Monday, November 30, 2009

Hunting with the Boys

Justin and Jacob were in town for Thanksgiving and the weekend. Had 2 Thanksgiving meals with two sides of the family, one Thursday and one Friday. Saturday was our big hunting and shooting day. We went duck hunting Saturday morning and got three mallards. That was enough to call it a good hunt. We only saw about 8 or 10 total. Not very many down here yet.

The photo shows Justin on the left and Jacob on the right. In front of them are Juno (left) and Kate. It wasn't a muzzleloading hunt, but that's OK. I don't even have enough smoothbore flintlocks to outfit all three of us. The main thing is that they love to duck hunt, and I get to take them. This place is a beaver pond and deadening a few miles north of De Kalb, Texas. De Kalb is a fairly early town in this part of Texas. In the first half of the 19th century, one traveler into Texas noted in her journal that De Kalb should be more appropriately named "De Cabin" because so many of the houses were rough log cabins. She was not impressed.

Saturday afternoon we took a couple of friends with us out to shoot clays. Shot up a box of clays and had a ball.

The boys are back at school now and we're looking forward to more shooting, hunting and camping over Christmas break.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Deer Hunting

Got up early today and drove to the cabin at the hunt camp. I had left a couple of things over there that I needed. Since I was there, I eased around in the woods for a couple of hours. The squirrels were everywhere.

I slipped up on a little 6 point buck in the hardwood bottom. He gave me plenty of shot opportunities at 25 to 50 yards, but if I'm shooting a buck, I'm holding out for a bigger one. Right after him I saw two bigger bucks, but they were heading the opposite direction. They never blew or flagged, so I'm not sure if they knew I was there or were just traveling. Didn't get a good look at them, but could see horns on both through the trees.

Would have like to have stayed all day, but there are too many things to do, like the Jan/Feb issue.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deer Hunting

Went to the deer camp in South Arkansas last weekend and hunted with my flintlock rifle. I should have hunted with my camera. Could have gotten a nice shot of a one-horn spike at about 20 yards. He walked down the hill off my left shoulder and didn't see me sitting under a sweetgum tree until he got right in front of me at 20 yards and stopped broadside. He did one of those big-eared, wide-eyed double takes at me. Then he did the head bobs and the foot stomping before he walked off to the south. He was one of ten deer I saw Saturday, but since I only have one tag left, I'm saving it for a nice buck or a big doe later in the season. Even if I had wanted to shoot, a spike is not legal game in Arkansas.

I was kinda expecting to see more bucks, but nobody saw many. Mostly just saw does, fawns and a few small bucks. One guy saw an 8-point that he has seen before. Not a bad deer, but pretty much like one he already shot this year. Another guy shot and grazed a doe with his first shot at a deer with a flintlock. The set trigger surprised him, and he wasn't quite on target when it went off. I found some very short white hair where the deer had been standing, and never found any blood. We concluded that he must have just touched the brisket, shaving off the short hair.

See ya,
Bill Scurlock

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mike Small Horn

This is the horn I carry with the Hudson-made pouch. The combination just feels right. This horn was reviewed in "Prime Possibles" in the July/Aug 2007 issue. I bought it that year at the Fort Frederick Trade Fair. Mike is a member of the Horners' Guild, and excellent craftsman and a nice guy.

I tried to show Mike's touchmark in the lower photo, but it might be hard to see because of the coloration of the horn. It's a capital M and a backwards S and the year he made it, 06.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, November 20, 2009

Greg Hudson Pouch

This pouch was reviewed in "Prime Possibles" in the Sept/Oct 2006 issue. I bought it from him at Mansker's in May of that year. This is the pouch I'm usually carrying these days. It's made of vegetable tanned leather and sewn with linen thread.

I hope to get some more deer hunting in this weekend.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bill Keeler Axe

I got this belt axe from Bill Keeler several years ago at the CLA show. I think I reviewed it in "Prime Possibles" back then, but can't find the review. Anyhow, I've been carrying this axe for several years, and it's a good one.

