New Stalking book

South of the M4

Well-Known Member
I’m sticking my head above the parapet here in the full knowledge members will take aim and shoot me down if I’ve got something wrong. But at 62 I think I’m old and grumpy enough to take it. Sikamalc has already pointed out to me a small mistake with the sika images… well, he does know more than most about this species.

So I’m shamelessly promoting my new book here.
With a background as a licensed slaughterman of many years standing and a meat inspector for 10 years with the Meat Hygiene Service (later the Food Standards Agency), I do feel I have a fair bit to offer the stalking community. On the deer side I’ve been lucky enough to shoot 3 adjoining Estates for over 25 years now as sole stalker, taking an average of around 100 (mainly) does a year.
I’ve mentored and also shot with quite a number of stalkers over the years and have noticed that while most were good and, more importantly, safe shots, perhaps knife and internal identification skills may have been lacking at times (step forward Tim).

I’ve always been struck by the disconnect between the red meat industry and wild venison production. We kill around 250 000 sheep, 50 000 cattle and 200 000 pigs weekly in the UK, (it fluctuates a little depending on the season), so you would hope some of this knowledge would filter across at grassroots level to the much smaller wild venison arena. Bluntly, the UK processes many more domesticated livestock animals each and every 5 working days than deer are killed in a year, see here.
Many commercial abattoirs are very large concerns, but there are still enough smaller places around that could teach some useful knife and slaughtering skills to deer stalkers. Judging from a lot of posts on YouTube, many amateur butchers would last only a few minutes if they turned up at one of those small abattoirs for a day’s work with an idea to ‘perform the grallochs’. Evisceration in a commercial premises is regarded as a more lowly task carried out by trainees, improvers or the older personnel not so quick or strong as they once were. This alone highlights the gulf between the two areas.

So I set out to help rectify this in some small way. The book covers all aspects of stalking, but is heavy on events after the shot with a large chapter on diseases with numerous photographs where such identification would help. I have been lucky in this regard with images given where I did not have my own by senior inspector friends and a Professor working at the University of Bristol Veterinary school. I believe it is the most thorough roundup of deer conditions, certainly I haven’t come across anything else as complete.
I’ve also given my thoughts on sticking, clean handling during extraction, lardering and larder equipment and design, the processing of carcasses and also legislation from a practical point of view; my observations are all from experience, not just a reading of the regulations or ‘best practice’.

Some views contradict widely accepted practices in stalking circles, but I do attempt a robust defence. Head or neck shot animals, for example should, I believe, be bled asap, certainly well within 30 minutes of shooting, and not left until they are hung back at the chiller to reduce the blood spillage in the back if a truck. Don’t try to tell me this doesn’t happen!
Anyhoo, the book is available from the Crowood Press, advertised on this site:
Classified - Other items - New Stalking book, (as I have set up as a Trade member), if anyone is interested to see how I view things from a somewhat different angle. If this starts some debates on here it’s all good, airing differing views publicly so all can benefit. Some might even be polite exchanges!
 

Fair Hill

Well-Known Member
Sounds very interesting, hopefully postage to Ireland won't cost an arm and a leg.

(I'll probably buy it anyway.)
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
I’m sticking my head above the parapet here in the full knowledge members will take aim and shoot me down if I’ve got something wrong. But at 62 I think I’m old and grumpy enough to take it. Sikamalc has already pointed out to me a small mistake with the sika images… well, he does know more than most about this species.

So I’m shamelessly promoting my new book here.
With a background as a licensed slaughterman of many years standing and a meat inspector for 10 years with the Meat Hygiene Service (later the Food Standards Agency), I do feel I have a fair bit to offer the stalking community. On the deer side I’ve been lucky enough to shoot 3 adjoining Estates for over 25 years now as sole stalker, taking an average of around 100 (mainly) does a year.
I’ve mentored and also shot with quite a number of stalkers over the years and have noticed that while most were good and, more importantly, safe shots, perhaps knife and internal identification skills may have been lacking at times (step forward Tim).

