Knives: Can You Spot a Fake?


Not a Fake!

Not a Fake!


Faking knives in America really started in the 1950’s, as the idea of knife collecting started to take off in the US!  In case you think you’ve never seen any — there are table-fulls of fakes at gun shows, swaps and flea markets!

Show sponsors can’t figure out how to stop the practice. All you can do is protect yourself by learning as much as you can on the subject!

The most important thing you can  do is:  avoid buying a knife until you learn how to spot a fake.

Where Are Fakes Made?

Fakes are rarely made in the country of the original. The Germans and Japanese produce fakes of old American knives. You need to know what the “American style” of knife making is so you can tell when you are seeing a German or Japanese copy.

Fakes have a long history. London brands were copied by Sheffield knife makers in the 1600 and 1700’s.  By the 1800’s, Germans created pseudo-British knives for sale in America.

Now, German companies manufacture fakes of American knives; Italians make fakes for German and American companies!

Japanese offers fake collectibles because, world-wide, there is a demand for them. Pakistani companies copy the Japanese fakes and the Chinese copy everyone!

To top this all off, everyone copies the Swiss Army knives!  How can person catch fakes? It seems almost impossible! It sounds as if there are more faked knives than real ones!

Things to Watch

There are a few things to watch.  (1) Look at workmanship. If things do not work smoothly, if parts do not  fit together well (Are there any gaps or parts that do not fit together smoothly?), then it is most likely a fake.

(2) Does it work as a knife?  Unbelievably, sellers offer collectable knives that don’t work!  Keep in mind, knives  — even collectibles — were ALWAYS constructed for use!


Next time: There are 3 types of faked knives: counterfeits, re-worked knives and fantasy knives! Learn about each type!


Full Disclosure: I no longer sell Gerber knives and multi-tools on my site.  I’ve left these articles up because they have been popular and informational.


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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm  Comments (1)  
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What are 3 Great Things About Night Fishing?



My Favorite Part of Night Fishing: Peace!

Night fishing isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re like me, there are oodles of great things about night fishing. I’d like to share 3 of them today.

Peace and Quiet

When the sun sinks below the horizon, there’s something wonderful about the quiet that takes hold. I find night fishing more restful and serene than fishing during daylight hours.

Although there can be more dangers with reduced light, there seem to be many pluses — it’s a chance to tune into the night noises, the firebugs dance and sway and the stars wink down from the night sky.

Fish Aren’t So Picky

Without elbow-to-elbow fishing that often occurs during the daylight hours,  fish don’t have so many choices for a meal. Biologists say that fish seem to increase their feeding behaviors  just after the sun goes down and around dawn.

Whether out on a boat or on shore, I like to go out when the moon is full.  The water tends to be slick (as glass) after sundown, and the moonlight is sufficient light to keep an eye on any rippling in the water.

Dining on Bugs and Lures

By using top water lures, I’m able to throw my line out where the top feeding fish are dining on the mosquitoes and bugs that are skimming along the water.

What’s not to love about night fishing?

Well, those bugs out on the water tend to smell fresh meat (a fisherman).  Tired of being a fish’s meal, they decide to dine on night anglers. Be sure to bring plenty of bug spray for a night trip.


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Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 1:28 am  Comments Off on What are 3 Great Things About Night Fishing?  

What’s Unique About Each Variety of Wild Turkeys?

As mentioned previously, there are 5 subspecies of the North American wild turkey. Generally, they have some distinctive differences that a hunter should be aware of before setting out to do battle with the “big birds.”

The Eastern Turkey

Eastern turkey – has the largest numbers. They are available along the eastern coast from Maine to northern Florida, and as far west as Oklahoma.

They roost in pine or hemlock trees, along the top of a ridge. When it gets fairly warm, they move on to treed areas around open fields.

Near their roosts, they select a “strut zone.”  During the opening days of mating season, they may not use the strut zones at all. However, in the waning days of the season — when the number of hens starts to drop (hens have moved to their nests for incubation), the boys may get started strutting right after coming down from their roosts.


