Monday, December 20, 2010

Trophy Doe

In an effort to help manage the herd, our hunting camp shoots a lot a does each year. We all like to eat them, so it's a win/win for us. Just for fun this year we started weighing every deer brought into camp and established a big doe contest. Since October, we've been stuck at two does weighing 124 and 125 pounds. On Friday evening, Jacob blew us all away with this 140 pounder. He made a nice shot through the heart. She only went maybe 40 yards before crashing in a pine plantation. It was an easy track, even in the dark.

That is a Steve Davis .54 caliber rifle that Jacob is holding, and his third deer this year with this rifle.

The contest will continue through the bow season that ends in February. I expect that it will be hard to top this one.

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Defending the Backcountry

I reviewed the book in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. It is an excellent source for documenting the dress and habits of spies and scouts on the frontier. It is priced right and available from

Bill Scurlock

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jan/Feb 2011 Preview

Here's the cover of the next issue. Just printed this week. Should be mailing next week.

This is a painting by Tim Tanner, entitled On the Headwaters of Spanish River. Tim says, "This name is taken from a quote by Nathaniel Wyeth, speaking of the Green River country. There is a complete article on the research for this painting in the 2010 edition of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal. (Every single item you see in the painting is documented - scenery, horses, equipment, everything)."

You can contact Tim at The website has been undergoing construction, but should be up soon. Email Tim at

Bill Scurlock

Monday, November 29, 2010

Duck Hunting

Both Justin and Jacob were home for the Thanksgiving weekend, so last Friday we went to a beaver pond I was saving. No one had hunted it this year, and I had found some mallards there the week before. We had a great hunt (8 mallards and 1 shoveler) and got home in time to prepare for a family gathering at noon. Left to right in the photos: Kate, Justin, Juno and Jacob.

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. With hunting, work and holiday functions, I just haven't had time to think much about posting. I hope to get back into the routine of it soon.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, November 15, 2010

1980 Scurlock Horn

I was at the hunting camp the other day and ran across this horn that I made back in 1980. My father-in-law carries it attached to the hunting bag he made. I would not make one like this today, but it was kinda cool back in 1980, especially for a guy who had never seen or handled original horns. It has forged iron strap hangers and a poured pewter junction between the horn and the maple spout. It was all filed and shaped by hand and includes the hokey tomahawk and pouch mark I used to put on stuff I made back then.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hartley Horn Drawings

Another book reviewed in the Nov/Dec issue, this book is a great resource for horn makers, especially those who want to do a little scratching on the horn's surface. It's available from

Bill Scurlock

Monday, November 8, 2010

Moravian Gun Making

This book was reviewed in the Nov/Dec issue. It has beautiful photos and interesting history and is available from the Kentucky Rifle Foundation, PO Box 768532-L, Roswell, GA 30076.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ML Hunting 4, Oct. 2010

Saturday morning, Jacob and my nephew, Dusty, both shot deer. This photo is Dusty with his little doe and his grandfather's rifle. That was a cheap rifle in the early 1970s, but it shoots straight. It's .45 caliber and has tallied around a dozen deer. It hasn't been shot in years, but Dusty borrowed it and shot the nine-pointer shown below on his Dad's place the first Saturday of the season. Dusty is an excellent shooter.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ML Hunting 3, Oct. 2010

I went back to the lease Wednesday afternoon and shot a nice doe on Thursday morning. She is 2nd place in our camp's trophy doe contest at 124 lbs. (1st place is currently 126 lbs.). One shot, and she didn't go far.   I didn't hunt very hard after shooting that doe. The temperature just kept rising each day. That may not have effected the deer (2 were killed Sat. morn), but I get tired of sweating while hunting, so I didn't hunt much more of the week.

Other members came to came on Friday and Saturday, and we spent most of Saturday planting winter food plots. Normally, these are already in by the first of October, but since it was so dry until last week, we held of on planting. We didn't want the seed to sprout and then burn up. Having received over 2 inches of rainfall in the last week, the food plots should grow well now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ML Hunting 2, Oct. 2010

The season began with me missing a shot on a does early Saturday morning. I checked the vines, limbs and trees between where I sat and where the deer was standing, but didn't see any marks. Couldn't find any hair or blood where she stood or where she ran. Still don't know why I missed, just missed. That was my first miss with the Mark Thomas rifle. At that point, I was 7 deer in 8 shots with that rifle.

Jacob shot the doe (last post) on Sunday evening. I shot a nubbin buck (shown here) on Monday morning. Didn't see that he was a buck until I tracked and found him. I had to shoot again to put him down for good. That's the flattened round ball from the second shot in the lower photo.

I went home on Monday at noon to process and freeze our two deer and to take care of a couple of other things.

More later,
Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 25, 2010

ML Hunting Oct. 2010

On our hunting lease, muzzleloaders caught  up to the archers last week. When I left camp Saturday evening, it was 5 to 5. A nice buck (Mo's posted here about 2 weeks ago), 2 nubbin bucks, and the rest were does. It's still warm. The big bucks don't seem to be moving around much. It should get better in a couple of weeks.

