European Style Hunting Tests - Good or Bad Idea?

I've finally got round to taking a course to get my Danish hunting licence, (I start this weekend) and was wondering what you all thought of the concept of hunting tests?

I've got to pass a theoretical test involving recognition of various types of birds and animals, both game animals and protected species, as well as firearms knowledge, and knowledge of the (incredibly complex) Danish hunting laws.

After that I have to pass a practical test on gun safety, and range estimation.

If I want to hunt with centre fire rifles I have to pass a test on safe rifle handling as well as a shooting test before I may do so.

Would this kind of thing be a good idea in the UK too, or would it be yet another unneccessary piece of bureaucracy?

Personally, I think that gaining knowledge of firearms, the law and the species that you wish to hunt is a good thing, but that it's a waste of time to learn all about the law regarding deer stalking if I only want to shoot rabbits.

What do you reckon?

The principle is good but, like other good Foreign ideas it would be executed badly in the UK. It would be used as a revenue earner and nothing more.


Considering that the muppets known as the NRA as part of their response to the last consultation to the Home Office on Firearms legislation called for compulsary testing and for themselves to be the only licensing body in the country just about covers the revenue aspect. The underhanded and no doubt illegal imposition of additional testing for range use placed upon clubs and secretaries was the final tax nail in the coffin that stopped me attending Bisley! Bunch of cnuts.
There is no need for mandatory training here despite what the plod seem to insist on. Believe me its a cash cow and I am trying to give value for money training with real hands on experience thrown in despite the big organisations attempts to churn out licensed DSC1 hunters with no practical experience whatsoever!
edited for being 99% pissed again! Well it is friday! :roll:
That said you choose to live in a country with such laws then you also choose by default to comply with these laws. The main reason I chose not to live in Canada was their very strange laws for game! I really couldnt face the restrictions, mandatory training and silly restrictions despite being able to own more land there than I could dream off here it just wouldnt have been enjoyable!
.338lapua_magnum said:
The principle is good but, like other good Foreign ideas it would be executed badly in the UK. It would be used as a revenue earner and nothing more.

Couldn't agree more.
Soon The NRA/CPSA etc will try and insist that before anyone holds a certificate they must pass a course.

Edit to add: Just read the post by Ugly. Who sums things up pretty well


Have been a UK game/rough shooter for over 25 years and come from gamekeeping stock.
Also did my Jagdschein a few years back.Only shooting accident I have ever seen was on a German shoot, so doing fancy tests doesn't make you a safe shot IMHO. Also thought German guns took on shots that would have been classed as un-sporting /unsafe by UK guns. Won't get my vote.
Can't beat being slapped around the swede by Grandad when you do something unsafe!! Tends to make one concentrate in future. :lol:
Don't think it would work in this country as who would set the tests although the UK are kind of doing it anyway with the DSC although this is quarry specific.

Having shot in Germany several times there is a lot of Buer (can't spell it), bullsh*t to go with the shooting i.e. you can shoot target/clay with a licence but can't shoot game without a Jagdschein, the land issues are also completely separate and confusing, I think you can own land but not have the shooting rights!! I imagine the Danes are the same.

That said it is part of their shooting culture so good on them for wanting to have people learn about conservation etc as part of their sport.

Unfortunately I think that if they proceeded with similar stuff in the UK it would play into the 'anti's' hands who are already wanting everything banned.

Could be wrong but I'm sure you can still shoot Capercallie in Denmark, think there was a magazine article a few years back about it??
It would be a complete cockup,
They did it in France a few years back in response to a growing number of accidents and a large number of prosecutions for shooting wrong game/wrong time etc.
Was not popular at the start (license needed to shoot things in your own back garden/land for example), but quickly got accepted as being for the general good.
Like most French laws they are minimal and only accepted if proven useful, and implementation is very pragmatic - for example pest control "offenses" I suspect would not be followed up.

I think you have to have a problem that needs fixing before implementing a solution.......if self policing is working in UK let it be.


In principle, the idea of compulsory training sounds thoroughly worthwhile - we've all seen biffs with guns who are a danger to others.

In practice, I think UK shooting is now already so over-regulated and inaccessible to newbies that another raft of training/probationary restrictions would simply compound the problem. The recently introduced "Competency" certification that affects most range shooters is a case in point - good theory, but in practice it is functionally near useless and is simply driving up shooting costs, deterring new shooters, and hacking off existing club members because of the need to dedicate much of a club's range bookings to the training programmes.

As Ugly infers, I think UK lacks competent and capable governing bodies that shooters would agree to defer to.

In an ideal world, we could have a radical overhaul of UK shooting sports: e.g. shooters agreeing to formal training and national licensing - but in return for the resumption of - say - pistols and semi-auto rifles. Alas, the politicians, police and (some) shooting organisations are content to build up their one-way bureaucracy....
Any law you can't enforce it with CCTV is going to be a bit difficult for plod...
The current favourit in some areas is for "Mentors".

The police are granting a Firearms Certificate with the condition on it that the new holder can only go out to shoot with another experienced shooter. This shooter has to give a written statement of competence on the new shooter before the condition is removed from the FAC.

There is no test of competence on the "Mentor" and they may have poor safety standards and may break the law and not have been caught but the police will still take their word that the new shooter is safe.

This is the police passing the buck onto someone else to certify the new shooter as safe. It's the police job to ascertain the competence before granting the FAC, not to get an unknown and unqualified FAC holder to do it for them.

BASC already offer training courses (at a price) on various aspects of shooting, the NRA now want a certificate of competence before you can shoot at Bisley or on any other MOD range. It will not be long before some form of mandatory testing and qualification is required for each calibre you want to hold and each shooting disciplne that you want to do prior to being granted your FAC.


I am signed off by Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hants as a mentor, they didnt ask me, they just applied the condition to the FACs of people I had taken on training courses. For liability issues I keep a record of each outing!
In my experience there are good competent firearms users and there are dangerous, ignorant and incompetent firearms users. I have seen soldiers who have been trained by good instructors doing bl**dy stupid things with firearms and I have seen good civilians who would put these soldiers to shame. However, many, many of these good civilians have been through Military training themselves.

Ultimately, no matter how good the training you will still get people behaving like fools. The police can only do so much. If they have no evidence that an applicant for a FAC is dangerous, they have to assume that the individual is safe. Ultimately, safety is squarely in the hands of the FAC holder. If he or she does something dangerous they have only themselves to blame.

My fourteen year old daughter is more competent than some of the people I have seen shooting. Why? she has been trained to ensure that as far as possible she will not be a danger to herself or others. The reasons are purely selfish: I do not want her to destroy her or someone else's life through ignorance and stupidity.

edited for mong spelling!
Well that's me officially qualified to shoot game, as I passed my test this morning. Now all I've got to do is buy some suitable firearms, and find somewhere to use them.

There seems to be absolutely loads of roe about at present as I kept spotting them in the fields as I drove past on my way home. I bet they'll all have gone into hiding when the buck season starts next month though.



Ah, our Roebuck season is almost a month old and runs till november, congrats on the test though. I have now been accepted by Surrey, sussex, Hants and Kent Plod as a mentor for new stalkers, things are moving on that front as Sussex default on Dsc 1 is to issue an open ticket. Local FEO's arent happy and whilst I can sympathise with both sides they are probably right in the main on this one!
I'm not looking for the extra work even if the money and sidelines is good I really dont have the time!
nearly got run down by a deer being chased by my two dogs at the back of brighton.
do I have to take a toy owl with me next time in case they chase one again?