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Online training for your DSC 1

The Deer Stalking Certificate: Level 1

This is established by Deer Management Qualifications as an entry level qualification to enable candidates to demonstrate their understanding of basic deer management principles and to show competence in legally, safely and humanely culling deer, and dealing with carcasses hygienically.

It is becoming widely accepted by landowners and forestry management companies (including The Forestry Commission) as a measure of competency, and is often demanded by them when granting permission to shoot.

It is a ‘knowledge based’ qualification although there are practical elements to the test including rifle safety, safety awareness whilst out stalking and some elements of fieldcraft.

What does the DSC 1 involve?
The DSC1 covers:

1. Deer biology and ecology.
2. Legislation.
3. Stalking techniques and taking the shot.
4. Deer identification.
5. Safety.
6. Shooting.
7. Large Game Meat Hygiene.

Testing is done through 5 sections

Written module
This has 50 multiple choice questions which are taken from a bank of questions.

To pass, at least 40 questions must be answered correctly.

Our lessons includes all of the questions along with all of the actual multiple choice options ….. and the answers!

You will be learning exactly what you will be given in your test… how good is that???



Visual module
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.

Our lessons includes over 100 deer identification slides.  They don’t just tell you the species and gender,  they also show you the relevant identification points in that particular picture.  You learn how to actually identify a deer even if you can’t see the whole animal. This is important as you cant always see everything when you are out stalking and also because the DMQ do not allow us to use the same pictures as they do….that would make passing the test far too easy!

DSCTraining.org Deer ID Slide

Safety Module
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 of safety, and all have to be answered correctly.

You cannot learn this by reading books (or websites)… you need to get some grass under your feet,  have a walk in the woods with an experienced stalker.  You don’t just need to know about things such as backstops… you need to fully understand them. You need to be comfortable and confident when handling a “loaded” rifle… how to cross a stream or climb over a fence… how to pass the rifle to somebody else… and how to receive it back again.

Our bank of lessons does include guidance about how the DSC testing is conducted and what to be aware of… but you simply cannot beat experience!



Shooting Module

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:

  • 2 shots into the chest killing area of a DMQ deer target from 100m. The shooting position is prone or from a simulated highseat (if available) normal stalking aids such as rucksack or bipod may be used.
  • 2 shots into the chest killing area of a DMQ deer target from 70m. The shooting position may be standing, kneeling, or sitting. sitting or kneeling. As before, normal aids such as bipods or sticks may be used.
  • 2 shots into the humane despatch (head) killing area of a deer target from 10 -20m. The shooting position is standing, and sticks may be used. Please note the range for this discipline may vary due to individual range requirements. Shooting safety glasses must be worn when taking this discipline.

Again.. you cannot learn this in theory,  you must practice first!  … and remember,  it’s not only a test of how accurately you can shoot,  it’s also part of the safety assessment.

Test centres will usually allow you to use your own rifle (which must be of a legal deer calibre),  or you could use their ‘estate rifle’.  If you are using their rifle,  try to find out what calibre it is and get some practice with one first… a .308 shoots very differently to a 6.5×55

Game meat hygiene module
This has 40 multiple choice questions taken from a bank of 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.

Any candidate who holds a VRQ in Wild Game Meat Hygiene, or the NGO certificate in Game Meat Hygiene, may elect not to take this module but they will be required to produce their VRQ or NGO certificate at the DSC1 assessment.

Our lessons includes all of these questions, multiple choice options and answers,  so you can study and learn to your hearts content!

What if you fail a module?
If you are unable to complete all of the 5 modules in the DSC1 assessment you will have to re-sit only those modules you did not pass. You can do such re-sits at any Assessment Centre, with their agreement; you do not have to use the Centre you are registered with. You can expect to have to pay a fee for a re-assessment, and the re-assessment must be completed within 3 years of the date of registering for DSC1.

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