Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A relaxing nap and some bannock made over the fire...

Got away for the afternoon and had the opportunity to for some relaxing woods-time. 
Weather was absolutely perfect!

Got out to my usual camp spot and with the fire going I laid out my coffee and bannock fixins…

With the water on the boil it was time to kick back and relax…

Also took some time to play with my new Scott Gossman Tusker.  This is a serious piece of steel…excellent craftsmanship.  Scott builds some serious hard-use knives.

Glamour shot!

Time for some bannock!  Basic recipe of flour, baking powder, water and i add a couple spoonfuls of sugar and a handful of dried cranberries.  In a buttered cast iron pan it came out delicious!

With a full stomach of warm bread and coffee I laid back to enjoy the peace and quiet…careful its easy to…drift…off….to…..sleep……ZZZZzzzzzzz..

After a nap I took a walk down to the river before packing up.  Needed to let my grill cool down and I wanted to snap a picture of the river landscape…

Thanks for coming along!!!

(one more bannock picture….because it was THAT GOOD!)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Follow me on Facebook!

Feel free to "Like" my Facebook page.  I post updates on my leatherwork weekly.  Here is the link to my page:  Badger Claw Leatherworks on Faecbook

I also do giveaways from time to time...FREE stuff is always good!  Thanks for your support!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Leathercraft...

I thought I would post some updated pictures of recent custom leather orders.  You can also view more detailed thread on my vendor forum at

Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a dedicated web site that will include on-line ordering, a photo gallery, a design area with options and pricing.

belt sheath for an MP Knives Dire Wolf fixed blade.

4" fixed blade belt sheath with forged D-ring


Small axe mask with retention strap

 4 1/2 inch fixed blade "Survival" sheath with additional pouch for folding knife or sharpening stone

MOLLE compatible multi-carry sheath

Bushcraft style sheath with fire steel loop

Tooled MP neck knife sheath with mini BSA fire steel

Belt axe carrier

ML Knives belt sheath with braided dangler

Thanks for looking, any questions don't hesitate to contact me!

Monday, August 12, 2013

2013 Hill Country Bushcraft Rendezvous

This August a group of us got together in San Saba, TX for a little fun in the woods along the San Saba river.  We camped on my in-laws property enjoying the landscape of one of their huge pecan orchards. We started out with almost 30 people.  Several could only stay one afternoon, a few more left saturday and a dozen or so of us battled the 100 degree temps for the entire three-day weekend.

Day started out setting up our "common area" down next to the river.  Central location for a fire pit, medical supplies and most importantly...SHADE!

Next order of business was hanging hammocks and setting up tents.

New York freelance photographer and woodsman Alexander Yerks ( helping unload some sycamore that would be used throughout the weekend for carving spoons, kuksas, wood spirits, etc..

Even though we were basically "car camping" I got the chance to load up my new Bison Gear pack...I love this thing!  Will be my new 2-3 day pack.

Before the carving could begin steel had to be sharpened.  Here another New Yorker, blacksmith Matthew Paul (MP Knives) works on a small hatchet.

Alex doing some instruction on the differences between spoon carving knives next to a pile of his hand carved treen.

Ed working on a bowl at his carving bench                                    Some other talents being shown off..                                

While everyone else sat relaxing at the river, fishing the river, carving and telling lies I snuck off to a little hunting.  I had spotted a few Rock Squirrels fleeing the area while i was setting up my camp earlier in the day...sure enough i found them again...
(picture courtesy of Matthew Paul)

Rock Squirrel with a little garlic pan friend on my Ember-Lit wood burning stove.

Had to get creative with my hammock on the second night.  Down by the river bank the trees were dense and little air moving through.  So I moved up into the orchard where the wind was blowing more constantly.  The pecan trees are spaced too far apart in most cases for to hang properly so the front of my truck did nicely for an anchor point.

One of the guys brought a beautiful canvas tent setup...made for perfect picture with the sun just set and the glow from his lantern inside.

And of course no trip into the woods is complete with some fine hand forged American made steel...this one is my "Drifter" model by Matthew Paul, MP Knives 

Thanks to everyone who made it out for the weekend.  I wish I had more photos but I spent more time enjoying the company then taking pictures of it.
And a huge thanks to my family for letting a bunch of hooligans and cooky woodsmen invade your land for a few days.  I hope we left it better then we found it...God bless!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Feathers and Fins....San Saba, TX

Took my 7 year old on his first "official" hunt last month.  We packed up the RV and headed for San Saba, TX where my brother-in-law works his family pecan farming business.  The property they live on sits on just over 450 acres of pecan orchards, with another 2000+ acres spread out around the local area.  The orchards are home to beautiful pecan trees, many well over 100 years old.  To me its a outdoorsman's dream.  The San Saba river runs one border of the farm offering fishing and incredible wildlife habitat (turtles, water moccasins, ducks, cat fish, bass, nutria, toads, etc).  The orchards are a haven for deer (i started taking pictures of deer but it literally got old.  Easily 40-50 deer every morning and evening), dove, turkey, squirrels and of course the nemesis of most farmers...wild hogs.

