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Friday, 2 December 2016

Late run Trout

On one of our permissions there is a gorgeous little stream, it's actually little more than a creek and for most of it you can actually step across it, however at this time of year it gets a run of really decent brown trout
 
 
here's the creek (sorry bout the phone pic).. can you see anything hiding in the current?
 
lets take a closer look..
 
 
can you see it now?.. estimates put it at about 4lbs, it's a really good fish!
 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Clean your blade with Sloes

Here's a little tip for those of you who use your knife to harvest pine or spruce resin, you've all seen just how sticky and difficult to remove it can be, well here's a little in field trick to help you clean your blade
 
 
first gather some fresh sloes from a blackthorn

 
cut a slice from the sloe and use the inside flesh to rub the blade

 
you'll soon start to notice that the acid in the sloe starts to remove the resin, it may take a little while but persevere

 
and after about 5 minutes.. a fresh clean blade!
 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Fortunate Fallow Preparation at NIBC Meet

At the most recent Northern Ireland Bushcraft Club meet we managed to take a fallow deer which was used by the guys there to provide us with food for the weekend plus lots of craft materials for later on projects..
 
 
strung up and allowed to cool before the prep begins

 
Gary and I took turns at skinning the beast and I have to say it didn't take long at all, we are definitely getting the hang of efficiently prepping large game.

 
I took the backstraps off and set them aside along with another little treat for dinner later that evening..
 
 
my favourite cut of venison, I absolutely adore this meat
 
 
after the meat was all prepped, Gary and the rest of the crew took the time to flesh the hide, hard work but they did a great job, the skin was then stretched and made ready for tanning!!

 
and our little treat.. the heart, lighlty cooked by our most excellent camp cook Davy, it was one of the finest pieces of meat I've ever eaten, the rest of the off cuts were used to make a venison curry which we dined on that night, the bones, sinews and left overs were then split between the group for different projects the gang all have in mind..
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend.
 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Scarlet Dock Leaf

Every now and again nature produces a beautiful anomaly, and this seems to be one. Dock often turns red as it ages but this one was bright vibrant scarlet, on its own and I spotted it over 100 yds away, it was that visible...A gorgeous sight to see.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Paul Kirtley on Axe Safety

Paul recently put a superb article on his blog about safe axe use and proper handling techniques when using this tool in the woods. As bushcrafters and woodsmen it is always good to refresh the basics so we don't get complacent and end up with a serious injury.
The article he has written is one of the most concise and salient pieces I've read in a long time, if you use an axe, be it regularly or occasionally, you really should take the time to read it, so with Paul's kind permission I've included a link to it and ask you to take the time and visit his site and read it..
 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Guelder Rose Jelly

Guelder berries are one that I often admire but don't often use, though I have included them in small amounts in compotes, preserves and jellies in the past, though I have never made a pure Guelder rose jelly until now. The berries are classed as toxic when raw but edible when cooked and have a long history of being used in Scandinavia.
 
 
I gathered about a pound and a half of berries

 
stripped the leaves and reduced them to a mush in the pan, and the smell was rank! Like a cross between vinegar and mouldy trainers, it was bad, and it lingered!
I then passed it through a sieve and for every pound of juice add the equivalent in sugar.
 
 
the result was a bronzey orange colour jelly. It seemed to set very fast so there must be lots of pectin in these berries so be watchful if you decide to make it.
 As for the taste, well lets just say I prefer virtually every other fruit out there rather than this, but in an emergency it might just do...maybe.
 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sloe gin - (tryin' to wash away the pain inside)

 Every time someone says Sloe gin the lyrics from the Joe Bonamassa song runs through my head, I'm certainly a fan. Though neither Davy nor I drink we do get asked to make this for a friend each Christmas. The recipe is simple, for every litre of gin use half that in sugar and the other half in sloes.


Mix it all together and shake once a week for 3 months


Then strain, bottle and present to the recipient.