It seems only to be a blink of an eye since haggis hunting season was last upon us, but here we are again! It's time to dig out your Haggis Nets and Grizzling Pipes, don your hunting hats and set out into the woods to see if you can catch yourself a delicious wild treat! Catching a haggis is an art and can take years of practice, but it is well worth it as a freshly caught and cooked haggis is singularly sublime!
Step One - The Tools
First up you will need the net, and a well seasoned haggis hunter might say that's all you really need once you get good at it, but even they will admit to still carrying a grizzling pipe. If you've never seen one, think of it as a cross between a kazoo and a didgeridoo. Learning to play one is the easy part, but learning to mimic the call of the haggis is actually really difficult.
The mating call of a haggis sounds like a grumbling bagpipe crossed with a whoopie cushion, so recreating this noise to attract haggi towards your net is hard to master. Last but not least you'll need your tatties, although some say neeps work just as well.
Step Two - The Method
It is universally agreed that you can't catch a haggis without the right equipment, but after that the experts disagree entirely on the best method. We all know a trap won't work, haggi are far too cunning to fall for anything so basic! First you will need to find the haggis treehouse, which is similar to a beaver damn but built into large trees.
Some of you may have been subject to a swarm of haggis if you've ever disturbed them in the summer, but at this time of year that is far less likely. Once you have found a good vantage point, it's time to get out that pipe and start blowing to attract your mate!
Once a haggis has replied to your calls, it's time to get your tatties out or show it your neeps. Like cats towards catnip, a haggis can't resist tatties and neeps and once it has started to nibble on them will become docile and far easier to catch. This moment is critical as the smell of a human can send a haggis into a bloodthirsty rage, so swooping with your net and flipping the haggis onto its back has to be done in one quick, smooth movement to ensure it doesn't realise its fate and head for your jugular.
Step 3 - Cooking
If you're successful and you've caught a decent size haggis with plenty of meat on it, allow it 45 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees. It is traditional to serve haggis with both tatties and neeps in honour of its love of them, but there are plenty of other ways to serve it.
If you end up unlucky and don't manage to catch a haggis this year, you can always pick up a Macsween Haggis from here in the shop, caught by third generation haggis hunters who have been expertly catching these delicious creatures from the lowlands for over seventy years.
Given how hard we know it is to catch one, I imagine we'll be seeing you soon!
If you're looking for a haggis supper or a whisky tasting gift bag, have a look at these lovely things!