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Ray Hammond

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Bryan, sorry I don't remember the PM, and yes I'd be very interested in a forging get together way up here, though it may be tough on me cause the reds are running pretty good and I'll be trying to stock the freezer, though I now have a gillnet and may have all the sockeye I can handle, just get back here safely. Wes

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WES, I will be back soon enough, well get something figured out. Its hard to do much in the summer because its so great to be out hunting and fishing. How often do you get over to Anchorage? One of my best friends spent a summer on a Halibut charter out of Kodiak, he had some great stories and I always wanted to try living down there. For now I'm back to the interior but will be spending much time in Chitna at the Copper River.

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Bryan,

I'll take your advice..Thanks.

 

How do you find Grizzly? Any different than black bear? I love fall black bear meat- its nearly as good as the moose I've had..though different of course...very sweet if cooked in a slow cooker with wine and root vegetables its just fantastic.

 

I envy you fellas your lives in AK: I know it can be tough at times...but were I given the chance to do things differently I would choose a life in the Last Frontier, that's for certain.

 

Best of luck to you.

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I envy you fellas your lives in AK:

 

Ray --

 

Since we're experiencing the coldest cold snap in over a decade (-10 to -20 all the time in Anchorage), I don't feel like I'm in a very envious position!

 

I've lived in Alaska my whole life except for a couple of years outside to go to graduate school. Overall, Alaska is a great place in the Summer, but it's hard to sustain enthusiasm for Winter after all these years in the cold and dark. It's kind of like living on the Moon. You just run from one bubble to the next.

 

Oh, at the risk of sounding too negative, I think the whole hunting/fishing thing in Alaska gets a bit too romanticized too. It's awfully harsh. Can't think of many hunts I've really enjoyed.

 

I grew up in Cordova as a commercial fisherman. We lived a semi-subsistence lifestyle so nearly all our meat was Salmon, Halibut, Moose or Deer (you could buy beef in the grocery store, but it was far too expensive). So, I HAD to go to Moose camp and hunt. I HAD to go fishing all Summer instead of hang out and play.

 

It's funny. Now I live in the city and all my white collar buddies like to go hunting or fishing for fun. They keep asking me to go with them. I usually tell them to imagine if they grew up in a family of ditch diggers, then went to college and got a nice job in a warm office and had all their co-workers take up ditch digging as a hobby. Then I ask if what they would tell their friends when they asked "Hey, want to go dig a ditch this weekend?"

 

I've been cold, wet, dirty and tired in the woods or on a boat enough for one life.

 

Just my perspective. No criticism implied.

 

Cheers,

 

--Dave

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As long as I could remember I wanted to have an adventure in Alaska. I thought I was born 100 years too late. The time finally came and I spent several weeks in the bush. I came to realize that the women and children of Alaska were tougher than I was. It's amazing how rugged you folks are. -Art

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Ray, I have never killed a Grizzly but I have never tried to kill a Grizzly. I have been around them, accidentally got to close, and even enjoyed watching them. I'm not against killing them at all, in the next couple years I plan to take a couple for blankets. For me I can kill them anytime I want so its not like it is for most people who have a once in a lifetime hunt. I don't know anyone who eats Grizzly meat but I suppose some people do and there are a couple villages where people eat it.

 

Most people will eat Spring Black Bear and its pretty good, nothing compared to moose and caribou though. I just got word that I have plenty of caribou and moose waiting for me when I get home, we eat it about everyday. I rarely eat beef in Alaska, even for Monday night football we eat caribou tacos. As far as bear meat goes its like anything else, it tastes like whatever it eats and believe me, bears can eat maggot infested rotten flesh that would make a starving Bigfoot puke. I have a friend who lived up the Yukon a few winters alone. He was so proud of himself because he traded for some piglets which he raised. He ate salmon year round because he had a fish wheel and he was unlucky as far as hunting. He fed the pigs all summer and waited as long as he could till late into fall then killed them all and froze them. He told me he was never so disappointed during his time alone in the bush, they tasted just like salmon as he had fed them the same as he fed his dogs not knowing what he was doing.

