Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Me in 1973

I recently found these images tucked in my high school yearbook. I reckon this was me in Greenhorn-Stage 1 (using the Mark A. Baker scale). This was January of 1973, and I was 14 years old. We were shooting in a local muzzleloading club at my uncle's farm. Our local newspaper sent a photographer out to take photos for a story on the club. In perspective, the first issue of MUZZLELOADER magazine was not published until March of 1974.

Good ol' T/C Hawken, .45 caliber. It wasn't as grand as the rifles I shoot now, but it was extremely accurate. Shot some squirrels and placed in a lot of shooting matches with it. 

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Camryn's First Deer

My niece, Camryn (11 years old), shot her first deer last weekend while hunting at our lease. She took this spike buck with a bow. Made a good shot through the vitals. My brother-in-law said he was shaking like a leaf while she was preparing to shoot, but that she was outwardly calm and collected, until after the shot. Way to go, Camryn!

Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 31, 2011

Second Deer This Year

This is my second deer this season. Got her on the evening of the 23rd. Another nice doe weighing 134 lbs. Once again, I was using my Mark Thomas .54 caliber rifle.

Son, Jacob, scored one that morning, but I didn't get a picture before she was skinned. This made three in the family, so it's time to slow down on the shooting. Running out of freezer space.

I hunted parts of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week. Saw quite a few more deer, but not the big one, so I didn't shoot. I did have a relaxing time away from the computer.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arkansas Muzzleloader Season

I have been gone for a few days, taking some time off deer hunt with my flintlock in South Arkansas. Last Saturday evening, I shot a mid-sized doe at about 20 yards with my Mark Thomas .54 caliber rifle. Same rifle that I have been carrying the two previous years. Everything worked right, and I killed my first deer of the season.

Contact info: Mark Thomas, rifle
                      Mike Small, powder horn
                      Greg Hudson, pouch

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 14, 2011

Frizzen Bounce-Back

One of the special features in the Sept/Oct issue is Frank Twist's article discussing the causes and remedies of frizzen bounce-back, which can break your flint.

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mark Sage and the Northwest Gun

In the Sept/Oct issue, Mark Sage continues his journey into the world of the NW gun with a look at his method for discovering the past.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nesbitt's Old-Timer's Ways

In the Sept/Oct issue, Mike Nesbitt shares his how-to advice on casting ball, shooting and other subjects. 

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Albert on Powder Horns

T.C. Albert's column in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue featured powder horn basics including the layout of engraving (top photo) and finishing a horn. T.C.'s how-to columns are first-rate.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Native American Women

Mike Nesbitt wrote a favorable review of this book in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue. 

Bill Scurlock

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mo's Big Afternoon

Once again, I'm straying a little from muzzleloading, to show you a picture of Mo, on our hunting lease in South Arkansas. Bow season is the only one open, and Mo went hunting last Saturday afternoon. She stuck this nice doe with an arrow from her stand, and then waited patiently to see if any hogs would come in. Sure enough, this 200 lb. boar came in later. She had a small caliber modern rifle in her box stand (just for this purpose). She has had problems with hogs coming to her food plot this fall, and it's legal to shoot feral hogs year-around. She shot this guy at the base of the ear with her rifle, and he dropped on the spot. She was excited. Good job, Mo!

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Rogue Republic

I reviewed The Rogue Republic by William C. Davis in the Sept/Oct issue. This is a good book about the early 19th century revolution in Spain's West Florida colonies (modern-day Louisiana).

Bill Scurlock

Friday, September 30, 2011

MBS Flint Knapping Hammer

In the Sept/Oct issue, Mike Nesbitt reviewed this brass knapping hammer from Muzzleloader Builders Supply. You can contact them at

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flintlocks and Gobblers DVD

I reviewed this DVD in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue. This is a fun and educational video by Brian Beckum, and I highly recommend it. You can order this or one of his excellent whitetail-hunting videos from

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dean Oliver's Knives

Mike Nesbitt reviewed these hand-forged knives made by Dean Oliver in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue. Dean's knives have a lifetime warranty on the blade, and customer satisfaction is guaranteed. You can contact Dean at

Bill Scurlock

Monday, September 12, 2011

September/October 2011 Issue

Another great image from H. David Wright graces the cover of the Sept/Oct issue. Among the Big Hickories reflects David's love for the big woods, squirrel hunting and mountain curs. You can see more of David's artwork at Canvas giclees are available through Gray Stone Press, 800-251-2664.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ron LaClair Lil' Shaver

Mike Nesbitt wrote a review in the July/August issue on this knife called the Lil' Shaver. You can see Ron LaClair's knives and traditional bows at

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scott Summerville Razor

With the help of John W. Hayes, I reviewed this hand-forged razor in the July/August issue. The top image shows the original upon with Scott Summerville based his recreation. Scott may be called at 618-547-7142.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, July 11, 2011

MBS Hinged Toe Plate

Muzzleloader Builders Supply is now offering a hinged toe plate in brass, German silver or iron. This one was reviewed by Mike Nesbitt in the July/August issue. Check them out online at

Bill Scurlock

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dean Hazuka Butcher Knife

In the July/August issue, Mike Nesbitt reviewed this traditional butcher knife made by Dean Hazuka. You can see Dean's work at his website

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July/August 2011 Muzzleloader

I got behind on posting images of the current issue. The cover is an original painting entitled A New Day, by Andrew Knez, Jr. You can contact Andy at 724-969-3200 or visit his website at If you are a subscriber and haven't received your copy by this time, please give us a call.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, July 8, 2011


Long-time friend, Paul Jones, sent word that George Shumway has passed from time. Below is an excerpt from a longer report to be published in the Sept/Oct issue.

