View Poll Results: Should DSC 1 be a requirement for a deer condition on the FAC?

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  • Yes, for new certificates only

    24 13.19%
  • Yes, for all certificate renewals

    38 20.88%
  • No

    120 65.93%
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Thread: Should DSC 1 be compulsory?

  1. #1

    Should DSC 1 be compulsory?

    Deer stalking is apparently the fastest growing fieldsport. According to Home Office figures, there were 11,502 new firearm certificates granted in 2011/12, an increase of 2% from 2010/11 (following a 19% increase from 2009/10 to 2010/11). So, if there are lots of newcomers to shooting and deer stalking in particular, should the DSC 1 become a requirement for obtaining a deer stalking condition on the Firearm Certificate?

    What is the purpose of the DSC 1? According to DMQ, "DSC1 is a basic qualification for deer stalkers and managers. It is a largely knowledge based qualification which enables candidates to demonstrate their understanding of basic deer management principles and meat hygiene, and to show competence in shooting at simulated targets."

    According to the BDS "To be awarded the Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 you must demonstrate knowledge and skills in the following areas:
    • Deer biology and ecology - The life and reproductive cycles, habitat requirements and behaviour of the six species of wild deer.
    • The law - The legal basis for the use of firearms and the culling of wild deer.
    • Stalking techniques and taking the shot - A theoretical knowledge of the basis of stalking techniques, points of aim and the reaction of the deer to shot placement.
    • Deer identification - An ability to identify the six species of deer normally found in the wild in the UK, being able to distinguish between the male and female of each species in both summer and winter pelage.
    • Safety - An ability to safely handle firearms and other tools and equipment in a simulated stalking environment. This includes the use of knives and extraction equipment where appropriate.
    • Shooting - An ability to shoot accurately and consistently in a simulated stalking environment.
    • Trained Hunter - Knowledge of the inspection of carcasses and the legal requirements enabling an individual to sell venison for human consumption.


    I believe that all shooting organisations are opposed to any form of compulsory testing or DSC type qualification in order to obtain an initial grant of a firearm certificate and clearly this is not required under current firearms legislation.

    However, thinking specifically about deer stalking, is there a good argument for making a DSC 1 qualification a requirement for obtaining a deer condition on an existing FAC?

  2. #2
    I think it depends on whether the requirement is in addition of existing ones, or replaces them at least partly. If doing DSC1 (in addition to not being a violent nutjob and so) was a necessary and sufficient condition, and after that you were deemed fit to make your own decisions regarding the purchase and use of firearms, then it would be fair enough. But if it's just a tightening of current rules which are alreadt very stringent indeed, then no, it's not justified. Also, if the purpose of the licensing system is purely to ensure public safety, then knowledge of deer and so on is beyond the police's remit.

    In France for instance, once you've passed your "Permis de chasser" exam, and your doctor's countersigned your application to say you're not crazy, you can buy what you like pretty much, which seems to lead to a preference for the heavier calibres. I think that perhaps the German Jaegerpruefung is a bit surplus to requirements as it appears to be pretty much a degree course!

  3. #3
    Voted no simply because there are people out there like myself that have worked for years with deer and yet have no paper qualification.
    Having said that I will be looking to take my DSC1 in the near future as I feel that it should aid my employment chances when I'm competing against youngsters straight out of college that have such qualifications.It seems that some employers look more kindly upon paper than experience

  4. #4
    This is rather confusing the issue between whether DSC1 is a good thing, from my own personal perspective as a recreational stalker it most definately is,and what should be a legal requirement.

    Collectively the UK shooting community is IMO amongst the most ridiculously over regulated and restricted in the world and we have no need of having our shooting activities subject to even more bureaucratic controls. atb Tim

  5. #5
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdix View Post
    It seems that some employers look more kindly upon paper than experience
    The sad reality is that paper qualifications can be measured against a nationally defined and agreed standard, whereas experience cannot.

    BTW, voted no as well, as whilst I would encourage anyone contemplating training I don't believe it should be compulsory.

    ​willie_gunn
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  6. #6
    I was trying to differentiate this from anything regarding the initial grant or renewal of the FAC itself and focussing on deer and deer stalking...

    For example, even in America with far more liberal firearm legislation than in the UK or anywhere else in Europe, there is still a requirement for a Hunters Safety Test. Just thinking about the DSC 1, only 2 out of the 7 elements listed above are about safety and shooting, the rest is about deer knowledge which I would argue is a good thing for anyone involved with deer to have demonstrated, regardless of their many years of experience (or bad habits!)...
    Last edited by JabaliHunter; 07-06-2013 at 13:17.

  7. #7
    Not forgetting the trained hunter status in order to qualify for the meat handling 'hunter exemption'

  8. #8
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    • Safety - An ability to safely handle firearms and other tools and equipment in a simulated stalking environment. This includes the use of knives and extraction equipment where appropriate.
    • Shooting - An ability to shoot accurately and consistently in a simulated stalking environment.
    • Trained Hunter - Knowledge of the inspection of carcasses and the legal requirements enabling an individual to sell venison for human consumption.


    This is my problem with DSC1. Above is just laughable. It doesn't go nearly far enough

    'An ability to safely handle firearms and other tools and equipment in a simulated stalking environment.' Walking round a step up field doesn't prove jack-s==t
    'An ability to shoot accurately and consistently in a simulated stalking environment.' Paper targets in a field are not a stalking environment
    'Knowledge of the inspection of carcasses' Pictures are no substitute for hands on work

    DSC1 should give the ability to own a rifle, DSC2 to be out on your own with it.
    DSC1 compulsory, yes!!
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  9. #9
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JabaliHunter View Post
    Deer stalking is apparently the fastest growing fieldsport. According to Home Office figures, there were 11,502 new firearm certificates granted in 2011/12, an increase of 2% from 2010/11 (following a 19% increase from 2009/10 to 2010/11).
    Do we know how many of these FAC's relate to deer stalking, or are we presupposing here that every FAC = another deer stalker?

    Would be much more useful to know what calibre rifles these covered!

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  10. #10
    Maybe a DSC Lite then, to focus on the safety & shooting aspects? "FAC Theory & Practical Test". Only required for new FAC applications

    Like the driving test:
    Part 1. Theory Test - x% Pass Mark. Pass and move onto Part 2. Fail and retake
    Part 2. Practical Test - ie DSC Shooting test

    DSC1&2 is then at your own discretion as you might not want a rifle to stalk anyway!
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