My name is Beetle Campbell, I’m a filmmaker and photographer from Scotland and work within the country life and field sport niche. I have a following of 33,000 people on Instagram where I share my experiences shooting & fishing whilst also being an advocate for conservation & education within these areas.
What’s the best and worst game dish you’ve ever eaten?
I was a deer stalking ghillie for two seasons on Strathfarrar estate near Inverness. I remember shooting hinds and at the end of my time up there and being allowed to butcher a hind and take some cuts home to eat. I made venison steaks with homemade chips and a creamy mushroom sauce, it was the most rewarding and tasty game dish I’ve eaten. On the contrary my grandmother was the loveliest person but a terrible cook. I remember eating grouse that must have been 10+ years old found at the bottom of her deep freeze and served to me and my brothers. With a fake smile on our faces we pretended to enjoy this dry & rubbery grouse.
Is there any game you don’t – or wouldn’t – eat?
I’d try absolutely anything once no matter how strange or obscure unless is went against conservation of the species.
Name the best shooting property you’ve stayed in?
My uncle owned a very productive grouse moor in Yorkshire called Pockstones. They shot a grouse an acre which is extremely rare and managed to do that two years running! Best day of 333 brace across only 1800 acres with only one gamekeeper and minimal budget. This is a perfect example of land management at its very finest and for me is why this is the best shooting property I’ve stayed at.
Name your favourite chef that cooks game?
Rachel Carrie. Not only is she a great ambassador and representative for the field-to-fork lifestyle but her recipes have been tried and tested in our household and are loved by all.
Who in your opinion goes out of their way to promote the eating of game?
Again, Rachel Carrie. She’s someone I connect with as her and I both actively promote the field-to-fork lifestyle as well as try to educate those on the health benefits, importance of culling and knowing exactly where your meat has come from.
Tell us about your most memorable days shooting?
My grandfather had a shoot in central Scotland and I remember learning to shoot there with my .410. This particular drive he safely but sneakily popped me in front of his line of guns as the pheasants came over sky-high. I remember missing a few but eventually shooting one and the roar from guns behind me cheering was something I’ll never forget. My smile lasted the rest of the day as people congratulated me on that high pheasant. Moments like that is what got me hooked on field sports.
You are given a day’s shooting absolutely anywhere in the world, all expenses paid for you and seven guests. Where would you choose, with whom, and what would you eat and drink for lunch and dinner?
Without a doubt it would be a days grouse shooting during a warm day in the Scottish highlands with my family. 2 members of my family are picked by The Field as the “greatest game shots of all time” and seeing them shoot is clinical. Making sure my brothers are there too adding a competitive element. For lunch cold ham, beef and smoked trout would be the go to with a nice cheddar. McEwans export or Belhaven best chilled from a highland burn would be the go to drink. For supper grouse breasts with a recurrent sauce, parsnips, carrots and dauphinoise potatoes would be a definite winner. To drink a nice burgundy followed by some port & then whisky.
To what lengths should shoots (and guns) go, to ensure as much shot game as possible enters the food chain?
As much as possible. I believe any game that’s shot should receive the respect is deserves and be distributed accordingly. Guns should always make an effort after a days shooting to take home at least a brace and shoots should make every effort to distribute the remainder to local butchers or if innovative create them into produce like burgers to sell to guns and others throughout the season.