Merriam's: Note the White Tips on the Lower Back & Tail Feathers!

Merriams – live in the western US. They prefer ponderosa pines, along creek beds or on the sides of canyons. In the eastern part of their range, there are no pines and they use hardwood trees.

Merriam’s are ‘travelin’ turkeys.’ They like to move around and seem to find a new roost each night. The turkeys tend to travel in mixed groups (gobblers, jakes and hens).

The hens like to use Gambel oaks (in mountain areas)  for eating the acorns and for nesting.


Osceola – live only in Florida. These turkeys like to roost over water in cypress trees. They fly to the closest dry land to strut.

It’s easy to hunt for these birds, but hard to take one home because of their unique roosting habits.

Rio Grande Wild Turkeys

Rio Grande – reside mostly in Texas, but range as far north as Kansas and as far south as Mexico.

Oak trees are the preferred roost for these turkeys. However, there are few of these in this arid region, so they roost where they can: sycamores, cottonwoods and hackberry trees.

Strut zones can be anywhere; once they leave their roosts (in the am), they may travel for miles. Food is scarce in these areas, and they have to travel to eat.

Gould’s Wild Turkey

Gould’s Wild Turkey – lives mostly in central Mexico and some reside in New Mexico.  These birds have similar habits to the Merriam’s.

Some hunters comment that they seem wilder than the Merriam turkeys.  Their habitat is drier than the Merriam’s live in – however they often are larger than their Merriam cousins.

Did You Know?

Wild turkeys could live as long as their domesticated cousins, but few do. According to biologists, the wild ones rarely live past 5 years, while the domestic version can live into their teens!


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What are 3 Important Factors in Buying a Knife?

A knife is a very personal purchase. It’s something I would never buy for another person.


Form Follows Function in Knives

Form Follows Function in Knives


If well-chosen, it becomes part of a person.  However, a poor knife choice soon joins others in the “junk drawer”  — never to see daylight  again.

“Cute-Ability” vs. Function

Before making your first decision — avoid making a knife choice on its “cute-ability” factor.  Impulse purchases, based on eye-appeal, are usually poor choices in the long-term.

Remember, that’s why manufacturers create so many styles and looks. If you choose by looks, you have eliminated choosing by function (what you need the knife to do).  Function is the basic reason you have decided to buy a knife.

What Do You Need a Knife to Do?

You may need a knife for several reasons. Make a list and decide which is the most important. For example: You may need a knife many times a day to help you repair things or cut twine, rope, etc. In another example, you might want a knife when you are fishing — to cut line or fillet fish.

In the first example, you will probably want a pocket knife, because you  need it available constantly. In the second example, a fixed-blade knife in your fishing toolbox may meet your needs.

By zeroing in on your most critical need, it helps you determine …

Fixed-Blade or Pocket Knife?

This is a significant decision — and not just because it eliminates looking at about 1/2 of the knives in a store.  What are you most comfortable with — something sheathed and attached to your belt or a smaller tool in your pocket?

Pick out several. Try walking and sitting  down with samples of each type.  If the sheath is uncomfortable, move it on the belt and/or  try another style.

Does the pocket knife feel comfortable? Is it easy to use?  Does it feel like a large rock in your pocket?  How about one of the newer clips that attach the knife to a front or back pocket?


I believe selecting a knife has gotten much harder in the last couple of decades.  We have literally gotten to the point where there are too many choices.

There are so many gorgeous items (attractive to the eye), that I have a hard time remembering why I’m looking at knives. Maybe you have that problem too?


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Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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Turkey Hunting: Getting Sneaky

Calling the Loner


The Majestic Turkey! *


The loners tend to respond better to soft, soothing calls. The exception to this is — a good hen fight.  If you can call gobblers – indicating that a fight is on, even dominant males will move toward these sounds. Everyone loves to watch hens fight!

