Tim Smith

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Putting meat in an improvised smoker. We'll eat well on our upcoming trip.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Congratulations to Maine's newest registered guide, Ryan Holt! Wear the patch with pride […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Free hand ash basket

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Free hand ash basket. Coming together after pounding out the splints.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Morning with hatchet and push knife resulted in new pack basket mold.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Just heard this gem on the radio: "don't take advice; 90% of advice people give you are their regrets or fears." From Alton Brown […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Two weeks stuck in camp with no truck. Daily interaction with this whiskey jack.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Sealing a crack in a birch bowl with pitch to make it water tight. Rock boiling next. #fulltanglifestyle   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Carving a coal-burned spoon with a newly made crooked knife. #fulltanglifestyle #friluftsliv   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Moon rise in Portage Lake, Maine.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Moose Tracks

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Moose Tracks. Not just an ice cream flavor, also sometimes marks left by animals on the ground.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Pounding ash for pack basket splints. #fulltanglifestyle   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Pounding ash for pack baskets.#fulltanglife   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Leaving on a canoe trip, putting the new paddles to use.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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First cast on the new, as yet to be named field school pond. Taking suggestions for the name.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Friction fire clinic: hand drill, just before lunch.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Friction fire clinic: bow drill on a Monday.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Using a cabinet scraper to smooth a paddle grip.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Kids on Rust Pond

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Kids on Rust Pond. Summer winding down.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Ocean Canoeing

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Ocean Canoeing. Morning on Passamaquoddy Bay, nearing the end of the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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The boys have made it to the ocean! The Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester has made it to the salt water. Currently in Passamaquoddy Bay along the Maine/New Brunswick border. Two more days and they take out in Eastport, Maine.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Organizing the barn this AM: canoe mold, deer hides, traps, snowshoe molds, tools, pack basket materials, knife blanks, etc. Been a while since its been neat and tidy.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Wild Food Walk

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Wild Food Walk. Big turnout for our foraging walk with GALA at Knights Pond. Beautiful night, lots of wild food!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Does the land have moods or reflect what is inside of us? I used to know the answer, now I'm back to not knowing.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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During the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, we want people to learn how to plan food and meals for an extended trip, starting with themselves and finishing with planning for a group. We also want them to learn how much water water they need on any given day in order to feel good and have their body […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

John King, Snow And Neally Axes

I read some advice about choosing the right axe recently. I want to make a statement about choosing the wrong axe, or at least the closest axe. I’ve met young people who couldn’t afford a high-end axe and felt that their skills wouldn’t develop until they could. It’s not true. The path to axe mastery […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

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Just before they left on the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, I sat down with Raife Bowman, Dylan Robinson and Jeremy Yates to talk about their recent hike across Quebec and New Brunswick on the International Appalachian Trail. They used their homemade pack baskets to do the hike, and had some adventures along the way. Listen […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

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Starting the day with a swim in this beautiful water before anyone else is awake. Feel like the richest man in the world.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Leaving camp on their way to the ocean via the Aroostook, St. john, Eel & St. Croix rivers.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Using a scythe to cut the grass. Old school mower and weedwacker […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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We've been working on it for a while, and now we're finally able to accept federal financial aid through consortium agreements, opening our immersion programs up to more college students than ever before. If you know a college student who wants to immerse themselves in bushcraft and outdoor living for a semester, please pass this […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Chaleur Bay, Quebec

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Chaleur Bay, Quebec. Rekindling my love for the ocean and kayaking this summer.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Library_night

Great photo by Nicolas Twine of the field school library under the Milky Way at night. Nicolas shot a bunch of great photos this past spring that I'll be sharing […] Read More

Categories: Updates

The Woods Cook - Outdoor Cooking With A Professional Guide  | JackMtn.com

Our giveaway of a signed copy of The Woods Cook recently came to an end. I'm happy to announce that Mark N. from Illinois is our winner! I sent out the book a few days ago, and he should be receiving it soon. This was our first foray into giveaways, and we expect to do more […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Fir Bough As Brush

