Deerstalking is becoming increasingly popular, according to stalking organisations and professional stalkers. The news comes as the British Deer Society (BDS) reports record membership growth. The BDS’s David Kenyon commented: “The first four months of 2009 saw record numbers of people joining the BDS. Perhaps the biggest reason for the boost in stalking numbers is that magazines such as Shooting Times have increasingly demonstrated that it is not an elite sport but one which all individuals can enjoy.” BASC’s deer projects officer Chris Brooks reported a similar upward trend in membership fi gures: “Our stalking membership has grown by more than 20 per cent in the past five years,” he said.

Evidence of stalking’s growing popularity has also been documented in the number of people taking stalking qualifications. According to the Deer Initiative, more than 1,000 candidates a year now take the Deer Stalking Certifi cate (DSC) Level One and a signifi cant number go on to take Level Two. Andrew Hoon, from Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ), told Shooting Times that there are now more than 13,000 holders of the DSC Level One and nearly 3,000 DSC Level Two holders. “It is an astonishing success story. The DMQ never anticipated so many people taking the qualifications in the 10 years since the organisation was established.”

The rest of this article appears in 18th June issue of Shooting Times.

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