BDS Deer Management Course

Cranborne

Well-Known Member
Without tempting fate, I hope to complete my Level 2 this year and am thinking about booking a place on the above course. It used to be held over 4 days but is now 3. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has done this course and whether you found it worthwhile.
 

sh1kar

Well-Known Member
Without tempting fate, I hope to complete my Level 2 this year and am thinking about booking a place on the above course. It used to be held over 4 days but is now 3. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has done this course and whether you found it worthwhile.

yes did it a few years ago. Really enjoyed it and learned quite a bit
S
 

Ooops

Well-Known Member
Thank you

I was wondering how one differentiates between the various offerings.
Specifically what are the differences were between the various organisations, their courses and their relative value to the novice in terms of gaining stalking experience, firearms experience, FAC grant, land owner permissions etc?

For example this morning I was reading about PDS1 Certificate & Proficient Deer Stalker, DSC1 & 2.
Where does one start?
 

Cranborne

Well-Known Member
@Ooops. Personally, I'd suggest getting some practical experience of stalking, whether by accompanying friends or booking a few paid outings, as a first step. I would then speak to my FEO; training isn't mandatory, but some police forces prefer new applicants to hold a relevant qualification. DSC1 is probably the most widely held amongst stalkers. DSC2 is often stipulated as a condition for joining a syndicate, I think it is also stated by the FC as a desired qualification if applying to work as a ranger or for leasing stalking rights. BDS, BASC and the NGO all offer both DSC1 and 2. I don't have any experience of the Practical Deer Stalking Certificate so can't comment on how it compares.
 

jcampbellsmith

Well-Known Member
Without tempting fate, I hope to complete my Level 2 this year and am thinking about booking a place on the above course. It used to be held over 4 days but is now 3. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has done this course and whether you found it worthwhile.
It's a very good course and as commented above it's not just about stalking, but showing how deer integrate into land and forest management. If you enquire with the BDS or Jelen, I'm sure they will send you their current syllabuses and recommended reading lists. At least one Forum member has done both courses. It's a while since I did the BDS course, but I think a couple of the attendees weren't stalkers.
Regards
JCS
 

Ooops

Well-Known Member
DSC1 is probably the most widely held amongst stalkers.

DSC2 is often stipulated as a condition for joining a syndicate, I think it is also stated by the FC as a desired qualification if applying to work as a ranger or for leasing stalking rights.

BDS, BASC and the NGO all offer both DSC1 and 2. I don't have any experience of the Practical Deer Stalking Certificate so can't comment on how it compares.
Awesome, thanks & apologies for the distraction
To be honest it was a non provocative way of asking about the legitimacy of those other than DSC
DSC appears to be the way go

I hope you find your level 2 course enjoyable & worthwhile.
 

London Jaeger

Well-Known Member
Thank you

I was wondering how one differentiates between the various offerings.
Specifically what are the differences were between the various organisations, their courses and their relative value to the novice in terms of gaining stalking experience, firearms experience, FAC grant, land owner permissions etc?

For example this morning I was reading about PDS1 Certificate & Proficient Deer Stalker, DSC1 & 2.
Where does one start?
I have done both DSC1 and PDS1. I found both useful and enjoyable.

From my experience, the PDS1 is better for the novice and excellent for one with little or no stalking experience (I did it prior to the DSC1). It lays out a good foundation for deer stalking in the theoretical side and there is a shooting proficency test after. I found the shooting is better than that of the DSC1 as it has one-on-one with coaching before. This mean you learn some technique and are given ample time to practice and get comfotable with the rifle before proceeding to the test.

The DSC1 is better for those with more experience. The theoretical side goes into to alot more detail that the PDS1 and the test is certainly more challenging. In fact I would say you get more out of it if you have a number of outings under your belt and already have basic knowledge of deer and stalking to build on (though that is not to say someone who has never been stalking would not learn alot and pass the course). The shooting is just a test with no coaching, though you do get three warm up/zeroing check shoots.

That being said, I think they have re-jigged the DSC1 since I did it two years ago so things may be different now.

Edited for being dyslexic and writing DCS1 rather than DSC1
 
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Ooops

Well-Known Member
One starts with FAQ – Deer Management Qualification and one ignores PDS.
Regards
JCS
unless I'm mistaken there doesn't appear to be any oversight which begs the questions "Who legitimises these courses & the content?"

I have done both DCS1 and PDS1. I found both useful and enjoyable.