We don’t provide sandpaper on field school courses with which to smooth and finish wooden projects such as canoe paddles, long bows, etc. Every course, one or two people get upset about this and urge us to provide it in the future. But there is a reason why we don’t. Sandpaper is a one time […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

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At the end of week 6 of the spring semester I recorded the second podcast with Christopher Russell. We talked about the progression of the course, the instructor and guide's dilemma, the 2 journeys (outward and inward) that everyone is on, and told a few stories along the way. You can read more about Christopher, […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

Quadpod And Fire

There are a lot things referred to as survival skills these days that have nothing to do with survival. Survival is keeping your body alive. It’s pretty simple, but not easy. Over the short-term, defined by how long you can fast and go without food (longer than a month), you need to maintain your body […] Read More

Categories: General, Rants

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On Wednesday, July 6th from 5-7 pm we’re offering our popular campfire cooking workshop in Wolfeboro, NH, in partnership with GALA as part of our Self Reliance Workshop Series. This time around we’re adding a special treat; we’ll be joined by instructor Derek Faria of The Woodsman School. Derek’s an old friend and Registered Maine […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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[…] Read More

Categories: Updates

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The new breed of bushcraft and survival social media celebrities, the ones with the popular channels, large followings, etc., seem to not know what they’re doing. The old rule of ‘fake it until you make it’ is as common as ever, but it’s new iteration, taken directly from their mouths seems to be ‘pay attention […] Read More

Categories: General, Rants

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Foraging for juneberries on the shore of the pond. Rose family, Amelanchier genus. Delicious!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Sunset paddle in the kayak after a day of storms. Sublime. #friluftsliv #nh […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Lining An Embacle

Remote trips, especially solo, aren't safe or even possible without solid canoe skills; poling, lining, and paddling. On the Bonaventure I poled the upper section, lined ledges, and as shown here, lined through the 'embacles' (french for log jams). As this was just a short drop inline with the current, I didn't bother to tie […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Christopher Russell is the first recipient of the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester scholarship and a student on the spring, 2016 WBS. We sat down to talk about scholarships, motivation and all things WBS on a cold day in early May. You can read more about Christopher, including an amazing series of interviews he published about the […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

Below The Ledges On The Bonaventure

Just below a series of ledges on the Bonaventure. I should have ran this one on river right, but these are the things you learn during a first trip on a river and why I like to paddle them solo before doing them with clients […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Mist On The Bonaventure

After an overnight rain, the Bonaventure was misty. In the background is a class 2 ledge. The water level was perfect for the ledges and rapids - much lower and it would have been scratchy […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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I continued on to Bonaventure, Quebec. Solo river trip, headed off the grid in the AM. Atlantic sunset.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Dropped the boys at the International Appalachian Trail in Matapedia, Quebec. They're hiking back to Maine. #woodslife #iat   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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On to the International Appalachian Trail in New Brunswick.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Empty parking lot

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Empty parking lot. 35th immersion program completed. On to the Gaspe tomorrow to canoe the Bonaventure river.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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The Bowman PackBack: 2 pack baskets on a pack frame. Bottom basket is for a sleeping bag. Will be on the IAT in New Brunswick next week.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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One last trip for the semester; running the Big Machias river. Water is way up, should be great whitewater.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Smoking a newly-made pair of braintanned buckskin shorts at the Bob Waggetorium.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Brown ash pack baskets: starting to weave.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Our camp internet connection broke this past week. It was probably about time, as we run camp off a wireless wifi device and it was a few years old. It will no longer charge, leaving me wondering if I should get a new one or just a standalone battery charger. Then yesterday on my way to […] Read More

Categories: General

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Pounding brown ash into strips, making pack baskets. End of week 8, 1 week to go.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Moose bone arrowheads made as part of a final project. Wicked shaahp!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

New knife

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New knife. Blade from an old file, stacked birch wood and bark handle, made outside with simple tools.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Becoming a canoe pole. Peeled spruce ready to be fitted with copper pipe shoe to become a canoe pole.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Stretching a hide in a frame. Racing the incoming storms. Lots of cool final projects going on.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Been out putting up trail signs- our 3 mile field school trail system is now color coded.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Making wooden wedges to split a tree the long way for canoe paddle blanks.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Braintanning: scaping hides and feeding the black flies.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Fir Bough As Brush

