The Fisher UK marketing team couldn’t help but jump at the opportunity to visit Gundog Trainer of the Year Ben Randall at his HQ in Herefordshire. Ben now has his own Gun Dog App, which is proving a sensational hit among gun dog owners.
On arriving at his five-star training facility and luxurious boarding kennels, we were very impressed with the purpose-built, family-run gun dog training and boarding facility.
Ben has helped provide us with the knowledge to train our own Canine Department, via his Gun Dog App, which we are fully signed-up to and allows us to train our dogs when we have time and to a standard that helps them become the ideal companions, both at work and in the field.
Ben and his wife Nikki welcomed our team into their gun room, adorned with beautiful oil paintings of game birds and opulent furniture made from antlers. There was also a lovely collection of hand carved and painted ornate walking sticks, each with a different bird’s head.
Our team then introduced Ben to multi-award-winning butcher, Tim Hanks of nearby Hanks’ Meat & Game in Ross-on-Wye, who came to give a venison butchery masterclass to Ben and his family to show them how to get the most out of each deer carcass.
Ben’s father Keith has become a dab hand at making his own burgers, venison loin is a firm favourite with all the family and lean haunch steaks are a great way of packing in the protein for Ben and Nikki’s two sons whenever possible.
A ferocious log burner crackled away and kept everybody warm on what was a rather cold and blustery day and it was in this cosy room that our marketing team set up their cameras and began to create our film about Ben, his Fisher UK Game Larder, from our Highland range of compact larders, and his passion for shooting with his two teenage sons, Jack and Joe, and his father, Keith.
Ben’s passion for his craft as an expert gun dog handler shines through everything he does – he lives and breathes everything countryside and is determined that his sons maintain their love of shooting and harvesting wild venison as a form of down time and relaxation together.
Ben said : “I love spending time with my sons out in the field as I did with my own father. There’s something romantic about spending hours observing the behaviour of a herd, then selecting an animal to harvest and take back to our purpose-built game larder.
To know that that animal will then be eaten by my family and I, with any waste then to the dogs, we are using the whole carcass. Having Tim Hanks here today is brilliant as its not every day that we get the opportunity to enjoy a venison butchery masterclass from the current game butcher of the year.”
The boys are well on their way to a career in professional rugby and as such need to eat a great deal of protein. Ben and Nikki have venison on the menu most nights of the week and are certain that their sons benefit massively from this healthiest form of red meat.
There we were at the home of Beggarbush Gundogs, in the presence of a national champion gun dog trainer, a national champion butcher and a young rugby player set for stardom – such a great amount of talent in one room, brought together by a common love of the countryside, game and beautiful, impeccably-trained gun dogs of course! It was an honour to be able to capture all of these elements on film and in beautiful stills, while showcasing their new Fisher UK Game Larder, chiller and Tonon™ rail system.
Our Technical Director, Jon Fisher, was on site to install the Game Larder at Beggarbush HQ, so many of Ben’s clients and associates could also benefit from such a purpose-built facility.
Jon said : “I am delighted to be working with Ben to promote our range of compact Game Larders. They are a vital part of the process to ensure ‘field to fork’ venison and game reaches the market in line with current game handling regulations. Our range of compact larders are great for anyone who is serious about handling deer to the highest standards. They are completely prefabricated within our factory, and therefore require nothing more than connecting to power and water once delivered on-site. “
Ben’s father Keith is really impressed with the Fisher UK Game Larder, he said : “It’s great to think that this larder was built and commissioned in a factory and then delivered to us on an articulated lorry and craned into position. The ground works had already been completed when it arrived, so it was then just a matter of plugging it in. It’s wonderful to be able to butcher our own carcasses and the rail system makes for minimal handling, with the winch lifting the carcasses up onto the hooks where they hang in the fur for a week, before we skin them and break them down into our favourite cuts.”
Click here for more information on the full range of Game Larders and butchery units offered by Fisher UK : https://fisheruk.co.uk/game-larders/
Tim Hanks then took to the butcher’s block with a whole carcass of local wild Roe deer, harvested five days before in Herefordshire. He then proceeded to break it down into primals and boned-out the haunches.
One haunch was rolled and the other was seamed-out into topside, silverside and thick flank, which was then cut down into more manageable sized haunch steaks.
Finally, Tim boned-out the saddle, removed the back straps, leaving the prime eye of the highly-prized loin which we then cooked and enjoyed in Ben’s beautiful country kitchen within the lodge.
Tim says : “The most important thing you have to remember when breaking down a carcass of venison is to always make sure you’re comfortable when butchering meat and that the meat is not the ‘comfortable’ element, as this is how accidents happen. The trick is to always ensure you have clean, clear surfaces. We broke the carcass into primal cuts to make for easier handling when the butchery process is underway.”
Tim is very much looking forward to welcoming Ben and Nikki to his venison and wild boar butchery and cookery lesson in his recently launched Venison Butchery & Cookery Masterclass at Harts Barn Cookery School on the 9th March.
Anyone else who is interested in joining this fascinating session with a top local chef can click here to register and book their place : https://meatandgame.com/product/venison-butchery-cookery-masterclass/
After a tour of the kennels and a show-round of the Beggarbush facility and training paddocks, our team then met Hollie, a shiny black Labrador. She is one of Ben’s many gundogs and wouldn’t move without his command. It’s this excellence in control that guns need when out in the field and an example of the perfect companion for stalking and commercial shoots.
Ben has created the rather ingenious Gundog App : https://gundog.app/ which gundog owners can buy and use as a constant reference guide for training their dog.
Jon Fisher said : “Since meeting with Ben about his Game Larder, he introduced me to his Gundog App which has been a revolution when it comes to my own gundog training. I’m always pressed for time but using the app allows me to be flexible and train at a time that suits me rather than committing to set classes, I really cannot wait to get back out in the field next season to see the results – I can’t recommend the app enough.”
A Fisher UK Game Larder is a quick, cost-effective way to introduce a modern facility to your operation – contact us today for more information.