 

You don't want fall Black Bear Meat in Alaska because they eat rotten dead fish, same with coastal brown bear. When I'm hungry I can eat about anything, I ate some dog meat in Laos and Korea, not something I look forward to but it happened.

 

Back to your question about finding bears. Black Bear will come around and you can bait them throughout Alaska. I think of it more as fattening them up like a slaughter hog. Brown bears can be found anywhere but usually you find them when you do not want to. In the fall they cruise up and down the river banks eating rotten salmon. In the spring If you want to find them its best to get up high and scope. If you just want to see them you can fly around and count them or whatever but there is a law against same day fly and kill on big game. The only acceptation is wolf which can be shot from airplanes at least for now. In a freak accident I almost ran over a good sized grizzly, it basically trotted up beside the car at 25 mph and cut in front of me running off down towards a creek where they cross to Birch Creek from the Crazy Mountains, If we ever meet up ask me and I will tell you what happened but I don't want to write it here.

 

About living in Alaska, It took some doings for me to get there and I have left a couple times. I can live anywhere I want to live at this point in my life but I find that even when I'm not there it calls.

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The black bear I've had has been fall "berry" bears...MT, ME, SASK, and the like. I see what you mean..it was sweet, because they were eating berries. I would think spring bears would not taste good as they are coming out of hibernations and their flesh should be full of toxins until they get going really hard on the grass and stuff.

 

I've had farm raised salmon that tasted just like dry dog food smells...I guess its the pelletized food they give them. Now that I think about it you're spot on...things taste like what they eat..so it all depends.

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Dave, Are you dreaming about owning a micro brewery on a tropical island? :D:D:D

 

Its weird how one mans paradise is another mans hell. I totally agree with your observation about being forced into things like fishing and hunting.

 

 

 

Ray, here is a link to AK game and fish about bear hunting,,,,,,,,,,

 

http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?a...unt.black_brown

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Dave, Are you dreaming about owning a micro brewery on a tropical island? :D:D:D

 

As a matter of fact. Spent the last two vacations in the Virgin Islands sailing around.

 

I'm selling my trawler this Spring so I can spend the money on more trips like that. You can take the cold, sideways rain.

 

Here's a couple of pics of my last two trips. Me at the helm and our boat on a mooring in Cinnamon Bay, St. John USVI.

 

Now that's really paradise.

 

Grins,

 

--Dave

Dave_Wonders_Where_We_are.jpg

Our_Boat_and_Shane_Windsurfing.jpg

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Guest bg7m

Ray, Those are very nice knives, are those your bows also? Buddy

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Buddy,

 

Thanks for the nice comments on the knives. I am a neophyte stock removal guy for the time being...so coming from a true MAKER such as yourself that is very encouraging.

 

The bow in the first picture is made by the hunter himself. The balance are custom made by various makers- mine is a Zipper made for me in 1989 by Bob Thompson of West Virginia...the others are by various makers. If there is one in particular you are interested in I can give you th details.

 

If you are asking because you would like to make a bow, or get a bow, I can help you with that. I'm in the process of building one now with a high school student as his senior project and have built many self and glass-backed bows over the years...also had a custom wood arrow business for most of the 80's-90's as well.

 

Thanks Ray

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Guest bg7m
Buddy,

 

Thanks for the nice comments on the knives. I am a neophyte stock removal guy for the time being...so coming from a true MAKER such as yourself that is very encouraging.

 

The bow in the first picture is made by the hunter himself. The balance are custom made by various makers- mine is a Zipper made for me in 1989 by Bob Thompson of West Virginia...the others are by various makers. If there is one in particular you are interested in I can give you th details.

