The code has been printed on a credit-card-sized waterproof plastic card and will the distributed by the BDS at game fairs and shows across the country as well as at Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 courses.

Deerstalking and conservation organisations have said that the idea should help to stamp out bad practice.

However, many in the deer stalking community have said the code is too ambiguous to be of any use in the field.

?I think the idea is good, but it is pitched at the wrong level. It assumes too much knowledge. I often take out novice stalkers and these points would be meaningless to them. It needs more explanation to be of any worth. If you understand what ?best practice? is then you do not need this card to remind you,? said Rob McCuaig, from South Lanarkshire, who has stalked for 14 years.

Defending the code, David Kenyon of the BDS commented the cards are designed only to prompt stalkers: ?It would be far too impractical to expect stalkers to carry the entire code in full around with them. We wanted something that could be kept in a wallet and could be read before and after each stalk. If the code manages to highlight an area that a stalker is not knowledgeable in, then it has served its purpose.?

BASC?s deer projects officer, Chris Brooks, agreed the code will help novice stalkers to get the most out of the sport.

He said: ?BASC welcomes any initiative that promotes safety, best practice and respect for quarry. This new venture by the BDS, which is particularly aimed at new shooters, should be applauded and we wish it every success.?

If you would like a free Stalkers Code, contact the BDS on 01425 655434

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