Monday, December 28, 2009


Went duck hunting with Justin and Jacob first thing this morning. We saw a few mallards, and had 4 come close enough to shoot at. I knocked one down, but it got away. It went down out of sight behind some brush, and must have either flown away or dove under the sheet ice. I let both dogs search for it, but they came up empty despite looking for about 15 minutes in the water and on shore. They both have good noses, especially Kate, but they couldn't ever find a track on this duck.

Had a good Christmas with family.

Though the office is officially closed this week, Linda and I are doing some work, trying not to get behind.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, December 24, 2009

January/February 2010

The Jan/Feb issue is on the way! I received a phone call a little bit ago that the magazines were all labeled and bagged and on the way to the post office. Now if we only had Santa delivering them, you would all get them tonight. But since we couldn't get Santa to deliver them for all of you grown up boys and girls, you can just watch your mailbox for the next week or two.

All of the presents are wrapped and under the tree. I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DeCamp Loading Block

Art DeCamp donated one of these blocks to the auction for the CLA in 2007. Since I had seen the photo of it while preparing the July/August 07 issue, I emailed Art about getting one. He replied that he would have one for me at the show. Sure enough, after we got set up, Art came over and handed me one. This block is made from walnut and has a horn inlay at the top.

Art is a founding member of the Honourable Company of Horners and a terrific powder horn craftsman. He is also quite active in many associations promoting our sport/hobby/lifestyle.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jan/Feb 2010 Preview

Here's a preview of the Jan/Feb 2010 cover. It's a painting by David Wright entitled Long Way from Home. As usual, it's a superb piece and causes me to reflect on some of my feelings through the years when I've been out on hunts and treks for several days. The J/F issue is printing now and should be mailed before Christmas. As usual, there's a lot of good stuff in it; some new guns that most of you haven't seen, a neat piece on Cherokee warriors, lots of history, hunting and how-to. I hope you enjoy it when it comes.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pete Hutton Horn

Here's a horn by Pete Hutton from 8 or 10 years ago. I got it at the CLA show. Pete makes really nice horns and pouches. His wife, Pam, makes nice woven straps for horns and bags and such. They're very nice folks, and I always enjoy seeing them. This horn measures about 17 inches around the outside curve.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Antique Eyeglasses

These glasses are one of my most fortuitous antique store finds. In 2005 I went to Dixon's Gunmakers Fair with Buford Blanton. One evening, we went up the road to eat at an old tavern. When we came out, we noticed that the antique store across the road was still open, so we crossed over and went in. I spied these glasses in a display case and asked Buford (an antique expert) what he thought. He said they looked good, but we didn't know the price. When I got a chance to ask the price, the owner said $20. I glanced across the store at Buford, and he was mouthing, "buy it." He didn't really have to tell me that, because I was already reaching for my wallet. Besides looking good and being in very good shape, they also have close to the right magnification for my eyes, so I can use them in period character.

I found the nice case at the Fort Frederick Market Fair a couple of years later. Mr. White at Avalon Forge had it and just gave it it me, though I tried to pay him.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roland Cadle Horn

Roland Cadle, from Pennsylvania, made this horn for me several years ago. Roland is a founding member of the Honorable Company of Horners and a master horner. He also tears down and rebuilds historic log and wood structures, as well as builds new log structures in the fashion and style of the 18th and 19th century.

This horn has a stained decoration not uncommon to Pennsylvania horns made for the trade. I believe that the pigment is iron oxide, but I may not remember that correctly. The horn measures about 14 inches around the outside curve.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, December 14, 2009

Primer Safety

A friend and long-time muzzleloader,Troy Roope, recently had an accident while testing a flintlock. He primed the lock with a brass priming flask and flashed the pan while still holding the flask. A spark got inside the flask, and it became a miniature pipe bomb. There was no pressure relief built into the flask. He ended up losing his index finger and half of a thumb. Troy told me that he just got dumb for two seconds, and it has cost him. He plans to write up a full report of the accident for publication in MUZZLELOADER and hopes that it will be a lesson for new shooters and old ones who may become complacent in their safety practices. Pray for Troy and Shannon. And keep your powder horns and flasks away from sparks.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deer Hunting Last Weekend

Well, so much for holding out for a big one with my last Arkansas tag. I ended up shooting a unicorn on Saturday evening right before dark. It only had one horn. The other had broken off at some point. And, the horn that was left was less than 2 inches long, so it qualified as a button buck. I thought I was shooting at a nice young doe. I couldn't see the horn.

I was actually finished hunting for the day and was walking back to the cabin. As I was walking past a nice green food plot with just a minor screen of trees between me and the plot, I saw 3 or 4 deer feeding about 50-60 yards away. I just stood there and watched them. I knew that I couldn't see my sights well enough to shoot at that range. As I watched, something spooked them and they started running down hill, straight at me. I thought that the one that I shot was going to pass the big pine tree in front of me and run me down. So, I cocked and shouldered my firelock. Just before getting to the tree, the little buck stopped and turned broadside, looking back up hill. It was a 10-yard shot that I couldn't pass up.

The ball went in behind the last rib and exited through the sternum. He dropped in his tracks and only quivered once. That's good since I didn't want to track in the dark. Of course, then the work started, but I had help at the camp, so we made quick work of it.

That's my last tag for this year in Arkansas. Any more deer hunting this season will be in Texas, and with muzzleloader season following the regular season, I can hunt with my firelock in Texas until about the middle of January.

Sorry I didn't get a photo of this one. I accidentally left my camera at the office last Friday. I was using the same Mark Thomas rifle, so its record is now 7 deer in 7 shots, plus a deer I batted clean-up on for my brother-in-law.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, December 7, 2009

Webster_Lodding Pouch

This pouch was made by Shawn Webster and Steve Lodding and was reviewed in the Sept/Oct 2001 issue. Shawn and Steve made a variety of pouches suitable for the mountain man era. Many were based on A.J. Miller's sketches and paintings. This one is edged in trade beads. Others that they made at the time had some quillwork. Great bags, historically documented. Both of these guys are multi-talented and come to the CLA show each year with all manner of handmade items.

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Bill Scurlock

Friday, December 4, 2009

Antique Powder Horn

My father-in-law found this horn in a junk shop and bought it along with a replica cap & ball pistol of other stuff. It is a neat horn, measuring about 11-1/2 inches around the outside curve. The dates on it are strange. There is a 1741, but the horn is almost certainly not that old. There's also a date of 1807 that is more believable as the horn's actual age. An interesting Indian head is carved on one side. Stylistically, it seems more recent than the dates. All three engraved features appear to be in a different hand, but they made all have been carved during the working life of the horn. There are 14 iron tacks securing the base plug. There's a flat-headed wood screw holding an old piece of leather to the plug, but the wood screw is not as old as the horn.

Comments are welcome.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Don Wright Canvas Pouch

Don Wright had several of these pouches at the first Mid-America Rendezvous in 1980. Several of the guys from down here bought them. They were made of white canvas and red wool, and each was hand painted with different art. I carried this one for years, as you can tell from the stains. These were really cool for 1980. It now hangs on a pegboard in the hallway at the office.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Early 80s Pouches

Just showing a little history here. I made these pouches back in the early 1980s. Not exactly the type I would make today. The one on the left was made for my goodwife,Linda, to go with the rifle I made her. It's made from blacksmith side leather with wool inserts. The one on the right was made for my mom.I made the horn too. Not bad workmanship, but very naive as far as appropriate materials and techniques.

Bill Scurlock