UK Deer Hunting Qualifications
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
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Default UK Deer Hunting Qualifications

The UK has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere in the world, I thought you might like to hear what we go through to gain deer hunting qualifications. The award is in two parts DSC1 & DSC2, a hunter registers to take the predominently theory based part 1 with an approved centre receiving an inch thich "letter" size manual which he/she then has to learn. Examples of subjects covered are identification (so no horses !!) including winter and summer pelage (coat) juvenile and adult for the six species seen in the UK including the shooting season - and England, Ireland & Scotland are all different. Ballistics including appropriate calibres, velocities and bullet weights. Deer diseases especially notifiable ones such as TB and Foot & Mouth and of course "gralloching" (gutting). Meat handling, storage, equipment and putting meat into the food chain. Safe gunhandling and assessing shot safety (so no horses !!). You can take up to two years to learn the manual but when you do take the exam (over two days) the minimum pass rate is 80%, the gun safety pass rate is 100% !! There is finally a shooting test, 3 shots through a 4 inch target at 100yds, then 2 through the 6" kill zone (heart/lungs) of a Roe deer target at 100 yds, then 2 more seated or lying at 75yds, then the last 2 standing at 50yds. OK not difficult but pull a shot and you start the whole shooting test again three attempts maximum then you fail. The deer recogition was no walk in the park, Powerpoint presentation 20 randon deer 80% pass rate required - identify species & sex, adult & juvenile 20 seconds on each. So that's DSC1

DSC2 is the practical side of things and has to be witnessed by an Approved Witness. Stalk (yes that's what we call deer hunting) 3 deer and after identifying they are in season correctly shoot (so no Texas heart shots), perform a post mortum gralloch i.e. check for diseases plus examine all of the lymphatic system, heart, lungs, liver etc. After each successful stalk write up the procedure detailing what you did do what you didn't do and why, also answering a bank of question posed by and documented by your Approved Witness. The information goes into a portfolio and when complete goes to an assessor who may ask more questions of you or your Approved Witness, It then goes to a second assessor who again can questions only then does he decide whether you have earned your DSC2 or whether he will decide to ask you to do further kills. The portfolio finally goes to the UK DMQ (Deer Management Qualifications) and they can randomly check further any portfolio they wish however at this stage you have normally passed the exam - Phew !!

I wonder how many US hunters would go through that lot ?? Although it isn't yet mandatory more and more shoot managers are insisting on DSC1 some DSC2 also. It is generally felt it will be required in the not too distant future for a Police deer rifle permit.

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Old 12-01-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
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DSC1 is not that different from what is required to get Permit de Chasse here in France...meat handling/gralloching isn't included but there's quite a bit of law and all species which are huntable must be known and identifiable (including every species of huntable wildfowl!), the biology/lifestyle of most forms of larger game (deer, boar, chamois, hare, partridge, pheasant, etc) must also be known.

The practical test includes shotgun and rifle use - but there is no marksmanship requirement (presumable because it is illegal to own a rifle prior to getting your permit so it's impossible to practice!).

The main reason for it's introduction was to reduce the number of hunting accidents (which ran at about 40 deaths a year through the 70's, 80's and 90's). The number of accidents are showing a steady decline since the introduction of the tests - last year there were just 15 deaths.

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Old 12-01-2009, 10:47 AM   #3
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You Europeans have some crazy laws! I agree with being safe while hunting but you can't regulate accidents out of happening.

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:10 PM   #4
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Talk about government control. I imagine the number of qualified hunters has been diminished by more than the accidents. I can also only assume that the population of large game is not as high as it here in most states either.

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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I believe that a good part of DSC1 should be a requirement for first time shooters to get a license to hunt. It would not be a bad idea to treat a hunting license the same way we treat drivers licenses and require a test to get the first one and retesting periodically. The tests should include both vision and reflex testing. I know that the majority will scream that it would be a violation of their personal rights but in reality it would be about the same as the requirement that one has to have a license to operate a motor vehicle. I am different I don’t believe we have the right to shoot and hunt; I see it as a privilege we earn by being responsible citizens. I have held that belief for over sixty years. I was taught well by a strict taskmaster, my father.

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Old 12-01-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Default UK Deer Qualifications

As you can probably imagine there are two distinct camps one for the DSC awards and one firmly against. There has been much heated debate on most of the UK hunting forums but like it or not the awards are here to stay. The cost of the DSC1 is approx £350 to £380 so not cheap. The DSC2 even more averaging maybe £600. Shooting accidents in the UK have been in single figures for years and in any case you can't simply ask for a deer rifle and buy one two days later. You have to prove you can justify the ownership with land or booked stalking from a Pro, then if you haven't had 22 rimmy experience the licence is issued with a mentoring clause, you can then only shoot with a nominated experienced shooter.
So you see guys you lot in the USA have got it easy !!
Someone asked about the deer population in the UK - it is estimated as being higher now that back in Norman times (For the Hicks that's the battle of Hastings 1066 !!)

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Old 12-02-2009, 12:35 AM   #7
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Default What the qualifications were all about

My Sako 6.5x55 complete with S&B 8x56 scope (illuminated) and an Ase sound moderator, are these restricted in the US ?



I don't know how popular the Sako brand is in the US but we find it is one of the best factory made weapons before you start looking as custom rifles.

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