Other Ideas

There are three other strategies to try on the experienced gobblers. Moving from one location to another, between calls — sometimes works.

These older birds have experience with hunters. Most hunters stay in one spot, once they start hunting.  They are afraid of being spotted. By moving around, you are not like other hunters.

Also remember, dominant males expect hens come to them — obviously, they haven’t heard of  “hen’s lib.”  They are used to moving forward just so far — and no more.

When they call the hen and she doesn’t come, he is suspicious. Because he doesn’t believe in curiosity, he will move on if he doesn’t see or hear something tangible from the hen.

This might be a great time to scratch around in the leaves. This tells the male that the hen has stopped off for a tasty morsel, and is scratching for a bit more.

He may expect her to come to him, but he’s aware that she may take “her own sweet time about getting there.” This is a reasonable solution to his unanswered call.

Patience is necessary; gobblers often move in silence. Don’t be caught unprepared by letting a turkey sneak up on you!

One Last Try

Finally, you have to play the scene as it comes.  Generally, dominant males don’t chatter as much as the other birds. If you do too much calling, he may leave.

If he calls back after each of your calls: Does he want more? Less? If he responds each time, this may be the time to get more aggressive and a bit louder.

If he’s not moving toward you and still waiting, this may be the time to get quiet. You might want to continue with a bit of scratching and cluck to yourself — seeming to ignore him. This may prompt him to move closer.

As you can see, catching a seasoned turkey is much harder than snaring one of the two year-olds.


* ‘Woodland Splendor’ is shown by permission of Vantage Point Graphics


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Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm  Comments (1)  
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Turkey Hunting: Outsmarting Loners & Small Gobbler Groups


A Loner Needs Special Attention

A Loner Needs Special Attention


While hunting, you have to take the turkeys as they come. Two distinctly different types are:  loner gobblers and small groups of 2 or 3 youngish males. Their behaviors are quite different and call for unique actions by the hunter.

Loner Gobblers

Generally, loner males are older than the small groups of jakes or young turkeys.  Having considerable success with ‘the girls,’ these dominant loners are are used to hens coming to them.

They didn’t get to their age by taking foolish chances.  They require special techniques to entice them to your shotgun or bow and arrow.

Young Bachelor Groups

These youngsters are usually two-year olds with little breeding experience.  They are usually eager to respond to any calls from the hens.

Sometimes, a group  may have one mature gobbler; the 2 or 3 are buddies — and roost together — throughout the mating season. (If you recall, I mentioned that turkeys travelled together through the fall and winter months, but break up {along gender lines} at the time of mating. This is one unusual grouping that does not separate in the spring.)

These small groups of youngish males tend to interrupt each other and respond whenever the mood strikes. As the day wears on, these bachelors tend to increase their chatter.

This is the opposite of the mature loner; he gobbles less than the younger males. As the day advances, the loner tends to decrease his chattering more.  He’s more cautious than the youngsters.

How Are Your Turkey Calls Coming?

It almost seems as if the younger gobblers are trying to outdo each other. They seem to respond best to aggressive calling — loud yelps. Toss in a few cutts for good measure.

The bachelors also respond to gobblers. If you use a turkey tube, you may entice them to you.

Keep in mind: Gobbling is dangerous — unless you are hunting alone, you may attract another hunter.

The dominant loner isn’t buying any of these behaviors. You are most likely to catch him unawares by discovering his “strutting zone.” Daily, as the boys are “strutting their stuff,” they expect the hens to come watch the show.

The mature gobblers come to rely on the “strutting zone” as a great way to  find an eager female, especially when many of the hens have started nesting.

Next: Calling the Loner

This is getting long. I’ll finish this and talk about “setting up for a turkey hunt”  next time.


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Shotgun Shell Patterning



Anatomy of a Shotgun Shell

A Tight Spray Pattern

The choke on your shotgun and the shotgun shells you use determine the spray pattern. (Yes, I know wind velocity and other things have an effect.)

