Monday, April 20, 2015

Biggest Bass of my life!

Caught this largemouth bass on 4/18/15, 6lbs 4oz, at lake Thunderbird in OK.

It's been a long time since I had caught a good one and that was evident by the fact I thought it might be over 8lbs so I went and had it weighed officially. So not quite mounting size but it was darn fun! I felt like a kid again when I got this big ol girl on shore. I caught her catfishing with cut shad of all things. I had just casted my 3 poles out at a different spot and decided to hold onto the third pole and about 4 minutes later I got two heavy tugs on the line, but it seemed to drop the bait, so I waited to feel another tug and then released the spool to let it take the line for about 10 seconds and then I flipped the drag on and set the hook and she took off peelinig my drag out for about 10 seconds and then put up a heck of a good fight and made a couple more runs. I thought I was reeling in about a 10-15 catfish until she was about 5 yards from shore and I got a good look at her and then I realized she was a big bass. Both my kids, Jack and Bel, were with me and that made it even more special. Bel was as ecstatic as I was! It was really cool. When I put it on the stringer she asked if it was gonna eat the catfish, LOL! Weighing it in was fun too even though it wasn't as big as I was hoping for. Her belly was thin and it was obvious she had spawned already. If I would have caught her a month ago I bet she would have given 8lbs a serious run for the money. This was a blessed day and one I will remember my whole life.

We also caught some channel cats and had a fish fry for dinner. It's a good life!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Knife!!! - Redneck Knives customized woodlore

Well I have long had a knife idea in my head and thought it was time to see it come to life.  I contacted my friend Steve who is the owner/maker of Redneck Knives and he took on the project.  I wanted his original woodlore style knife but with a convex grind.  I chose the woodlore design as I do feel it is the best allround shape.  The lower drop of the point keeps the edge straight longer and aids in power cuts as well as controlled cuts in general.  The point being centered in the blade gives you the most point control as well.  It's the most natural handling knife design I have found.  The one big change you probably noticed is I wanted a convex grind instead of a scandi.  That is just my preference as I am better with that grind and feel it is the best allround grind on a knife.  So those were my preferences, now let's get to the good stuff.

I thought it would be fun to show some of the build process.  Hope you enjoy!

Blank cut and handle materials.  It's 5/32" O1 steel.  I wanted natural tan micarta and red liners for the handle on this knife.  Micarta is a very tough and good handle material.  It's light but takes hard use well and resist the elements as good as anything can.

The 3/4 height convex grind
In the forge for heat treating

Rockwell test for the correct hardness.  And it's perfect at 59!

Final shaping of blade and getting ready to be handled:
Using brass bolts and lanyard tube.  This will be one solid knife!

shaping process of the handle to my specifications.  Looking really good!
Now for the finished knife and some pics after I recieved it


The sheath was made and gifted to me by a friend(Dan).  This sheath is not perfect but is very well made and solid.  It is a tank of a sheath.  For this to be his work that didn't make the cut is impressive.  His sheaths that make the cut must be as good as it gets.  I am thrilled and grateful to have been gifted this sheath.  It goes perfect with the knife.

This package will be my new hip companion.  The knife is my best rendition of my perfect allround woods/hunting knife.  It should be well suited to any task I throw it's way.  The build quality of the knife by Steve is outstanding and it is the most comfortable knife I have ever held.  I suppose all those reasons are why I had it made.  Steve made this build project very fun and easy.  He was great to work with.  If you want to find Steve you can check out his work and get in contact with him here, Redneck Knives, As for this knife look to see it in plenty of pics down the road. 
thanks for looking

Monday, January 26, 2015

WWII Plumb Hatchet Project - Post 2

Well this project hit a snag.  The handle I picked out had the kerf cut a little too short and basically I don't have enough room on the kerf to hang the head and carve out the adjustment for the crooked eye.  I've been on the hunt for another handle but haven't found a good one yet.  I did get the head cleaned up a bit though.  I got most of the pitting out of the bit and cheeks and got the edge cleaned up.

Here it is currently


after some file work

now edge with a file

It's pretty sharp with just the file.  You can get a good edge with a file once you know what you are doing.  I'll put the final edge with a stone on once it's hung. 

Will post completed hatchet once I get a good handle. 

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WWII Plumb Hatchet project - Post 1

I recently put together a hatchet for a friend.  I picked one off the bay that looked good and had some real American history to it.  It's WWII military hatchet.  It ended up having the best pattern for a hatchet I have seen in my opinion.  The geometry is just perfect.  And yes I have owned and used a Gransfors Bruks wildlife hatchet.  This is better.  So here is the finished result of that hatchet I put together.