For my son and I our focus was turkey.  My brother-in-law had been seeing them frequently in one particular orchard.  We had two and a half days to stalk the property, set up some decoys and work the turkey call to coax out some gobblers.

Shot of what the orchards look like...

Our "camp" for the weekend (a little different accommodations then my Minnesota trip).

Once we had the trailer set up it was time to unpack the important gear and start walking the property.

The orchards are bordered by higher grasses and a mix of oak and pecan trees.

Beyond the tree line along one border it drops off into a ravine.  Right away i could tell this would be where we would start our evening stalking session.  This particular section met up with a section of the river which then gradually led back and opened up at the far end of the orchard.

The San Saba river...looks pristine from this angle...

But those are some muddy waters
hiding all kinds of critters...

You can see the damage the hogs do to the river bank.  My brother-in-law uses the river to irrigate so he is constantly repairing and moving his equipment from the damage the hogs and nutria cause.  Both animals are KOS at all times.

We finished off the day with a little archery practice... well as some target practice with the Ruger 10-22.

Also uncovered some fresh water clams down at the river (actually i think they are classified as mussels)

Before sunrise the next morning we hit the first area where turkey had been seen regularly.  Put out some decoys and threw up a makeshift blind with a couple layers of camo netting against a pecan tree.

We hung out here working the turkey call for an hour or so after sunrise...but all was quiet.  We left the decoys in place and headed across the orchard to the ravine and began a slow quiet stalk.  Stopping every 20 yards to let out a few calls.  Still nothing but we spooked a few deer out of hiding and found the mother load of squirrels which we returned for later.

Nasty vultures always looking for a free meal...

Where the ravine eventually came back up to the orchard we found a few little goodies...a nice shed and some turkey feathers.  We would return here sunday morning and try again.

But until then it was back to the trailer to pick up our fishing gear and hit the river to chase some fins and relax.

I love photographing old farms.  So much history and character on a piece of land thats been worked for over 100 years.

Sunday morning started off with a proper breakfast...

Then it was back to the ravine before sunrise for one last chance to find the turkeys.  We sat in this spot for some time trying a variety of calls. Twice I thought I got a response but it was tough to tell with all the other birds chirping and the occasional chatter from the few surviving squirrels.

We decided to head back up to the orchard and circle around to where we found the feathers at the other end.  Once there we sat for a few and I decided to throw out a couple short clucks.  Immediately we got a response.  The loudest gobble i have ever heard.  My sons eyes went as big as silver dollars and every hair on my neck stood up.  Again i hit the call...GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE came back from beyond the tree line.  This went for 10 minutes...back and forth.  I knew from where we were laying even if i called him out into the short grass of the orchard I wouldn't have a shot. So we had to move.  It seemed like an eternity before we reached a better spot with good cover of tall grass behind a pecan tree.

Hit the call again...nothing back.  Dammit! I had given us away.  Hit the call again....GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE! he was CLOSE!  Between us and tree line (about 20 yards) was a barbed wire fence and some scrub brush.  I needed him to clear the fence to have a clear shot.  Suddenly we hear hen clucks 30 yards to the left!  Could this get any better?!?!?  I let rip a few more calls eliciting a perfect response from both birds each time and they were on the move.

Then it happened...I repositioned myself slightly for a better look and in doing so rose up to my knees.  And there he was eye level with me at the fence!  In a split second he was gone back into the trees.  I cursed under my breath and looked at my son who had been so quiet and still the whole time.  He said two words that almost brought me to tears..."patience, Dad".

Of course I wanted to shoot that bird and have my son's first hunt put meat on the table.  But overall I couldn't have been more happy.  We explored for 2 days, had the best father-son time a guy could ask for and in the end had the most suspenseful 30 minutes calling that gobbler in and it won't soon be forgotten.  We will be back there before the season is over and next time I will remember my 7 year old's words of wisdom...patience, Dad.

A few more random pictures...

Turley Dogwood Creek above and ML Knives custom to the left...

Thanks for coming along...God bless!