Here's son Jacob with a nice doe from last Sunday evening. He made an excellent heart/lung shot, and she only traveled about 20 yards after the shot. I'd say that in 10 seconds, she was dead. Jacob used a .54 caliber Steve Davis rifle for both of this deer. We missed getting photos of the nubbin he shot this past Saturday morning.

More to come,
Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gone Hunting

I am liable to be in and out this week because muzzleloader deer season is open in Arkansas. If anything happens over at our hunting camp, I'll post when I return to a computer.

Bill Scurlock

New Dixie Gun Works Catalog

Just got the brand new Dixie Gun Works 2011 catalog in the mail today. This has always been the biggest and most comprehensive black powder catalog. It has 688 pages of black powder guns, muzzleloading accessories, shooting supplies and antique gun parts. It's a great catalog, and you can learn a lot, just by reading it.

You can get one at

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Steven Lalioff Pouch

This simple pouch was made by Steven Lalioff when he was writing his chapter, "The Traditional Hunting Pouch," for The Book of Buckskinning VI, published in 1992. Steve is also pictured on the cover of that book.

The pouch measures about 7" square, no inside pocket and a 7/8" strap. It's a basic bag, but very well made. I used it for years, but have basically retired it. 

Steve can be contacted at

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wilde Haversack

A few years ago at the Fort Frederick market fair, I realized that I had left my haversack at home. It's tough to do a 4-day market fair without a haversack, so I stopped by Ed Wilde's tent, Wilde Weavery and Trading Co.

This is the haversack I chose. It's just a plain pouch, meant only get me through that event, but I have used it many times since then. It measures 9-3/4" X 12" and has three copper buttons.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taylor Indian Sculpture/Zender-Dale Outfit

On November 9, 2009, I posted images of this Mike Taylor carved and painted wooden Indian bust. At that time it was just the carved and painted sculpture without the jewelry. This last spring we boxed up the carving and sent it to Jan Zender in Big Bay, Michigan. We asked Jan and his wife, Rochelle, to outfit Mike's carving in the appropriately styled and sized trade silver and ornamentation. Jan brought it to us at this year's CLA show, and Linda and I were thrilled.

Of course, Mike can do this same type of decorative work, but we like that idea of having a collaborative piece that features the work of three friends.

To give you an idea of the scale, this sculpture is 9" tall from the base to the top of his head (not counting the hair). The base is about 5" wide.

You can contact Mike Taylor at
You can contact Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale at

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mark Ewing Banded Horn

Mark Ewing, from Lincolnton, North Carolina, came by our table at the CLA show back in August. After some visiting and catching up, I asked if the horn he was carrying around was for sale. He said it was and handed it to me. I did not hand it back. It's about 15-1/2 inches around the outside curve and the base is 2-1/4 inches in diameter. I plan to run a review in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. In the meantime, Mark can be contacted at 704-530-2829 or

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stolen CW Pistols

Two Pistols Stolen from the Colonial Williamsburg Gun Shop

Pistol 1 has an octagon-to-round barrel 8-3/4” long, .56 caliber. On a flat at the breech is a silver inlay with a hand and hammer stamp to show that the barrel is hand-forged. The top flat is engraved “Williamsburg 1991.” The lock is engraved with “Smith” under the pan. Stock is curly maple and relief carved behind the tang. The mounts are engraved brass.

Pistol 2 has a full octagon barrel approx. 10” long and is signed “J. Laubach at Wmsbg. 1981.” It also has a silver inlay on the oblique flat at the breech with a hand and hammer. Stock is curly maple and is relief carved behind the tang. Engraved brass mounts.

Also stolen was a powder horn approx. 14” long, engraved with “A Man of Words and not Of Deeds is Like a Garden of Weeds.”

A small black leather shooting bag was also stolen.

Contact George Sutier at or call 757-565-8747

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Milita from Sept/Oct issue

This is a beautiful photo from Ronald Poppe's article entitled "Militia Drill" in the Sept/Oct 2010 issue of MUZZLELOADER. It's such a good looking photo that I wanted to show it here in color.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Book of Lancaster

I reviewed The Book of Lancaster: Carving Details for the Gunmaker by Susanne Warren-Bicio in the September/October issue. It's an excellent book of 68 detailed drawings by Susanne of the carving on a number of original Lancaster rifles. These drawings can be of greater value than many of the photos that have been published of these rifles because many of the details cannot be seen in the photos.

You can contact Susanne at

Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mo's 10-Point

I spent last weekend at the hunting camp, working on our cabin with Trey, Ernest and Trey's daughter, Camryn. Bow season opened last Friday, but the only one in the camp who went hunting on Saturday was Maureen, aka Mo. This is Mo with a nice 10-pointer she stuck at about 7:30 am. A perfect shot, and he only travelled about 25 yards. This is exactly how he fell, with the arrow in place. All Mo did was pick up his head for the photo.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Western Rendezvous 1991

Here's a scene from the rendezvous, after our ride in. It was a gorgeous site.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fishing on 1991 Western Ride

On the 1991 ride into rendezvous in Montana, we camped by this lake, don't remember the name, where I first tried my hand at fishing. Didn't do any good here.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, September 24, 2010

Grayling Lake 1991

This is one of my favorite older photos. It was taken by David Wright while I was fishing in Grayling Lake in Montana. There's a linen line in my fingers. The hand-forged hook was baited with a piece of bacon fat. Incredibly, I caught 3 graylings. I think I could have caught more, but a little squall blew up and ruined the fishing. They just quit biting.