From my experience, the PDS1 is better for the novice and excellent for one with little or no stalking experience (I did it prior to the DCS1). It lays out a good foundation for deer stalking in the theoretical side and there is a shooting proficency test after. I found the shooting is better than that of the DCS1 as it has one-on-one with coaching before. This mean you learn some technique and are given ample time to practice and get comfotable with the rifle before proceeding to the test.

The DCS1 is better for those with more experience. The theoretical side goes into to alot more detail that the PDS1 and the test is certainly more challenging. In fact I would say you get more out of it if you have a number of outings under your belt and already have basic knowledge of deer and stalking to build on (though that is not to say someone who has never been stalking would not learn alot and pass the course). The shooting is just a test with no coaching, though you do get three warm up/zeroing check shoots.

That being said, I think they have re-jigged the DCS1 since I did it two years ago so things may be different now.
Thanks, that's very informative
 

Essex stalker

Well-Known Member
Without tempting fate, I hope to complete my Level 2 this year and am thinking about booking a place on the above course. It used to be held over 4 days but is now 3. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has done this course and whether you found it worthwhile.
As others have said don't think its all going to be about stalking, there is a lot in it about farming deer, deer fencing, feed rates for deer, eco systems etc, damage that deer do, personally I found it a very enjoyable way to spend 4 days and certainly learnt a lot from it. I'd certainly recommend it
 

Cranborne

Well-Known Member
It's really to increase my knowledge of the why's and wherefore's of deer management. I've been stalking for about 20 years, but am keen to learn more about deer in general.
 

willie_gunn

Well-Known Member
unless I'm mistaken there doesn't appear to be any oversight which begs the questions "Who legitimises these courses & the content?"
@Ooops

Let me offer my thoughts and observations.

In brief, Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ) was established as a not-for-profit organisation in the late 1990's (1997 I believe), and the founding members included a number of interested parties such as BDS, BASC, Forestry Commission, etc. It took the previous National Stalkers Safety Certificate (NSSC) and designed, and continues to manage, both the DSC1 and DSC2 as nationally recognised qualifications for deer stalking and management.

In the past, the successful completion of DSC1 resulted in the candidate being recognised as having "Trained Hunter" status, thereby meeting the requirements of the Food Hygiene regulations 2004 and allowing you to supply game to a game dealer. This made it a very popular course. However this is no longer the case, and "Trained Hunter" status now only applies to successful candidates of DSC2.

DMQ does not itself run training courses - rather think of them as setting the standard and providing the curriculum, as well as assessing the providers and then reviewing the need for any ongoing changes with their stakeholders. These stakeholders include a number of supporting organisations. Hence you will see DSC1 (and DSC2) courses offered by a wide variety of providers, so not just BASC, BDS and NGO but also a whole bunch of commercial companies.

I haven't done PDS1, so cannot comment in detail on the contents, but they are a commercial organisation. Their curriculum looks to cover much of what is in DSC1, along with some additions such as "Module 10: Buying your equipment and getting out deer stalking". The PDS1 teaches "some of the practical elements involved in becoming a trained hunter" but - like the DSC1 - does not mean you come out of the course as a "Trained Hunter".


If you look on their website, County Deer Stalking say that:

"All our trainers are highly experienced professional, full-time deer managers and either Approved Verifiers (AV) or Approved Witnesses (AW) in 'Deer Management Qualifications'."

So County Deer Stalking themselves use DMQ as the benchmark for their own trainers, since Approved Verifiers and Approved Witnesses are titles bestowed by DMQ.

The PDS1 looks very interesting, and clearly they have identified a market, so good luck to them. The more people learning about deer and deer stalking the better!

Just to complete the set, LANTRA is the awarding body for the land-based industries in the UK and Ireland. LANTRA offer their own Level 2 Award in Wild Game Meat Hygiene, successful completion of which would also result in "Trained Hunter" status. They do this through a variety of providers that you can find on their website: Lantra Awards - Level 2 Award in Wild Game Meat Hygiene

As to which to choose, I would suggest that if you want to do a course that has stood the test of time - and that you can refer to simply by its name and that every other stalker will recognise - do the DSC1.

If, on the other hand, you find the PDS1 variation to be attractive then by all means do that. The only down side I can see is that you may find yourself having to explain to people that the PDS1 is effectively a "DSC1 equivalent". That may not be important to you.

At the end of the day it is your money and your choice.
 
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