Cooking Roe Deer in the ground – Part 2

Nettles were added until a thick layer covered the embers

cooking roe deer-8 (Medium)

Then the meat was placed on to the nettles

cooking roe deer-9 (Small)

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

cooking roe deer-10 (Small)

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

cooking roe deer-11 (Small)

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

cooking roe deer-12 (Medium)

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

cooking roe deer-13 (Small)

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!

cooking roe deer-14 (Medium)

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.

cooking roe deer-1 (Medium)

I jointed the meat

cooking roe deer-2 (Medium)

while friends gathered stinging nettles to protect the meat

cooking roe deer-3 (Small)

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

cooking roe deer-4 (Small)

I continued to add wood for a couple of hours

cooking roe deer-5 (Medium)

until I had achieved a good bed of embers

cooking roe deer-6 (Small)

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

cooking roe deer-7

Primitive skills weekend – Part 2

After lunch there were more workshops including cordage making

Prim skills-18 (Medium)

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.

Prim skills-19 (Small)

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)

Prim skills-20 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-21 (Small)

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.

Prim skills-22 (Small)

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

Prim skills-25 (Medium)

As dusk approached the meat was removed from the pit

Prim skills-23 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-24 (Small)

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.

Prim skills-26 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-27 (Small)

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

Prim skills-16 (Small)

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

Prim skills-2 (Small)

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).

Prim skills-3 (Small)

People continued to arrive throughout the evening

Prim skills-1 (Small)

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.

Prim skills-5 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-6 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-7 (Small)

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)

Prim skills-8 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-4 (Small)

some people started scraping deer skins ready for tanning.

Prim skills-12 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-13 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-10 (Medium)

and also butchering it with flint tools

Prim skills-17 (Small)

and John was running a flintknapping workshop on making flint tools

Prim skills-9 (Medium)

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

Prim skills-14 (Small)

which worked really well

Prim skills-15 (Medium)

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;


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


and a piece of rubber mouse mat on the other


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