We have a break today and tomorrow on the presentations to school kids. We'll do another one on Monday next week. I took my 2 labs out to look for ducks this morning before work. Only saw 5 or 6 wood ducks in the little creek bottom we were hunting, and they just flew by out of range. Not many ducks down in this country yet. At least my pups got a good run through the shallow water and the pasture after the hunt.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

School Kids' Presentation 2

Here are a couple of pictures from the presentations yesterday. The first is Mom & Dad talking about and playing old time mountain music with a dulcimer and a tub base.

The second is me and Dad back in the barn after the kids left.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, November 16, 2009

School Kids' Presentation

Most mornings this week I will be making presentations to elementary school kids. This makes about the fifth year in a row that I have done presentations every day for a week or more in November. A lady who owns a small farm nearby puts together several "stations" of presenters who do show and tell on different aspects of early American life. The groups rotate through each station for about an hour and a half. Today was three groups of about 25 kids each. Tomorrow will be six groups.

I dress in my longhunter garb, talk about a hunter's life in the wilderness, load and shoot my flintlock, talk about general gun safety and start a fire with flint & steel. The kids love it.

Since it's not an isolated farm, I have to shoot blank charges. To simulate the loading of a patched round ball, I make round balls out of aluminum foil. Just roll up balls by hand, patch them and put them in my loading block. It looks like I'm loading the real thing, but when it shoots, the fake balls just unravel in the air about 20 feet from the muzzle. It's realistic and safe. I always pick the foil up off of the ground after the kids leave.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, November 13, 2009

Clay Smith Pouch

I bought this pouch from Clay Smith in 2008 at Fort Frederick. It was reviewed in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue. It's 7-3/4" at its widest point and 6" tall.

Clay makes guns, knives, lanterns, pouches and many other items. All of the items that he makes have the right look and feel.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal 2009

I reviewed this book in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. This is the third volume in this annual series. The quality of the research and the quality of the book make this an excellent buy for those interested in the Rocky Mountain fur trade.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great Gunmakers for the Early West

Mike Nesbitt reviewed these books in "For the Bookshelf" in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. Though I haven't seen the books in person, Mike's description sounds good.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

John Proud Horn

I'm been an admirer and John Proud's horn work for many years. John is a charter member of the Honorable Company of Horners. A few years ago, my friend Buford ended up with two of John's horns that were almost identical. When he asked if I wanted one, I bought this one. The horn's body is translucent, and the black applied horn rings really look good.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bob Harn Phone Number

Any of you thinking of calling Bob Harn about his folding knives will have a hard time getting through using the number we printed in the Nov/Dec issue. I transposed 2 of the numbers in the area code. The correct number is 941-488-3418. Sorry guys.

Bill Scurlock

Mike Taylor Bust

Linda and I have admired Mike Taylor's artistic work ever since meeting him at Mansker's Trade Fair a number of years ago. One thing that always caught our eye was the wooden busts that he carved and painted. The photos in this format just don't capture the intensity of the art that you see in person. Nonetheless, it's still impressive.

Mike came down to Mansker's from his home in Cincinnati for several years. I bought this one for Linda from him at the CLA Show about three years ago. We have always intended to "dress him out" in trade silver, but have somehow not gotten around to it.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, November 6, 2009

Track of the Wolf Dags

Here's a color picture of the Track of the Wolf dagger that was reviewed by Mike Nesbitt in Prime Possibles in the Nov/Dec issue.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Micheal Lea & Daughter Aquafortis

I reviewed Mike Lea's aquafortis in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. Here's a picture of the aquafortis and the powder horn that I stained with it. Works great on gunstocks too.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mike Ameling Strikers

Sad news. I just heard yesterday, from two different sources,that Mike Ameling passed away in his sleep a couple of weeks ago. His fire steels are in the Prime Possibles in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue.

By all accounts, his passing was totally unexpected. He was a talented blacksmith and will be missed by all who knew him.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Larry Callahan Bag Mold

As reviewed in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue, here's the steel bag mold made by Larry Callahan of Missouri. You can see part of the size numbers stamped near the sprue cutter. It works very well and is a good representation of 18th and 19th century molds.

Bill Scurlock