Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kentucky Woodsmans Weekend

This past weekend I was privledged to attend the KWW at Fort Boonesborough in Richmond Kentucky.The KWW is a yearly event of seminars dealing with many diverse topics that a 18th century woodsman would have known or been aware of.I had a very good time.The lectures were great.The deer meat stew on saturday night was yummy.It was a very stress releaving weekend and I look forward to next year when I might possibly be a presenter.The fat guy second from the right in the photo is me.God Im a fat bear but a happy fat bear.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Makin Plans

Its a new month....November.Deer season is fast approaching.A fella on FrontierFolk was asking about what folks do when preparing for a scout ie cut back on stuff like sugar and caffiene or sleep on the floor ect ect.So what shall follow is how I do it.

Where are you going;

Lay out on paper where you are going and if possible plot it out on a map.List who might know the area ie Nathan has been there.List contact numbers for emergency services in the area where you are going.If possible get a gps number for where you park your car,modern woodsman use gps more than not,it gives them a starting point if shit goes wrong.List when your going to be there and for how long and what the reason your there for.

The number one thing that most forget is a bugout plan.If you have to get out quick due to weather,accident or anything have a plan of your bugout route.If it turns to crao it does no good to have everyone else speculating on what your possibly doing.WRITE IT DOWN AND DO NOT DEVIATE FROM A BUGOUT PLAN.

Prescout Preps:

Somefolks swear off thier favorite foods or drinks.Somefolks start sleeping on the floor.Somefolks switch to different footwear.I do none of the above.

I find that swearing off my favorite foods or drinks before a scout makes it worse for me.I start jonesing bad.Its works better for me to substitute the things Im addicted to with something period proper.Pepsi is substituted with tea.That is my addiction.

Feet run the whole machine.If your feet hurt the rest of you will hurt.I wear period shoes a lot so I dont have to condition my feet to period shoes.I wear moccs around camp or when I go to bed.You will get what I call moccasin horrors if you do not wear moccasins on a regular weekly basis.

Your gear speaks a lot about your experiances.Having your gear ride well and stay put is very important.It totally sucks when stuff is flopping around and swinging in your way getting caught on every stick in the world.Wear your gear around the house or around town and get comfortable with it and learn how to use it.I hope your stuff isnt just cool looking props.

You will get cold.You will get hot.You will get dirty and you will smell.I always find that I get cold the first night sleeping out,after that I sleep much warmer.

Im gonna try and put up a bunch of posts on basic gear and skills that you should know and a reading list of books that I have found usefull.This is enough for now.The photo above is of Jon Haggees pack and hat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Ground

My friend Nathan wished to fined a new location to go on a trek this weekend.His wife Andrea is pregnant and the due date is December 5.This is the last chance he will have before the baby comes.

We explored Hemlock Cliffs.Hemlock Cliffs is a beutifull location with plenty of game,wood and water but your not allowed to stay in the rock houses by law.Nathan and I had a very challenging hunt on a Squirell,little fella led a merry chase for several hundred yards.The squirell finally messed up and nathan popped him.I dont think we will be doing overnights at Hemlock Cliffs.To many hikers and we would have to pack a shelter.

We drove to German Ridge.Nathan wanted to show me a cluster of rock houses there.The rockhouses were neat but the water source there is way down hill and everything was to close to civilization and had a lot of traffic from horse riders.I dont like the area.It does have a lot of squirells nests.

Nathan then drove us back to Oriole Lake and I showed him what the USFS was doing at the trail head off of orchard road.He was as pissed off as I am.It looks like they are putting in a huge road to get access in for the timber.I took Nathan to the other trail area and we walked down into Stinking Fork creek.Its a good hike in and the area is beutiful.It lacks small game but has a potential for fish and trapping.It is a hike to get there but I like it.I will have to build a shelter since I cant locate any rockhouse there that are usable.I need to explore the area deeper.

