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

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Sharpening System/Device

The boys at JRE Industries are at it again. You may have seen their strop bat, a four-sided strop loaded with compounds to complete the sharpening/honing process. I believe I've written about them in the past.

Well they've raised the bar a whole mess of notches for those of us who use the convex edge.

I'm not really at liberty just yet to discuss what it is but it's going to put a sharpening/stropping system in your hands that'll take a dull edge all the way to scary hair-popping. Even better is the fact that you'll be able to toss it in your pack or affix it to the outside of your pack to take into the field to clean up your edges while you're away from home. Plus, being a custom piece, it'll be available in an array of sizes to suit your personal needs/uses.

Let's see, it's portable, scaleable, highly effective, easy to use, and constructed of top-notch materials and should be priced so that you'll still have something left in your wallet at the end of the day. Sound good?

I clearly thought so. That's why I'm letting the cat out of the proverbial bag just a little early.

Once I get down to the shop I'll shoot a couple of pictures and get those up for you to see. I can assure you it's not something you've seen before and, as soon as one rolls out of the shop, it'll be in my hot little hands.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Did you ever get that feeling?

I'm starting to think that it's just not in the cards that I get to shoot my muzzleloader at a deer.

This is the third year in a row that I've attempted to go hunting and something has come up, someone has gotten sick, or some other seemingly insurmountable obstacle presents itself.

This year I've done the legwork, gotten my tags, sighted in my rifle, packed and repacked my cold weather clothing and gear, and practiced my shots, worked on my calls, and generally mentally prepared myself to honor my prey by using every part of it. Still the hurdles pop up in front of me...

It's looking grim for a second season success. My hunting partners are faced with scheduling conflicts, my babysitters can't cover the whole day Thursday and Friday, and I've just been informed by my host that he will be absent as well.

While I'm not yet prepared to throw in the towel on this hunt I am getting close. I'm very discouraged.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, November 26, 2007

Skills Distractions

While we were out hunting on Sunday we endured cold rain mixed with sleet and my mind wandered to firestarting and the work that would be required to get a fire going should someone in the party start to act hypothermic.

There was plenty of mullein in the field but I don't think any of the stalks were going to be of much use in friction firestarting. They were just too old and cracked--lots of dry grasses to go up with a firesteel though. Good thing I had my Fallkniven F1 and a survival kit in my hunting vest.

Of course, it didn't get cold enough to become hypothermic as we walked most of the time and that kept the body temperatures up.

It's funny to be in the field hunting and to be distracted by the abundance of firestarting materials readily available should we need them...

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back in Action

We're finally home.

That was a great three days of bird hunting. We came home with 20 pheasant, 15 or so quail, and a half dozen chukar in the cooler.

Every shooter hit at least one pair of clays with a single shot on the sporting clays course and John, my brother in law, did it THREE TIMES!!!

The temperatures were in the 40s on the first day and the upper 30s with rain and sleet the second day (today.) Both days my Swanndri Ranger did a great job of keeping me warm and dry and I actually peeled it off for a short while yesterday as the walking was getting me pretty warm.

My Remington 870 worked flawlessly (again) with no maintenance and no cleaning the entire weekend. I'll give it a good scrubbing tomorrow as a reward.

I came home with a strong hankering for a German Short Hair Pointer. I want a pup to train myself for birding.

I met some really great folks from all around the Midwest including Mac and Roger from Kentucky and Tennessee respectively, Chris and his wife also from Kentucky, and the boys from Indianapolis who we met last year at this time.

I want to give a great big Thank You to the Harpoles for their hospitality, their food, and their friendship. Without them none of this would have happened.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Between the move, the deer trip, Thanksgiving, the upland bird trip, and the second deer trip this has been a CRAZY month.

Today we're hosting the feast and are having 15 people. We're cooking.

I know updates have been sporadic since the first of the month and can't promise that it's going to be much better for another couple of weeks but then life gets back closer to "normal" for us.

We had our first snow last night so I should get a better idea just what kind of traffic our backyard is going to get.

Tomorrow I leave for three days of upland bird hunting. Making the shift from rifle/muzzleloader shooting to shotgun seemed difficult at first but I'd forgotten just how comfortable I was with my old Remington 870. This is going to be a real hoot!

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Today's the Day

I'm headed out of here in a few hours for my very first deer hunt.

I shot a nice tight group at 100 yards with iron sights on my muzzleloader, I've walked the property several times, and I'm packed and ready to roll.

I hope to report back with good news.

I have tags for two and, if I get them, plan on doing some tutorials on braintanning, making tools from bones, how to process sinew, and possibly even basic butchery of larger game.

See you Sunday.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Leupold Customer Service--Big Thumbs Up

I've got a Leupold scope, mounts, and rings for my black powder rifle and never got them mounted last year.

I tried to mount them this year prior to sighting in and found the rear base had some problems which prohibited the use of a scope this year. I can't say that this shattered my plans as I had really wanted to do it "the hard way" with iron sights.

Anyway, I got home and contacted Leupold directly and they're sending me replacement mounts and rings even before I get mine in the mail. They wanted to make sure I had the option of mounting the scope prior to the hunt if I chose.

No questions asked.

Now THAT is customer service of the higest degree.

Thank you Leupold.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm Back

I have been gone all weekend scouting and shooting in preparation for the upcoming hunt and things have gone very well.

Things here at the new house are still fairly chaotic but I've found some time to set aside to get away and relax (or at least to get into the woods.)

Sorry for the lack of updates. Hopefully I'll find some sort of routine this week that works.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, November 02, 2007

He looked, longingly, into the woods

I'm unloading the dishwasher this morning while listening to "The Last of the Mohicans" soundtrack and staring off into the woods through the window.

If you haven't heard this soundtrack you should give it a listen. I find myself fantasizing about running through the woods after some quarry which is decidedly different than unloading a dishwasher.

I need to get outdoors. There's so much to do here but the woods are calling my name every time I set foot near the back of the house.

Tonight I think I will sleep outdoors.

Thanks for reading,