On May 1st, 2011 all aspects of the gun collecting fraternity lost a great friend. His knowledge of early longrifles and baroque decoration on firearms was second to none. His Rifles in Colonial America along with Kindig’s Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age are the two most important publications in the field. George’s self developed style of photography and giving critical measurements, have been a boon to all gun makers.

On June 19th, 2011 a Memorial was held on George and Dorothy’s farm attended by family and many friends, George’s ashes were then buried on a hill overlooking his beloved farm, a rustic bench was made and placed on the site by a neighbor and friend.

Allan W. Eckert

One of the great ones recently passed from time. Here's a notice I received via email.

Eckert's The Frontiersmen, a historical narrative about the lives of Simon Kenton and Tecumseh, is one of my all-time favorite books. I know I've read it more than 5 times. He also wrote many other books about the American frontier. 

Bill Scurlock

Monday, May 2, 2011

1812: The War that Forged a Nation

Dick Weaver reviewed this book by Walter R. Borneman in the May/June 2011 issue. With the bicentennial of the war fast approaching, this is a good read. It's available from most online booksellers.

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Frontier Hearts

I reviewed this novel, set in the Revolutionary War era, in the May/June 2011 issue. Dan Hall crafts a fine story that's a good read. For ordering information, go to

Bill Scurlock

Friday, April 29, 2011

Firearms of the Fur Trade

Mike Nesbitt reviewed this new book, published by the Museum of the Fur Trade, in the May/June 2011 issue. James Hanson is the author. Firearms of the Fur Trade is volume one in The Encyclopedia of Trade Goods. It has 583 pages and is hardcover. You can contact the Museum of the Fur Trade at

Bill Scurlock

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Straps by the Weaving Welshman

These straps are hand woven by Lynn Blevens, The Weaving Welshman from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The top photo shows a cotton strap on the left and two cotton/wool blend straps on the right. The bottom photo shows a narrower waxed cotton strap designed specifically for powder horns. These were reviewed in the May/June 2011 issue. Contact Lynn Blevens at

The powder horn shown here (made by Mark Ewing) was reviewed in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. Contact Mark at

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bumblin' Bear Grease

Bumblin' Bear Grease was reviewed by Mike Nesbitt in the May/June 2011 issue. This all-natural lube is great on patches and has many other uses. You can  order it from

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

George Ainslie Folding Ladle

Mike Nesbitt reviewed this nice folding lead ladle in the May/June 2011 issue. It was made by George Ainslie of Prairie Elk Forge, P.O. Box 234, Lavina Montana 59046. You can call George at 406-636-2391.

Bill Scurlock

Monday, April 25, 2011

Janna Gatliff Woven Tapes

I reviewed Janna Gatliff's hand-woven linen and cotton tapes in the May/June 2011 issue. You can contact Janna by phone at 615-230-9853 or via email at

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Steve Watts Letter

We received the following note, and the photo above, from long-time subscriber, Steve Watts:

"Just a note from someone you don't know, but who, like many, has been influenced by your work. Many thanks for the years, the efforts and the publications that have been so useful to those of us who seek to interpret the past."

Thank you, Steve, for your loyalty and support.

Bill Scurlock

Friday, April 22, 2011

May/June 2011 in the Mail

The next issue is in the mail. The cover features a painting by Pennsylvania artist John Buxton, entitled "Stolen Bay." You can visit John's website at or call him at 412-486-6588.

Bill Scurlock

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scott Shea Flint Wallet

This flint wallet was sent to me by Scott Shea. Scott's work has been featured in MUZZLELOADER ("Prime Possibles" Sept/Oct 2010) and on this blog (Aug. 25, 2010). This wallet features pockets for 2 spare flints and a hand-forged tool with turnscrews and a pick. To see more of Scott's work, visit

Bill Scurlock

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

LaClair Skinner by C. L. Matteo

This hand-forged knife was reviewed by Mike Nesbitt in the Mar/Apr 2011 issue. For more information visit

Bill Scurlock

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hunting Gloves by Karen Hainlen

I reviewed these handmade wool hunting gloves in the Mar/Apr 2011 issue. They are first rate. To see them online or to get in touch with Karen, go to

Bill Scurlock

Saturday, April 16, 2011

October Country Frontier Horn

Mike Nesbitt reviewed this powder horn in the Mar/Apr 2011 issue. You can see more at

Bill Scurlock

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sharpshooters by Gary Yee

"For the Bookshelf" in the Mar/Apr issue featured this excellent book by Gary Yee. He also had an article entitled "Sharpshooters to the Top! Small Arms Marksmanship in the Age of Sail" in the Mar/Apr issue. Gary is an arms curator, former firearms instructor and enjoys building longrifles and accoutrements. Order online at

Bill Scurlock