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Messages - Rancid Crabtree

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Outdoor Related Craft Projects / Beaver and Elk mittens
« on: January 03, 2017, 07:25:48 AM »
My brother traps and got a beaver. He tanned it himself and wants a pair of chopper mitts. Since the hide was not professionally tanned its not been thinned and its not as soft or pliable as I would like but the fur is great.

In the picture below, the head is to the left. The thickest part of the hide is near the neck and down the spine. Its thinner at the belly so each mitten will have varying thickness unless the leather is thinned.

The thickest portion is nearly a 1/4 inch. Your seeing the finger tip area (thickest) and the thin part is from the other mitt in the wrist area. These thicknesses need to be the same or the mittens will be too stiff.

Thinning and oiling makes the hide a bit more flexible but the hide is not as flexible as a professional tanner would make them.

Then the two halves are sewn together inside out.

With the aid of time and a broom handle they are turned right side out. Its delicate work not to damage the hair.

I made the liners for the mittens using polar-tech fleece. Its thick and warm and soft.

Here my hand model wears them.

The liners are inserted into the mittens and my hand model shows how the finished mittens look. They are heavy and thick and warm. They should last a long time.

Archery / Re: Early season deer decoying (video)
« on: October 10, 2016, 06:33:25 AM »

Archery / Early season deer decoying (video)
« on: October 03, 2016, 05:37:54 AM »
Saturday's East winds didnt work for our stands so I set a decoy on a greenfield. Here is how all the deer (and other animals) reacted to the buck decoy.

Old Guns, Rifle, Target, Shotgun / Re: 1895 Winchester
« on: September 23, 2016, 05:39:56 AM »
An update to this story. Yesterday my brother used the old Krag to harvest this nice boar, black bear.

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 18, 2016, 08:34:24 PM »
6 Days since the hunt and I got both skulls cleaned and the first whitening completed. The hide is still under salt.

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 17, 2016, 07:27:11 PM »
I have not missed an archery deer opening day in a long time but because I have two bear to deal with I had no choice. Friday night, the meat was thawed enough to work with so I began cutting and trimming. I also began the process of doing Euro mounts on both skulls as well as salting the smaller (truck killed) bear skin. The other skin is in the freezer for my Nephew.

On Saturday I completed the cutting and wrapping of the meat. I kept the lions share for sausage making but saved some roasts, steaks, loins as well as cubed meat for stews and chili. Later on I will make snack stick and perhaps summer sausage.

I got all the meat off the skulls and applied 40 volume whitener and the skulls will now sit for a few days until I rinse them.

Then I turned my attention to the small hide. Im thinking of tanning it myself and perhaps making a quiver or hat or gloves so I cut off the remaining front feet and the head. (I will harvest the claws at a later date so the feet went to the freezer) The hide sat salted for 24 hours then I rinsed it and fleshed it out. I use a piece of PVC as a fleshing beam.

Here is the hide after all the flesh and fat and membrane are removed. The prime areas of the hide really stand out (dark blue area)

Then I salted it again.

Tomorrow I will rinse off the salt and twice bathe the hide in hot water with Dawn dish soap to degrease it and then rinse and hang it.

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 16, 2016, 07:35:16 AM »
Here is an update on the bear hunt. The meat and hides were picked up yesterday (Thursday) for the return trip. I didn?t think it would necessary to unroll the hides to inspect them at the butcher

(again, I hated having to use a butcher since I do my own butchering and processing and sausage making but I was away from home and it was warm so I was in a tight spot so I used the local butcher)

After making the long drive home I unrolled both hides to salt and flesh them and discovered the butcher destroyed the hides. I instructed him to skin the bears for rug mounts so I don?t know why he cut the rear feet off and both hides were so full of knife cuts/holes from skinning that they are both useless. In addition, he used a saw to cut the spine and rather than using a knife to cut at a vertebrae joint behind the skull, he sawed through the back of the skull ruining the skull mount. Clearly this butcher shop had no experience butchering bear. I called the butcher to vent my frustration and he apologized but offered no satisfaction and stated that the feet were included in the box with the hides (as if that were some sort of consolation)

On the up side, both hides were to go to a nephew who is a fledgling taxidermist in training and the hides were going to him so he could practice since I already have bear on the wall and bear skull so I did not intend to mount them for myself but that is beside the point. This butcher clearly had no business processing bear.

Currently Im cleaning/whitening the skulls. Here are the hides with the feet positioned so at least a picture could be taken.

