Well-Known Member
What are your views on the BDS ?

Here are what i have seen and been told at BDS events.

BDS is a deer welfare org ? BUT most members are rec stalkers !

BDS likes to make money from its members and repays them with a magazine and pushing for stalkers to need more training/exams

I could go on but What do you all think ??

Bandit Country

Well-Known Member
It's a cliche, but the BDS does what is says on the tin - it is a charity promoting the welfare of deer. I am slightly bemused by folk who expect something in return for supporting a charity - the whole idea of giving to charity is that it is giving not taking. I give to the RNLI but I don't expect them to launch everytime I go out on a boat. I give to the air ambulance but don't expect a helicopter ride everytime I have to go to hospital.

I am a member because I like to think I am helping to support deer welfare. I also find the research undertaken by the Society and published in Deer is interesting and informative and helps to increase my knowledge of what I believe are fascinating animals.

TBH I'd rather give my money to the BDS than Barnados - does that make me a bad person? :lol:

If you don't like the BDS don't give them any money, don't join the Society and don't use them as your DSC assessment centre of choice.


Well-Known Member
There has been quite allot of negative comment about the BDS and BASC on this site and I would like to clarify a point that mystifies me. I understand (from previous posts) that the BDS is a charity. If this is indeed the case I am unsure as to why people would expect it to behave any differently than some recent posts describe. It is just not possible to imagine that a charity would retain its charitable status by championing the rights of shooters. It may believe that killing deer with a rifle is as humane a method as is possible and therefore try and support this method of deer management but clearly this is merely a part of deer management (a necessary evil) rather than something to be undertaken as a sport. The concept that a charity would support an activity which results in the death of an animal for sporting purposes I find ludicrous. I am not political at all and am a member of BASC for the insurance and for no other reason, but having been a member of this site for a long time and read many of the comments I cannot think of a good reason for being a BDS member. I like other forms of shooting as well as stalking so why would I join an organisation which has to play politics to retain its tax advantages.


Even if you look at membership at it's most basic - you get insurance and a few magazines a year out of it.

I've also been on range days and displays run by the BDS so I think you get a pretty reasonable return for your membership.


Well-Known Member
I am at a loss sometimes of the aims and objectives of the BDS. I can see that if they are supporting the welfare of deer, then the way forward may be to encourage people to do courses and therefore cull more efficiently.
Sometimes the DCS make a comment or a statement and the BDS condemn them at every turn. The DCS cannot be wrong all of the time. I have never heard when they agree with the DCS or if they support something that they have achieved.
This latest one of trying to make every stalker in Scotland DSC 2 qualified in partnership is worrying. Also the banning of shotguns for deer management purposes! Where did that come from, I certainly dont remember being asked about that through the membership. I suppose instead of using a shotgun to control deer near a carriageway (A9), it is better to have them run down by a vehicle causing deaths on roads and multiple long term suffering deer.

I am a member of the BDS, but some of their actions I think come from the top and are certainly not what the majority of members think.

How long will I be a member!!!!


Well-Known Member
I really have a poor opinion of the BDS in terms of any benefit AT ALL that it offers the stalker.

I would go further and equate joining it or financially supporting it as seems about as useful as a game shooter subscribing to the RSPB.

The BDS is NOT an organisation that has done anything to assist the stalker, IMHO, indeed some of its input to Government in the past and even today has been positively hostile to the stalker or smallholder.

I really do not understand why stalkers seek to give it any legitimacy by belonging to it.


Well-Known Member
It is a fact that if all stalker BDS members left, there membership book would shrink dramatically.

Ah, but then they could bring in DMQ's for photographers to ensure the continuation of the gravy train that stalkers supply.


Site Staff
BDS is a registered charity and so therefore cannot run a profit making business, although it can own a business and except from that business gift aid of up to 80% of its profits.

I am a member of BDS for the insurance and because I enjoy deer, and hope that the BDS will speak out in the defence of deer, when so many others such as SNH, DC, FC do not.

However I am also aware that they are not everyones cup of tea, so to speak and in general they do not get involved with the whys and where for's of stalking and deer management as much as most folk think they should or do when joining.

But unlike BASC they are not paying a great many fat cat salaries and they also have a share in DMQ level 1 and 2. It will be interesting to see how the present credit crunch affects both organisations membership numbers, as ever more folk look for the best deal for their shooting insurance.

I am also with the NGO and I have the same insurance cover with them as BASC produces for £65, which i think is the currant membership cost. If it isnt I am sure someone will tell me :oops:


Well-Known Member
While i agree with some of what you say i have a few questions ?

Why are the BDS insisting all of the RCO's complete the SSS [ for MOD ranges] even if the range is private

How is that helping deer ?

Who is getting the cash from the new course ?

How much are the staff at BDS paid ?

It is a democratic country and everyone choses the org that suits them, One org for all is Not always the best policy.

Basc while i strongly agree the membership is expensive. How much use is the NGO for firearms law help , Gun Dog help ?

I have never used the NGO but might as i have no experience of them


Well-Known Member
BASC is now £60 - £65.00 a year, been a member for 25 years or so, they will not be getting my cash on renewal, NGO or SGA can have mine.


Site Staff
Splash, in answer to your questions about the BDS I have no idea. All I can tell you is that a charity is not allowed to run a money, profit making enterprise it is against charitable law. But it can own a business providing it does not financially support that business in anyway. I have no idea what the BDS pay their small team of people, what makes you think I would know such things ?

All I will say is that BASC have a large salary bill to meet each month, and have many overheads, so therefore the money needs to come from somewhere. ie your pocket.

I do not shoot ranges anymore, and have no interest in them as a rule. So I cant comment about range officers :oops: I agree with your comment about a democracy, thats why I put "not everyones cup of tea" with regards to BDS.

As a democracy I therefore choose not to give my money to BASC. I would rather support the NGO for the same insurance.


Well-Known Member

Sorry i did not mean to imply you knew the all the answers the question was open to all .
But does any one know much of the BDS's money go's on the staff.

What i was trying to get across was why implement rules on ranges that are not needed ?

And apart from insurance what assistance is given from the ngo ? This is for you as i said i know little of what the ngo offer, or how much it costs.


Well-Known Member
I'm a member of SGA, NGO, BASC and BDS ,oh and CA and Country Sports Workers Union.
I think I'll have to cull some of the direct debits!!

As a BDS member I'm not sure what they realy do for me, I suppose with any membership led organisation , if you don't like whats being done then you are in a position to shout out and get it changed.


Well-Known Member
As has been said - as an organization promoting the welfare of the deer herd, and thus your stalking...... perhaps its more a question of what you can do for the BDS! :)

I'm a member here in the SW and know that at branch level there is a huge commitment towards ensuring stalkers get any assistance and training if needed. There is also a genuine interest and love for deer amongst the bulk of the membership. That makes me feel like a part of something that does not exist purely as a money making operation.

Through the membership, I have made many excellent friends and some very useful connections in the 'deer' world.

I do question the direction the society is headed, as well as some of the pronouncements that come out of the head office. However, I'm impressed that they are still able to buck the trend and come down firmly on items such as calibre choice for deer species.

Different folks, different strokes.

There is not a 'one size fits all' option in the UK - but I do continue my BASC membership on the basis that I remain part of the largest group in the country. Important if we are ever to wield any political clout.

Rgds Ian :)