What’s it about?
Located between Canterbury and Ashford, join us at our ancient woodland camp on the beautiful Kent Downs for this 1 day deer preparation and butchery course and learn how to skin and butcher a deer.
We understand that this is an emotive subject for many people but we believe that it’s an important skill for those of us that spend much of our time outdoors. There is a disconnect in the modern world between people and their food; on this course we aim to re-establish that connection and remind ourselves where meat comes from.
Crucially we believe that the whole process must be conducted in a way that is respectful to the animal. The animals that are used on this course are carefully selected so that the population as a whole benefits; we do not advocate trophy hunting, we don’t use stags nor females that are pregnant or have foals.
We will make use of as much of the animal as possible.
What will I do on this deer preparation & butchery course?
During your time spent with us on this 1 day deer preparation course, you will:
- Learn how a deer is selected for culling, where and when it can be culled, how the animal is stalked and how it’s dispatched,
- Understand about the safe use of firearms when deer stalking,
- Find out about the various diseases that the animal must be checked for,
- Be shown meat hygiene techniques and methods,
- Skin the deer with minimal damage to the hide or the meat,
- Butcher the deer to ensure that as much meat as possible is produced,
- Learn about the different cuts of meat produced and how to cook them.
Once the animal has been butchered we will light a fire and cook some of it. Anything that’s left will be shared out between us all to take home.
We’ll also start the process of tanning the hide by fleshing and salting it. It will then need to go into a tanning solution for a week or so before softening.
If time permitts, and the game is available, we will also look at preparing rabbit and pigeon.
We can only run this course during the stalking season, so dates are typically between October and April.
You can see our complete course schedule here.
Location: Westwell, Kent
Duration: 1 day
Course size: Maximum of 8
Catering: We’ll provide tea & coffee, you’ll need to bring a packed lunch
Note: There is a short walk from the meeting point to the camp. We’ll transport your bags in our 4×4
You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.
What our customers say
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Absolutely brilliant course. Had a fantastic day, full of knowledge, hands on experience & delicious wild game nibbles.
Let’s be honest, any day out at the moment is a great day out.
As an experienced stalker, I wanted to improve my animal butchery skills and this day achieved that in spades.
Very friendly people and excellent hands on game butchery from Phil.
As a bonus, came away with delicious venison which went down very well with my voracious family 🙂
Will definitely come foraging when time allows....
We took the winter course during Lockdown 2020. Having isolated for the best part of the year, we eagerly looked forward to the course and it didn't disappoint. We can both honestly say it was the highlight of our 2020. Gary was a font of bushcraft knowledge, the setting was idyllic, Nicola's cooking was superb and Phil's skills and anecdotes were utterly mesmerizing. We can't praise the day high enough and will be coming back again!
I took the 3rd March '19 course, which was excellent. Really informative, with lots of opportunities to get hands-on and learn from a very experienced and clearly expert teacher. Exactly what I've come to expect from Gary and Nicola's courses.
One of the best days I've ever spent at Jack Raven. Interesting, informative and learning practical skills. Gino was patient and encouraging in teaching style, generous with his knowledge too.
The weather could have a little less fiesty though !!!! 😁👍