Your knife is your best friend when you are in the outdoors and trying to survive. The survival knife is a tool that can be used in so many ways; it is the most invaluable tool you may possess. There are literally hundreds of different knives to choose from but you should be choosing one before you leave for the outdoors.
Buy a Survival Knife that fits YOU!
Choosing a survival knife isn’t easy but you must make the decision based on how suitable the type of knife is for the situations you may be encountering. Survival basically means being prepared and by making informed choices early on, you greatly increase your chances of survival. The things you should be looking for in a knife are as follows:
Size: You want your knife to be small enough to carry but large enough to be used to cut branches from trees, butcher meat and even for digging.
Sharpness: Your survival knife should be sharp at all times especially when you first purchase it, if it isn’t sharp then, then it never will be.
Balance: Your knife should have a good balance to it, meaning the blade and handle will complement each other. When you swing the knife, the weight if the blade should be doing a lot of the work. Try a few knives and you will notice how they differ in balance and pick the one that best suits you.
Good Handle: The handle of the outdoor knife should be comfortable to use and preferably made of wood as this means it won’t slip as much.
If possible try and get a knife that is fixed blade. This means that the blade of the knife doesn’t fold in. A fixed blade knife is more reliable and safer to use as some folding knives don’t lock well or can slip and cause injury. Always make sure your knife has a good sheath, leather is the best kind, and that it is sheathed when not in use.
A Good “Sharpening Stone” is a Must!
The proper care and maintenance of your knife is extremely important and should be a daily ritual when it is in use. Sharpening the blade is essential and the best way to do this is to purchase a sharpening stone. Diamond sharpeners and other type of sharpeners are good but none of these do as good a job as a sharpening stone in the hands of someone who knows how to use one. Your knife’s blade should be sharpened to a point that is not too steep and is still thick enough not to chip.
To properly use a sharpening stone, it is best to dampen it first and then move the blade over the stone in a circular motion on angled so that you are removing the burrs and chips from the cutting edge, you will feel it when you get that perfect angle. When Sharpening the blade it must be simultaneously flipped to get the best cutting edge possible. A sharpened blade should have no burrs and the angle of the cutting edge should be constant.
Before You set out on Your “Adventure”
Your knife is your best friend when in a survival situation. Choosing the right Survival knife and maintain it by keeping it very sharp knife sharpener are lessons that should be learned before heading to the great outdoors for some Outdoor Survival fun.
Rumor has it this wild boar was killed near the town of Cut-N-Shoot TX. Despite Internet rumors and widely circulated e-mails claiming a medical radiology worker shot a mammoth 1,800-pound wild boar on the eastern side Conroe, officials say it is not true. No valid reports can be produced to verify this animal was taken in the town of Conroe or the State of Texas for that matter. The Conroe Courier received an anonymous e-mail, with three photos attached – stating the huge wild boar was shot and killed near the Lone Star Executive Airport while on a Texas hog hunt. Montgomery County residents have reported wild boars destroying property and moving through high-traffic areas for years. But no one has ever sited or reported a giant wild boar like what the photographs show.
The Real Story ”If True” Has more Realistic Information!
According to a French hunting magazine published in 2005, the big boar was shot in July 2005 in the country of Turkey by hunters on an expedition hosted by Nature Tour Hunts. A 300 caliber magnum rifle was used to bring the huge wild boar down. This is the largest reported wild boar ever taken in Turkey, weighing around 781 pounds – the reporting magazine stated. The photos revealed “Nature Tours” logo on the side of a vehicle in one of the photos — indeed points to a Turkish hunting website on which the same images are displayed.
“Fact or Fiction!”
The story of this boar weighing in at over 1,800 lb. sounds a little far fetched. If killed by a medical radiology worker what is his name and where is this animal on display? I agree this wild boar is extremely huge but 1800lbs, I don’t think so! I don’t know for sure what I would do if I met an animal like this face to face. What would you do if this beast was coming at you? Run for dear life? I don’t thick you could outrun one of these big guys. The largest reported boars seen in Montgomery County weigh between 350 to 400 pounds, but that’s not to say “they can’t get bigger than that”!
