Sunday, 20 July 2014

Stuart Mitchell's Muntjac

While at Andy's he showed me this sweet little stalking knife by Stuart Mitchell of Shefield.
Mr Mitchell is a legend on this side of the pond, I've coveted his work since I first saw some pix on BCUK years ago. This model, his smallest and most every-day-carry, is named after the smallest deer in the UK, which is also the species you can hunt 365 days a year.

Standing 20in/500mm tall these little deer are pretty cute, at a distance. A bit closer its a different story, they have FANGS, yep fangs! Long enough and sharp enough to pose a significant risk to everything more loveable than a pit bull. They are also extremely territorial and indeed aggressive.
Introduced by the Duke of Bedford around 1900 they've spread a long way in the last 100 years, even 'swimming' the Irish sea. I've hunted them unsuccessfully a couple of times, and eaten them very successfully a few more times.

To mention the price of commisioning an SM in the presence of wives past and present is to elicit shrieks of dismay. I think his prices are very reasonable when you consider his 30+ years of practice, and workshop full of machines, especially when you set them against the prices of some production knives.

So what's it like in the hand? In a word, Ergonomic.
In a few more; fit and finish are so flawless as to be almost other-worldly.
Double want one.

Elfa "Think of the huntings you can do for that money"
SBW "Exactly, you've never eaten Muntjac have you? You're gonna love it"
And people wonder why I put up with her!

More soon, your pal

Some pix of his work HERE
Website, Facebook ect 

The Bushwacker Had Lost His Considering Cap

Old, unfashionable, weather-beaten like its been left outside in the rain, some would even say fit only for 'the bin'. But to me Andy is an old friend and he got me my favourite hat back! With a little help from Mr Rebus.

Another Safari In Scotland

Been a while since I've been north of the border: Elfa wanted to go, the kids are on holiday with their mum, we are as usual snagged on freeholder connect at the job site, and sentimentalist that I am, I've had an Andy Richardson shaped hole in my life since the last visit. So this missive comes to you from the rolling fields, and sand dunes of Fife.

As is so often said, holidaying brings out  the worst in people. We've served each other with divorce papers several times before we make it on to the train.  One drama leads to another but eventually we're off and I fall into a fitful sleep as the train shudders northwards. Somewhere nearer to London than Edinburgh, and nearer to sleep than wakefulness, I was idly daydreaming of the great days of steam when I realised the huffing and puffing was intact the Evil Elfa still expressing her displeasure. Reluctantly, I open my eyes to find that she actually had a valid reason this time, her face is swelling up. She looks like she's saving a gobstopper for later. I am ,by nature, quite a caring person. Annoyingly Elfa, by nature, is the worst feckin' patient ever! Really, you know those stories where the nurse went mental and shoved the hospital trolly, patient and all, into a laundry cupboard and left them there over the weekend? It turns out there is a limit to human endurance, I can now see why nursey would. [But not why nursey would come back after the weekend]. Within the hour the gobstopper is the size of half a golfball.

One for the Tackle Tarts

Andy has it that we should investigate the mouth of the Eden, and armed with lures so secret they shall not be photographed and the obligatory over-priced slices of Mackerel we leave the truck in the golfers car park and walk down the dunes to the estuary. For some reason Elfa has elected to follow that rule of fieldsports observers - she has waterproof boots [bought for the trip] but wears trainers. WTF?
Flounder tactics are the same up here; tiny strips of sushi [sorry bait the price confused me], small hooks and barrel-shaped weights that roll along the bottom. Cast into the tide and allowed to bounce their way across the sandy bottom.

 The score at half time: we did see some one very impressive Sea Trout jump and several smaller splashes, I landed a couple more Flounder. Next time I fish this mark I'll bring a crab rig as my bait got chewed a few times by little fellas.

More soon
your pal
PS For Me and Andy's adventure with the TV people click HERE