JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



Outdoor Edge Hunting Knife Set, Skinner & Caper | Hollow Ground w/ Pakkawood Dark Timber DT-1

1 min read

Outdoor Edge Hunting Knife Set, SkinnerBuilt for the trophy hunter, the Outdoor Edge Dark Timber Combo knife set places a full-sized skinner knife and a smaller caping knife in one double-pocket leather belt sheath.

Well designed for skinning and caping trophy deer, elk, and moose, the Dark Timber set offers pakkawood handle slabs in dark walnut with large teardrop-shaped grips and knurled sections on the blade spines for thumb leverage. Use the larger 7-1/2-inch skinner with its 3-1/4-inch hollow ground blade for the heavier field dressing work and the smaller 6-7/8-inch-long caper knife with its narrower 2-1/2-inch drop point blade for the detail work of trophy preparation.

Both knives are built with the same full tang design and include a deep finger choil to increase the safety of the grip. The smaller caper knife lacks the shaped finger guard bolster of the larger skinner, so make sure you use the right knife for the right job. Put too much pressure behind the caping knife, and you might slip forward on the blade. The 8Cr13MoV stainless steel knives will hold a razor edge and are ground for fine cutting, not chopping kindling or hacking up bones. You’ll want a knife with a heavier edge for rough camp chores. The caper knife could find more applications around camp than Outdoor Edge intended — it’s a small and well-shaped blade that’s handy for many lighter chores.

The double sheath of dark stitched leather complements the Dark Timber set well but doesn’t include safety straps. Fitted pockets hold the knives securely enough, but brush could still pull them loose. Instead of a maker’s mark, the knives show stamped elk tracks at the base of the blade.

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JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



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