I’ve always been struck by the disconnect between the red meat industry and wild venison production. We kill around 250 000 sheep, 50 000 cattle and 200 000 pigs weekly in the UK, (it fluctuates a little depending on the season), so you would hope some of this knowledge would filter across at grassroots level to the much smaller wild venison arena. Bluntly, the UK processes many more domesticated livestock animals each and every 5 working days than deer are killed in a year, see here.
Many commercial abattoirs are very large concerns, but there are still enough smaller places around that could teach some useful knife and slaughtering skills to deer stalkers. Judging from a lot of posts on YouTube, many amateur butchers would last only a few minutes if they turned up at one of those small abattoirs for a day’s work with an idea to ‘perform the grallochs’. Evisceration in a commercial premises is regarded as a more lowly task carried out by trainees, improvers or the older personnel not so quick or strong as they once were. This alone highlights the gulf between the two areas.

So I set out to help rectify this in some small way. The book covers all aspects of stalking, but is heavy on events after the shot with a large chapter on diseases with numerous photographs where such identification would help. I have been lucky in this regard with images given where I did not have my own by senior inspector friends and a Professor working at the University of Bristol Veterinary school. I believe it is the most thorough roundup of deer conditions, certainly I haven’t come across anything else as complete.
I’ve also given my thoughts on sticking, clean handling during extraction, lardering and larder equipment and design, the processing of carcasses and also legislation from a practical point of view; my observations are all from experience, not just a reading of the regulations or ‘best practice’.

Some views contradict widely accepted practices in stalking circles, but I do attempt a robust defence. Head or neck shot animals, for example should, I believe, be bled asap, certainly well within 30 minutes of shooting, and not left until they are hung back at the chiller to reduce the blood spillage in the back if a truck. Don’t try to tell me this doesn’t happen!
Anyhoo, the book is available from the Crowood Press, advertised on this site:
Classified - Other items - New Stalking book, (as I have set up as a Trade member), if anyone is interested to see how I view things from a somewhat different angle. If this starts some debates on here it’s all good, airing differing views publicly so all can benefit. Some might even be polite exchanges!
Good stuff, I have pointed to the " I do them on the ground brigade" that their Sunday roast beef would be cleaned hanging up all the way until it was finished with lol

Good post
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
Horses for courses especially when 'X' kilometres off road,what would you propose? Carry a chain block in the pack?
Some stalkers don`t sit over a crop paddock where a vehicle can attend.

View attachment 211012
As you say horses for courses, on here people wanted to hang a guy up by his nuts for shooting a wild boar so what ever you type then the next hero will have a reply.
My reply was to the fact the person who wrote the post is a slaughter man and as you know all the stock from a chicken to a bull is hung up which is how the 1st world meat market demands a standard. The percentage of shooters doing one on the floor or not which is their choice. I have done Red deer on the floor fallow on a tailgate off the persons property as they didn't want it done there...
There are reasons beast are done up in the air which I know you understand that...having worked in the middle east then what is cut and butchered in a very short time was on my way back and home from work every other day...
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
I was kindly asked by Larry to review his book. Firstly thank you Larry for asking me, and secondly well done on getting it into print.
What I will say is that I was impressed by the amount off work and high quality photographs in the book.
The explanation of various diseases one might find in a deer was very well written and illustrated with good quality photos. Something which in most stalking publications is missing.
Whilst none of us are vets it is none the less our responsibility to ensure a quality product presented to game dealer or direct to the end user if licenced to do so.
I would thoroughly recommend any stalker to purchase a copy, and for the small price of £20 ( I assume that's the price) it is a good addition to any deer stalkers library.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
By the way this about a publication, not an excuse to start arguments about who does suspended grallochs and who does not.
Like Johnny has pointed out you ain't gonna be on the edge of a field every time. Some of the drags and extractions I have done over the years in Scotland I would not attempt now. Getting too old.
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
By the way this about a publication, not an excuse to start arguments about who does suspended grallochs and who does not.
Like Johnny has pointed out you ain't gonna be on the edge of a field every time. Some of the drags and extractions I have done over the years in Scotland I would not attempt now. Getting too old.
My first comment was good stuff Malcom to the op...
Also the OP said
If this starts some debates on here it’s all good, airing differing views publicly so all can benefit. Some might even be polite exchanges!