Using a fir bough as a brush to varnish a canoe paddle. Use what you've got.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Rock boiling in birch baskets by the river.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Our 4-week canoe expedition for 2016 will run from the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Field School in Masardis, Maine, to the Atlantic Ocean at Calais Maine. Along the way we'll paddle the Aroostook, St. John, Eel and St. Croix rivers. We'll also be tracing the ancient Maliseet Trail. More information on the trip and the route […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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Problem with red squirrel getting into bulk food solved.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Rocket stove morning: reducing maple sap into syrup and creating a gumbo from scratch. Struggle to survive out here […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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First day on the water, poling practice. Just one swimmer, great day.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Silently Observing

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At dusk tonight I stood for half an hour watching and listening to four ruffed grouse feeding, talking and jumping around at the top of an aspen tree. Being silent and observing not only aids my knowledge and understanding of the natural world, but also my enjoyment of it. Empathy. Kinship. Belong to it […] Read More

Categories: General, Nature

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Damp weather after after a long stretch of dry […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Primitive luxury […] Read More

Categories: Updates

New Garden Bed

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New garden bed in anticipation of spring. 77 frost-free days a year here at the field school, USDA zone 3b […] Read More

Categories: Updates

The Woods Cook - Outdoor Cooking With A Professional Guide  | JackMtn.com

We running our first giveaway. Win an autographed copy of The Woods Cook; Outdoor Cooking With A Professional Guide by Tim Smith. You can read more, throw your name in the hat and get the complete rules at: http://jmbnews.com/giveaways/woodscook/ […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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Taking bearings for a trail to add to the field school trail system. South Boundary Trail: SOB.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Using a draw knife to rough out a canoe paddle on a clear Tuesday morning.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Monday morning friction fire, tinder bundle workshop.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Learning the way of the axe while gathering firewood to cook with.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Long but great first day, ready for sleep before 7pm. Glad I have my JB pillow case for a great night's sleep.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Big pan of breakfast on a big rocket stove. First morning of the semester.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Back to snow in the county. Semester 35 starts tomorrow.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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I’ve fielded several phone calls in the past 2 days where I was asked to compare our program to some of our ‘competitors’ (their word, not mine). I don’t think we have any competitors because no other school uses our format and no other school shares our objectives and intended learning outcomes. It’s like comparing […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

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Years ago I found a copy of the book Cooking Without Fuel that described a common appliance of 1900 that functioned much like a modern cooler. The idea was that you cook food until it boils, then put it in an insulated container which will maintain the heat and allow it to continue to cook, […] Read More

Categories: Food, General

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Barehand fishing: no hook, no net, no spear.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Busy morning in the woods, but this calm water caught my eye.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Keep Raising The Bar

Raise The Bar

Being a lifelong learner, I’m of the belief that wherever you’re at, there is always room for improvement. Leading up to our 35th long-term course this spring, I’ve been seeking out additional training in order to become a better instructor. It's been an immensely enjoyable experience. In early March I spent a weekend at Amherst Archery […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Northern Maine Woods

Combining The Northern Forest Canoe Route, The Appalachian Trail And The International Appalachian Trail Into An Epic Journey   The Idea There is a romance and simplicity in journeys that start at your door. In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins didn’t take a bus to a plane to another bus to a cab to start his […] Read More

Categories: General

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I'm excited to announce the recipient of our Wilderness Bushcraft Semester scholarship for the spring, 2016 semester; Christopher Russell! You're going to be hearing a lot about him over the coming months, but for now let me introduce you to his blog, PrimitiveAddictions.com,  and Facebook fan page. We have another scholarship opportunity for the fall […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Sunset Through Hemlock Boughs

I was just made aware that part of the term "survival situation" has been trademarked. I personally won't miss it and am glad to see it go.   Term “Survival Situation” To Be Replaced With “LTO - Life Threatening Occurrence” Since the recent registration of the trademark “The Situation” by Michael Sorrentino, the outdoor community […] Read More

