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2018 Memorial Pheasant Hunt

Last year was the first year we headed to North Dakota for the Michael Odermann Memorial Scholarship Pheasant Hunt.  Mike tragically died in a hunting accident a number of years ago.  His family started the Memorial Pheasant Hunt to honor Mike and raise scholarship money for area students.

The whole event is truly a family affair.  Mike’s parents, siblings, his kids, uncle/aunt, nephews,  and nieces all play a role in making this event the success it is.  It’s a pretty amazing family unit.

To give you a sense of the type of people make up this family, the evening we arrived for the banquet we were greeted by family members as soon as we walked in the door.  The next morning we went out the ranch to get organized.  My adult nephew was celebrating his birthday and when he walked in the door he was greeted by the Odermann’s singing happy birthday with a caramel roll and a candle in the middle of it.  It’s almost impossible to be around this family without a smile on your face and feeling good about life in general.

Things kick off on Friday nite with a banquet, raffles and door prizes.  The Memorial Pheasant Hunt started a few years ago with a handful of teams and expanded to 10 teams this year and the promise of one or two new teams joining in next year.  I believe there were over a 100 people that showed up to participate in the banquet portion of things and needless to say, a good time was had by all!!

Michael Odermann Memorial Pheasant Hunt
Michael Odermann Memorial Pheasant Hunt Banquet

I know the auctions were really successful this year with folks opening up their wallets for a great cause.  It felt great to have the Trestle Pine Buddy that our team donated bring in  $700 at auction.  The blade was engraved “Making Memories ~ 2018” which was a philosophy Mike lived by and this Memorial Hunt does a fabulous job passing that feeling on to all of us.

The Memorial Hunt consists of teams of 6 hunters that compete in a Pheasant hunt on Saturday morning following the banquet.  There are a number of ways to end up in the money including bringing in the rooster with the longest tail feather, which I believe was worth $500!  Prizes and winnings can run well over a $1000 but even at that, the competition couldn’t be more friendly with lots of good natured joking back and forth.

Our team once again had the privilege (and I do mean Privilege) of hunting on the Odermann Ranch with Mike’s dad (Jim) and Jim’s brother-in-law Charlie as guides and ‘transporters’.  In other words, we had a guided hunt on private property in the middle of pheasant country.

Planning the next move

The weather was gorgeous and the birds were plentiful.  The fact that all of us didn’t limit out fell on our shooting ability (or I should say, lack thereof).  We definitely had our chances but no one left disappointed.  Our host was concerned we didn’t get more birds but we did our best to convince him all of us had an incredible time.  To top everything off, 3 of us came home with 3 new hunting rifles we won worth close to $3000 AND, an invitation to another prime rib feed and trapshoot next spring.  Personally, I ended up with a new Prairie Dog gun in the form of a new Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon in 300 Win Mag.  Maybe not….

I didn’t take any photos cleaning up birds with the Hess Bird and Trout, but it did get pressed into service.  Great little knife and really handy to carry.

Bird and Trout cutting up lunch

I have to keep pushing to get Jacob Odermann to share some pictures with us of his knife making projects.  Jacob is relatively new to knife making but it sounds like he’s getting into it.  It’s always fun to see someone’s work.

I could go on but by now you probably get the feeling we all had a fantastic time.  Again.  Everyone on our team feels privileged that we’ve gotten to know the Odermann family.  Their son Mike’s philosophy of Making Memories is sure working for all of us!!


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New Collections And Gun Show Wrap Up

This morning I listed a few of the knives from the new collections recently acquired.  It’s a bit of an eclectic group of knives with a mixture of GEC’s (new and old stock) and a few rather nice non-GEC knives.

One of the nicest pieces is a 1980’s vintage Al Mar “Fang”.  I’ve handled Al Mar knives in the past and was always impressed with the quality.  The Fang is a real gem and rather difficult to find.

Al Mar Fang
Al Mar 5001 Fang Boot Knife

Another knife I really like is this vintage Ka-Bar 1224 Bird and Trout.

Vintage Ka-Bar Bird & Trout
Vintage Ka-Bar 1224 Bird and Trout

I used one of the Hess Bird & Trout knives a couple of weeks ago on a trip up north and while they’re not practical for 98% of my needs, I really like the feel of them for ‘detail’ work.  This is rather strange as I’m not a big fan of the smaller traditional folders.  The short handle of the traditional folder gets lost in my hand while the Bird & Trout knives offer a bit more handle for me to hang onto.  This weekend I’m heading to North Dakota for some pheasant hunting and I’m hoping to get to use that Hess on some birds.

There are more knives in these new collections to be listed but it’s going to be a while before I can get to them.  We have a funeral out of town this week and then it’s a road trip for the weekend.  I’ll trickle them onto the website as I can.


Sorry, I hit the “Publish” button before I was done.  Regarding the gun show this past weekend……  It was a slow show that wasn’t heavily attended.  While a few local customers did make it in there were a lot of familiar faces that didn’t.

I’m not quite sure what caused the low attendance as this is typically a really good show for most exhibitors.  The weather wasn’t conducive to working in the yard or field so I’m not sure where folks were holed up.  And the people that did come in were reluctant to open up their wallets.  That was pretty much the consensus with all of the exhibitors.

