There’s plenty of ways to fight the good fight — and for hunters this means educating people on why they hunt. The answer, to simply put food on the table. But it isn’t just hunters contributing to this conversation.
Taking full advantage of the change in game processing laws in Victoria last year long-time butcher Samuel Basile is carving out his own corner in the market with the launch of his mobile butchering service Samba Mobile Butcher.
Based in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Samba Mobile Butcher specialises in full game preservation and Italian preserving.
“The service I provide is the full preparation of game meat,” Samuel said.
“That includes deboning, mincing, slicing, dicing; cuts for roasting, chops, marinating and sausages, all bagged and labelled for your convenience.”
Butchering meat since he was a teen, Samuel runs his business outside of his full-time hours working in a boutique butcher shop.
“I have been learning and mastering the trade of butchering since I was a teen,” he said.
“I am now coming on to my 12th year and it has all sprung from a passion for food.
“I have been brought up in a family of hunters who have harvested their own food for generations and have learnt to utilise as much as possible.”
Samuel commended the state government’s decision to permit recreational hunters to harvest their meat for personal consumption last year and said it was a great move towards promoting the sustainability of the practice. The change was made as part of the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Hunting Action Plan and is a step closer to making game meat more accessible for the broader community.
“It is promoting sustainability as you are encouraged to gain as much yield as possible and be able to get it processed,” he explained.
“In saying this, I am an accredited food safety supervisor and you want to know the care and proper handling of game meat is the same as a ‘PrimeSafe’ accredited butcher shop, meaning what you are consuming is fresh and fit for human consumption.”
Even with his familiarity with game meat, Samuel considers himself a novice when it comes to game hunting.
“I’ve been around clay target shooting since I was a young teen,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I can’t even hit the sky.”
Samuel has hit the target with his butchery skills though; game hunters are some of his best customers, and he is happy to promote game meat to other customers.
“The most popular would be the full service, including deboning, mincing, slicing, dicing, chops, marinating and sausages, all bagged and labelled accordingly for your convenience,” he said.
“I have always tried to push game meat to people who are eager to try it as it is some of the best ‘free range’ meat.”
Like all businesses Samuel has not escaped the pressure of coronavirus, particularly with the announcement of a second lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne.
He said while hunting had been impacted by the virus — especially for a fledgling business that relies on word of mouth — the preserving side of Samba Mobile was consistently in demand.
This hasn’t stopped him from planning however, and looking into the future Samuel has his eyes on expansion.
“The purchase of a butcher shop is in my timeline but ultimately I would love to be the face of every hunter’s delicious meal after a long hard day,” he said.
With his part in the sustainable protein conversation Samuel said he would just be glad to spread the word of his services to hunters.
“It has been a lot of word of mouth and direct messaging admins through Facebook in major hunting communities,” he said.
“Facebook is definitely my main contact for all enquiries.”
To contact Samuel visit the Samba Mobile Butcher Facebook page.