A video posted on YouTube makes hunting news nation wide! The Video shows a snowmobile chasing a moose on a trail in Grand County, Colo. This prompted the Colorado Division of Wildlife to post warnings about ethics and interacting with moose and other wildlife because this is considered wildlife harassment! This education campaign was aimed at snowmobilers and snowmobile rental companies. Wildlife officials say they are getting call in reports about videos posted on YouTube that show people chasing and harassing moose while riding snowmobiles.
“Moose React Differently” To Humans than Deer or Elk!
Moose don’t see people as threats and they will stand their ground, or possibly attack. “You can’t just ‘shush’ them off a trail”. Moose don’t behave like deer or elk, they do not seem afraid of people and is harassed they may turn and charge you like the video shows. The snowmobile unethically chases the moose at a high rate of speed. At one point, the animal turns around and appears to charge the camera. No one was reported to have been injured, but officials are concerned that behavior like this could lead to injuries or death of moose and snowmobiler’s.
What to do if a Moose Attacks!
If a moose turns on you and attacks, it can be a life-threatening situation. Although moose have shed their antlers by this time of year, their hooves are their primary defense and they will kick and stomp on any perceived threat. If you see a moose put its head down and their ears lay back, it’s a sign that an attack is likely. Put a large object like a tree or large rock between yourself and the moose, and get out of there as soon as you can.
If a moose attacks you, its recommend standing up if you are knocked down, and fighting back. If you have your dog with you, keep it in your control at all times while in the backcountry. Moose do not distinguish dogs from wolves, their primary predator in the wild, and will aggressively attack. Dogs often run to their owners for safety and that can bring an angry, thousand-pound moose into conflict with people.
Snowmobiling is Fun! But Don’t Chase The Animals!!
People need to use ethics and understand that harassing wildlife is dangerous, unethical and against the law. A snowmobile can be an great way to see Colorado’s backcountry, but people need to take some precautions when they encounter wildlife. Also anyone who encounters wildlife to view it from a distance and, “Don’t feed, don’t approach and don’t harass.” In other words, wildlife harassment is against the law, “Use your head and leave them alone”!!
On the morning of December 12 with hopes of filling his whitetail tag this Minnesota hunter stumbled upon a once in a lifetime find. A huge 9 x 10 Minnesota elk pinned flat on its back, alive, with its record book antlers stuck in the mud. After evaluating the situation the hunter was able to free the animal, though it died from the ordeal two days later. By following his hunter ethics he was able to to claim a trophy from this tragic occurrence that should rewrite the record books for Minnesota and the world.
“Bull Elk’s Antlers Stuck in the Mud”!
After Looking at the pictures and reading this article the big bull elk appears to have jumped the fence and lost his balance and rolled too the ground. As the winter wears on and his strength dwindling from the rut and head gear of that magnitude it is not hard to see this happening. The big bulls rack green-scored a gross of 475 5/8″, with a net of 456 4/8″on the Boone & Crockett scale. With such an awesome green score alone, the record book elk ranks as the third largest nontypical in the world and the largest ever in the state of Minnesota.
Trying to Recuse the Big Bull!
The hunter and his friends decided that something needed to be done to help the animal. He was an old bull and passed his prime, but you don’t want to see him suffer like that if you can help him. The hunters borrowed a two-by-four from a local rancher, which they used as a lever to pry the rack from the ground. It took a few minutes, but were finally able to get him partially turned to his side and he flopped over, made it to his feet and staggered off. With the holes in the ground his antlers had been dug down in the mud 8 to 10 inches. Two days later the big bull elk died.
Contacting the appropriate Conservation Agency
So many times a person finds a trophy caliber animal deceased dead and turn in there find to the state conservation or DNR and loose the animal to those agencies. Its awesome to see a person get to keep what they found!
The Local QDMA chapter in Ste Genevieve Mo. sponsored an Antler Scoring day last week at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bloomsdale. Local hunters brought in racks of all shaped and sizes, from whitetails to elk that were harvested out of state. The local QDMA chapter sponsors this event every year in January so hunters have an opportunity to get their trophy rack professional scored by official Boone and Crockett scorers. If the animal was harvested with a firearm the rack is scored using the Boone and Crockett method and if the rack meets the All Time minimum score to become a record book animal these scores will help you get the rack in the record books. There is a high percentage of record book racks that never get officially scored or entered in the Boone and Crockett All-Time Records because the hunter doesn’t take the time to get the rack officially scored.
