Deer Stalking Level 1

We are now able to offer the above qulaification; please call to register your interest!


Why would I want the Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1?

Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ) exists to promote high standards in the humane management of wild deer. This objective is supported by the deer industry and is achieved by providing candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and competence through Deer Stalking Certificates: DSC1 and DSC2.

DSC1 is a basic qualification for deer stalkers and managers. It is a largely knowledge based qualification which enables candidates to demonstrate their understanding of basic deer management principles and meat hygiene, ability to manage deer safely and to show competence in shooting.

Landowners are increasingly asking for a minimum of DSC1 before they let people stalk on their land, with many more, like the Forestry Commission, insisting on DSC2.

The DSC1 also allows you to sell your venison to an approved game handling establishment as it gives you “trained hunter” status.

In Scotland, the deer industry has agreed to promote the voluntary uptake of DSC1 to avoid the possibility of government making it mandatory for anyone who wishes to stalk unaccompanied. This would include farmers, crofters and other land managers, not just recreational or professional stalkers.

The DSC1 assessment consists of 5 modules:

1. Written. This has 50 multiple choice questions which are taken from a bank of written questions. To pass, at least 40 questions must be answered correctly.

2. Visual. Candidates are shown 20 images covering the 6 species of wild deer in the UK. The species and the sex have to be identified for each image, and both must be correct to gain a mark. To pass, candidates must obtain at least 16 marks out of the possible 20.

3. Safety. Candidates are walked round a course during which they are shown 4 deer targets and asked to specify whether they would shoot at them or not. Candidates are also asked a number of questions on safety, and all have to be answered correctly.

4. Shooting. This has 2 parts. First, the candidate must put 3 shots inside a 4 inch circle on a zero target from 100 yards. Three attempts at this are allowed in any one day. When that has been achieved, the candidate can then have 3 attempts (in any one day) to put:
• (a) 2 shots into the killing area of a deer target from 100 yards (in any position using normal stalking aids such as rucksack or bipod);
• (b) 2 shots into the killing area of a deer target from 70 yards sitting or kneeling (again normal aids such as bipod or sticks may be used);
• (c) 2 shots into the killing area of a deer target from 40 yards standing (sticks may be used).

5. Game Meat Hygiene. This has 40 multiple choice questions taken from a bank of hygiene questions. These cover areas such as recognising normal and abnormal behaviour, common diseases, signs of ill-health, possible sources of contamination and hygienic working techniques. There are also food hygiene questions on risks to human health, use of veterinary medicines on wild deer, food safety and notifiable diseases. To pass, at least 32 questions must be answered correctly.

There are a couple of options - you can attend a training day, coupled with some home study and attend the assessment day or you can just go for the home study and attend the assessment day.

The training day tends to cover the theoretical elements, as most people attempting it are generally proficient in shooting.

We try to be flexible, so ideally we can come to your location if you have a suitable room and somewhere we can shoot.