Friday, October 30, 2009

Bob Harn Knife

I showed this knife before, but since it's being published in a Prime Possibles review in the Nov/Dec issue, I'll show it again with a detail shot of Bob's signature on the spine of the knife and the decorative file work along the back. It's truly a beautiful piece.

The Nov/Dec issue was a couple of days late going to the post office because of a computer software glitch on the address labels and the bag tags for the postal service. We thought the mailing was done, until the error was discovered at our local post office. So, the mailing had to be redone. You should be receiving the latest issue within the next week or two.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don Wright Pocket Horn

I used to call these priming horns, but since I now think that a separate horn for a finer priming powder is not an 18th century concept, I call small horns like this pocket horns. I think they were carried in the waistcoat pocket for day hunts. On a day hunt, there's no need for a pouch full of stuff. Just put a small horn in your pocket, a few patches and balls, or a loading block, maybe an extra flint or some caps, and head to the woods. I still carry a pouch and horn, but I can see the merits of simplifying and cutting down on the weight.

Don Wright made this horn in 1979. I think Dad bought it off Don's trade blanket, probably at the first Mid-America Rendezvous. It's 7-1/2 inches around the curve, and the base plug is about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mark Thomas Rifle 2

I had to show a few more photos of the Thomas rifle. Mark is a great guy and a fantastic engraver and carver.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mark Thomas Rifle

This is the rifle I have been deer hunting with the last two years. It has a 44 inch Getz barrel, a Jim Chambers lock and the stock wood came from Freddie Harrison. The rest of the parts were made/modified by Mark Thomas. It weighs just 8 pounds, so it's not a chore to carry through the woods all day. I asked Mark about the styling on this rifle and here's part of what he told me:

"I believe, when I built your rifle, that I used the pattern from the Alexander Walker riffle circa 1780 of Augusta County, Virginia. That is where the relationship to the original stopped. By using a generic early style butt piece and trigger guard, I developed my own rendition of an 18th century rifle. This rifle is a more common style with a little carving and engraving to enhance it. Actually, that's the fun part for me. I've always viewed the building of a rifle to be in two different realms. One is the practical, so that it fits correctly and functions well. The other is the artistic details of the carving and engraving. The final part of this saga is the color that was imparted to the maple wood by the use of ferric nitrate as the stain. A little secret of an aged gun with nice wood is that, when the aging is polished through over years of use, more wood and the unique color of the nitrate stain will show through."

Those are the basics on this rifle. If I think of something else later, I'll post about it again.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 26, 2009

Deer Hunting

Last Monday evening, while still at the deer camp, I went hunting without my rifle. I already had three deer from Saturday and Sunday, and didn't want to clean another right then. So, I left my rifle at the cabin and went to the Northwest corner, where there is a feeder and a bow stand, and climbed into the stand at 4:30. The top photo shows a yearling, the first deer to come in at 5:45. The next shot shows a doe and the yearling eating corn.

It was fun being up above them in the stand when they were 10 yards from the tree. They didn't know I was there, but started getting nervous when they heard the camera clicking. I tried to take pictures when they were crunching corn so they wouldn't hear it as well.

Though I don't hunt from a tree stand, I can see why folks like it. I also don't like to hunt by a feeder, even though it's legal in Arkansas and many other states. So, though I may walk past a feeder while hunting, I prefer to be out in the woods, either sitting under a tree or against a log, or simply stillhunting my way through a creek bottom on my own hind legs. Takes patience and skill and adds a challenge to the hunt. It's not just about shooting, it's about a more basic hunt. On the six deer bagged the last two years, my furthest shot was about 40 yards.

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One of My Deer

I ended up getting three deer, one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Two were good sized does and one was a small anterless deer that I only shot because I though it had been wounded. Guy suggested that the little deer just hadn't learned to walk yet. Very funny, but I reckon it was scared silly by Guy shooting at another deer just a few yards away from the little one. It came skipping/tripping down the trail toward me. I think maybe it slipped in the mud. Anyway, I shot it out of perceived duty and found out later that I didn't have to.

While we were looking for the deer Guy shot at, a full size doe with a yearling came to the edge of the small creek bottom we were searching and was looking at Guy. I didn't hesitate long and made the 25 yard shot that put her straight down. That's her in the photo along with my Mark Thomas rifle. The lower photo shows the pieces of the ball I found when I processed her. That was a .526 round ball before it hit a rib, the spine and the flat shoulder bone on the other side.

I fell in love with this rifle at Fort Frederick in 2007. Mark was kind enough to hold it for me while I got the money together. I bought it at the CLA show that year. I really started shooting it in 2008 and have so far shot six deer with six shots, not counting hitting with two other shots at a deer wounded by a bowhunter. One of those shots was a hit on the deer when it jumped up and ran. And the other was to finish it off.

