Archive for June, 2008

My Favorite Hunting Knife

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I don’t know about you all, but when I head off into the woods, I like to have a knife that I trust. There have been a couple of traditions that have arisen in our camp surrounding knives, that I think are a bit interesting. I am not sure where they came from, but they are fun to continue.

The first is that no one is allowed to give away a knife. If we are going to “give” a knife to a fellow hunter, he has to give up at least one dollar. I’m not sure how or why this got started, but it a rule. Maybe my dad can share a bit of light on the origins of the tradition.

The second tradition has to do with “luck”. We are not really superstitious, but we have fun with superstition. We have our lucky shirts. And we don’t want to break in more than one piece of new equipment per year. Maybe that is just to keep us from buying too much stuff in any one year. But, it applies to knives as well. I hate to carry a brand new knife…it isn’t “lucky” until it is broken in by eviscerating its first deer. A knife intended for a hunting knife is not allowed to be used for anything prior to field dressing its first deer. All of this is done in good fun, and it is particularly fun to harass one of our fellow hunters who has a new knife that is untested for 2 or 3 years.

That brings me to telling you about my favorite knife. I have been hunting for 22 years, and have only had 2 knives over that period of time. My first knife, which I loved dearly, was a Case Mako Folding Hunter. It was given to me by a good friend, who also made me leather case for it. I carried it for several years, and used it on many a deer. However, about 7 or 8 years ago, that knife began to come apart, and I didn’t want to lose any of the parts (the handle came apart). So, I purchased a new knife. This time I got a Buck Woodsman with a Cocobola (Redwood) handle. This has turned out to be another great knife. It is easy to sharpen when it gets dull, but stays sharp for a long time. I have cleaned and skinned 3-4 deer between sharpening. I am hoping that this knife will last me for several more years. I liked this knife so much that I got the regular handled knife for several of my friends and family. They got the regular handle so that I could tell the difference between theirs and mine!

I don’t know if our little group of hunters is the norm, but most of our folks are pretty attached to their hunting knives. They don’t want to have to trade up or get a new knife. And, if someone forgets their knife at home, it is a major ordeal to have to settle for one of the spare knives (and I have several “spares” in my box). There are some other pieces of equipment that we have the same attachment to (guns for example), but most things can be replaced much easier than a knife.

So, tell me what your favorite knife is. How long have you had it, and how do you feel about it?

New Shop Opened…

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Hey guys, just a quick post to let you know about a new shop I have loaded up, which sells outdoor stuff.  I found a pretty neat program that will let you pull different items from ebay into your own shop, and display them according to categories that you select.  Since ebay has so many great deals on all kinds of merchandise, including stuff for outdoor enthusiasts, I decided to load it up.

If you would like to set up your own shop, you can get it by clicking here.   The software is not too expensive if you buy it within (I think) 48 hours of first clicking on the link.  The price goes up if you wait longer than that.  I know that is weird, but I guess that is how they get you to buy faster.  The good side is that you can have an unlimited number of stores.  I have 4 currently set up, and hope to increase that to about 20 by the end of the year or so.

So, if you are looking for some kind of outdoor related product, check out the shop at Jake’s Outdoors. Not only will you get a great deal, but you will help a fellow blogger out!

Save a Stream Opportunity

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Fly RodI heard something on the news last night that made me want to write a post, but when doing research for it today I found something completely different! I wrote some time ago about trying to do some posts on “Making a Difference”, but haven’t been too diligent about finding good topics in that theme. Today, I want to share with you an opportunity to team up with Outdoor Life to make a difference in your area!

While surfing the Outdoor Life site today, I came across a page on the site that promotes a contest to get Outdoor Life to help with the restoration of a stream in your area. You can enter their contest, and have their help to restore a stream to a much more environmentally friendly state (which means more fishing and hunting opportunities for you in the future, and for generations to come!)

Here is the information from the page:

As sportsmen it is our duty to keep America’s rivers, streams and marshlands free from contamination and teeming with wildlife. Outdoor Life is challenging readers to take action in their own backyards to seek out and revive our local fisheries.

To enter, send us photos or a video and a written description about a stream in your area that needs help. If your project is chosen, Outdoor Life will help get you started this summer.

Selected projects will receive clean-up materials, expert manuals and more. A few projects will be featured in the December/January 2009 issue of Outdoor Life and online.

To enter click HERE.