If you are a Newbie, it is important to understand that the shells used in one gun may create a completely different pattern in another gun.

A 30 Inch Target

Firing a few shells will give you the opportunity to determine if that particular brand is going to give you the ‘tight pattern’ you want for hunting.

Basically, there are two things you want to

Check the Shotgun Pattern

Check the Shotgun Pattern

know. (1) Do most of the pellets fall within the 30 inch circle? If they don’t, can you modify your choke to concentrate the shot or spread out the pattern?

(2) In looking at the pattern created, are there ‘holes?’ Holes are areas (inside the  30″ ring) with no pellet shots. Depending on the size of the blank areas, it may indicate that if an animal was standing in that spot, it would escape being your supper.  Will a different brand do better?

Game and Shot Size

Each shot size is effective for certain game.*

Game               Lead/Tungsten        Steel Shot

Pheasant          4 to 6                                     2 to 3

Turkey              4 to 6                                     2 to 3

Quail, dove      7 1/2 to 8

Rabbit                6 to 7 1/2

Squirrel             6

Ducks, low        4 to 6                                  2 to 3

Ducks, high       2 to 4                                 BB to 2

* This graph and the picture of the shotgun shell were extracted from Wikipedia, “Shotgun Shells”

BTW, US law requires the use of non-toxic (steel, bismuth. tungsten, etc.) shot while hunting waterfowl.

Lead vs. Steel Shot Sizes

Lead is heavier; it flattens and deforms on impact. Lead tends to create a wider pattern and carries farther.

Steel is lighter and does not deform on impact. It creates a narrower pattern, but does not carry as far as lead.

Shot size Equivalence: Steel vs. Lead

Steel            6-4           2           BB         BBB        T

Lead              6              4            2

Did You Know?

Ammunition requires careful handling. I am not referring to locking it up separate from weapons — to protect kids.

Certain things can be dangerous to ammo: excessive heat, contact with sharp objects or high impact. Be sure to check the condition of your ammo before loading.


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Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm  Comments (7)  
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Turkey Hunting: Pre-Season Work for Hunters


These Guys Have the Lay-of-the-Land Down Pat!


If you have access to the land you will be using for turkey hunting, now is the time to “get the lay of the land.”

Spend Some Quality Time

Knowing where the turkey roosts are – before the season begins – is an incredible advantage. Getting your searching done, without gun and all the other “stuff’ you take hunting, will make the task easier.

In fall and winter, the turkeys (males and females) travel in large bunches. In early spring, just before mating season, the bird groups separate. They each have important things to do.

The males work out their dominance “issues” between the young  jakes and other – more seasoned – gobblers.

The girls are out scouting for safe nesting areas, for the new “youngsters to come.”

Favorite Areas

As mentioned in a previous post, turkeys seem to favor agricultural areas, bottomlands and the woods.

Since turkeys have been introduced to new areas,*  they have adjusted to their new environments — even the edge of desert regions!

Gobblers seem to need to chatter; so listen for their gobbling. Gobblers talk year-round, with a huge increase before and during mating season.

Once the two genders separate, their roosts can be a long distance from each other.  The boys tend to give their location away through their (increased  and noisier) gobbling.

Once you have found turkeys, sit and watch for awhile. Listen to the calling and gobbling. What is the reaction of the other birds? When do they gobble? When do they “kee-kee?” Do you hear any “lost” yelps?

What’s the Pay-Off  for Advanced Scouting?

By doing this searching now, when the season starts, you can move in, take your limit and go home.

As the turkey season progresses, it gets harder to snare a gobbler. Turkeys are not stupid.

Remember their ‘fatal flaw’ (in a hunter’s view): Turkeys are not curious critters. They live to see another day by following one rule: ‘If I cannot locate/recognize the source of a noise, LEAVE immediately.’

* Turkey numbers dropped to ~ 40,000 in the 1930’s.  Wildlife departments of many states worked  to rebuild the herds by introducing them to locales where they had never lived before. Herds are now over 8 million — and growing!