 

If you are asking because you would like to make a bow, or get a bow, I can help you with that. I'm in the process of building one now with a high school student as his senior project and have built many self and glass-backed bows over the years...also had a custom wood arrow business for most of the 80's-90's as well.

 

Thanks Ray

I made a couple attemps at bow making about 10-12years ago.(takedown recurves), didnt go so well. Just didnt have the time to stick with it so I just stayed with knifemaking. Ive owned a couple custom long bows but didnt like them. I like takedown recurves. I like the older Bighorns. I now have a factory made PSE takedown. It works fine for me, i just hunt deer only. Your knives look good to me, I still do some stock removal type(stainless blades). Buddy

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Coming from Britian and never having set foot in what would be classed as real "wilderness" I am always gob-smacked when i see pictures of huge bears, the fact that they wonder around so freely out there is pretty awe inspiring to me. Dont get me wrong im not a city slicker but England as a small country lost its wilderness many generations before my familly name was even thought of. Hunting in a historical concept has actually helped preserve some of the last great forests in the uk, especially the south. William the Conquerer actually made a royal edict that the New Forest should be preserved as royal hunting grounds and is now one of the most beautiful nature reserves this country has. Its sad to say that this country can no longer populate some of its former residents -such as wolves. Urbanisation of the rural areas and over population effectively killed of the last remnants of a beautiful species in the Victorian era. I Believe there is a pretty good story about it floating round somewhere.

 

The Ivory trade and many other profiteering enterprises such as whaleing have and still do effect species around the world to a desperate measure, but i think its important to not cross the art of hunting to the baser needs of man`s greed and desire for profit.

 

That being said i like bears as an animal and it always sadens me to see them dead. Not because I think that hunting is wrong and i definatly i wouldnt hesitate to kill one if i was out in the wilderness and one of them thought i looked like lunch. Simply because it just makes me sad to see one dead. But i think people in general are a finiky bunch, you get activists who passionaltly hate anyone who so much as eats meat and you get the other extreme, Drunk idiots who use high powered rifles to shoot just about anything that moves, with no skill whatsoever. I think any serious Hunter could appreciate just how annoying those idiots are that give the rest a bad name. I think its the same in both circles, just because i dont like hunting bears doesnt mean im a new age freak with a meat complex and anger issues just as those who hunt in the wilderness of northern states arent drunk gun nuts who go around shooting anything that moves to get over latent daddy issues and confidence problems.

 

Its all about mutual respect of ones differances , yes the world is populated by idiots, but just because the other guy doesnt think the same way as you doesnt make him an idiot, it just means you arent the same

 

here endeth my hippy love rant not directed at anyone, just because i felt like writing it. *nod*

 

As a weird p.s Im not sure if this is correct or not but i read somewhere that the only reason bears didnt evolve as quickly as humans did was due to the lack of thumbs. next time you see one hunting perhaps a good way to bait it might be to see how it reacts when you give it the thumbs up? - I mean if true it must be a pretty sore subject for them.

 

I really do like the knifes by the way.

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I think the trick is to find a "built" bow that fits you, or comes close, then emulate that. The Zipper is unique in my mind in that Bob built them out of curley maple/shedua composites...that gave a very stiff riser, but a lighter riser also. You wouldnt believe what 6 oz less weight does for you at the end of a long day elk hunting.

 

Plus he fits the riser to your actual hand...and his limbs are quick, but more important, quiet and deliver a heavy arrow with authority if you are hunting larger game like hogs, moose, and elk.

 

I'd be happy to work with you if you ever want to try doing one again.

 

Wind- I think you will find most hunters feel a twinge at the end of a successful hunt. The difference between hunters and animal lovers is only that hunters love animals but as a family, and animal lovers tend to think of them as individuals, like a pet perhaps.

