The Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1 is a nationally recognised Deer Management Course, that has been accredited by the UK’s largest, land-based awarding bodies; LANTRA and UK Rural Skills (UKRS).
Delivering a unique level of practical and theory-based training either online or one-to-one in the field, the PDS1 is perfect for those that wish to develop their skills and become proficient, trained hunters. It is also recognised as a significant first step in obtaining a Firearm Certificate or variation to an existing certificate to shoot deer.
Above/Left: Accredited by LANTRA and UKRS the popular 'Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1' (PDS1) - Delivered both Online or One-to-one in the Field, at a time and place that suits you.
All our trainers are highly experienced professional, full-time deer managers and either Approved Verifiers (AV) or Approved Witnesses (AW) in 'Deer Management Qualifications'.
The excellent Online version of the hugely popular 'Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1' (PDS1), enables you to complete and obtain the theory element of the PDS1 Certificate online at a time and place that suits you.
Through a series of online modules and classes, you are guided through the theory element of the PDS1 syllabus and taught some of the practical elements involved in becoming a trained hunter, including safety, marksmanship and rifle handling.
Once you have completed the course and have passed the final examination, you will be awarded the PDS1 Certificate, verifying what you have learnt.
For many candidates, with existing practical knowledge of firearms, this will be sufficient. However, for those candidates who wish to compliment the PDS1 theory with the practical-based, skills assessment, it couldn’t be easier. We provide a list of ‘Approved Verifiers’ in your area, that will be able to sign off on the practical element of the course.
What’s great about this, is that you can ‘tag’ your practical assessment on to a ‘live’ stalk outing. Effectively, this means, having completed the theory part of the qualification online, you are able to simultaneously complete the PDS1 Practical whilst also enjoying an outing deer stalking*.
The PDS1 Certificate is perfect for the beginner and an ideal way to make a start in the exciting world of Deer Stalking. Over the years the PDS1 has, through its trusted and accredited delivery, helped hundreds of beginners to become competent in the art of deer stalking and has assisted countless individuals in obtaining their own Firearm Certificate. Today, candidates are able to complete the PDS1 Certificate either online or in the field.
Delivery of the course online, and in the field through County Deer Stalking, is by Peter S Jones, a trusted expert and well-known face in the industry. With over 30 years experience hunting deer and large game in the UK, Europe and Africa, and as a former Metropolitan Police Officer with extensive experience of firearms and firearms legislation, Peter is uniquely placed to deliver the syllabus of this leading, nationally recognised deer stalking course.
(*Contact CDS for a list of Approved Verifiers in your area)
PDS1 Deer Stalker Training in the Field
The PDS1 qualification can also be gained during a one-day intensive course in the field, that provides one-to-one training at a time and date that suits you. The qualification is suitable for beginners who wish to obtain a Firearm Certificate (FAC) and existing FAC holders, who wish to obtain a variation to an existing FAC to shoot deer.
Courses run Monday - Saturday 10 - 5pm throughout the year and include our extensive 'PDS1 Training Manual', Rifle & Ammunition Hire, Lunch & Refreshments.
The PDS1 training course when delivered in the field, includes both the practical and theory-based training and concludes with a multiple-choice examination at the end of the day.
The PDS1 Syllabus Includes
Course contents Module 1: Understanding the need to manage deer Module 2: Firearms safety, rifle components & optics set-up Module 3: Where to place your bullet & variants of shot placement Module 4: Zeroing, Point Blank Range & Windage Module 5: Marksmanship – How to place a well-aimed shot Module 6: After the shot, shot reaction & following blood trails Module 7: Carcass Extraction, handling & inspection Module 8: Deer Species & Identification Module 9: UK Legislation Module 10: Buying your equipment and getting out deer stalking Where to go from here? Final Exam
Capreolus Club - The PDS1 Certificate is also recognised as the entry level standard for membership of the Capreolus Club. A club specifically designed for deer stalkers.