This was during a horseback ride into the Western Rendezvous. I was a guest on this ride (my first period ride into rendezvous) of the AMM's Upper Missouri Outfit. Good times.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shoot on Sunday

I'm hosting a shoot at our farm west of Texarkana on Sunday afternoon. It's just an informal, stand-in-the-pasture shoot. Richard Henry and Robert Tibbit are providing targets and matches. We haven't gotten together since March or April, so a lot of local guys are looking forward to it, including me.

Bill Scurlock

Spike Buck 1982-83

I shot this spike buck in about 1982-83, and Ernest Cook (right) finished him off with a shot to the head. This was on the Lafayette County Wildlife Management area in South Arkansas. We used to do a buckskinners' camp there each fall during ML deer season. This deer survived a close shave a day or two before I shot him. One of the guys in our camp cut some hair on his neck with a round ball. Said all he had was a neck shot through the brush, so he tried it. There was a smooth groove cut in the hair on this deer's neck, but the skin wasn't broken.

My rifle in the photo was a .45 caliber made by Hobbs and Hopkins in Elkridge, Maryland (they use to run H&H Barrel Company back in the late 70s to early 80s. I sold this rifle back in the early 80s, and wish I had it back. Ernest is holding a .54 caliber, half-stock English sporting rifle made by Kit Ravenshear. He still owns and uses that one.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Caney Creek Again

A year or two after the photo in the last post, we did another trek into Caney. We started out with more guys than shown here, but one guy got hurt and I think two others helped carry his stuff out and didn't come back. This was the second morning. It was drizzling rain and just above freezing. We had four guys and two pieces of canvas, so one went underneath while the other one covered us. From the left: Mark Baker, Tim McCrae, Rooster Bob and Bill Scurlock. The photo was taken with a timer on my camera.

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Caney Creek Wilderness Trek

Here's another one with the local guys heading out on a trek in the Caney Creek Wilderness of Arkansas. I think it was somewhere around 1986-87. From the left: Bill Scurlock, Rooster Bob McKellar, Ernest Cook, David Pearce, Ken Womack and Bobby Bailey.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dog Hollow Trek 1984

Been going through some old images and found some that brought back good memories. In 1984, some of the local guys took our first period trek up Dog Hollow in the Ouachita Mountains of Western Arkansas. From left to right: Ernest Cook, Oran Scurlock, Bobby Bailey, John Upton and Bill Scurlock. For Bobby and me, this was our second trek, the first being with David Wright and Steve Davis the year before in East Tennessee.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mark Wiley Table

Another piece of furniture we bought from Mark Wiley at the Raid at Martin's Station is this nice table. It's very well made and comes apart for travel. The legs and stretcher are maple, painted with milk paint, and the top is larch. Top top measures 53 inches long. More details will be in "Prime Possibles" in the November/December issue of MUZZLELOADER.

You can contact Mark at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mike Walsh Lantern

Linda and I picked this ships lantern up from Mike Walsh at the Fort Frederick Market Fair last spring. Mike does excellent work and was chosen in 2009 and 2010 for inclusion in the Early American Life magazine's Directory of Traditional American Crafts. This is a big lantern measuring 16 inches tall. A full review is scheduled to appear in "Prime Possibles" in the November/December issue of MUZZLELOADER.

You can contact Mike and see more of his work at

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark Wiley Ice Box

We met Mark Wiley at the Raid at Martin's Station back in April, and bought this ice box from him. It's made of painted poplar and lined with 1" foam. It even has a well-designed drain hole in the bottom. The pipe sticks out underneath and has a threaded cap on in, but you can't see it without practically laying on the ground. It's very nicely done, and we look forward to using it in our camps. A review in MUZZLELOADER is scheduled for the November/December issue.

You can contact Mark at 724-714-7549 or email

Bill Scurlock

Monday, September 13, 2010

For Trade and Treaty

Mike Nesbitt wrote a review on this book in the Sept/Oct issue. This is another excellent book published by Track of the Wolf. It covers the firearms of the American Indians from 1600 to 1920. The photography is excellent and printed in full color. It is available from

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Brown Bess Book

This new book by Erik Goldstein & Stuart Mobray is the best book on Brown Bess identification to date. One of the great things about it is the professional color photos of each model, from the Pattern 1730 to Pattern 1809. The photography and format allow you to clearly see the many variations in each pattern and the evolution of the model over almost 100 years of production. I wrote a full review in the Sept/Oct 2010 issue. Copies of The Brown Bess are available from

Bill Scurlock