Tuesday, December 30, 2014

LLBean Maine Hunting Shoe(Boot) - 100th Anniversary

I've have wanted a pair of Bean Boots for quite awhile.  Last year I was fortunate enough to receive a pair as a Christmas gift and now that I've had them a year I wanted to share some thoughts on them.

The pair I have is the 100th Anniversary which a tribute to the original version of this boot.  This version appealed to me so it's the one I got.  They make a more modern version as well you should be able to find pretty easy on their site.  This model is uninsulated and is 12" in height.  Making it a great boot for warmer or milder temps and of course wet weather of any kind.  These version has the traditional leather and comes with a little packet of Sno-Seal to work into the leather. This model comes with regular boot laces and leather laces.  I decided to give the classic leather laces a go and see how they hold up.  After all it does fit the classic style of this boot very well.  I did use the last of the Sno-Seal on the laces and I believe it has helped them hold up better.  A year in and they are still going strong.

I find this boot to be very comfortable to wear. It is very light and I joke that it almost wears like a house slipper. I found LLBean's sizing advice to be accurate, in that they run a little big to size. I can comfortably wear thick socks when needed. These boots are great for hunting. They only application they are not good for is in cold weather for long sits. They are not insulated and even with warm socks they do not do what a cold-weather boot is meant to do. But they are not designed to so that's not a fault, just knowing it's limits.  The soles do come out easily so you could replace the one in it with a woolfelt sole or similar and get a slight warmth upgrade if you wanted.  In the future I plan to do that and see how much of a difference it makes.  As for performance in wet conditions I have had no problems with my boots keeping my feet dry.  Creek crossings, etc. are no problem. 

Time will tell how good a boot really is.  But the reputation and length of history these have I am not doubting them at all.  LLBean stands behind these boots and you can even have the bottom rubber part replaced if you wear the tread out in them.  Leather boots just get better with age and wear so I expect to like these more and more over time.  I would definitely recommed these boots.  They have met all expectations to me.

Thanks for looking


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hunting trip left wanting...

Well myself and father-in-law got out for a day of hunting in western Oklahoma last week.  The orange army was in full force and the deer were in lockdown mode.  It was an uneventful trip as we saw no deer.   Highlights of the trip were the views and taking in a sunrise and sunset.  That never gets old.  Here's some pics of the day. 

First spot was overlooking a small wheat field surrounded by prairie and a ravine.

my gear for the day, Frost River Summit pack and good ol Remington 700 BDL 30-06 with a Leuopold VX-II 3-9x40.  Great package!

Evening sit was overlooking two ravines with lots of timber on the other side.  Hoping to catch deer coming or going but that was not in the plans this night.

FIL on the lookout

Couldn't complain on the view though.  It was great to take in and made for a nice runner-up prize for the day.

Thanks for looking folks!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Talimena Drive - Family Outing

Well I got the family rounded up and we did the Talimena Drive.  It's in the Ouchita National Forest in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.  The Fall is the best time for this drive as you get a real show of fall colors that the forest offers.  It's not the most outdoorsy trip when you're mostly driving but there are quite a few hiking trails throughout that will test your limits if that's what you're after.

This trip was mostly driving and enjoying the view with a somewhat bushcraft lunch.

Enjoy the pics

Thanks for looking

Friday, November 7, 2014

Council Tool FSS Boys Axe is Back!

Hey folks, No affiliation other than being a customer but Omaha Knife did a special order of the Council Tool FSS boys axes. They also upgraded the handle quality and are using the Velvicutt boy's axe handles. This should be a superb axe!. I have one of the original FSS axes and love it. It is my favorite axe hands down. Feel and performance is just amazing. With the better handles on them now I can't imagine getting something else, in any price range. Just wanted to pass a long.


Here's a few pics of mine from the previous run.  You'll note the horrid grain orientation on mine.  It's still going strong though.  I am doing an experiment of sorts on how long it will last.  This is the issue they corrected by using the upgraded handles.  So you should be confident that the handle will be a good one.

