience, which is the bitterest

  10. #10
    Thanks for your replies guys, they were very helpful each one of them very appreciated - already really happy I joined this forum, it is very similar to a fishing forum that I'm a member of - both have a top bunch of people willing to help each other out with anything!

    I think I will go ahead and order that disc, not that keen on spending the money but still, it's gonna be worth it!

    Cheers all

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