The cheeks stay thin from the bit to the head.  It is very long for it's size and the transition is spot on.  I was so pleased at how this hatchet turned out that I tasked myself with making another for myself.  And as luck would have it I was able to find one exactly like this one.  It even has the same 1944 year stamp on it.  I thought it would be fun to post this project as I make progress on it.  This head will require a little more work than usual.  This head doesn't look used but it did have rust and some light pitting that I will need to remove to get it in top working order. 

Here is how it came

the bottom eye was punched a little off center.  This was obvious holding the hatchet as it had a tilt in the alignment.  This will be easily correctable with a proper hang job.  I did notice the previous handle had good grain after sawing it off.

Well since the rust was pretty bad on this one I did a vinegar soak for a few days.  Got most of it off.  I then used a dremel tool with a grinding stone to try and remove the pitting.  This was working but I will have to try something different to get the desired result I want.  This last pic isn't the greatest as it was indoors and late.  But here is the progress to this point and the handle I selected  as well. 

I will post updates on this hatchet as I go so check back.  This will be a nice one when it's finished.
Thanks for looking

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

LLBean Maine Hunting Shoe(Boot) - 100th Anniversary

I've have wanted a pair of Bean Boots for quite awhile.  Last year I was fortunate enough to receive a pair as a Christmas gift and now that I've had them a year I wanted to share some thoughts on them.

The pair I have is the 100th Anniversary which a tribute to the original version of this boot.  This version appealed to me so it's the one I got.  They make a more modern version as well you should be able to find pretty easy on their site.  This model is uninsulated and is 12" in height.  Making it a great boot for warmer or milder temps and of course wet weather of any kind.  These version has the traditional leather and comes with a little packet of Sno-Seal to work into the leather. This model comes with regular boot laces and leather laces.  I decided to give the classic leather laces a go and see how they hold up.  After all it does fit the classic style of this boot very well.  I did use the last of the Sno-Seal on the laces and I believe it has helped them hold up better.  A year in and they are still going strong.

I find this boot to be very comfortable to wear. It is very light and I joke that it almost wears like a house slipper. I found LLBean's sizing advice to be accurate, in that they run a little big to size. I can comfortably wear thick socks when needed. These boots are great for hunting. They only application they are not good for is in cold weather for long sits. They are not insulated and even with warm socks they do not do what a cold-weather boot is meant to do. But they are not designed to so that's not a fault, just knowing it's limits.  The soles do come out easily so you could replace the one in it with a woolfelt sole or similar and get a slight warmth upgrade if you wanted.  In the future I plan to do that and see how much of a difference it makes.  As for performance in wet conditions I have had no problems with my boots keeping my feet dry.  Creek crossings, etc. are no problem. 

Time will tell how good a boot really is.  But the reputation and length of history these have I am not doubting them at all.  LLBean stands behind these boots and you can even have the bottom rubber part replaced if you wear the tread out in them.  Leather boots just get better with age and wear so I expect to like these more and more over time.  I would definitely recommed these boots.  They have met all expectations to me.

Thanks for looking


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hunting trip left wanting...

Well myself and father-in-law got out for a day of hunting in western Oklahoma last week.  The orange army was in full force and the deer were in lockdown mode.  It was an uneventful trip as we saw no deer.   Highlights of the trip were the views and taking in a sunrise and sunset.  That never gets old.  Here's some pics of the day. 

First spot was overlooking a small wheat field surrounded by prairie and a ravine.

my gear for the day, Frost River Summit pack and good ol Remington 700 BDL 30-06 with a Leuopold VX-II 3-9x40.  Great package!

Evening sit was overlooking two ravines with lots of timber on the other side.  Hoping to catch deer coming or going but that was not in the plans this night.

FIL on the lookout

Couldn't complain on the view though.  It was great to take in and made for a nice runner-up prize for the day.

Thanks for looking folks!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Talimena Drive - Family Outing

Well I got the family rounded up and we did the Talimena Drive.  It's in the Ouchita National Forest in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.  The Fall is the best time for this drive as you get a real show of fall colors that the forest offers.  It's not the most outdoorsy trip when you're mostly driving but there are quite a few hiking trails throughout that will test your limits if that's what you're after.

This trip was mostly driving and enjoying the view with a somewhat bushcraft lunch.

Enjoy the pics

Thanks for looking