 

Best regards,

Ray

Edited by Ray Hammond

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Guest bg7m
I think the trick is to find a "built" bow that fits you, or comes close, then emulate that. The Zipper is unique in my mind in that Bob built them out of curley maple/shedua composites...that gave a very stiff riser, but a lighter riser also. You wouldnt believe what 6 oz less weight does for you at the end of a long day elk hunting.

 

Plus he fits the riser to your actual hand...and his limbs are quick, but more important, quiet and deliver a heavy arrow with authority if you are hunting larger game like hogs, moose, and elk.

 

I'd be happy to work with you if you ever want to try doing one again.

 

Wind- I think you will find most hunters feel a twinge at the end of a successful hunt. The difference between hunters and animal lovers is only that hunters love animals but as a family, and animal lovers tend to think of them as individuals, like a pet perhaps.

 

Best regards,

Ray

Thanks Ray, I would like to build my hunting bow, but probably never have the time or will to try again. I know this is a knife forum, but more pic of bows and custom arrows would be great. I've wanted to try some arrowheads, perhaps damascus. I'm sure some of you guys have done it.

 

WIND, I've never been to England and can't imagine how it would be not to be able to go hunting. We may not ever lose our wilderness here, but we are going to lose our hunting rights. Buddy

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Dave, SWEET sailing pictures,,,,,,,, I spent a few months living on a sailboat in Key West, it was a great experience. I always thought I would get another boat or build a steel yacht. In fact I was planning to move back to the sea where I could at least dingy sail when my world got turned upside down over here.

 

 

Ray, My last longbow was made for me by Jerry Hill, I make arrows and will make some trade points pretty soon. Hopefully I will get to spend two months hunting in Arkansas at the end of this year.

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Ray, those are mighty fine-looking knives. It's always nice to see your work being used like that, isn't it? Being a beginning bowyer, naturally I had to check out your friends' weapons, and noticed something interesting. None of them was using one of those modern contraptions with pulleys and such. Every one of them was wood, and even a stick-bow was in evidence. Fair warmed the cockles of me heart to see that!

Since standing or walking for any length of time or distance is a problem for me, I don't hunt. Unfortunately, the anti-hunting crew has created a situation here in America by allowing the deer population to explode. Maybe Bambi should be declared a varmint for a while to get the buggers back at a reasonable level. On a purely selfish note: that would get the price of deerskin down to a reasonable level, tool!

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awesome knifes. and beautiful bows

 

i have a Bear Kodiak Magnum 60#, would love some advice on were to get a good deal on some traditional wood arrows.

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I dont hunt anymore I guess I have become to lazy, but at one time in my life I coon hunted every single night for around 10 years. I have the up most respect for anyone who hunts with a long bow!! Now thats hunting!! Hardcore, great pics and thanks for posting,Charlie

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MJohnson,

 

Try www.3riversarchery.com or my personal favorite, www.kustomkingarchery.com for those arrows.

 

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

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3 Rivers Archery is mighty fine people, they have taken good care of me in the past. I cant think of anyone I ever met through Traditional Archery that I didn't like right off the bat as Archery was about all we ever talked about, skipping religion and politics all together. Its full of great people and follows a long line of worthy hero's, Hill, Pope, Young, St. Charles, Massey, and many more.

 

Ray, Are you a member of P.B.S. ? I have not been active in some time but will rejoin this year and get involved again. The 2010 gathering is in Nashville so I'm making plans to be there already. The way things are planned now, I will be spending 2 or three months Hunting in Arkansas and the South every winter.

 

 

Jay Massey, The Alaskan Archery Legend!

 

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea...endid=154198965

 

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?...p;albumId=15335

Edited by Bryan Lee

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I am a regular member and Life member of PBS, Bryan. Hope to meet you in Nashville with all my rowdy friends.

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Ray, good to hear, Is anyone else P.B.S. here? I need to update my membership. Send me a Email and I will tell you about a project I have for 2009 concerning Archery Hunting in Alaska. I'm sure you will be interested but its pretty far off topic for this forum.

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