I don’t want to leave out the Archery Hunters! If a hunter takes an animal with archery equipment another organization recognizes its trophy status, the Pope and Young club. This organization, founded in 1961 is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and conservation organizations.The Club is patterned after the prestigious Boone and Crockett Club. Score sheet is laid out slightly different but the same scoring guidelines are used to reach the final score. To get your trophy rack accepted by Pope & Young records it must meet Pope & Young minimum score
Time Well Spent by the Scorers!
The scoring session started at 9:00am and ended close to 6:00 pm. 3 official scorers started the day and 1 scorer finishing out the day scoring 27 racks for the record books! Some very impressive antlers were scored. None of the whitetails scored made Boone and Crockett but 11 whitetails made Pope & Young. Slightly over half were taken by firearm and the rest taken with archery equipment. And Elk was scored as well just falling short of the record book minimum by 1 1/2″, it was a very heavy impressive rack. I will talk about the scoring procedures in upcoming Blog Posts.
You have just harvested a trophy of a lifetime maybe it will even make the Boone and Crocket or Pope and Young record books, now what? This experience may not be encountered again for many years for most hunters, so you need to be made aware of the questions a taxidermist will ask you and what you need to ask them before contacting a taxidermist. You also know that you will have the animal mounted by a reputable taxidermist. Selecting a taxidermist can be almost as challenging as harvesting your new trophy.
What Room will Display the Mounted Animal?
Where are you going to hang your new trophy mount? The room in which the mount will hang is a contributing factor on the pose you will select for the mount. There are so many poses available! If your ceilings are around 8′ high or a basement den, the ceilings are not likely to be vaulted. How tall are the antlers? A full upright taxidermy pose might require the mount to hang low on the wall. There are three basic form poses – upright, semi-sneak, and full sneak. With an upright form, the neck is in a vertical position almost parallel to the wall. The semi sneak form has the neck and head down at approximate 40 degree angle off the wall. The full sneak pose has the neck at almost 85 degrees from the wall. For a low ceiling, a semi sneak or full sneak may be the better choice for your new trophy mount.
Time to Interview The Taxidermist!
Now that you have decided where to hang your trophy it is time get a list of taxidermist from fellow hunters you may know. There are many questions you need to ask them when you speak to them. Fisrt 3 questions to ask are :
1. How long have you been in business? At least three to five years of experience should be sufficient. If you are talking to a taxidermist with less experience you need to look very close to as many mounts that they have done to make sure you aren’t making a mistake!
2. Do you tan your hides or use a dry preservative? True tanned hides are the best way to go, hands down! Dry preserve is OK but will not last as long ,you will see the hide start to fade after seven or eight years
3. Where can I see some of your work? You need to look at their work very close. Look at the eyes, is it a natural look or does it look like the animal is bug eyed? Feel the back of the head between the antlers and slide your hand down the back of the neck. Do you feel the Stitches they used to sew the hide together? Has the hide shrunk? You will not notice this with true tanned hides.
Found your Taxidermist ”Enjoy” your Trophy!
The return time of your trophy mount is not as important as the above questions if you feel you have found the right taxidermist to do the mount for you. It should still be around 1 year, but 1 1/2 years is not uncommon! The Last this is the cost of the mount. How much is it worth to you? If you think you have found the right person to mount the animal the actual cost should not impact your decision. After all you get what you pay for!!
What “Hunting Ethics” are Parents Teaching Their kids
I heard some inside news about a youth bow hunter that shot a deer with his bow and went to school bragging he did so, “BUT” to the wrong person. This youth bow hunter (14 years old) went bow hunting on some common ground surrounding a beautiful residential lake development in eastern Missouri and shot a deer. This would be a normal occurance but he had not purchaced a deer tag to put on the deer. The next day this kid went to school bragging to his friends in class about killing this deer the day before. Little did he know that his teacher was the wife of a conservation agent in the county where the violation took place.
The teacher informed her husband of the violation and the conservation agent started to follow up by checking the name of the youth involved. The agent discovered the youth purchased a deer tag the same day he bragged to his classmates about killing the deer the day before. The agent also found that the youth tele-checked his deer 15 minutes after the tag was purchased. That is backward from the way I was brought up!
Conservation Agents are very Persistent!
