My name is Berit Grøtteland Helland and I grew up on a farm in western Norway, in the last house before the mountains rise. I lived there with my family, but my playmates and companions were always the animals on our farm with my most trusted friends being our dogs. All of my most cherished childhood memories take place in nature. Since three years with my first hunting dog Rocky: no matter whether we are hiking or hunting, I deeply enjoy every moment of those experiences.
Already at the age of five, I was very interested in nature. My brother’s and grandfather’s stories of foxhunts particularly excited me. In my family, hunting foxes has a long tradition. Thus, I got the chance to gain my first hunting experiences in foxhunting.
Thanks to my appreciation of wildlife and my interest in hunting, it has been my pleasure to travel to places like Canada, Ireland or Greenland. Not only was I rewarded with many new impressions, but I was also fascinated by how much you can learn about the country, people and culture while travelling.
Through my attachment to nature and wildlife, I realized how important it is to exploit everything a harvested wild animal gives in a sustainable way. This understanding was not always shared by my family. So I found my own way, started to hunt bigger game, such as reindeer, and use everything, also the meat.
Today, I am 28 years old and live in this beautiful environment together with my boyfriend Arne and my dog. Even though I am out in the wild on a daily basis, scouring my areas and observing wildlife, I only harvest very few animals each year. It's all about maintaining the natural balance, and that's why the population management in our area is heavily regulated.
Thus for me, game meat is something very special. I dissect the animal and freeze the meat in smaller portions to use it for special occasions. And they are special in two ways, because – one – we get to enjoy a delicious meal and – two – whenever I get the meat out of the freezer, I remember the story behind it and remember all the emotions I experienced during that day out in nature.
I would not call myself a gifted cook and so I am nervous when preparing venison. But I would like to share one of my favorite recipes that always turns out deliciously.