Categories: General, Satire

Aroostook River Frontage

Since returning home from the second Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, I’ve been immersed in the tedious and delicate process of a major overhaul of our web site. This entailed a lot of backend work, as well as creating several new sites. While there is still a lot of work to be done, the major overhauls are […] Read More

Categories: General

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Open water, getting that canoeing itch!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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We lost one of the greats today. RIP Steve Watts. A true gentleman.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Ice is out on the pond

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Ice is out on the pond. Earliest I ever remember having open water.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Tapping trees and boiling sap into maple syrup with a bunch of kids. Bucket with lid in the foreground.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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During our courses I talk a lot about the time I spent in Alaska. It set me firmly on the path that I’m still on.  I often get asked about why I came back, and while I’ve told parts of the story a bunch of times, I’ve never told it completely.  My mother recently came […] Read More

Categories: General

Home

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Home. Morning coffee with kids and dog. There's no greater comfort than coming home to family.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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End of the trip, back to the world. Farewell winter! #bushcraft #woodslife #guidetraining   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Old man winter on the ice. Last full day of 4 weeks in the woods this winter, coldest day yet.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Bitter cold and windy, need the chisel to open the water hole. #guidetraining #woodslife #bushcraft   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Sleet is over, now getting ready for the deep freeze and cooking supper. #woodslife #guidetraining #bushcraft   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Tentbound

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Tentbound. This is our view as we listen to the sleet and rain fall. Glad to have a big pile of firewood.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Setting up a hot-tent camp alongside of a lonely, frozen lake. #guidetraining #bushcraft   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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On the trail hand-hauling toboggans on a beautiful Boreal Snowshoe Expedition day. #guidetraining #bushcraft   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Tracking a fisher on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. Size, toes and C-shaped palm pad are keys.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Breakfast of oats and coffee in the woods. #winter #guidetraining #bushcraft   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Loading sleds and jumping off on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, session 2.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Next to an open lead on the Aroostook River, checking the ice with a chisel.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Making improvised snowshoes at a remote camp.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Assembling a toboggan for next week's trip with Derek Faria and Paul Sveum. Great company in the workshop!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Up early to surprise my family with a loaf of dutch oven sourdough bread. Out of the oven while kids were waking up.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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60 degree F temperature swing in 30 hours. -15 yesterday morning, 45 and rainy now. Glad I'm not on the trail today.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Group shelter built last week. A warm home in the frozen forest.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Frozen 48 over, celebrating with dutch oven doughnuts. They're as good as they look!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Checking the pipe on a permanent wall tent.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Three-strake toboggan in its native habitat.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Snow all day, rain tonight, but we're warm and dry. Challenging conditions for travel, so we'll base camp until the weather changes […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Cozy camp next to a frozen lake. Great trip so far. Smiles all around.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Part of our fleet of homemade toboggans and sleds. Loading up and hitting the trail.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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The modern world we live in is a thin veneer stretched over the raw circumstance of our human condition. Countless interconnected pieces give us things like central heating, the internet, smartphones, tax forms, and countless other modern realities. Despite its many benefits, the veneer insulates us from the experience of life our forefathers knew. While […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

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Pre-contact routes of travel in New Brunswick and northern Maine. Our field school is near the "A" in the word "Maliseets". This map, combined with the map in the book "Indian Canoe Routes Of Maine" gives a rough idea of the many canoe/snowshoe routes through the region. More on the old trails of New Brunswick […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Old photo of my youngest and another use for a pack basket. The kid is six years older now and that basket has been retired.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Lucky dog posing in front of the Jack Mountain Expedition Tent. The more I use this tent, the more I like it.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Honing a knife on a ceramic coffee cup. Coffee + sharpening on a Sunday morning.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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A roaring fire chasing away the chill.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Enjoying the warmth of the expedition tent and stove at the end of a long day.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Birch Knife Sheath

Everybody who’s been active in the outdoors for any length of time knows that as a knife ages, it stops being functional. This is true for both individual knives as well as knife designs. Only NEW knives and knife designs are useful, and only they can save your life in the inevitable “survival situations” we […] Read More

