REVEREND ALEXANDER

He wasn’t a large man; in fact he was only 5’4” and weighed about 135 pounds. But he was a giant to Chipmunk, Punky, Jenny and me. When he first came into our life he had seen 71 summers but the years hadn’t dampened his enthusiasm for life or the spring in his step. He wore little round wire glasses that usually sat out on his nose and, if outdoors, he always wore a well-worn fedora hat. His deep voice had an unusual quality, it was soft spoken and always caring yet it had a ring of authority about it. It was a voice that you never grew tired of. He could make subjects you weren’t necessarily interested in, interesting, a master storyteller.

The happy little man was a master with a shotgun. His well-worn J.C Higgins pump-action 16 gauge shotgun was thought to contain magic. He never missed in a dove field, when quail hunting, he usually put three birds on the ground at every covey rise and a running rabbit didn’t stand a chance. He outshot the best hunters around Tater Knob but never one time did I hear him boast.

The perky little giant was a man of God, our parents called him Reverend Alexander, we kids knew him as Brother Alexander. Our little country church was poor by most standards and I am sure that being the Shepherd of our flock kept him and his wife near the poverty line but they never complained and were always the first to step up when there was any kind of family crisis at the remote farmsteads. His pay was mostly from the fruit of the land, depending upon what season of the year it was. Vegetables during the summer, chicken and eggs in the fall, a ham or a slab of bacon during the winter and a bird dog pup or a fine tanned coon hide in the spring were just a few of his paychecks. One of his favorite dishes was groundhog and the housewife that could invite him to Sunday dinner of groundhog was the envy of the community as having the preacher eat Sunday dinner at your house was the goal of every household.

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A&R KORSAR TACTICAL KNIFE

When I hear the term tactical knife I have come to expect to see a very large black knife with a blade designed for limited special use. This was what I was expecting when I had the opportunity to field test a Russian made A&R tactical knife, model Korsar. When the knife arrived I was very pleasantly surprised. The knife is very attractive as it has a highly polished blade, stainless heavy duty guard, stainless pommel and a handle made from Birch bark. 

A&R has been in the cutlery business for some 150 years and they are noted for making a wide variety of knives from a Russian high alloy stainless steel, called 95X18, which is considered by many blade smiths to be one of the best materials in making forged blades. This is the steel that is the heart of the fixed blade Korsar knife.

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THE 7-30 WATERS CUMBERLAND DEERSLAYER

It was the hike from hell! To get into the mountainous fold of land so that the wind would be in my favor required me to go straight up a bluff that was thick with cedar and limestone boulders. Then I had to slide down a steep hillside that was covered with cedars, briers and rocks. I was soon in the rocky crevice I had selected as a stand. It looked into a large white oak covered basin where three hollows came together. Once settled in the rock stand, I glanced down at the little G2 Contender rifle I had assembled just for hunting in the Cumberland Mountains.

Within an hour a large nine point buck came to the low grunts I made and the 7-30 Waters handload I had developed for this semi-custom rifle took the buck cleanly at just under 200 yards. Following that first hunt I named the rifle the Cumberland Deerslayer.  Since then the little rifle has taken many deer in the rough Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

To say the Cumberland Deerslayer is a custom rifle is not correct, for it isn’t. It is a rifle I assembled to hunt a specific region using after market parts and a few friends to help me assemble a short rifle that is perfect for the area I love to hunt. Any hunter can do the same.

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THE TRAPPER TURNED WISE MAN

Christmas in the mountains of north Alabama was a special time for me and my buddies, Punky Kelly and Chipmunk Green. School was out, there was plenty of time to put out rabbit box traps, and there was the Christmas pageant at our little rural church, which meant food and presents.

 Setting rabbit box traps was a high priority for us as we thought of ourselves as being mountain men. The excitement was that we never knew what our trap line would produce, one year it was mostly opossums the next a rabbit or two.

This particular Christmas season we each had built one new rabbit box trap. Our trap line started on the creek behind my house where we set one box on an animal trail next to the creek. Then we crossed the pasture to a fencerow near Punkys house where a second box was carefully set. The third box was set a short distance away, next to a brush pile behind Chipmunk’s dad’s barn.

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