Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 (PDS1)

The online Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 is 'Accredited' by LANTRA and UK Rural Skills, the UK's two leading, land-based awarding bodies, and is a nationally recognised deer-stalking-qualification that is delivered by an 'Approved' training provider. 

PDS 1 Lantra Rural Skills

Delivering a unique level of practical and theory-based training online, the PDS1 deer stalking certificate is perfect for beginners and 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 by an 'Approved' training provider either Online or One-to-one in the Field, at a time and place that suits you. 

All our trainers are highly experienced professional, deer managers and are either Approved Verifiers (AV's) in Deer Stalking Qualifications or Approved Witnesses (AW's) in Deer Management Qualifications.

To learn more about deer stalking qualifications, click here: deer-stalking-qualifications

PDS1 Online Deer Stalker Training 

PDS1 Trailer Image 1

Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 Online (PDS1) Cost - £395 (including vat).

START NOW - Simply follow this link to get started on your PDS1: deer-stalking-course

The excellent online Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1 (PDS1), enables you to complete and obtain the theory element of the PDS1 deer stalking certificate conveniently online, at a time and place that suits you.

Through a series of online modules, classes and exams, you are guided through the theory element of the deer PDS1 syllabus and taught some of the practical elements involved in becoming a trained hunter, including safety, legislation, deer ecology, 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. At no extra cost, you will also be invited to complete the 'Large Game Meat Hygiene course' that complies with Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines, that afford candidates 'Trained Hunter' status and the skills necessary to place large game meat on the market for human consumption.  To learn more about the 'Large Game Meat Hygiene Course' follow this link: large-game-meat-hygiene-course    

For many candidates, with existing practical knowledge of firearms, such as target shooters and those with experience hunting abroad, 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 instruction in the field through County Deer Stalking, is by Peter S Jones, is an 'Approved' LANTRA and UK Rural Skills provider, trusted industry 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 Detective, with extensive experience of firearms and firearms legislation, Peter is uniquely placed to deliver the syllabus of this leading, nationally recognised deer stalking course.  

Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 Online (PDS1) Cost - £395 (including vat & Large Game Meat Hygiene Course).

START NOW - Simply follow this link to get started on your PDS1: deer-stalking-course

Or if you have any questions please just give us a call on: 0203 981 0159 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(*Contact CDS for a list of Approved Verifiers in your area) 

PDS1 Deer Stalker Training in the Field

Woodland Stalker PJ 555

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. 

Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 (PDS1) Cost - £450 + Vat 

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

The Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 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

Large Game Meat Hygiene Syllabus Includes

Module 1: Hygiene rules and proper techniques for the handling, evisceration, extraction, and transportation of wild game animals after killing.

Module 2: Identifying Normal & Abnormal anatomy, physiology and behaviour of wild game

Module 3: Pathological changes in wild game due to disease, environmental contamination and other factors

Module 4: Legislation and administrative provisions on animal and public health, and hygiene conditions governing the placing of wild game on the market

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

woodland stalker range day

Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 2 (PDS2) 

The PDS2 is a deer-stalking-qualification that is designed to follow on from the foundation skills achieved during the PDS1.   

The level 2 course consists of two elements, a taught element delivered via the ‘UK Shooting & Hunting Academy’, and an infield practical demonstration of skill, observed by a PDS Approved Verifier. 

The initial taught element elevates the candidate’s knowledge in key areas, that include subjects such as, an advanced understanding of firearms and optics, ageing and assessing the condition of deer, how to assess the suitability of land for stalking, how to carry out risk assessments, record keeping and deer management plans.

The practical assessment covers four key areas that include, the preparation and safe handling of equipment, competence at stalking and dispatching deer humanely and safely, the ability to be able to inspect and gralloch deer and hygienically handle shot deer in line with food standards agency guidelines.

Through both taught modules and classes and through a practical demonstration of skill, the PDS2 sets the gold standard in UK deer stalking and is ideal for those who may wish to take on a deer stalking lease, apply for an open style firearms certificate, or simply for those that wish to advance their knowledge to new heights.

The PDS Level 2 is available to all PDS1 candidates by simply enrolling via the 'Shooting & Hunting Academy'.  

Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 2 Syllabus  

PDS2 Taught Element

The initial taught element is designed to elevate the candidate’s knowledge in key areas, that include the following:

Module 1. Advanced Firearms

Module 2. Deer Identification

Module 3. Deer Ecology

Module 4. Land Assessment

Uptake is assessed via an exam at the end of each module, followed by a final exam.

PDS2 Practical Assessment

The practical assessment requires that the candidate demonstrate on two occasions, their infield proficiency, to the satisfaction of an Approved Verifier, in four key areas that include:    

Element 1. Prepare and safely handle suitable equipment ammunition and firearms.

Element 2. Stalk and dispatch a deer safely and successfully.

Element 3. Inspect and gralloch a shot deer.

Element 4. The ability to hygienically extract, transport and store a shot deer in line with FSA guidelines as set out in the Hunting Academy Large Game Meat Hygiene Course. 

How it Works

Candidates that have completed the Proficient Deer Stalker certificate level 1 will be invited to achieve the Level 2.

Candidates enrol and complete the taught element of the PDS2 online via the ‘Shooting & Hunting Academy’ in a similar format as the PDS1.

Having successfully completed the taught element and upon successfully passing the exams, candidates are invited to download and print off a PDS2 Logbook via the Shooting & Hunting Academy.

Candidates then approach an ‘Approved Verifier’ and hand their portfolio to their chosen AV for completion of the portfolio once the performance criteria have successfully been achieved.

The portfolio is then sent to CDS head office by the candidate for internal verification and issuing of the certificate.      

If you have completed the Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1 you may sign up to the Proficient Deer Stalker Level 2 by simply enrolling via the Shooting & Hunting Acadaemy: shootingandhuntingacademy 

For more information about the PDS2 please contact head office on: 0203 981 0159 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

PDS Mentored Stalking £155 + VAT

Beginner/Intermediate. All our stalks are accompanied by an experienced professional deer stalking guide who will teach you fieldcraft skills, safe rifle handling 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 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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