If last year’s headlines are any indication, incidents of strange and aggressive animal behavior are on the rise in North America. Experts attribute increasing human-animal encounters to a combination of factors—from human encroachment into once--remote wildlife habitat to an ever-increasing number of carnivores migrating into America’s cities and suburbs in search of an easy meal.
In each of these stories, the victim managed to survive through a combination of quick thinking and good luck. Our panel of animal-attack experts examines the likely causes of the vicious encounters, what can be learned from them, and how each might have been avoided.
"The influx of technology in the backcountry has been both a godsend to hikers and a headache for rescue crews. As tech for the wilderness becomes more sophisticated and lighter to carry, more backpackers and long-distance hikers have access to lifesaving devices, but the security these high-tech gadgets provide are convincing more novices to tackle rugged outdoor adventures for which they are ill-prepared, wilderness leaders say."
Emergency preparedness kits come in all shapes and sizes these days. From the pocketable homemade kits tucked into empty Altoids tins to professionally packed 72-hour supply sets, there's something for everyone. There is one idea that’s been floating around the Internet discussion forums for a while now that piqued my interest. It involves repurposing a youth single-shot .22 rimfire bolt-action for wilderness survival.
Read the rest of the story over at American Rifleman Magazine HERE
(RMB note: I got a chance to hold one of these little Savage Rascal rifles at SHOT Show 2015 and was impressed. For such a tiny gun, you can get a good sight picture, which is usually tough for guns this small due to the shorter length of pull. I plan to test and review one these in the Fall. On a side note, I am working on finalizing the initial reviews of the Chiappa Survival guns and Marlin Papoose .22 Survival Rifle. I think you will find the results rather interesting. Cheers, Jason)
In a move that is bound to cause head-scratching across the bushcraft world, North Carolina-based Council Tool has discontinued selling their Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe with its highly popular 22.5" handle size. This leaves the diminutive 17.5" handle, shown above, as the only option.
Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe with the original 22.5" handle
(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)
From left to right: 19.5 inch Wetterlings Large Hunting Axe, Original 22.5" Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe, and 26.5 inch Council Tool Standard Hudson Bay Axe (far right)
(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)
For many, the 22.5" handle was the perfect size for the Council Tool Hudson Bay. According to one online axe reseller we spoke with, Council told them that they were having an issue with getting enough high grade hickory wood to make the 22.5" handles. Council said that this led them to the decision to discontinue the popular 22.5" Velvicut model.
If it's true that Council is having a hard time getting enough high grade hickory to build these axes, could this be the start of a shortage for Grade "A" axe handles, or is it just a company related issue with a specific supplier? Hopefully, it's only the latter. We plan to contact Council Tool this week and see if we can get more information. We will post an update here as soon as we hear back from them.
About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. In addition, Jason has written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA), the magazine equivalent to a Pulitzer Prize. Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)