Categories: General, Satire

Twilight At The Water Hole

I laced up my skates for the first time in five years today and hit the ice with my youngest’s first grade class. It felt great to be at the rink and brought back a lot of powerful memories. Even if I never stepped into a hockey rink again, it will always be a big […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

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Delicious 'shore lunch' cooked by Derek Faria today. Open fire food just tastes better.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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The second of 2 videos about gear for the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. If you're going on the trip, pay attention […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

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Doughnuts draining on a bed of fir boughs.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Snowshoes And Sky

Here’s the first in a series of videos shot specifically for those joining us on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition this winter. You can get links to the gear mentioned at: http://www.jackmtn.com/gear.html#footwear Do not bring boots without removable liners […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

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Walking at sunset, spied the clouds reflecting on the ice.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Shave horse workshop a big success. Six finished horses and a few cheap laughs.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Composter, Not A Flusher

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There’s something about me you may not know that might change how you perceive me. I'm not a flusher. I poop in a bucket, and when I’m done I cover it with sawdust. When the bucket gets full I dump it on a compost pile along with other organic inputs (kitchen, yard, etc.), then cover […] Read More

Categories: General, Sustainability

Avoid Hedonic Adaptation

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A goal I’ve set for myself this year is to be mindful and grateful for what I’ve done and what I've got. My plan for doing so is to avoid hedonic adaptation. I first heard of this term in the book A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy (great read, […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

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“I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” I’ve heard this idea communicated in many ways over the years, am tired of hearing it, and am weary of it being used as an excuse to bring too much stuff on the trail. Countless times over my 17 year career […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Down East, Not Back East

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I was talking to a person from the west coast over the holidays. When they found out our field school was in Maine, they said we were “back east.” I was forced to correct them and said; “no, we’re not back east. We’re down east. In Maine.” Then, after deciding to have a bit of […] Read More

Categories: General

What This Blog Is About

Loaded Wood Canoe

This blog has never been about getting more readers or trying to be popular. It’s not about knives, gear reviews, how-to articles, survival tv shows or lists of “essential gear”. I don’t jump on board with the trends in the outdoor industry; I’m about the traditions. But there’s nothing wrong with people trying to grow […] Read More

Categories: General

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Healthy Homemade Snack For Life In Bitter Cold Winter has just started to arrive here in northern New England, but it will be in full force soon. I have the good fortune of a busy winter schedule including spending four weeks guiding snowshoe expeditions (2 x 2-week trips) from late January through early March. That’s a […] Read More

Categories: Food, General

Caverly Mountain

I sat down with Derek Faria from The Woodsman School for one of his videos and we had a discussion about the self component of outdoor living and learning. We touched on the importance of getting out and doing it. During the talk I mention our educational philosophy and the seven elements of our programs, […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

Snubbing On The Big Machias

I took a ride across town and sat down with Derek Faria at The Woodsman School in his new tent to talk about educational philosophy and the importance of getting out and doing it. During the talk I mention our educational philosophy and the seven elements of our programs, with a focus on the Self […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General, Videos

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Grave of a Revolutionary War soldier, deep in the woods and a mile from any road, and every veterans day someone puts a flag on it. #respect   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Bows In The Barn

1/6/16: Build Your Own Shave Horse Short courses, useful skills. For a small investment in time and money, become more self-reliant.   For the first Self-Reliance Workshop of 2016, taking place January 6th, we'll be offering a build-your-own shave horse class. Also known as a draw shave, it's a bench vise where pressure from your feet […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

G1PotMeals

I’ve never had trouble making big dutch oven meals. At the field school I routinely cook for 10-20 people, and after years of doing so I’m usually pretty pleased with how things turn out. Scaling things down, to the point where I’m dutch oven cooking for 1 or 2 adults, is something I haven’t done […] Read More

