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Venison "From Forest to Plate" Experience

Consistent with Government policy, Rothiemurchus carries out a cull of native wild Red and Roe deer, keeping nature in balance and conserving the natural heritage of the land. On this experience, you will go behind the scenes at Rothiemurchus over one or two days. You will accompany the Conservation Manager and learn more about why and how wild deer numbers are kept in balance, learn how he goes about it in a humane way, and assist in conducting the conservation cull.

Along the way he will impart fascinating facts about the flora and fauna of this very special place. You will note wild animal and bird activity and learn to spot signs, tracks and hopefully any number of other native wildlife species - which may include red squirrel, hare, and even woodland grouse. You will walk up to quiet and rarely visited parts of Rothiemurchus, early in the morning - one of the most atmospheric and beautiful times to be in the outdoors in this part of the Highlands. With luck you will track, spot and stalk a suitable wild deer for cull, and recover it to the venison larder with the Conservation Manager.

Any culled deer will be matured for a few days in the Rothiemurchus Venison Larder. You will then join Rothiemurchus butcher Brian Dey at the Inverdruie butchery to see how the deer are turned into healthy venison - food for the residents and visitors to Rothiemurchus. First you will learn about the names and types of the various cuts and the preparation of the meat, and be shown which cuts are best suited to which sort of cooking.

If a roe deer has been successfully culled, Brian will show you how to quarter and bone the carcass into primal cuts. Alternatively you may be watching Brian expertly bone and cut an entire haunch from a recently culled red deer, creating a variety of steaks, casserole meat and a roast, and putting aside the excess meat for delicious venison sausages. Brian will even show you how to create the perfect butcher’s knot for a roast.

It will then be your turn! Brian will guide you through the deft and skilful knife work required when working with venison. Both culinary and history lesson rolled into one, this is an insight into artisan butchery that is becoming increasingly rare and highly prized. The venison will be available for you to purchase at a preferential rate, to enjoy either during your stay or once you return home.

The price for the entire experience over 2 days is £480 and is a flat rate for parties of between 1-4.

Note: Although the conservation manager will use all his skill and experience to locate a suitable animal for cull, there may be occasions when you return empty handed, and therefore the butchery element will take place with a recently culled deer from our venison larder.