Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 (PDS1)

Proficient Stalker Certificate 250The excellent 'Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1' (PDS1) training course, offers a unique level of practical and theory-based training in the field, for those who wish to develop their skills and become Proficient Deer Stalkers.

Above/Left: The popular 'Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1' (PDS1) - Delivered one-to-one, at a time and date that suits you. 

The PDS1 Deer Management Qualification is an established and widely recognised deer stalker qualification, that is designed to enable candidates to become competent trained hunters. Obtaining the PDS1 Certificate is also recognised as a crucial first step in obtaining a Firearm Certificate, or variation to an existing certificate to shoot deer.

Our trainers are all highly experienced professional, full-time deer managers and 'Approved Witnesses' (AW) in 'Deer Management Qualifications'. Our lead instructor Peter S Jones is a well recognised and trusted expert in the industry and has over 25yrs experience hunting deer and large game in the UK, Europe and Africa. Peter is also a former Metropolitan Police Officer with extensive experience of firearms and firearms legislation.

Woodland Stalker PJ 555

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 County Deer Stalking has, through its trusted instruction, helped hundreds of beginners become competent in the art of deer stalking and has assisted countless individuals in obtaining their own Firearms Certificates.

The PDS1 qualification is gained during a one day intensive course, that provides one-to-one training at a time and date that suits you. The qualification is suitable for beginners and non Firearm Certificate holders, who wish to develop an understanding of the elements involved in becoming a proficient, trained hunter.  

Courses run Monday - Saturday 10 - 5pm throughout the year and include our extensive 'PDS1 Training Manual', Rifle & Ammunition, Lunch and Refreshments.

The PDS1 training course includes the following practical and theory based training and concludes with a multiple choice examination. 

Practical Training

Rifle safety briefing and over 2 hours of firearms training on our full size deer targets

Learn about the fundamentals of good marksmanship - Rifle and optics setup, taking the shot | breathing and trigger control, shot placement and the reaction of the deer to the shot

Simulated stalking - How to conduct a stalk, demonstrating visual awareness, avoiding noise, discerning wind direction and identifying safe backstops.

After the shot - simulated approach, locating deer & finding / following blood trails

Knowledge – Learn About:

UK Law - legislation affecting wild deer and understanding firearms licensing

Rifle calibres - deer legal calibres and rifle selection

Deer identification - Recognition of the 6 species of wild deer found in the UK

Deer - Behaviour, habitat and signs and the requirements of deer control

Gralloch methodology and carcass inspection

Stalking equipment and much more! 

Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 (PDS1) Costs - £425 + Vat 

BOOK NOW Call: 0203 981 0159 / 07789 747709 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Capreolus Club - The PDS1 Certificate is also recognised as the entry level standard for membership of the Capreolus Club. 

This friendly and exciting club provides a safe and supportive way to progress after having taken your PDS1 and offers a host of opportunities and benefits to both beginners and experienced stalkers alike.

To find out more about some of the benefits of joining the Capreolus Club, please follow this link: 

Other Proficient Deer Stalker Training Courses

woodland stalker range day

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

woodland stalker range day 2

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

For more information about our Proficient Deer Stalker (PDS) training courses OR the benefits of joining our Capreolus Club contact our office on 020 3981 0159 / 020 8239 7311 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Stalking Regions 4

Gift Vouchers

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.

For more information about the Proficient Deer Stalker Courses contact the office on Tel: 0203 981 0159 / 0208 239 7311 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Contact Us

Call us on 020 3981 0159 or drop us a line here with any enquiries or to provisonally book your outing or training course.

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