Categories: Book and Video Reviews, Food, General

Review of our campfire cooking class by Anne from Mom Can You Make, a NH food blog: GALA Campfire Cooking Workshop | On November 4th, my good friend Rosalie and I went to a campfire cooking workshop put on by GALA. Have any of my NH friends heard of GALA? Well they are just an […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Aroostook twilight at the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Plotting a course on the map with a Sher-Wood straight edge.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Best part about going away is coming home to family. Mine makes me feel like the richest man in the world.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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What if you don't have an ice chisel? Cutting a water hole in the ice with an axe.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Checking the ice with a chisel. The water here is only 2 feet deep, but ice safety is no joke.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Building a runnered sled for around camp, old skis for runners.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Successful night in front of a fire with no sleeping bag.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Simple snowshoe binding

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Simple snowshoe binding. Walked 2000+ miles with these.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Shelter/sauna with raised bough beds on the Winter Woodsman course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Hauling firewood on the money sled.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Coffee and doughnuts on the fire this morning, winter woodsman course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Hiking the trails at the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Aroostook river at the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Koolyomka Deadfall

I’m at the field school for the next week running the Winter Woodsman course. One of the things that we cover during the week is making a few different deadfall traps. I’ve searched for forty years for that perfectly rectangular rock that’s depicted in deadfall line drawings in survival books. I’m convinced it doesn’t exist. […] Read More

Categories: General, Quotations

denverdys

I just returned from performing in my son’s puppet show. He’s involved with a group that has a talent show every December. We go every year, and it’s always fantastic. I’m amazed at the maturity level of the kids involved. And the courage. There was a little girl who was going to sing a song. […] Read More

Categories: General

The Mornin' Joe

Part of our new lodge-based workshop series, spend a long weekend learning traditional northern forest skills while staying on-site in our modern, comfortable lodge.  The course content draws on the curriculum for our Winter Woodsman course. Topics include snowshoes and snowshoeing, fire lighting, axe use, knife use, knots, ice safety, ice fishing, animal tracking and more.  Group size is limited to 4 people; […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Braintanning Course Wrap-Up

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This past weekend our group fleshed and scraped a lot of deer hides. We also brained a bunch, and started pulling them, but were overtaken by dark before we got any soft. Brain tanning courses are all about time management. We’re trying to squeeze a bunch of stuff into a short period of time. We […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

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Braintan workshop day 2: 6 hides scraped and dressed, 3 fleshed and salted, pulling all afternoon, 3 tired guys.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Bread Ovens Of Quebec

I'm interested in homemade, wood fired ovens, as well as community baking. I've read a few books on these topics, and one that I always wanted to get a copy of was called The Bread Ovens Of Quebec. I've looked for a reasonably-priced copy for years with no luck. But I just learned that the […] Read More

Categories: Book and Video Reviews, General

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Braintanning this AM: fleshing a deer hide in the rain.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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After a recent post announcing upcoming lodge-based courses, a few of our readers contacted me wanting more information. Before I could provide it, I had to publish the new site about our camp for rent in New Hampshire where the courses will be based. I got it online today. More information on the lodge-based courses is coming […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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Boys, dog and I hiked to the bridge and had hot chocolate to celebrate black Friday.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Dutch oven turkey on the bottom, apple cake on top, and lot's to be thankful for.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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I just got an interesting call from a guy that has me scratching my head. I’m posting the gist of it, but obviously will mention no names (so don't ask). On our website we have a popular recommended gear page that I probably haven’t changed in more than 12 years. The caller had followed one […] Read More

Categories: General

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Saw my friend who butchers deer today, left with 9 hides. Braintan class this weekend, plus a few for me.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Video about the new Jack Mountain Winter Expedition Tent. I left three things out of the video. First, the height of the center pole is right around 8 feet, making the dimensions 8'6" wide by 11'6" long by 8' tall at the peak. Second, the material is 10.10 oz cotton. Third, if you're interested you […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General, Videos

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Gloomy day, stunning sunset over Rust Pond.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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December 6-12 we’re running our Winter Woodsman course, followed immediately by the Frozen 48 Winter Survival Challenge. The Winter Woodsman is our introduction to winter. We cover the particulars of living out in the winter, from clothing and tools to fire and shelter, as well as cover the traditional gear and techniques that make living […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

