A VIRAL VIDEO produced by a Moray butcher has the internet in a bit of a flap over its revealing some of the secrets behind their world-famous Haggis.
Macbeths Haggis is sought after far and wide – now the firm has produced a unique insight into the intricacies of catching the elusive wild haggis – including allowing the public to see a trap being laid, baited and harvested.
The footage put together by the Forres-based butcher has already reached over 100,000 people in the first 48 hours of it going live in what is thought to be the first time a haggis hunt has been revealed on film.
Head Haggis Hunter and director of the butcher, Jock Gibson, is seen setting traps and then grappling and wrestling with the wee beast. It ends centuries of speculation that the haggis doesn’t actually exist, with many people actually believing there was more chance of their really being a Loch Ness Monster.
Jock said: “I can’t believe that we have had such a great response to our film. People are very excited about it and we have been getting lots of probing questions about the critters – such as whether they are aggressive and how much whisky do they drink, it’s really grabbed people’s attention.”
Haggis hunting season for Jock began on November 16 and will come to an end on Burns Night – as Jock explained, it’s a tiring two months ensuring he catches enough haggis for his shop and online sales.
He said: “I simply never stop at this time of year and I thought it was important to show the dedication, care and also sheer strength that can go into catching the haggis. It takes time and patience.
“It’s been a mild winter which is a mixed blessing as we have been able to lay more traps, but the haggae are more agile when it’s warmer, and that makes them harder to catch.”
Haggis Hunters always work alone and they have dedicated areas which are theirs to hunt in which have been handed down through the generations.
“There’s a bit of friendly rivalry in the hills,” explained Jock, “If we catch a neighbours’ haggis, we invite them round and cook it for them. It’s a kind of trophy, because the haggae are very territorial.”
Macbeth’s concentrate on hunting native breeds such as the Red Heather Hopper which are stalked and shot. However, the traps featured in the video show how to entice the Squat Ditch Runner and Highland Hill Hopper.
“We use single malt whisky to attract them into the traps. The haggae have incredibly effective noses. The Heather Hoppers are the most difficult to catch as they have longer legs and often just hop over the trap. They seem to like the smell but have no interest in drinking the whisky,” said Jock.
Jock, whose family business is this year celebrating its 30th birthday, added: “Haggis catching really is a skill and it’s often not talked about. As we are celebrating 30 years of the sport and the business, we felt it was about time we gave the public a little glimpse of what we do.”