To be awarded the Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1, you must demonstrate knowledge and skills in the following areas:
1. Deer biology and ecology - the life and reproductive cycles, habitat requirements and
behaviour of the six species of wild deer.
2. The law - the legal basis for the use of firearms and the culling of wild deer.
3. Stalking techniques and taking the shot – a theoretical knowledge of the basis of stalking techniques, points of aim and the reaction of the deer to shot placement.
4. Deer identification - an ability to identify the six species of deer normally found in the wild in the UK, being able to distinguish between the male and female of each species in both
summer and winter pelage.
5. Safety - an ability to safely handle firearms and other tools and equipment in a simulated stalking environment. This should include the use of knives and extraction equipment where appropriate.
6. Shooting - an ability to shoot accurately and consistently in a simulated stalking environment.
7. Wild Game Meat Hygiene - current regulations for the hygienic handling, transport, storage and supply of venison.
The assessments for the certificate are arranged as follows:
- Theory Test (Areas 1, 2 and 3 above) A multiple choice written paper with 50 questions drawn from a bank of 300. The pass mark for this test is 80%.
- Identification Test (Area 4) twenty photographic slides identified by species and sex. A significant proportion of the slides will be of species found in the assessment area. The pass mark for this test is 80%.
- Safety Test (Area 5) Oral questions based around scenarios in a local simulated stalking environment. There are ten questions selected from 25 bank questions. The majority of the questions will be relevant to the local area. All questions must be answered correctly according to the criteria laid down in each question. 100 % is required to pass.
- Shooting Test (Area 6) A range based practical shooting test, involves placing 3 shots in a four inch circle at 100 yards, followed by a series of 2 shots each at a deer target in three positions, prone (100 yards), sitting or kneeling (75 yards), and standing (45 yards).
- Wild Game Meat Hygiene (Large Game) Test (Areas 7) A multiple choice written paper with questions drawn from a bank of questions. The assessment consists of 40 multi-choice questions. The pass mark for this test is 80%.
Advice to source useful training material can be provided on request.
You are required to pass all five of the tests before being awarded the Level 1 certificate. You may then register for Level 2 if you intend to proceed further.
There is no limit to the number of times that you may attempt the tests, but only the shooting test may be attempted more than once in a day (up to three attempts).
If you have passed only some of the tests you will be given a referral card which will enable you to complete the tests at any other approved assessment day within the 3 year registration period.
The total charge for training and assessment over a 2 day period is £250/candidate which includes registration for level 1.