What is the Deer Stalking Certificate?
The Deer stalking certificate is a qualification that can be gained by a stalker to show their proficiency in deer stalking. It is required by law for a deer stalker to have the qualification in order to sell meat into the food chain via a a game dealer.
The certificate is, further to being a passport into the professional arena, a very worthwhile course to attend even for the recreational stalker. Even if you have no intention of selling your quarry into the food chain it is a good course that even experienced stalkers will learn from.
Where can you sit the course?
My personal experience was very good and I completed the course run by Yorkshire Deer Management in Ripon in Summer 2018. The course was professionally run, friendly and informative. The course was attended by experienced stalkers and complete novices alike. Jamie and Paul are patient instructors with a wealth of knowledge. The course was held in a local pub which did good food available to purchase during breaks and had a cafe on site with good coffee and snacks. Throughout the 3 days I witnessed experienced guys learn new things and complete novices learn everything they would need to know to pass the exams.
The DMQ book is a thick workbook that could be very daunting, all the students were sent the book prior to the course and instructed which areas to focus on. In the back is a question bank which you must learn to pass the exam. The way they teach the questions is very good but I’ll leave you to find out how they do it when you book the course. I personally, during my school days, hated memorising facts but their method works, it was a laugh, and no student was left behind. The only stupid question in the classroom was the one that wasn’t asked.
What do you learn?
The course material is all around species identification, hygiene and safety. some of the tips and tricks given during the course were really very good and gave some really simple methods to ensure you know what you’re shooting at.
What do I need to do the course?
Yourself, a pen and notebook. In my experience the notebook was to write down some of Paul’s anecdotes (which intertwine within the teaching, were very funny and added value to the teaching. Ask about the Edinburgh Solicitor.)
Other than a pen and paper, appropriate clothing for laying on the ground dependent on season. The course is 3 days, includes both classroom work, written exams, a firing range package and a simulated stalk.
There is no need for you to have a firearms certificate or rifle. No need for binoculars or any other equipment associated with stalking. rifles can be provided and you can purchase ammunition from them. You will learn during the course that this is permitted through “the estate rule.”
Who can do the course?
ANYONE, quite literally anyone, novice or expert it doesn’t matter. I am at best an beginner-intermediate stalker, with a few weeks experience stalking in Scotland and about 10 years rifle experience. At the course were people who’d never shot a rifle before and they were coached through with ease by the team.
What does it cost?
Circa £300, if you take your own rifle its the course cost plus your own ammo you take along. If you need to borrow a rifle expect to pay another £30 for ammo and if you are a complete beginner you may need a few extra shots to get yourself onto target but I’d not expect anyone to have to pay much more than £60 for ammo as the team are very experienced rifle coaches.
How do I book?
Have you read this and think why do we shoot deer, check out Deer Stalking For Dummies.