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Next weekend we’re running a course on braintanning, where we’ll take raw (ie. bloody, and stinky) deer hides, and through a process that’s older than civilization, turn them into beautiful, chamois-like braintan buckskin. If you want to learn it, there are still open spots. I want to share how we keep people safe from Lyme […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

Draw Knife On Self Bow

Beginning in January, we’re offering something new at our folk school in New Hampshire; lodge-based programs. They combine our popular bushcraft and outdoor skills programs with housing in our modern, comfortable lodge. These programs are limited in size and allow people to participate in our bushcraft programs without having to live outdoors. We’re still offering […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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First look at the new Jack Mountain Expedition tent made by Tentsmiths. Details coming soon.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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White pine burl at The Woodsman School. Stopped into see Derek Faria and spent a rainy afternoon in front of a fire.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

John King, Snow And Neally Axes

Saturday, 11/21 from 9:30AM-4PM On our expeditions fire is a necessity; it warms us and cooks our food. We’re often faced with extremely difficult firelighting challenges. These must be overcome for the success of the expedition. What participants of the this one-day workshop will take away are the skills and confidence that they can get […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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This weekend I’ll be venturing west of the Connecticut River to attend the Snow Walkers Rendezvous in Vermont. It’s a fantastic event, and one that should be on your calendar if you’re in the northeast and interested in winter camping and expeditions. Here are seven reasons why you should attend:   The Gear. Traditional canvas […] Read More

Categories: General

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Mist on lake Winni this morning, water like glass.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Rust Pond, named after Henry Rust. Here's the cellar hole of his house built in 1773.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Most of the people who participate in our semester program are not from Maine, and the way of life near the field school is rural and often significantly different than where they’re from. This past fall, during week two of the course, some of the guys were talking about how religious the area was. I […] Read More

Categories: General

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Son and I taking advantage of warm fall weather. This view became the Jack Mountain logo.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Poison Ivy

We’ve had a lot of content plagiarized from our website over the years. As a result we created a “name and shame” plagiarism policy, where we publicly call-out the people who do it. And this morning I learned that it had been done by someone I know. Not cool. Compare our course assessment page with […] Read More

Categories: General, Rants

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Calm before the storm; cooked for 22 people tonight at the campfire cooking workshop. Good times and good food.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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After a lengthy hiatus the JMB podcast is back. In this episode I talk with Derek Faria and Shawn Donnely from The Woodsman School. We're friends and neighbors and discuss what they've been up to, their new website, becoming a Registered Maine Guide, and have a few cheap laughs. a Links from this episode: The […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

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Sublime twilight on Rust Pond. Still water reflects blue sky, makes me reflective too.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Tomorrow night's campfire cooking class is full, but if you're in the area and want to come we could probably squeeze in one more.  We'll be covering a variety of topics applicable to the woods cook, including: Building a tripod Gear - wannigans, pots, frying pans Grilling meat in a raquette Dutch oven cooking with […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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Long-term bushcraft program number 32 successfully completed. Home with family in NH.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Full house on the cook stove. Cook shack is a luxury during cold weather.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Brown ash basketry in camp today. Some pack baskets, some smaller baskets. #poundedash   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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1st aid/CPR in camp this AM. It's a requirement to become a registered Maine guide.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Pounding brown ash for basket splints. Lots of 'pounding ash' jokes flying around camp right now.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Splitting a brown ash log with wooden wedges, to be pounded into pack basket splints.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Felling a large brown ash for pack basket splints.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Putting wood in the stove. Cook shack at the JMB field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Atlatl practice

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Atlatl practice. The original big game hunting tool.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Jack Mountain Bushcraft School instructor and Maine Guide Paul Sveum poling his 18' EM White wood canvas boat on a lower West Branch of the Penobscot deadwater at twilight.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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From our recent trip to Baxter and Debsconeag. Later afternoon sun with Mount Katahdin in the background. And the work horse of our canoe fleet, the 18' Prospector from Nova Craft Canoe. After beating up on them for 14 years, I can say with some authority it's simply an awesome boat.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Moose season

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Moose season. Scraping moose hides in the rain at 7AM.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Softening braintanned deer hides in camp today.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates