Supervision clauses

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Richard Parsons

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

Can anyone give me a clue on this one entry on my FAC...
'the .243 and .308 rifle can be used only under the supervision of an 'open' certificate holder' ( for stalking ). I have passed DSC1, have invites to stalk, use a .22 and .223 unsupervised etc, so who knows?

Some say ' within arms reach ' others say ' within sight and earshot'.
My friend , who has an 'open' FAC , says he used to have a supervisor at work once but he did not stand over him 24/7!!!! I think with my above credentials this clause is a bit 'nanny' don't you?

Any comments please! Thanks in advance.


Well-Known Member
This is a condition dreamed up by the police in the last few years, that isn't recommended by the Home Office.

A friend was told he would get this condition, I was his "supervisor" and the police contacted my on his application.

1/ I told them that it wasn't a home office recommended condition.

2/ Asked what criteria they would use to remove it, 3 outings, 3 months etc etc - they hadn't a clue.

3/ Asked how he could undertake humane dispatch (a possiability where he stalks/works).

He already had DSC1 and they gave him a certificate without the supervision condition.

Your suggestions on what is supervision are equally valid, telephone supervision perhaps from another country, you could email pictures.

We must all resist the extension of the law in this way, it isn't what the police are paid to do!


Well-Known Member

This clause is perfectly reasonable. It is not a legal requirement as you say but it is a great piece of common sense. The supervision needs to be direct, within sight and hearing of the supervisor. The condition will be removed when your supervisor thinks you are ready.

I find it dificult to understand why so many people have a problem with this. look at the flipside- guys get firearm certificates and go out in the field deerstalking with no experience and knowledge, use the wrong rifles, the wrong bullets on the wrong deer inhumanely.

The DSC1 is a useful course but it needs to be taken for what it is- a theory based course run in a classroom with a small element of shooting. this is no substitute for experience.

I mentor people quite often. I have no problem in doing this at all. if i can share my experience then it is to the benefit of stalking. I also will write letters to the police when i feel it is appropriate.


Andy L

Well-Known Member

I would generally agree with you although in this case, it sounds like Richard has got plenty of experience with firearms which he is allowed to use without supervision and he has his DSC1 which means that he should know roughly what to do with a deer once he has shot it and know which one to shoot at what time of year. I guess that the safety issues are the main reason for supervision and yet Richard can use his .223 with no supervision at all. I am afraid that it does not make sense to me and I would fight it.
I have never been under a supervision order but can imagine that it is a real pain in the backside. I like to be able to go stalking when the mood takes me (or when the wife lets me! :lol: ). Having to liase with someone else everytime I want to take the rifle out of the cabinet would not suit me at all.


Well-Known Member

of course what i failed to say is the condition should be used on the discretion of the feo and not per se. But we are not in the position to say without having a decent conversation with the applicant. This also brings up the training and experience of the FEO question.

We don't know from here what richards experience is. It maybe that he shoots his other rifles on a range? it mybe that he has them for shooting small vermin and the .223 for shooting crows and foxes at longer ranges? As we know there are quite a lot of additional demands placed on the stalker.

i believe it is a valid and shortlived condition which can soon be removed with a letter.

my advice would be to go stalking with your mentor and learn from him or her. Use them as much as you can, use thier knowledge and experience. Value the learning you gain from them and when you are out on your own it will stand you in good stead. if you kick back and say you won't have one you can't learn from thier experience and it will hamper your developement as a stalker.


Richard Parsons

Well-Known Member
Many thanks one and all.

Great advice guys, I agree with all viewpoints. Ill just get my friend to make a call or drop a line. Funny how I can shoot a small fox in the dark on my own, but cant shoot a big deer in the daylight, but, hey! Thanks again. :D


Well-Known Member
i have the same on my ticket, i had never had a fac before and went straight for a 243 for deer stalking and fox control. i can see both sides of this. i have had a shotgun cert for nearly 20 years, and have used an estate rifle. it is a pain having to keep asking your mate to go out all the time,but i was granted a fac first time of asking so i am greatfull for that!!!


Well-Known Member
Hi Guys,
There is another aspect to this 'supervision' thing which is quite often overlooked.
I hear folk say 'I've shot Foxes at night and thousands of Rabitts' etc why can't I go stalking on my own.
Well for one thing if a fox/rabbit is hit it is normally down and dead, no problem.
The mentor or supervisor comes in handy when the shot is taken and the novice Deer Stalker says 'damn, I missed that' or 'blimy how did that happen' when he sees the deer run off.
The adrenalin rush is not quite the same in a fox/rabbit as in a Deer.
In the past I have found perfectly shot dead deer just inside wood lines because the Stalker thought he'd missed when it ran off.
Until a new Stalker has shot a few, he will not be able to recognise reaction to shot so a Mentor is a good thing in most cases.
Another thing as well is, that most stalkers get in to stalking thro a friend that has already been stalkin so it would be more enjoyable to stalk with him for a while anyway.


Well-Known Member

i agree wholeheartedly with the last post.

I am mentoring a chap at the moment who is a great shot, a really nice chap and has plenty of shooting experience. I hope i can pass my experience on to him. He took a buck with me, i was really glad to be there and share that with him. But the "how to" and the shot reaction and "what should we do now?" are all areas i helped with. He also got a bit of buck fever and i just talked him through it and he took a good shot and made a clean kill.

What is best is that i have made a great friend.



Well-Known Member
I have no problem with mentoring, we can always learn, and it should be the individuals choice.

Read the FAC Acts, were is this the Police’s role/mandate? DSC1 is as you say theory, but a good grounding and what is available for the fox shooters who use 22 centre fire rifles and do they get mentoring conditions.


Well-Known Member
The whole system is full of inconsistencies such as a friend of mine in North Yorks applied for a .22rf, was persuaded by the FEO that visited him to have a .243 and the certificate came back with no restrictions on it whatsoever. So a novice shooter has an open ticket, a recipe for disaster.

What happens if someone under supervision screws up and someone gets hurt? Who is responsible? What is the comeback on the supervisor?

I agree that some form of probationery period should be undertaken but it needs to be thought through. People are being subjected to supervision orders without any real structure to them.

It's a good idea but needs to be consistent and meaningful, not ad hoc and at a whim of individual FLO's.



Well-Known Member
I was talking to a keeper friend in England a couple of years ago. His son aquirred his first rifle and my friend said that he had to have a mentor. My first thoughts were what is it coming to. Now you need some one to baby sit you when you go stalking. It was not like that when i started stalking at the end of the 60's. Thats the point its not like the end of the 60's. There were very few of us stalking then. Deer were still looked on as vermin in many peoples eyes. We still shot them on cock days with shot guns.
Today there are many more people stalking. Deer are held higher regard, as they should be. The country side is much more crowded from dawn till dusk by the general public. And of course many of the deer shot end up in the food chain to the public here and abroad. So the proper handling of the carcase is important. In the main i think The DSC's are a good idea . It worries me the police have made it a requirement to have/do DSC to get a FAC. Being a voluntary test and the law do's not require you to take it to get a FAC.
EMcC Is quite right in what he said about people taking shots at deer and just saying i think i missed and walking away. I have found several deer with my dog that people thought they missed.


Distinguished Member
Having a superviser can be a nightmare AndyL, but it`s also a blessing for many. I`ve been lucky, Mrs basil is happy that i`m happy and as long as i come home safe it stays that way. I`m on this earth once and i`m going to enjoy it. My superviser is single, lives for his stalking so he`s nearly always available.
This business about how far away has your superviser got to be, is in the eye of the trained stalker, your superviser. Well, i think so anyway.
Look at it this way, if any one of you on open certificates had a doubt about someones ability to handle a rifle, would you take him/her under your wing?
On my permission, and probably many others, it is impossible for two people to stalk a deer, therefore we do discuss the situation before the stalk begins, i`m always in sight of Andy but how do we know that i`m in hearing range? we don`t. It all comes down to one thing, well, two really, common sense and realising that once that bullet is on it`s way there`s no calling it back.
I have a few deer under my belt now and if i`m honest i would say my gralloching needs a little more work. In general i would say i`m almost ready to go solo but i just as well pick the brains of my superviser while i can or until he`s had enough of me phoning him!!


Well-Known Member

Looks like another case of the upholders of the law wishing to make the laws, It's well overdue that this situation was given a good shake out, I often wonder how things would look under a national police force, how would the wannabe law makers operate then? :confused:


Well-Known Member

RICHARD for the last year i have been a supervisor to a chap with a similar condition on his FAC.
Basically he was only able to stalk if i or another open fac holder was within sight and earshot of him.
He has just been sighned off after 14 months and has become a very competent stalker and friend over this time.
OH and if it makes you feel any better he is very high in the police force CID to be more precise so you are not the only one.