Bushcraft weekend (stag party) @ Bowji bush camp Cornwall

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Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
Apologies for the long
And picture heavy post.
Bloody pictures of deer butchering may be a little much for some...
Ye all been warned.

Also apologies to John , for me taking so long to write this report, it's been crazy here with the wedding , and mobilising the troops etc.

So as the best man , I was given the task of organising a stag do for my buddy.
The only requirements, from the groom were to camp out somewhere nice, a fire and a few drinks .
Easier said than done , stag parties are usually stereotyped ,so I had no luck finding a suitable location.
I put out a message out on the forum.
And very kindly Bowji John came to the rescue.
Not only could he accommodate all of us , he would also provide ALL of the food and some fun activities for the group . 😎
No brainer. Sign me up.👍👍

For the very reasonable price agreed ,we would all be fed, as well as entertained with what sounds like a H&S nightmare.

Skinning and butchering deer , cooking it and understanding the whole process from field to plate.
Axe and knife throwing , shooting , blowpipes and catapults and even atlatl throwing. And a competition for the boys?
Perfect!

What could possibly go wrong? :)

Thanks to John and his team , this not only was safe , it was fun and educational for many of us.
We were all in for a treat.



John's place is not only beautiful but we were made welcome immediately.

What an awesome group of instructors.
Down to earth , very knowledgeable and extremely helpful .



John grew up in Rodesia and served in the 70's for the Rodesian infantry , followed by becoming a park ranger on a big game reserve . Living out in the bush for many years.
Ross was a senior Woodlore instructor for Ray Mears amongst​ others, Leon Andrews from Greencraft and also with a military background , and the 2 Sam's who had just returned from a wonderful expedition from central and south America and just oozed knowledge and helpfulness .

We were surrounded by amazing folk , in the perfect location .
Warm showers , compost toilets , communal kitchen and sitting area by the fire pit , vast campground and a small woodland with a small river going through it.

What a great result .


After setting camp and giggling at what some of these guys brought camping (I mean who brings a suitcase, a pillow and 3 pairs of shoes???)
, 😂

we got some food and refreshments followed by an explanation of what was the plan for the evening and the following day .


After a short but thorough lesson about deer species and their idiosyncrasies, the true economic value of such animals , conservation and what it means to hunt and how to show respect for the animal by using every part.

A few of us got stuck into deer prep, I've always wanted to have a go so I did and so did the groom :)


... books are great but nothing like real experience.

I feel semi competent now thanks to Ross and Leon . Thank you guys .

Rocket was very attentive too ;)

Whilst we did that, John and the lovely Sams were busy preparing the fire for cooking the meat.

whilst Sam and Ross were also teaching some of the guys that didn't want to touch meat , how to make feather sticks .

I was quite pleased with my attempt.



John very kindly had already prepared some venison sausages from before so we could have the opportunity to try those even though we didn't have time to cover that skill .


They were delicious . All of the food was a real treat .





And the kettle was always on!!


The night fell and the party was more like a gathering of old friends around a campfire and a guitar.
Perfect.


In the morning , just a few sore heads , it was only then I realised how everyone was really up for the activities as they were all in pretty good shape and stayed relatively sober the night before .

Local bacon and home laid duck and chicken eggs with rolls , toast , coffee and Tea, juices cereal and the works were waiting for us as we woke up .

After soaking up the boozy stomachs we got on to the activities and needless to say , we all loved that .




...
Axe throwing is so much fun and the sound when it bites the log is really satisfying.

The knife throwing was a lot harder​ than I thought and the atlatl was a real revelation...I've always wanted to shoot one, now I even know how to make one .


Onto air rifles and a healthy little competition to keep the interest .


The competitiveness took hold and before long, everyone was engaged .

Soon , it was lunchtime and John and the team had marinated some of the venison to make this most amazing stew , and so we had venison stew with the nettle heads that Leon had picked that morning when we got chatting.


Delicious ...and I'd go as far as saying , that it was even nicer than the grilled venison steaks we'd had the night before.
Just delicious.
Kettle still on ... All day ! 👍


Some of the chaps in our group had to get going, so John very kindly put the activities forward so that EVERYONE could have a go at the 2.2 .

Needless to say they​ stayed on and also had a go at shooting those.
We all had a go at that and at other rifles , and that was probably the most exciting part of the activities.

I always wanted to try out shooting but never had the opportunity.
Thank you John for providing that as well!!!
Just awesomeness!!

The competition now in full swing and
the boys are getting really serious about the whole thing. Great to see the competitiveness amongst them .

