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.
The course isn’t just about deer preparation, 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.
You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.
What our customers say
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A fascinating day with Phil ( course leader) who is a real expert on shooting and preparing all types of “sources of meat” in the wild. We prepared and sampled (thanks to Nicola) pigeon, rabbit and a large deer and came away with a wodge of venison for Christmas dinner. As with all Jack Raven courses the facilities, instruction and course content were of the highest standard. Thanks to Gary and Nicola who provided such backup and support on a very cold and blustery day.
I attended the November 2021 course with Gary and Phil. The whole day was thought provoking, practical and highly informative. The course highlighted for me the gap that exists today in understanding how and where we obtain our food.
I now understand that Game is an under appreciated and misunderstood food source. This course sheds practical light on the topic for those with an open mind. I enjoyed the range covered by Phil, including some cooking techniques and the opportunity Nicola gave us to taste small samples of prepared game including some that had been smoked over apple wood.
I would recommend this course to those who are interested in probing more deeply where their meat comes from, and who want to see beyond the plastic wrapping your food is delivered in.
A wonderful day out, informative, plenty of laughs, learnt loads and had great fun whilst doing it, happy days, thank you again!
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....