Remember: Your fathers and grandfathers paid for the re-population of this mighty bird, through the excise taxes on guns, ammo, licenses, etc.!

The truth is that hunters are conservationists, too! Without hunters, turkeys would be extinct!


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Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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Turkey Hunting: Choosing the Right Load for Your Shotgun


"This Bad-Boy's Body Can Absorb/Repel Puny Shot!

"This Bad-Boy's Body Can Absorb/Repel Puny Shot!"


On 9 February, I wrote the following:  ‘The goal in using a particular shotgun is to get a tight spray pattern up to 40 yards.’

Getting that tight spray (to kill the turkey – in the head, not the body), requires your shotgun and ammo to work together.

Popular Shot Sizes and Loads

The pellets in the load must be large enough, and powerful enough, to fell the turkey immediately. A body shot is not optimal; turkey feathers can absorb/repell. Take a look at a gobbler – he’s well-padded.

According to MDH, * Lead Shot #4’s or 6’s seem to do the job well. (Remember, the smaller the #, the bigger the pellets are – in the load).

A Useful Graph *

To clarify my meaning —

— — — — — — — — — — — — The # of pellets in a load — — — — — — — — — — — —

Lead Shot             1 oz. load     1.78 oz. load     2 oz. load     2.25 oz. load


# 4                                 135               253                    270                  304

# 6                                 225              422                    450                   450


* This graph is from The Complete Book of Wild Turkey Hunting, by John Trout, Jr. 2000, The Lyon’s Press, p. 46.

Back to Our Goal

The same load in two same gauge shotguns may produce very different shot patterns. The best way to be sure of shot placement is to practice – until you get the shot scatter you need.

However, MDH says most hunters (he knows) go in for on-the-job testing. In other words, many hunters assume it works (or have enough experience to know what works) and don’t really practice.

A Sight for Your Shotgun?

If you shoot turkeys at less than 50 yards, you probably won’t need a telescopic sight. They may be helpful for seeing turkeys in dim light or while trying to find the big birds in the brush.

Another group that finds a low-powered scope to be helpful are those hunters with poor eyesight.

Generally, MDH’s friends use an open sight.

Your Homework

Are you still practicing your turkey calls? Unless you plan to wait for turkeys to cross your path, you’d best invest in some turkey callers — and start practicing.

Gobblers spend so much time strutting, spitting and preening, they aren’t usually in a rush to find a hunter. Unless you are good at calling, you may have a long wait before the “big boys” take a stroll past your hiding place!


* MDH = My Dear Husband or “He Who Likes to be Obeyed” ….But Rarely is!


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A Call to Action: Ammunition Accountability Legislation

A Plan to Take Your Ammo!

A Plan to Take Your Ammo!

It has already started…

Ammunition Accountability Legislation

Remember how Obama said that he wasn’t going to take your guns? Well, it seems that his allies in the anti-gun world have no problem with taking your ammo!

The bill that is being pushed in 18 states (including Illinois and Indiana) requires all ammunition to be encoded by the manufacturer into a data base of all ammunition sales. So they will know how much you buy and what calibers.

Nobody can sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 unless the ammunition is coded.

Any privately held uncoded ammunition must be destroyed by July 1, 2011. (Including hand loaded ammo.)

They will also
charge a .05 cent tax on every round so every box of ammo you buy will go up at least $1.00 or more, a brick of 22’s will go
up enormously!

If they can deprive you of ammo they do not need to take your gun!

This legislation is currently pending in 18 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.

Send to your friends in these states AND fight to dissolve this BILL!!
To find more about the anti-gun group that is sponsoring this legislation and the
specific legislation for each state, go to:

“We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can
assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly
awake to find they have Communism.”

– Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev, 1959


I could not believe this was true and checked with Snopes; says this is “undetermined.”


“Thanks” to Dorothy139 for letting me know about this issue!


Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 10:02 am  Comments Off on A Call to Action: Ammunition Accountability Legislation