The Conservation agent went to the youths house and started questioning the youth asking to see his bow hunting equipment. The youth showed the agent his bow and quiver full of arrows. The agent compared the arrows to an arrow he had from another case, they were an identical match to an arrow that was pulled from a cow on the neighboring property from a year old case that had just been uncovered and solved. The agent started questioning the youth about shooting the cow, he finally admitted shooting the cow. When the agent asked why he did it, the kid said he was bored and tired of looking at it, so he shot it. Thankfully the cow did survive with the help from the local veterinary.
Parents, Your kids learn from your actions!
Kids will learn what you teach them! If you follow the rules and drill the game rules and regulations in their minds they will do as you do. The parent to this youth is not a role model hunter for his kids to learn from I do know this parent and he is not an ethical hunter. He has been in trouble with the conservation department before.
Enough can’t be said about using a hunter safety harness when hunting from a tree stand. I myself, not to long ago refused to use a safety harness when
hunting from portable lock on and climbing tree stands. I was just being bull headed in thinking it couldn’t happen to me. I finally came to realization that it could happen to me after my wife sat me down and brought me to reality. No matter how good in shape or athletic a person is, tree stand safety should be followed because the harsh truth is it can happen. I have several friends and people I know did fall from a tree stand, from climbing into an old stand to falling asleep. I have read articles about hunters that were using climbers with safety rails that have fallen while climbing a tree. Everything from stepping onto an old step or tree limb that broke when it was grabbed or stepped on is a high percentage of hunters that fall.
Use Your Harness While you are Climbing!
All hunters should also be harnessed to the tree when climbing up to the stand. When using a climbing tree stand it only takes a minute or two longer to strap yourself to the tree and slide the harness up the tree as you climb.
When climbing to a fixed position stand by way of ladder, climbing six, or screw in steps there is a product available that using a heavy 1/2 inch rope that attaches to the tree just above the stand and to the base of the tree and uses a sliding Prusik hitch that you attach your safety harness to and slide it up and down the tree as you ascend or descend the tree.
There are many excellent types of safety harness on the market that will save you from a fall provided you follow their recommended application. Years ago when the first Safety Harness was introduced, they were very simple, not much more than two seat belts that latched together. The issue with that style is most hunters would latch the harness around their waist not their chest like the instructions read. When a person fell they would hang head first because your upper body weighs more than the waist down. If the safety harness is around the torso and fell your head would be up.
While scanning through Bow Hunting news I ran across a bow hunting accident story about a Byrnes Mill Missouri bow hunter that shot his hunting buddy with a arrow, in the face while out deer hunting the first week of the October druring Missouri archery season. This bow hunter claims it was an accident but knowingly pointing a bow with an arrow nocked, then coming to full draw and pointing the weapon at your friend or hunting partner than accidentally touching the release has way to many steps to be considered an accident.
The article states while out on a bow hunting trip the 15 year old victim drew his bow and pointed it at his buddy but had no arrow nocked just before alleged felon drew his bow with a nocked arrow and shot him in the face. That is different than drawing and pointing a nocked arrow at someone knowing that a bow is a weapon and it is deigned to kill!! I wonder what was going through this guys head just before he pulled the trigger on his release?
“Keep Bow Hunting out of the Press!”
I am an avid archery hunter and live for this season every year. Bow hunting kind of fly’s under the radar without this kind of hunting accidents occurring. This kind of bad press is going to give the gun control fanatics and anti hunters more ammunition to slander the hunting world. They will thinks it is time to start banning bows and arrows. Oh WAIT A MINUTE, bows and arrows don’t kill people, people kill people!
I just read a story of 2 men from Chester Maine that were hunting together for spring turkey and one shot the other. Accidents like this happen oh to often and there is no reason for this type of ignorance. As I researched farther into this accident I found another similar mishap as the hunters viewed the accident.
In the first story the 2 hunters spotted a turkey and split up to cover more area. Awhile later after stalking to the spot they had seen the turkey they didn’t realize how close together they ended up and one hunter saw something move and shot. The ISSUE I have with this story is YOU HAVE TO IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEFORE YOU SHOOT, PERIOD. I have been hunting for 32 years and have yet to see how someone can mistake the animal for a human being. A turkey looks nothing like a human!
In the second accident the sheriff department stated one man was stalking and calling with a mouth call and a slate call when he saw what he thought was a tom turkey about 70 feet away and fired, according to the sheriff’s office. Seventy feet is less than 24 yards maybe this guy needs an eye exam. At 24 yards couldn’t the guy see that his partner didn’t have a visible beard