Nathan still might go to Cains Keep this weekend even with the neon pink paint on the trees.I dont think I will go back there.It just saddens me to see it as it is now and remember how it was before.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sad Day

I left the house today and drove to Perry County to begin my scout.When I got to the trailhead it was blocked by a USFS truck and utility trailer.I headed down the trail survey stakes were in the ground everywhere and a lot of trees were marked for cutting.I thought maybe they havent gone to far.I was wrong.At Cains Keep the trees are marked with neon pink paint blazes.It appears they have marked new boundry lines and quite possibly the neon pink is for a new trail that is ten feet in front of the rock house.I now understand even better what Nessmuk meant when he wroteNEVER ANY MORE CANIT BE UNTO ME AS BEFORE.It aint all bad I guess.Now I must explore new territory.The quest is sometimes the best part of a destination.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting ready for a scout

I am leaving in the morning on a scout at Cains Keep.I will be in there solo until Friday when I should be joined by a few others of like mind.It will give me the time to focus on solitude for a couple of days until the others come in.The weather forcast looks good with rain showers on a couple of days.I know some folks like lists and live by them so I will post what I shall be taking on this outing.


Linen knee breeches

Linen shirt

Linen waistcoat

Fustian Hunting Shirt

Leather leggings with barktanned leather knee garters

Fugawee Ligonier shoes

Wool Monmouth cap

Silk neck scarf

Leather waistbelt with accoutrements(belt knife,hatchet,8 tube cartridge box,noggin)


20 Bore Fusil

Powder Horn

Slit pouch with ammo and mecessities for my gun


Tony Baker Homespun Blanket

Palaise sack(to be stuffed with leaves for a bed)

Small brass kettle

Flint and steel

small market wallet with my food snd bits snd pircrd ie spoon,salt horn,sewing repair kit ect.

Moccasins for wearing around camp and sleeping in.


Parched hominy

Parched peas

Dried beef

Wild rice

Dried onion

Im sure to toss stuff in or out it all depends on my mood and the situation due to the senerio or lack there of.This trip is for me to get back to being me,I feel I havent been for quite some time.Will possibly take a camera and get some photos to post.I will keep a journal on this trip and will post the entrys here when I get back.

Im not sure who else will be showing up this weekend but those that do are good woodsmen in thier own right.

My wife Connie was looking at my Blog and noticed that I now have more compasses than I had last week.I didnt tell her about the one I picked up at Locust Grove on saturday.That means I must get more of them and she wont notice such things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The big dang knife

I carry two knives.A very large knife for defense is always loaded and gives me comfort in my belt on a dark night deep in the timber.Hunting with a muzzleloading firearm is great untill its empty and you have to reload in a hurry.I carry a large plug bayonet or a large hand forged butcher with a antler handle.Both knives are used for general rough work and butchering.I carry a small knife in my pocket for fine work and skinning.Both knives are period correct to the 18th century.The plug bayonet would have been military surplus by the time I am most interested in but still a plausable weapon for the times.

Burl noggin

I thought I would share with you a littlle gem I have carried for ten years or so.This is a burl noggin/drinking cup.It is carried on my belt and is used for drinking from springs or creeks so you dont have to take your eyes of your surroundings by laying down at the creek side to get a drink.They are also known as canoe cups.Its also very handy for filling a canteen where the water source is very shallow or to small to fit the canteen.The deer antler toggle is thrust under the waist belt to secure it from loss.This noggin is native made and is from Maine.I found it in a shop and it has served me well for a decade or more.Its one of my most commented on pieces of gear.The walls of it are very thin.

Where am I going....compasses

In this day and age of gps and satelite uplinks is making it possible for most people to navigate the world easily.In the 18th century compasses were used.I use repro 18th century compasses to navigate my way when I go brush busting.You need to check your compass often to stay on a straightish course.I could go into a long diatribe about compass use a plotting,but I aint gonna.get a good compass and learn to use it.Horace Kephart in Woodcraft and Camping have a great chapter on navigation.These wooden bodied compases are fine for general course following.The large brass compass is very good for plotting and map making.

Gin Trap for beaver

This is a repro trap made by Hiram Hunter of Aurora Utah.Its a real trap and not a prop for posers.I will be taking this trapp out this season and trying my luck.I need to get around to making a set of trap sticks for setting it.That is a framing square in the background for scale.The chain has a really nice swivel built into it.This is a good trap for the 18th and early 19th century hunter.

Bait Bottle

If your going to trap beaver ya should have a bait bottle.This is the bait bottle I made a number of years agofrom a birch sapling.It was used to hold beaver lure made from castor glands and typically anise spice.

