Read the manual thoroughly before attending the course...epecially the new large game regs, diseases, parasites, gun law, etc.
Do not assume that it'll be easy and everything will be covered during the course. i was surprised how many 'experts' and experienced stalkers failed on my course...mainly due to them not being prepared.
Some folks try to memorise the questions and answers at the back of the manual. This seemed mad to me as there's about 250 of the buggers!
Lastly, if you can - ensure your rifle is zero'd and practice on an actual Roe target at the distances 100, 60 & 40yds. Prone position, kneeling/sitting and standing with sticks. Use factory ammo if not a confident reloader. I'd spend at least a day practicing all 3 positions before attending the assessment....i almost screwed up because i made a crap batch of ammo. Thank god i could get a loan of some!
MJ75, having taken and passed both 1 and 2 I wish you the very best of luck. You will find the examiners very helpfull and you will have plenty of time in the classroom to go over things before they ask you to commit on paper.
Just a couple of little tips if I may. Dont clean your rifle barrel like 2 others did on our exam, you will find the rifle will shoot differently, and you may not achieve the grouping that allows for a pass.
Watch out for the photo recognition lesson, as I have said before they often put Sika in summer coat along side spotted or Monal Fallow.
And the Roe from behind is another common one. But you may not get this, but its worth watching out for. Also dont leave your rifle with the bolt in, in your car. Put the bolt in a bolt pouch on your belt, and hide the rifel out of site in its slip. This may seem like common sense, but I know on one course in Scotland where someone left it in full view in the slip on the back seat, and could have failed before he started.
Enjoy it and the best of luck, I am sure you will pass with flying colours.
The best advice I can give is be prepared and practice.
If you know you have any weaknesses then try and sort them out before the tests.
The multiple choice part is fairly easy provided you prepare properly! Just make sure you read the manual thoroughly, test and re-test yourself on the questions.
The identification part is straightforward. The only tricky one is, from memory, when they show a Sika in summer coat which can be confused with a fallow.
The safety exam comes in two parts - firstly, the theory when the examiner will ask questions which should be covered in the manual and secondly the practical part where you'll be shown targets and asked if they are safe shots or not etc.
I had an argument with my examiner. I told him that I thought a roe target hard up against a dry stone dyke was not a safe shot because of the probabilty of a ricochet - he disagreed.
As far as the marksmanship test is concerned, as others have said, make sure your rifle is zeroed.
It might sound obvious but when I did the test, there were a few people who found out on the range their rifle had lost zero from some reason and that included the "estate rifle" which the examiners brought for those who didn't have their own rifle!
I had never shot on a proper range before and found the noise of people shooting next to me extremely off putting even using ear protectors. If that is going to be a problem wait till they finished.
Practice the positions you will be firing from.
Personlly I knew that I was not too confident on the standing shots so the week before I went out and practiced so it paid off.
I also found shooting in public as it were kind of strange so concentrate.
If you are not the first through on the shooting test speak to those who shoot before you.
When I did the test they had four people shooting at one time.
The standing shot for the person on the extreme right hand side was apparently made very difficult by the ground sloping particulary badly to one side at that point and being slippy beacuse of rain hours before.
MJ75. As far as I am aware, each packet of slides is sealed and completey different from the last set. Not even the examiner knows what will be in there.
They will not be broadside deer at 60yds, some will be just the back end, poor light, etc. Having said that they will go through all this before they show you the set of examination slides. Like PeteE has said, enjoy yourself, they are not there to catch you out.
Why Ayreshire, could you not have done it at Paul lane rifle club up the M1 near Huddersfield, cos if my memeory serves me right you are from my neck of the woods, Sheffield area. Paul lane was where i did mine some years back. I did it over 5 weekends at a cost of only £150, just a thought mate.
Will be combining my assesment with some stalking as well. I keep meaning to try out Paul Lane rifle club. Would you recomend it? I've shot at the South Yorkshire police force range at Sprotborough, but it can get a little busy...
Also, can I be cheeky and ask if anyone can answer these questiond for me....
In the UK where may you release Sika into the wild?
a, Anywhere with the landowners permission.
b, Anywhere except England and Wales.
c, Not at all.
d, Anywhere except Western Islands but only if you have license.
I think it's C. But cannot find anything in the book. I know it's there but have gone blind reading the thing over and over again!!!
And, is it possible to release deer into the UK with permission from Defra?