This friendly and exciting club provides a safe and supportive way to progress in the world of deer stalking and offers a host of opportunities and benefits to both beginners and experienced stalkers alike.
To find out more about the many benefits of joining the Capreolus Club, please follow this link: membership-benefits
Other Proficient Deer Stalker Training Courses
PDS Certificate Level 2 (PDS2) £1,975 + Vat
Designed to follow on from our PDS1 course. The PDS2 Certificate is for beginners and intermediate stalkers who are seeking to develop their fieldcraft and practical stalking skills in the field.
Completion of the PDS2 demonstrates dedication and live stalking ‘experience’, an element that is often required by the police before granting an FAC.
This series of stalk outings and training acts as a mentoring service, designed to develop the knowledge and practical skills of the stalker in the field, over a period of 3-12 months.
The hunter will be required to progress from the requirments of the PDS1 by putting his/her rifle and stalking skills to the test, work on species identification, ageing deer in the field and become competent at gralloching and carcase inspection.
Stalk Outings and Training
5 x 3 hour mentored stalk sessions with the shooting, follow up, ageing, gralloch & carcase inspection of at least 2 cull animals*
Advanced firearms 1/2 day training session - learn about adjusting for wind, zeroing, shooting at angles, point blank range, holdover technique, tightening groups and accurate shooting to 300 yards. This session is followed by lunch at a local pub and theory based training/test.
Stalk land assessment 1/2 day training
Proficient Deer Stalker Level 2 stalk training sessions are one to one and arranged at the stalker and candidates convenience, any time within a one year period. Level 2 includes a course manual and a written record of stalks charting the stalkers progress throughout the training. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the training.
*Cull animals include Fallow does & prickets, Muntjac and Roe does. Palmated Fallow, Roe and Muntjac bucks will be charged for at current CDS rates. The course is completed when the trainee has attended all the training sessions and successfully despatched a minimum of 2 deer. If this is not achieved during the allotted sessions, additional stalks required to complete the course will be charged at £135 + Vat per session. Upon request, PDS2 training costs of £1975 can be paid in instalments – please contact us for details
PDS Mentored Stalking £155 + Vat
Beginner/Intermediate. All our stalks are accompanied by an experienced professional guide who will teach you fieldcraft skills and a structured approach to gralloching and checking for disease. Duration 3 hours. Cost £155 + Success Fees
PDS Land Assessment £245 + Vat
Beginner/intermediate. Learn to assess stalking land like a pro; Safe places to shoot, hazards, where to place high seats, what species are present, stalk tactics and more. Duration 3 hours (morning or afternoon). Cost £245 + Vat
PDS Woodland Stalker Course £245 + Vat
Beginner - Advanced. Stalk a realistic hunting scenario but instead of live quarry we use a variety of interactive steel discs and life size steel Deer and animal targets. The training starts with a safety breifing and understanding the principles of accurate shot placement followed by a coffee break, we then head to the woodland stalker course which features over 20 specialist targets strategically placed along a woodland path and gorge at distances out to 200 yards.
This challenging course is designed to seriously test your observation skills, safety, distance judgement, holdover technique, knowledge of ballistics/wind and your ability to shoot at range. We use a number of shooting positions including shooting from sticks, prone, kneeling and freehand. The course distance is just over 1 mile and the session duration is approx. 3 hours (either morning or afternoon).
Bring your own rifle or use one of ours; we have a selection of quality rifles available to use which are all fitted with the latest Swarovski optics including .243 Winchester, .275 Rigby, .308 and 30-06 Springfield calibres. Courses are usually one on one (although we can take up to 4 people if required) and run Mon – Fri throughout the year. Cost £245 + Vat. For more information click here
Gift vouchers are also available throughout the year for all our Deer Stalking training courses and are the perfect present for anyone with a love of the great outdoors. Simply call us on 0203 981 0159 and we’ll produce your personalised gift voucher and email it to you. All gift vouchers are valid for 12 months.