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 16, 2016, 07:34:26 AM »
This bear hunt came about as the result of The owner of NBC guide service (Art Hyde) donating the hunt to the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association for their annual convention 4 years ago. As I wait in town for the 2 bear to be skinned and deboned and frozen for the return trip home, I ran through a lists of the costs associated with this "free" hunt.

The cost that bugs me the most is the skin and debone at $400 for the two bear since I do custom butchering and even have an addition on my house that is a game processing and sausage making kitchen and I have processed my own bear in the past. But because Im so far from home, I didn't have a lot of options. The other costs were either optional, dumb luck or self inflicted but here is the tally so far.

The total experience however has been priceless. It was a hell of a ride. Now its time for the WI archery deer season.

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 14, 2016, 08:25:50 AM »

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 13, 2016, 11:21:44 AM »
The bear hunt was short and sweet (almost too fast) I just dropped off both of my bear at the Butcher. Normally I would do them myself but Im 5 hours from my home butcher shop.

Interesting and exciting story on how I ended up killing two bear. Im putting together a video with pictures and video explaining.

Archery / Re: 2016 Archery bear hunting blog (the homemade edition)
« on: September 06, 2016, 05:56:16 AM »
The archery bear hunt is fast approaching. In a little over a week, I make the trek to far Northern Wisconsin near the town of Cornucopia just south of Lake Superior's Squaw bay.

I will be hunting with Art Hyde of Northern Bayfield County Guide service. Over the summer the focus has been on practice.

Now the camo has been washed in baking soda and when dry will be placed in the homemade ozone locker.

More practice and then the homemade broadheads will be rehoned with the homemade broadhead sharpening guide. The countdown clock is ticking fast now. The season (for me) opens on Sept 12th.

General Discussion / A happy/satisfied customer tale
« on: August 29, 2016, 08:40:36 AM »
As a consumer, we all make purchases and then immediately determine whether we made a good choice or not. We are either happy or unhappy with what we bought and that covers both the end product and the customer service. Many times we read online about deal gone bad and poor customer service and a warning of regret to others but I have a story opposite of the usual complaints. 

I have a positive story of a recent purchase. I was in the market for decals/stickers for the work truck and stumbled across Rooted Decals in a Facebook group I belong to. I know how much bowhunters like to display thier pride in Bowhunting with stickers on their trucks so I pass this along. I messaged Andrew Burke to ask questions about the custom brand logos for our company. He was very friendly and easy to work with and turned around my 7 custom decals in just a few days. I got 6 decals for the truck box and 1 for the rear window. 

If you are in the market for custom graphic for your ride or any application for quality decals at a fair value, give them a look right here on Facebook.

I am in no way compensated by or affiliated with Rooted Decals. I am only a happy customer sharing a happy customer tale.

Outdoor Related Craft Projects / Re: The M.T.A.B.S. hunting seat
« on: August 22, 2016, 06:43:23 AM »
Ive been asked by people wanting to make their own M.T.A.B.S. seat for dimensions. Please accept this crude drawing.

Outdoor Related Craft Projects / The M.T.A.B.S. hunting seat
« on: August 18, 2016, 07:46:26 PM »
I like to hunt from the ground in natural debris blinds and pop ups at times but I don't like the available options for ground blind chairs. I hunt river bottoms that are soft ground so chair legs sink which means the need to also haul in some sort of flooring material. Couple that with the fact that chairs are clumsy to haul and expensive (Some are really expensive). I don't care for a stool because stools offer no back rest and stools are not comfortable because of that fact so any chair I use has to have a back rest. Most stools with back rest also include arms but arms get in the way of drawing a bow so it cant have armrests. It has to be easy to carry and light weight and cheap so when its stolen, I'm not out anything.
As part of a DIY, problem solving group, I've been looking for a simple, low cost seat for all manner of ground hunting for spring turkey, bear, deer and things like stream-side and Ice fishing, camping, berry and shroom picking, and any other use where a ready seat would be handy. A comfy, reliable seat that we can make ourselves that is really cheap since its likely to be stolen if left unattended.
This is the M.T.A.B.S.
Multi-function (Because you can carry your lunch and thermos and other gear in and deer heart and mushrooms and berries and small game or fish out with you)
Tactical (Because its painted black and its used for hunting so now-a-days, that makes it Tactical.)
All Terrain (Because it sounds cool and it can really be used in all terrains)
Bucket (Because it uses a 5 gallon bucket)
Seat (Do I really need to explain this part)
Its made of plywood and offers a back rest. The parts fit in the bucket. Its light weight and the cost of scrap plus paint.

We cleaned up the entire job site last night so That marks the completion of the project.

Here are the before and after pics

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