DSC1 Assessment report


Well-Known Member
Just thought I'd write up my experience of doing the DSC1.

I'd best first of all cover my personal stalking experience prior to the DSC1. I was lucky enough to ghillie for 2 years for a pal so I had lots of open hill stalking experience. I also had shot a few sika locally with friends who had asked me out. On all occasions everyone was keen to teach me and I was shown how to gralloch, discussed shot placement etc etc. On the back of this experience I decided to do just a weekend DSC1 course, with the first day revision and the 2nd day the assessment. I am an avid reader and I had done my homework with the course book. I'd read it , highlighted key sections, written up a notebook as I went along and also worked through all the question banks.

The revision day started with safety best practice and range work. It was extremely useful and gave me an understanding of the level required and we also had a chance to practice shooting from the various positions. Everyone shot well but I did not shoot as well as I know I can and I had 2 shots that I knew I pulled and I got some guidance on preventing that habit.

It was the back to the classroom for deer id with pointers on distinguishing between common confusions, ie sika hind/fallow hind. This was followed with help on areas of the general question bank and hygiene bank that we felt we were weak on. Everyone had done their homework fortunately!

The assessment on the final day was definitely done under exam conditions through out but I got the feeling that the assessors didn't want to trip anyone up. The safety questions were done whilst walking to the range and the shooting went off for all of us without a hitch.

The slides were nice and clear with no pressure of time. The multiple choice were as expected though I can't remember having a question on season?!

Result- Deer id 20/20, general paper 46/50 and hygiene 39/40. With a pass on the safety and shooting I achieved the required level.

Thoughts post the assessment are its not as hard as we let ourselves think it is and that I learned a lot from going through it. Top of the list for the weekend would be meeting like minded people.



Site Staff
Nice write up, and it highlights the need for preparation.

Well done on your pass.



Well-Known Member

Congratulations on gaining your DSC1.

You make some interesting comments as well - I also found the team on the course I did very encouraging, assisting people as necessary on the various elements of the course to make sure we all passed.



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Well done, get your level2 application in now, then if your out with a level 2 holder he can witness 2 of your stalks for the portfolio.


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Great write up. I thought I may as well add my experiences from my course this weekend. May be it can turn into a thread that could help others thinking of going for their DSC1?

Background/experience. Easy....none! Target shooter and fox/vermin shooter for 20+yrs. Have been offered some stalking so thought I had better get some proper training. Myself and a pal booked on a 2 day course with Ronnie Rose up at Eskdalemuir in Scotland. This was chosen on purely convenience as I was already in the lake district that week so it was easy to pop up to Scotland for the course.

Ronnie recomended the Donington DSC1 training manual so we sent off for them and started getting stuck into reading them around a month before the course.

Attending were: a chap in his late 50's who has his own farm in Scotland and has been stalking for 40 yrs, same chap's son in law (also a farmer and regular stalker), a 30 something chap who has his own stalking syndicate in scotland, a young lad who wanted a job in deer managment and needed the qualification, a fox shooter from the midlands, my pal and myself

Day one started with a lecture on why deer had to be managed and some background on Ronnie,and his father and the set up they run. We were given lots of information on ecology and how to find a natural balance between deer numbers and the habitat.

Next was on to the range, set in the forest a couple of miles away. Like Dave's experience, the majority of people attending shot much worse than they expected. Of the 7 attending the course, 5 ended up using the estate rifle for one or more of the shooting tests! The range officer was very helpful and did his utmost to help with any shooting problems. It was very informal and the only pressure was put on by the shooters themselves!

During the shooting tests, each candidate was taken off on a walk around the forest by Ronnie and the safety assessment was conducted. No trick questions, just bread and butter safety questions and a little deer recognition/seasons thrown in for good measure.

Lunch was followed by another couple of lectures on deer management, shot placement, deer ecology and a little on hygiene.

Day two started with a review of day one and then a lecture on hygiene. This was followed immediatley by the exam.
Next was a lecture on deer recognition and then the exam on recognition. Of the 20 slides, only one was what could be classed as "sneeky". The rest were easy enough if you concentrated and plenty of time was given on each slide.
After lunch we had a review of all things we had covered and then we sat the general exam.

The whole course was delivered in a relaxed and informal manner, even extending to easy chairs for us all! Only when taking exams were we placed in a formal setting with tables, chairs and silence etc.

Everyone passed the course. The only slip ups tended to be on deer ID and the general paper.
My results were hygiene 40/40, deer ID 20/20 and general 47/50 with passes on safety and shooting. I need to put more time into my antler casting/velvet seasons! I had only one question on seasons.

The only reason I did so (unexpectedly!) well was that I had worked hard on the course book before attending. If there is one thing I brought back from the course, its that you HAVE to put the graft in before arriving at the course. More so for total novices like myself

I suppose all people who pass the DSC1 would recomend the centre they took the course at, and the book they used, so I wont blub on too much about how wonderful my experience was. I did hear some frightening stories of a centre that "specialises" in 4 day courses and how they spread the work out though (from the guy in the midlands).

I registered for the DSC2 before I left. If you register same day, you get a big discount on sign up costs and you have 3 years to complete the portfolio.


Well-Known Member

Congratulations as well on getting your DSC1! Although, as you say, everyone tends to recommend their own assessment course, I've heard nothing but good things about Eskdalemuir and Ronnie Rose.

Well done on registering for your DSC2. I certainly learned a lot of very valid practical information from my DSC2 AW's and CW's. I took my time in gaining experience during the accompanied stalks, sometimes leading the stalk and sometimes being guided. With three years to submit the portfolio there's little advantage to be gained by rushing the whole thing.


DeerStalker Brent

Well-Known Member
Yes it was a great weekend and im glad i did it with ronnie rose. Now im working on doing my DSC2 so i can get work doing deer management and get on some more syndicates.
I would recomend Ronnie if you are thinking about doing your DSC1 because of his great knowledge and experience.

Regards Brent