I removed the paint from the head and sanded the handle down.  New model won't have lacquer.

Chop on Axe folk!

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Edition to the family and future upland hunting companion

Well the kiddos birthdays are only a couple weeks apart and their big gift was a combined gift. Bel has been wanting a puppy for awhile and and we decided now is as good as time as any. So here is "Duke", named by the kids. He is a Cocker Spaniel. I've always been found of this breed and now I'll get to find out first hand if there was any reason for it.

I'll be taking him out this fall for upland hunts and maybe see how he does in a goose pit here. Not sure what to expect but I'll post updates accordingly. 

thanks for looking

Friday, April 25, 2014

Woods, bushcraft, kids and hotdogs, my life in a nutshell :)

Decided to take the kids out for some dinner in the woods. Hot dogs and finger foods seems easy enough. So we packed up and headed out to see how much spring is taking over in our neck of the woods. We stuck to some trails mostly, so Jack can walk without tripping every two steps. Then we went off path to have an alone spot for our woods meal.

Onto the pics...

found this little guy under a log

to give you an idea how little, here's Jack's massive toddler boots for scale

after a bit of hiking we found a suitable spot to make a quick camp and felled a tree and sawed it up

made some shaving with fatwood to get a quick fire

happy kiddos and a mess for dad to pick up, after that we headed on back out

sunset shot through the trees

we finished up throwing rocks, don't think kids would have it any other way

thanks for looking

Monday, April 7, 2014

Got the canoe out, got some greenwood fire practice, got a good day in

I was in one of those moods where I needed a spot no one else would be at, taking the canoe to the back of a remote lake is a good bet on that being the case. It was windy and 40's but I was out. Spring colors haven't quite come in. I think we're close though.

after put in and making some head way

I brought the fishing gear, I tried probably 30 throws with the castnet at various places, not a single fish of any kind. If I can't catch baitfish that's usually a bad sign for finding active fish. I did try a few spots but no luck. Still relaxing though

I paddled to the back of the lake, it's on overgrown mess of trees

I went to find some greenwood for some fire practice, into the trees

found a suitable tree, Elm, I would later regret this decision

I'm really liking the old Plumb Cedar axe. I limbed the tree and brought back with me. I sawed up a few logs with it and proceeded to break it down. The bigger log in this picture turned out to be the biggest PITA to split down.

after this swing I was surprised it didn't split and knew then this was going to be interesting
I tried laying it sideways and splitting it from that angle, axe was penetrating all the way through fine. Fibers just would not let go. I've never seen any hold together as tight as this one. So I made a quick wedge to drive through

seriously? This was turning into one of those battle of wills, or whits I should say. Course I can't lose to a log...

finally apart. I kept a good sense of humor through this. Never thought a log of this size could put up this much of a fight.

proceed to split down with the knife

at this point I knew this greenwood fire with this piece would not happen. Every part of the wood was wet to the touch. Even the inner most parts. Not damp but wet. So I decided to use one of the smaller pieces towards the top of the tree and see if that was dry

much better but not completely dry. But worth a shot

Now I'm not the best at making curls but I'm not the worse. The twisting grain of this tree made it not curl worth a darn. I made up a pile of shavings and set them in the sun to dry

broke down smaller pieces and set them out to dry as well

some summit goodness, really like this pack. No fancy kuksa cup here. Need something with a lid when wanting to enjoy a hot cup while canoeing

After about 20 minutes I got impatient and decided to get this going

curls went up pretty easy

I put the smaller pieces on top as they were starting to catch and then I put the bigger pieces over. But then the little pieces didn't sustain and it all died out pretty quick. Still a little too damp, more drying time would have helped a lot, as would more curls and more smaller pieces. Lessons learned...

After that it was time to go. Loaded up and headed out. Here's some parting shots on the way back

Thanks for looking...