Nobody knew that John had even arranged a prize at the end , let alone that amazing prize!!

The winner was to get a brand new knife ,and ESEE 4 , guaranteed for life !!! What a beast of a knife!
The winner was stoked and didn't know what to say!!!

Additionally , John told us a very heart warming story about a friend back in Zimbabwe who's tribe would have as a tradition to offer 3 items to a newly wed friend.
A blanket , a knife and a musical instrument!
With these , it is thought that a man can provide for his family , with warmth , protection and entertainment.
Well John , really went way above anything expected and he gifted the groom with a handmade (by Ross)
whistle
, a handmade knife and leather sheath (by Leon Andrews from Greencraft UK )
and a huge italian military wool blanket ! Sorry didn't get a picture of that one :(

The huge undertaking by John and his team and attention to detail on every aspect of John's hospitality , made our stay with him be an unforgettable experience.

The food was amazing , the hospitality was incredible , the activities were really good fun and an eye opener for many of the guests , the location was idillic and the team were just the nicest bunch of people we could have hoped for.

Thank you John , I really appreciate your efforts!! You've made this special weekend be even more special and an unforgettable experience for many of us .

I'm still being showered with compliments of how well organised and how everything went along pleasantly, calmly and swiftly with military precision and how that was the best stag party they had ever been to !!!

This could not have happened without you and your team and I can't say thank you enough times! Thank you very much indeed!! And please pass on our compliments and gratitude to your team !!! What a lovely bunch of people.

I'll be back for sure.

What an altruistic man , I'm not very good at maths but it is obvious that you made no money at all from this event , I'd be surprised if you even broke even .
So thank you so much for trusting us in your property and for making the price so accessible to us.


A few of us are already talking about coming down for your deer stalking ,the tracking and also the firearms shooting out in the boonies courses .
The outdoors first aid also something a couple of us want to do...
Sounds like great fun and the standard of your service is excellent.

I would not hesitate in letting you organise and plan the next journey with Bowji bush camp .

Thank you so much for looking after us and for going above and beyond your duties to provide us with an unforgettable experience.
Much appreciated

Speak soon John! 👍👍
Warmest regards



Link to John's thread

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=142051
 
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bowji john

Silver Trader
Mar 24, 2015
138
3
Cornwall
www.facebook.com
Mate

It was an absolute pleasure to have you and your group last weekend

All the instructors thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days

Will keep you informed of the FREC level 3 - outdoor first aid course and the shooting and stalking intro weekends

It was great to finally meet up with you after all the emails

Cheers Pal

J
 

Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
It was the best weekend ever! All the lads agreed.

Thanks again John , I'll be in touch regarding those courses too...
👍
 

Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
35
Norway
Wow! What a great idea for a stag party!

It looks like you had a wonderful time there :)

Three pairs of shoes! Somebody's not taking any chances
;)
 

Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
Wow! What a great idea for a stag party!

It looks like you had a wonderful time there :)

Three pairs of shoes! Somebody's not taking any chances
;)
😂
He had his driving shoes on for driving (trainers) , smart shoes in the suitcase ( just in case) for the evening event , and some comfortable moccasins for camp Oh and Wellington boots for the activities. 😵

😂
 

Neil1

Full Member
Oct 4, 2003
1,316
58
Sittingbourne, Kent
Ah,(Leshy) it all makes sense now. Leon said one of the guys knew all about my videos! Thank you for taking the time to put the pictures up for us all to enjoy.
 

Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
Ah,(Leshy) it all makes sense now. Leon said one of the guys knew all about my videos! Thank you for taking the time to put the pictures up for us all to enjoy.
Neil , it's a pleasure .

I really enjoy your style of tutorial and all the videos are always really useful and relevant.
I particularly like the owl stick carving , but they are all really good.
Keep up the good work! 👍


Either way , it was a pleasure to meet your brother and I look forward to engaging with Greencraft again in the not so distant future and meeting you as well .

All the best !
 
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Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
One of the reasons it was such a good weekend was the clients, you guys made our jobs relatively easy. Thanks David it was a pleasure to meet you.
Thank you Leon!
It was pleasure meeting you too!
Hope to see you all again soon!
All the best !
👍
 

GGTBod

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 28, 2014
3,210
22
1
Awesome report mate, sounds like a great time was had, meat looked amazing
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
10,618
351
47
Wiltshire
It sounds great fun and no doubt more endering than the traditional pub crawl.

(Is that what the ladies did?)