Cooking Roe Deer in the ground – Part 2

Nettles were added until a thick layer covered the embers

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Then the meat was placed on to the nettles

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Another thick layer of nettles was placed on the meat and then a fire built on top

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After four and a half hours the fire had burnt down to embers and ash

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and so I decided to scrape away the top layer of ash and remaining nettles to remove the meat

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Now I like my meat pink and a little bloody but for some it was not cooked enough and to be honest I think I should have cooked it for another hour

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but for those who liked their meat cooked more we put a leg in the oven to finish it.

It’s such a simple cooking method with no need to find suitable rocks to heat and I will certainly be doing it again.  And everyone was happy with the end result!

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Cooking Roe Deer in the ground – Part 1

Following the success of the pit cooking of Roe Deer and Wild Boar during the primitive skills course at the beginning of May, a friend asked me to cook a Roe deer in a pit for his party.

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I jointed the meat

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while friends gathered stinging nettles to protect the meat

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Chris had dug a hole in his garden in which to cook the deer and my next task was to make a fire

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I continued to add wood for a couple of hours

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until I had achieved a good bed of embers

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Having achieved a good bed of embers I covered them with a thick layer of nettles

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Primitive skills weekend – Part 2

After lunch there were more workshops including cordage making

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and by mid afternoon we were preparing food for our evening meal.  On both days the main meal was cooked in a pit.  A pit had already been dug and into this we made a fire.

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Once there was a good bed of embers a layer of wet hay was put over the embers (on Sunday Nick cut a large amount of Stinging Nettles which were used instead) and the meat, having been wrapped in hay was then placed in the pit (we had Roe and Muntjac deer and some Wild Boar)

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Another layer of wet hay/Stinging Nettles were then added and finally another fire was made on top

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The pit was then left for four hours.

A piece of lean meat from the Roe Deer was held back, sliced into thin strips and hung by the fire to make jerky.

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After 14 hours by the fire with the smoke keeping insects away, it had dried just right as venison jerky.

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As dusk approached the meat was removed from the pit

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Everyone enjoyed the evening meal and afterwards there was a primitive fancy dress competition

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and the rest of the evening was spent eating more and drinking some very strange concoctions.

On Sunday morning after breakfast there were more activities and I ran a bow-drill and wet tinder workshop for a small group.

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Hannah from Natural Pathways was keen to try the wet tinder oven.

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I spent a lot of time chatting with Hannah and her assistant instructors Lief and Sal.  I would highly recommend there survival and nature awareness courses held in Kent.

By early afternoon people were starting to leave and after the final workshop I also headed home

Primitive skills weekend – Part 1

Last weekend I attended a primitive skills weekend run by Will Lord and John Lord + some of their friends.  Here are John and Will exchanging tips on the hand-drill

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I arrived early on Friday afternoon as food was being prepared for an evening meal

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Once this rabbit had been gutted and skinned we made up a rack to suspend it over the fire to cook (we cooked Pike in the same way).

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People continued to arrive throughout the evening

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I had set up my parachute as a tipi for my shelter for the weekend and it was great to be able to lay in bed on Saturday morning testing out my new trangia stove to make coffee and fried breakfast.

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I fried salami, mushrooms and spring onions on bannock bread and I must say that the stove performed extremely well.

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The day started with some of us attempting to produce a coal with the hand-drill……unsuccessfully I might add!

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Will lead the primitive theme for the weekend by dressing in his buckskin and leather clothing (including a really nice pair of Red Deer skin boots he had made)

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After a chat and a brief about activities for the day around the campfire

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some people started scraping deer skins ready for tanning.

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As brains were being used for tanning the hides, they needed to be mashed up before they could be applied

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Nick (a deer manager and stalker by trade) gave a demonstration on skinning a Roe deer with flint tools

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and also butchering it with flint tools

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and John was running a flintknapping workshop on making flint tools

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For lunch we experimented with cooking shell fish on a burning log with a few embers on the top

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which worked really well

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Leather pouches

Having made my Crusader mug possibles pouch I have now made a set of smaller belt pouches for a variety of items.  The pouches are very basic.  Nothing fancy, just plain soft leather with a leather loop to attach them to my belt and I have cut disks of Roe Deer antler to use a buttons.

Here are some examples;

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From left to right:

  • for my folding cup, firesteel and dental floss (the floss has so many uses).
  • my folding knife
  • my sharpening kit
  • and spare batteries for my camera

My sharpening kit is a piece of board with leather coated with Autosol (a mild abrasive paste) stuck on one side

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and a piece of rubber mouse mat on the other

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The none slip rubber helps to grip different grades of sandpaper and wet and dry which I use to sharpen my blades.

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