American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Friday, December 29, 2006


Last night at low tide we hit the beach for a bit of crab hunting. As the water withdraws, the crabs come out of their holes looking for food and, if you can get them in the beam of your flashlight, they'll either freeze in place or run amazingly fast in every direction until they either get away or manage to blend in with the crushed seashells.

The kids had a blast and we were all amazed at not only how fast the crabs can run but also by just how they ran. They rise up and move so quickly they appear to be rolling along the sand.

Tonight the low tide will be even lower and we hope to get out once again to watch this amazing and fun natural event.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, December 15, 2006

This is it.

Well folks, I'm off tomorrow for the annual Florida trip. I will have limited access to the Internet and that means there'll be limited time for updates.

I plan on doing some hiking and lots of shooting while I'm there so hopefully I'll have some pictures and stories for when I get back.

Happy Holidays to you all. I'll see you in 2007.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, December 14, 2006


In 2007 I'm going to attempt to simplify my life. That means less gear and more use of the gear I choose to keep.

Those of you who know me well know how much harder that will be than it sounds.

I have a 30-gallon Rubbermaid bin full of mess kits, cooksets, and billy cans. I need one.

I have tents, tarps, hammocks, bashas...I'd like a tarp/hammock for three seasons and a nice Hilleberg basecamp tent for winter camping.

I've got more knives, axes, and saws than any 10 people should have...

I'm going to put together a list of the camping/hiking/hunting supplies that I intend to use in 2007 and get rid of everything not on that list. Phew, did I just put that in my blog?!

All of it?!


I've got a lot to do.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Winter Car Kit

(Thanks to Mary for the idea for this post.)

If you're living in this hemisphere and you haven't yet put together your winter car kit you'd better be thinking about it.

I've had one in place for weeks because I frequently travel with the kids and have to worry about their comfort and safety as well as my own. My wife, on the other hand, has little or nothing in her car to help her get through an emergency. Today I'm building her kit.

Some things to have in the back of your car (in no particular order:)
  • Wool or fleece blanket
  • Wool socks
  • Boots
  • Hat
  • Gloves or mittens
  • A couple of plastic garbage bags
  • Duct Tape
  • NuWick 44 or 120 hour emergency candle
  • Breakfast bars
  • Water
  • Billy Can

This is by no means a complete list but it gives you a good start. You will want to be able to keep warm and dry for as long as possible. My wife knows to call me if there's an automotive emergency so the amount of time between emergency and rescue should be relatively short.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Survival "Experts"

It drives me crazy to read what some people will post on Internet discussion forums. These armchair experts criticizing what they've seen on television and in the movies with little demonstrable experience of their own.

"Les Stroud is an idiot because..."

"Bear Grylls is stupid because..."

If you're such an expert in outdoor survival then where's YOUR show?!

If you're in a survival situation in the first place you've made some mistakes. Do it on television and you'll have lots of chair-borne experts to criticize your every move. Add in the effects of fatigue, dehydration, and possibly stage one hypothermia and you're absolutely going to make mistakes.

My advice:

Get out there and do it better or shut up.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, December 11, 2006

Working on a project

I know the updates have been infrequent of late and that, I'm afraid, isn't going to get better before the new year.

I am working on a project right now restoring a 1936 vintage Winchester Model 37 shotgun for my dad. It belonged to my grandfather when he was a boy. The gun has been sitting in a closet or garage for probably the last 20 years and has gotten quite a bit of rust on the barrel.

I cleaned up the bore yesterday, oiled and wiped the whole thing down, and then took a worn Scotchbrite pad to the rust and gently removed it.

The barrel and receiver will need to be reblued but the gun seems to be in useable shape as is.

I plan on getting a box of shells for it this week and shooting it on Saturday before I head south for the holidays.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, December 08, 2006

Bowhunters, I need your help.

I want to bowhunt next year.

Traditional versus Technological? Compound versus recurve? Stalking versus treestand?

Give me some advice, some links, and some feedback.

I know so little about the sport that I can't even really put together enough proper questions at this point.

I shot for a while back in the scouts but that's been many years back and I'm not sure I was very good then either...



Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mother Day Pack Received

Remember this post?

I got the pack in yesterday afternoon and immediately set about sizing it, wrapping excess straps with velcro ties, and getting gear loaded up. Then I called Marty G. at Mother to compliment him on his awesome vest/pack. He has included some very nice features to this pack including the ITW whistle buckle on the chest strap and the rare earth magnets that hold the ammo pockets closed securely while providing absolutely silent opening (far superior to zippers, buckles, or velcro.)

I don't have any bird trips in the near future but I'll get the vest loaded for the range and give you a report once I get back from a day of shooting.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cabin Fever

Already I'm suffering a bit from cabin fever. I need to get outdoors for an adventure. Everybody I know is busy, I'm busy, my weekends are absolutely slammed from here until I leave for my in-laws' place in Florida, and there's little sign of relief.

I've got some snowshoes on order and they should be here in the next couple of days. I managed to snag the shoes, poles, and a bag for less than the price of the shoes through a sale at Campsaver. If you order before the holidays you can take an extra 20% off your order using the promotion code "Santa" at checkout. I think there's an order minimum but I easily hit that with the gear listed above.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Lack of updates

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Since the hunting trip I've had bigger fish to fry on a fairly regular basis and haven't had much time to get outside to enjoy the bone-chilling temperatures and wind.

I did get out yesterday for about an hour to do some testing with an alcohol stove but that's been it for several days.

I hope this week brings more excitement.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow, snow, and more snow

I've been out shovelling for the past couple of hours and I'm dog-tired. We've gotten 10" of wet heavy snow so far and the forecast calls for more until around 2pm.


I need some snowshoes.