If you are taking sides in the debate then I miss read the history of the OP where he has a vast knowledge of food hygiene.. :tiphat:
 

South of the M4

Well-Known Member
As you say horses for courses, on here people wanted to hang a guy up by his nuts for shooting a wild boar so what ever you type then the next hero will have a reply.
My reply was to the fact the person who wrote the post is a slaughter man and as you know all the stock from a chicken to a bull is hung up which is how the 1st world meat market demands a standard. The percentage of shooters doing one on the floor or not which is their choice. I have done Red deer on the floor fallow on a tailgate off the persons property as they didn't want it done there...
There are reasons beast are done up in the air which I know you understand that...having worked in the middle east then what is cut and butchered in a very short time was on my way back and home from work every other day...
Tim,
I haven’t advocated a hanging ‘gralloch’ over one carried out on the ground. I mostly do mine on the ground and in the book I have a series of images to demo my technique, see attached.
The problem, pointed out by Sikamalc, is a long drag with weighty green offal inside. Ditch that and the recovery becomes a lot easier. However what if the drag is over ground covered in sheep sh!t, or a stream is to be negotiated? Sometimes it’s not just one vs the other when you want to keep the carcass clean.
My main issue with a hanging evisceration is that the sternum is not usually sawn, as would be in an abattoir, prior to opening the stomach cavity. This can cause difficulty in making sure the oesophagus does not detach from the rumen, spilling green content internally, as the rumen needs to be lifted up and over the sternum. If the brisket is sawn, the gut will fall away easily without catching.

Another point is that in the field the rumen can be full, whereas in a commercial premises the livestock will not have eaten for a while, so the stomach will not be quite so heavy. Often the stomach cavity is opened and the rumen & associated intestines will just hang there until the next stage of processing, but in the field the extra weight can make it detach under it’s own weight, spilling content.

Sawing the brisket in the field opens the carcass to external contamination when recovering the carcass…. So that’s why I do most of mine on the ground, leaving the red offal inside until later.



IMG_3619.jpg
 

BRYAN

Well-Known Member
Tim,
I haven’t advocated a hanging ‘gralloch’ over one carried out on the ground. I mostly do mine on the ground and in the book I have a series of images to demo my technique, see attached.
The problem, pointed out by Sikamalc, is a long drag with weighty green offal inside. Ditch that and the recovery becomes a lot easier. However what if the drag is over ground covered in sheep sh!t, or a stream is to be negotiated? Sometimes it’s not just one vs the other when you want to keep the carcass clean.
My main issue with a hanging evisceration is that the sternum is not usually sawn, as would be in an abattoir, prior to opening the stomach cavity. This can cause difficulty in making sure the oesophagus does not detach from the rumen, spilling green content internally, as the rumen needs to be lifted up and over the sternum. If the brisket is sawn, the gut will fall away easily without catching.

Another point is that in the field the rumen can be full, whereas in a commercial premises the livestock will not have eaten for a while, so the stomach will not be quite so heavy. Often the stomach cavity is opened and the rumen & associated intestines will just hang there until the next stage of processing, but in the field the extra weight can make it detach under it’s own weight, spilling content.

Sawing the brisket in the field opens the carcass to external contamination when recovering the carcass…. So that’s why I do most of mine on the ground, leaving the red offal inside until later.



View attachment 211054
I ordered too. I'm offally glad I did.
 
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