Ice chisel and Spears

Ok guys here are some photos of my ice chisel and beaver/muskrat spears.These tools were very inportant in the fur trade.Im getting ready to haft these tools and a fella was asking on frontierfolk about ice chisels.I hope the photos are ok.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gin Trap

Here are some photos of a gin trap that is of the type made in the 18th and early 19th century.A fella on FrontierFolk named jaybo wants to make a few and I hope these photos can help him.I have a larger beaver sized trap of this same design,it is a repro.So jaybo heres some pics and I hope they help.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Sorry I havent kept up my blog.Life sometimes gets in the way of our obsessions.I work for a temp service and have been working odd hours.Connie and I have been able to make a few events,even a civil war event this weekend.I was able to buy four pounds of powder for my gun,YEA.....HAWWWWWW!Antwho I will be getting back to doing this blog very soon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Belt Axe

A good belt axe is a good friend to have with you.Not only will it help you build a shelter,harvest materials of all types and be a good backup weapon it can also do all the basic things a knife can do.The belt axe here is what is known or refered to as a hammer poll belt axe.It has a hammer poll on one side and a cresent shaped blade on the opposite side.This is a great belt axe made by Jim Hoffman.It has a four inch cutting edge and a 13 inch handle.The hammer poll is great for cracking nuts and knapping a new edge on a gun flint.If I could only take one tool it would be this belt axe.

Belt Knife

You should never go into the woods without a good belt knife.Here is a pic of my belt knife.It has a 7 inch blade and the boxwood handle is carved in the image of a pig.The knife was made by Kyle Wiilyard of Old Dominion Forge.Kyle is a master of his craft and can temper a blade better than Lucifer hisself.Folding knives are nice to have but should never be your primary blade.A good belt knife need not be fancy but it does need to have good blade and a secure handle.Jon "Smitty" Smith of Wisconson makes very good copies of French and English trade knives.I have two of Smittys knives and i prize them for thier quality and function.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I thought you might like to see my take on a civilian pack.I made this pack from hair on buffalo hide and tow linen.I built it along the lines of both a market wallet.It has a single strap that adjusts with a brass buckle.In the photo of it closed you can see how a blanket fits when the pack is folded and buckled.I carry eveything that I need on a scout in it.These arent the best pics but it will have to do for now.I will get photos of how I carry it and its contents.The nice thing about it is at the end of the day you can take everything out of it and stuff it with leaves and make a nice pad for sleeping on or to use as a pillow.

A friend from Tenn.saw the pic on here and wanted to know a bit about the gun in my photo.The gun is flintlock dutch influenced American fusil.It is a very light and reliable gun.It has a 38 inch .60 caliber smoothbore barrel and the forestock is cut back for a bayonet.It is named Mary Becker after Connies mother.It has the fastedt lock I have ever seen.Its my main trekking gun.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shelter First

If you are going to go to the woods on a scout you will need some form of a shelter at night.A shelter could be just a blanket,leanto or a rock house.Im lucky I have a rock house to go to.You can pack in a oilcloth to make a water tight leanto or you can build a leanto with the material at hand.Rock houses are nice since you dont have to carry them in.You must be careful in rock houses.Make sure there are no snakes or vermin and look for objects that might fall and squish you.Here are some pics of the rock house I used last year when a group of us went on a scout in February.

Shelter First

If you are going to spend the night in the woods in uncertain weather you should have some sort of shelter be it canvas leanto,brush leanto or a rock house.Im fortunate that I have a rock house to go to.

Getting soaking wet and getting sick isnt fun when you have to be to work on Monday.Ya need to be carefull with rock houses.You need to check it for snakes and vermin and rocks that might fall from the roof and squish you.Here are some pics of the rock house I use.

Heres Pit

Feb 15

Well I was supposed to go on a scout this weekend but Hungry(the guy that set up the scout)fell on the ice and broke a rib.I suppose some of you might be interested in where I scout.The Hoosier National Forest has vast amounts of woodland where folks can hunt and camp.I wont disclose the exact spot but its in Perry County Indiana.
I tend to go solo now since I had a injury that slows me down from going at other peoples pace.Solo scouting/trekking can be real rewarding.It also has its drawbacks.You have to do everything yourself and entertain yourself.You need to be twice as carefull cause on mis step and bang your in dp doo doo.Im going to get my loving wife to upload some photos of my gear so we can see some examples of what I take on a scout.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What ta heck.

Well i guess its about time i got off my butt and started putting down what i enjoy and my thoughts about why I enjoy it so much.This is my first post on here.my wife Connie is helping me do this so please be patient withe me as I stumble along.