What is DSC1? What do I need to know?
Written -The test is 50 multiple choice questions taken from a bank of 300 questions. complete knowledge of all six species of deer that exist in the UK, as follows Red-, Sika-, Fallow-, Roe deer, Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer. Other connected subjects include English-, Welsh-, Scottish- and deer legislation, firearms legislation, deer habitat, weapons, deer management and stalking techniques.
Wild Game Meat -The test is 40 multiple choice questions taken from a bank of questions covering common hygiene and large game meat hygiene. This is the task of every DSC holder to render each carcass as clean as possible with optimal hygienic care in the food chain.
Visual - Slides will be shown to you during the course and you will be taught the identifying features. The assessment will be 20 slides, the first 10 on species only and latter 10 on species and sex. This part of the assessment has been proven to be quite difficult. As a result, the group of candidates arrive the evening before the assessment day and train various visuals. The candidate has to determine the species and sex of the deer. The difference of summer Sika deer and Fallow deer and winter Sika deer and Red deer can be quite tricky. To pass this visual test of the 20 pictures, 16 visuals have to be correct. After this intensive training session the candidates know exactly where to look at and determine almost every deer correctly.
Safety - These questions will be given to you before the start or at the beginning of the course. There are 25 in all, some mandatory. The assessor will select 10 of these on the assessment day. You are required to demonstrate and answer safety aspects. On this assessment day every candidate has to take a walk around the premises of the Berkenhorst facility, together with an accredited witness. Several safety questions are asked. In this case, no faults are permitted; you are either deemed safe or unsafe. The questions concern rifles, how to carry them, how to load and unload, how the rifle is loaded but put on safe when you stalk in a forestry area and unloaded in the Scottish hills, how to mount a high seat, how to hand over a rifle and, for assessment, how to crawl over a fence. Also, questions are asked on what to do with your rifle and ammunition when you, after the hunt, are going to visit a restaurant and on what safety precautions you must take when you start to stalk on a new area or what to do when you stalk with more than one hunter in one area etc.
A very important part during this safety test is the presence of several deer decoys placed around the premises of The Berkenhorst facility. The candidate has to explain which of the decoys are safe to shoot and which ones are not and the reasons why.
Shooting - The assessment requires you to shoot at a zero target from 100 metres There is a DSC 1 zero target with a circradiusle of 10 centimetres. The first three shots have to be within this circle. After passing the zero shots every candidate has to shoot three stages of two shots at a deer target heart and lung shots at 40, 70 and 100 metres taken from the standing and kneeling or sitting and prone positions. Shooting sticks may be used as an aid for the sitting and standing shots.
This test is not especially challenging, but assessment stress will always take its toll. It is important to use a rifle with a small calibre. So not a 300 Winchester Magnum or 9,3 x 62. If you do not pass all of the modules, you are only required to retake the one(s) that you have failed on another assessment day of your choice. When you have passed all five elements, you will receive your certificate from DMQ (the awarding body).
The Deer Stalking Certificates gives the owner of the hunting grounds the knowledge that his tennant takes the optimal safety precautions and guarantees the right culling program.