Who wants to go down to Charlottesville, Virginia to learn how to hunt, butcher, and prepare deer? I do.
Jackson Landers, the Locavore Hunter, gave a terrific seminar last weekend. Melissa, Zev, Andrew, Meeses, and I all went. He regularly offers weekend seminars, and he said he could do a special seminar just for us if we get 7-10 people who are interested.
This isn't a testosterone-fueled trip to shoot guns and kill stuff -- we'd be learning about the ethics of hunting, the environmental benefits of hunting, plus learning about the ecology of deer, cooking, and gun safety.
Check out his description of the recent March seminars:http://rule-303.blogspot.com/2010/02/march-locavore-hunting-class-scheduled.html
Below is his email with costs -- typically $380, but will do $340 for us as a group of 7 or more. That doesn't include transportation or accommodations. But he gave some options to do that on a budget.
EMAIL ME OR MELISSA ASAP IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED. Either in one of those dates listed, or at a later time.
Its $380 for the weekend, which includes a catered lunch (Paleo-friendly, in this case) on Saturday and dinner on Sunday (that's when we cook and eat the deer that the class dressed. A shuttle for transportation to the various field trips is included on both days. I can give you a group discount bringing the price down to $340 each if you are booking 7 or more spots together.
Regarding places to stay on the cheap, the first thing that comes to mind is Couchsurfing.com. A student from my last class did that and said that it worked out really well. That would be more towards the 'completely free' end of the spectrum. If you are looking for an actual hotel that isn't too pricey then I would suggest the Hampton Inn on West Main Street. The advantage of this place is that you can walk there in 5 minutes from the train station and then either walk or take the free trolley from the hotel to downtown, where the classroom space and our commercial kitchen are.
The Hampton Inn is $150 a night per room for double occupancy. So $75 a head if you share rooms. If you can get your whole group to stay there then you could probably call them up and negotiate a lower group rate.
There are certainly motels outside of town along the highway that would probably be cheaper, but then you'd have to rent a car to get around and probably not be saving any money at that point. The whole downtown area of Charlottesville is very walkable and has some free public transportation and lots of good restaurants and concert venues and art galleries and other things that will make you much happier there than out along the highway for $60 a night.
I checked to see if there is a Charlottesville Eating Paleo group that I could hook you guys up with for couches and guest rooms, but there doesn't seem to be an organized group here (yet).
By the way, the weekend of the 27th is looking like it would probably not be ideal on my end due to logistics with my next Slow Food event. But still, any of those other 3 weekend are still clear.