The upside to a slow show is you get the opportunity to spend some time visiting with people about everything from knives, guns and politics.  One of the people I visited with was an 11 year girl and her father who are expat’s living in Denmark.  She had been looking at the knife displays and when I approached her and said “hi” she commenced to explaining to me how many of the knives in my cases would be illegal in Denmark and much of Europe.  It was pretty interesting to visit with her and both she and her dad were pretty well versed on the law.  She left with a smile and a ‘legal’ Swiss Army Knife to take home with her.  I love talking with these kids and encouraging their interest in knives.

As I said, we have a funeral to attend yet this week and then we head west, so I’m not sure I’ll get the usual Friday blog post up.  Anything interesting comes up I’ll squeeze it in.  Otherwise, I’ll try to get a few pictures of the hunt to share with you next week.


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Gun Show this Weekend

Almost forgot to mention the Gun Show this weekend at the National Guard Armory in Fergus Falls, MN!!  This is always a good Gun Show and I hope some of the locals can drop by for a visit.

It’s a good weekend for a Gun Show as the weather definitely hasn’t been Fall ‘like’.  Thursday morning we woke up to a 3″ coating of new snow.  Parts of North Dakota had up to 17″.  This is way to early for measurable snow, even up here.

This past week I also picked up a nice group of knives in a couple of collections.  I have the Gun Show this weekend and a hunting trip later next week so it’s going to be a while before I can get any of them up.  There are also some more #14 Boys knives on their way from GEC that I’ll get listed in the next few days.

Again, hope to see a few of you in Fergus Falls this weekend!!


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Field Trip Wrap Up

I had just a few  notes to add regarding my most recent field trip and and as miserable as it is outside today, this is a good time to reflect on nicer days!  We have gone from summer directly into late fall up here and I’m not really ready for it.

On the recent field trip I had and opportunity to use one of the Blackjack knives and was pleased with its overall performance.  I also did a little more experimenting with the Baddest Bee Fire Fuses.

Don’t get the idea that the Fire Fuses are strictly for the prepper or regular camper crowd.  If you have a wood burning fireplace or just enjoy a fire in a backyard fire ring the Fire Fuse is a handy and effective fire starting aid.  They’re particularly handy when combined with some fatwood.

Before I went on the last field trip I took a couple of the fatwood sticks and drilled a 3/8″ hole in side of the stick.  When I was ready to light a fire, I shaved a rooster tail on the fatwood and inserted about a 1″ length of Fire fuse.

Fire Fuse
Fire Fuse and Fatwood Stick

A brief note, if you drill a hole try to save the shavings from the drilling and save them in a small zip lock.  Those shavings make great fire starting aids.

Baddest Bee Fire Fuse Field Test
Fire Fuse inserted in Drilled Hole

The whole purpose of drilling the hole rather then just wedging the Fuse into the rooster tail was to make for a more secure ‘attachment’.  I light the Fire Fuse with a Fire Steel on a solid surface and then move it under my kindling.  This is much easier then placing the fatwood stick and then trying to ignite the fire fuse.

Fire Fuse and Fatwood Stick
Light the Fire Fuse on a solid surface
Fire Fuse and Fatwood Stick
Place the light Fatwood stick under the kindling.

The Fatwood and Fire Fuse combo will burn for 3-4 minutes which will usually get your kindling ignited even if you don’t split it particularly fine.  This combination is really effective if you’re in damp conditions.

Field Trip Campfire
And you’re ready to get the frying pan on the fire!

Over the years we’ve gotten pretty good at cooking over an open fire and have worked up a few recipes that are quick, easy, filling and taste good.  Now, before you choke and gag at the following picture, let me tell you this is one of our favorites AND it tastes a whole lot better then it looks.

It’s a combination of cooked hamburger/onions and Cream of Chicken Soup.  Simmer it for a few minutes and mix or serve over cooked long grain and wild rice.  Add a little salt and pepper and enjoy.  If you really want to get efficient, prepare your hamburger/onion/cream of chicken soup mixture at home and freeze it in a zip lock.  I use Uncle Ben’s minute rice so that’s easily cooked in camp.  You can warm up the hamburger in the zip lock bag in a pan of boiling water then serve it over the cooked rice.  That’s about as easy as it gets.

On an entirely different note, I’m glad we went on the field trip a week ago as we hit the leaf colors at their peak.

Field Trip Leaf tour
Leaf Color was at it’s peak.

Just a few weeks earlier we were starting to see the leaves starting to change, the blueberries were finishing up and the Choke Cherries were at their peak.

Picking Choke Cherries
Blue Berries
Ripe Choke Cherries

We ate the blueberries as we picked them but if you’re familiar with Choke Cherries, you don’t eat them without some prep.  Personally, the best way to serve the Choke Cherries is in the form of Jelly or Syrup over pancakes.  Both the Jelly and Syrup are easy to make and bBelieve me, it’s well worth the effort.

Choke Cherry Jelly

So that’s how we finished up the trips north.  Good eats while we were there and when we got home.  Not a bad way to end the season.

The boats are out of the lake and we’re wrapping things up for winter.  Next weekend I have a gun show in Fergus Falls, MN and the following week we go to North Dakota pheasant hunting for a few days.  Then in another month I can start bitching about the cold weather.  It’s been a good year so far.