What’s it about?
Located between Canterbury and Ashford, join us at our ancient woodland camp on the beautiful Kent Downs for this weekend long hunter gatherer course and learn wild food foraging, woodland cooking and how to prepare, butcher and cook deer, pigeon, and rabbit.
This hunter gatherer weekend course combines elements of our foraging course and our deer preparation course but it’s much more than that. As well as getting to experience 2 nights in our beautiful ancient woodland, the extra time gives us the opportunity to put more focus into fire lighting, different fire woods and their properties, fire management as well as outdoor cooking techniques including pit ovens, dutch ovens, and grills.
We’ll also have time to look at preparing rabbits and birds as well as deer.
What will I do on this hunter gatherer weekend?
On this course you will learn about both wild game and wild plants. We’ll cover the following:
- 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,
- You will also get the opportunity to learn how to skin and butcher a rabbit as well as either pigeons or pheasants, depending on the time of year.
For the foraging part of the hunter gatherer course we’ll look at edible plants, nuts, berries and fruits commonly found in the hedgerow, fields and woodland. Be aware that what we find and forage will depend on the time of year that you come along, so for instance if you come along in the spring we’ll be looking at all of the new plants that are coming through; come in the late summer and we’ll be turning our focus to include berries as well.
We’ll talk about the legalities of foraging, the kinds of places where you should and shouldn’t forage and what containers you should use to collect your free food.
After that we’ll take an amble along the tranquil lanes of the stunning North Downs Way and look at common plants, hedgerow fruits, berries and nuts that can be eaten; we’ll collect some as we go. We’ll also point out any plants and berries that are poisonous and how to tell them apart from edible lookalikes so you know what to avoid.
ONce we get back to camp we’ll have a refresher on the plants we’ve collected to make sure that you’ve got the main identification points down.
From there we’ll settle in and start cooking the wonderful plants that we’ve collected. Everyone will need to get involved, whether cooking a dish or helping with the fires.
We will use the meat and foraged plants to feed ourselves over the weekend. We will be cooking using a traditional pit oven, dutch ovens, grills and learn fire management for cooking including when to use flame and when to use embers.
With a bit of luck everyone will have their dish ready at the same time and we can sit at our woodland dining table and enjoy the results of our game preparation and foraging.
You can see our complete course schedule here.
Location: Westwell, Kent
Duration: 2 days
Start: 6pm Friday
End: 3pm Sunday
Course size: Maximum of 8
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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This is now my 2nd course with Jack Raven Bushcraft in about 2 months and I can see why so many of them get booked up so quickly... an excellent, educational, informative and great value for money weekend away in the woods learning about game, meat and food foraging. A special thanks to Phil who showed us all how to butcher the deer and talked us through all the different cuts of meat and the best ways of cooking and eating them. What I also love is that there are plenty of opportunities to get stuck in and get your hands 'dirty' or it is absolutely fine to just watch and learn from the side. As usual alongside the venison, rabbit and pigeon, Nicola helped us all create fantastic and filling 3 course meals each day from what we had collected on both days around the forest and hedgerows. I would highly recommend this weekend to anyone and I am already looking at booking my next weekend away. Well done to Gary and the team.
Such an interesting weekend, very interactive and so much to learn. The trainers are very knowledgeable and easily deal with questions. The camp in the woods is a beautiful spot to stay. I really enjoyed getting stuck in, learning how to transform our foraged goods into wonderful 3 course meals. The food was a delight. The animal preparation was dealt with in the practical and respectful way one would expect from the professional and ecological team at Jack Raven Bushcraft.
Amazing course, well worth the money spent. Course combines deer preparation and foraging. Gary and Nicola’s wealth of knowledge is golden. And The Food was just so good! I highly recommend this course.
I have just attended the new Hunter Gatherer course this weekend, my 4th course with Jack Raven Bushcraft. A great weekend, some new skills learnt, lots of meat eating, great food and team interaction. Its a beautiful woodland where you really feel away from it all, a great place to relax and learn.
Gary is a great tutor with a relaxed teaching style & Nicola cooks the best food and makes some lovely natural body products and preserves. I would thoroughly recommend.
A really great weekend of activities to learn from. Not for the faint hearted as you are on the go the whole time from game prep to foraging and fire wood collecting. As usual Gary manages to bring together a motley crew of people who are working as a team by the end of the weekend. Highly recommend this weekend.