KNIVES CHOSEN BY OUTDOORSMEN WHO DEPENDED UPON THEM

One’s favorite knife, like firearms and other outdoor gear, can be a heated debate around any campfire where several real woodsmen gather. What one woodsman likes may not be what you like, and vice versa. The best knife makes for an interesting discussion.

During my half century of being in the company of outdoorsmen who depended on knives daily and spending many hours researching those who came before them, I came up with a list of some of the better known outdoorsmen and the knife they considered their favorites. As you read down this list you will quickly see that there is no one knife that fits all.

NessmuckGeorge Washington Sears, aka Nessmuck 1821- 1890. Nessmuck best known as being America’s first outdoor writer. He wrote for Forest & Stream magazine and was the author of the book Woodcraft & Camping which is still in print today. He is famous for his “trinity of cutting tools” which consisted of a small double-bit hatchet, a belt knife which he designed and a moose-style pocket knife with spey and clip blades.

Ben LillyBen Lilly 1856 – 1936. Lilly was a woods wanderer from an early age. He became best known as a hunter of large predators in the southwestern US and northern Mexico. His favorite knife was a large S-shaped double edge bowie knife he made for “sticking big cats and bears.” His camp knife was a more traditional Green River style blade with an antler handle.

Teddy RooseveltTeddy Roosevelt 1858 – 1919. Roosevelt is best known as the hero of San Juan Hill and the 26th President of the U.S. However Roosevelt was a seasoned outdoorsman and wrote several books on hunting and the outdoor life. During his cowboy days in the Dakota Territory and his early big game hunts his knife choice was a large silver inlayed Bowie knife made by Tiffany & Co. in 1884. In 1907 it seems he switched to a Marble’s knife designed by Roosevelt’s friend and fellow big game hunter Dall DeWeese.

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MY AUTUMN RIDE

There are people we meet on our journey through this life that we never forget. For me Jacob Nowland is one of those people. He is a mountain man, buck skinner, horseman, singer and poet. Jacob, like me, is getting along in years and he sent me this poem he wrote that puts meaningful words to his autumn of life. – J. Wayne Fears
 

MY Autumn Ride
by Jacob M. Nowland

The night makes way for mornin’ light

The day has just begun

At the pasture’s gate I anticipate

Some warmth from the rising sun

The breeze is cool, there ain’t no dew

There’s autumn in the air 

My favorite time of year is here

As I whistle for the mare.

She comes to me as if she knows

 And she knows a thing or two

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THE NEW 9MM RUGER SR1911

*Click small images for a larger view*

Now that there is an excellent selection of 9mm self-defense rounds on the market, gun manufacturers are developing some interesting pistols in this caliber. Among the most interesting are the new generation of 1911’s in 9mm. The past few weeks I have been range testing the 9mm Ruger SR1911 with a wide variety of ammunition and at various ranges. If you are not familiar with the pistol here are the specs:

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Slide material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 9+1 with the two supplied mags
  • Grip frame: Gray anodized aluminum
  • Barrel length: 4.25”
  • Slide Finish; Low-glare stainless
  • Overall length: 7.75”
  • Width: 1.34”
  • Height: 5.45”
  • Sights: Novak 3-dot
  • Weight: 29.3 oz.
  • MSRP: $979

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THE BOOK

We had received our orders, we were required to read a book, an ENTIRE, whole book during the summer and give an oral book review when school opened in August. It was the sentence of death. Who in their right mind would waste time reading when they could be fishing or camping or playing mumblety-peg?

July found Punky Kelly, Chipmunk Green and I at our camp on the old mill pond that was formed when the Brier Fork Creek was dammed up in the late 1800’s to supply water for a grist mill. To us it was a large lake in Canada. For shelter we used an old tarp that Punky’s dad used for covering hay. To us it was a wall tent on the Canadian wilderness lake.

We had stayed up most of the night before running trot lines and barely caught enough yellow cats to smell up the skillet. As I fried up the fish in bacon drippings and Punky made hoe cake, Chipmunk reminded us about our summer reading assignment. It hung over us like a dark cloud. 

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