I'll post some better pictures of the rifle and tell you more about it later.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 23, 2009

Guns at Deer Camp

Here are the long guns that were in camp last weekend. They are from left: Steve Davis .54 cal. early Southern rifle (brass mounts); Steve Davis .54 cal. early Southern rifle (iron mounts); Mark Thomas .54 cal. longrifle; Kit Ravenshear .54 cal. English half-stock; Green River Rifle Works .54 cal. "Bear Rifle"; Steve Davis .40 cal. Southern rifle; Mike Brooks .40 cal. Southern rifle; Charles Hinkle .50 caliber half-stock flint rifle and Charles Hinkle 20 gauge fowler.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gear at Hunting Camp

There was a lot of nice gear at the hunting camp. Several of us have been muzzleloading for 30 years, so we have gradually acquired some good stuff. This is a picture of all of the pouches and horns at the camp. They include a pouches by Joe Mills, Ernest Cook, Guy Cowden, Greg Hudson, Ed Wilde and a couple that I don't know. The horn makers include Steve Davis, Art DeCamp, Mike Small, Bruce Horn, Doug Horne and a couple that I don't know. More tomorrow.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Muzzleloader Deer Hunting

Well, I've been off for a couple of days for muzzleloader season at our lease in South Arkansas. Had 4 bow hunters and 3 muzzleloader hunters in camp, and got seven deer (5 with muzzleloaders)in four days. Though everyone there owns at least one muzzleloader,most of the bow hunters haven't got enough of that yet. We did drag out all of the muzzleloading guns in camp one day and took some pictures. This one is the gang with the guns in front of the cabin. More on the hunts later.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Charlie Miller Fire Making Set

Charlie Miller makes some neat stuff. A few years ago I was visiting with Art Riser at the CLA Show when Charlie walked in. Art said, "Let's see what Charlie brought. If he has anything to sell, it will quickly be sold." So we shook hands with Charlie and inquired as to anything he had to sell. He reached into his pocket and pulled out this little tinderbox and striker set. When he named the price, I bought it.

The brass box measures 2-3/4 X 1-3/4 X 3/4 thick. It has a spring catch and a hinge on the lid. The striker measures 1-7/8 inches long and throws a great shower of sparks.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Lally and Frank House Set

This was a surprise gift for Linda a few years ago. I saw Lally early one morning at the Mansker's Station Trade Fair and asked if she had anything for sale. She showed me the quilled sheath and named a price. I agreed, then she asked if I wanted Frank to make a knife for it. Of course, I said yes. And, of course, Linda loves it. It hangs on a nail on the kitchen wall, ready for instant use.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Small Horn

I traded for this small plain horn at the Western Rendezvous in 1982.I don't know who made it, but I brought it home and did the scratching on it. My first real attempt at horn engraving. It measures about 9 inches around the curve.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 12, 2009

Large Odle Horn

Mark Odle made this horn for me in the mid-eighties. It measures about 15 inches around the outside curve. Mark used to use antique wood for the butt plug, which really gave the horns a nice look.

Mark is another friend we originally met at the Eastern Rendezvous, but I haven't seen him in years.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lalioff Wallet

Steven Lalioff made this wallet for me in the early eighties. It measures 6 X 3-1/4 closed. It's copied from an original that appears in the Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution.

We used to camp close together at the Eastern Rendezvous every year. Steven wrote a great chapter on pouch making in The Book of Buckskinning VI and his picture is on the cover. He also wrote a chapter on trunks in The Book of Buckskinning VII. Both books contained wonderful photography by Steven's wife, Karen. Steven is a regular exhibitor at the CLA Show.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hershel House and Tim McCarthy Knives

The top knife by Hershel has a 5-1/5 inch blade, an antler handle, secured by one pin through the tang, and a poured pewter bolster. I can't remember how I came by this knife.

The lower knife by Tim has a 5 inch blade, a dark-stained antler handle, a steel bolster and I'm not sure what kind of metal cap that is secured by the peened tang. I bought this from Tim a few years back at Dixon's Gunmakers Fair.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Billy Heck Knife

I bought this knife from Billy Heck about five years ago at the CLA show. This knife measures 12-1/2 inches overall, with a 8-1/2 inch blade. The wooden handle is black walnut.

Billy's outfit is called Cumberland Forge. Billy helps run Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia, home of Martin's Station. The annual fall event at the park and Martin's Station is this coming weekend, Oct 9-11.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clay Smith Knife

I bid on and won this Clay Smith knife with a 6-1/4 inch blade a few years ago. It was part of the silent auction at the CLA show. Both the knife and the sheath were made by Clay when he worked in the gunshop at Colonial Williamsburg, and both are stamped with "WMBRG" and "CS" touchmarks.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Jack Hubbard Knives

Linda and I got these two knives from Jack Hubbard about 15 years ago. The blades are about 3-1/2 inches long. Linda's has the crown antler handle. Mine is just a straight piece of antler. Both are pinned with copper rivets. Mine has skinned several deer, but Linda keeps hers in the kitchen. It only leaves the house to go to an event.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 2, 2009

More Small Knives

Here are two more small knives. The one on top was made by Bruce Horn. The one below was made by Hershel House. I bought them both several years ago.

These two and the two posted yesterday are all have blades in the 4-inch range. It's interesting to see the different styles and treatments given to each knife by its maker.

Have a great weekend. For me, deer hunting starts in two weeks with Arkansas muzzleloader season on the 17th.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Small Knives

Here are some small knives from my collection. It's hard to resist a neat little knife.

The top knife was made by Shane Emig, and I bought it from him two years ago at the CLA Show. It was reviewed in MUZZLELOADER in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue.

Below it is one made by Joe Seabolt. It was also reviewed in MUZZLELOADER, but that was several years ago when Joe was just getting started.

Both of these artisans are still making quality knives and other items. I had the pleasure of seeing them both at this year's CLA Show.

Bill Scurlock