This is dated April 11, 2008, so I know it is a bit late to get it posted here, but it appears that the deadlines are still in the future, so you have time to do something about it. If you have a local stream that you know could use a little work (or a lot for that matter), get your entry ready and send it in so that you will have a chance to have the power of Outdoor Life behind you! I know there are a couple of streams I can think of in our great state that could use their help. I just wish I was close enough to them to be able to put together a good entry!

Another idea might be to get together with a group and put an entry together. If you are a member of a local group of Trout Unlimited, or Ducks Unlimited, you could combine your resources to come up with a great entry, and draw the attention of the Outdoor Life staff.

If you get an entry done, be sure to let us know here so we can be on the look out for it in the December/January issue!

EDIT:  While looking at the rules of the contest, I see that the winners will be notified on or around July 1, so if this is something that interests you, get those entries in within the next few days!

Tuesday’s Trackings: Tennessee Valley Angler

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Tuesday TrackingIf you haven’t had the chance to check out the  Tennessee Valley Angler, jump over there and take a peek.  I have only been fly fishing for about 3 or 4 years (and I haven’t even had a fly rod out in over a year now), but I do enjoy it when I get the chance to go.  I have been wanting to head down into the smokies and fly fish for a few days, but haven’t taken the opportunity to do so as of yet.

You can take a look at the TV Angler site and get some insight into some of the fly fishing in the south.  These folks actually are based close to where my in-laws live, and I head down there at least once per year.  You can check out some of the pictures that are on the site, and see the beauty of the area.  Makes me want to carry my fly rod along and see if I can hit some of the bass and bream streams that are prevalent throughout the area.  I may have to book that trip down to the smokies as well, judging from some of the posts and pictures that are on the TV Angler site!

Make sure to visit the photo galleries when you go over to TVA.  There are some great shots on there, and the bragging board has some great pictures of nice fish.  You won’t be disappointed!

Away from the Computer for a Few Days…

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Those of you who read this blog fairly regularly have probably noticed that I have not been updating with my usual frequency here at Jake’s Outdoors. My real world life has kept me incredibly busy over the last few weeks, and the near future doesn’t look like it is slowing down much! I am not complaining, mind you, but it is my explanation for the sparsity of posts lately. I don’t foresee being able to get back to posting much (here or any of my other blogs) within the next week to 10 days at best, and looking at my schedule, I am thinking that regular posting will probably not return until at least late September, or early October. I hope that doesn’t deter you all from keeping up with this blog, but I just thought I should let you know whats going on over here, so you don’t think I’ve forgotten about you all. I try to get around and read a few posts when I can, and I hit many of your blogs, even if I am not leaving comments (I catch up by reading in my reader!) So, check in when you can, and I’ll be doing the same, even if you don’t see a lot written here!

I wrote a few days ago about Skylar shooting the bow, and realized that I didn’t have a video of Jacob. But, his Papaw came through for us, and posted this video of Jacob shooting the bow, so I thought I’d share it!

I know I have been away from the Tuesday’s Tracking for a couple of weeks, but I will try to get back to it soon. Until then, just remember how much great stuff you can get by reading blogs like The Hunter’s Wife, Simply Outdoors (I haven’t forgotten your “Why you hunt” post, Arthur, just haven’t had the time it deserves yet!), the Hog Blog, the Idaho TroutHunter, and Outdoors with Othmar. I am sure that they will keep you fully entertained until I am able to get back on the ball and writing more regularly!

Another Gardening Post…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

I wrote a few days ago that we had the garden in and complete.  However, over the last few days, I have noticed that many of my new, tender plants have been eaten off by some “wascally wabbit”, and my beans have been broken off by the neighbor’s dogs.  I certainly never thought that these would be issues.  So, today I started to work at putting up a chicken wire fence that will hopefully keep both of the aforementioned trouble makers out of my garden.

I was hoping to get the whole thing done in a couple of hours, but it appears that it will be a much bigger job than that.  It took me a while to figure out the best way of drawing the wire taunt, but I think I have the hang of it now.  Just as I was making good progress, a big storm blew up.  Looks nasty outside right now. I’m hoping we don’t lose power!

Most of the garden has come up pretty well.  I am a bit disappointed that my tomatoes and peppers have not taken as well as I thought they would.  I hope they will take off in the next week or so.  I have to replace a couple of plants that are not doing well…in fact, one is shriveled up to nothing.  I’ve already had to replace 2 tomatoes from where mr. bunny has been chewing on them.  I guess that is part of the fun of gardening.

I’m sure there will be more to come!