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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hunting deer way back in 83 and had walked around 5 or 6 miles from my truck late in the season. I stumbled down a steep hill and re-injured my back. It was a wet , drizzly day and was getting late. I could only walk with a very bad limp and dragging my right leg and foot. This was way before cell phones and I was along. I was trying to get back up the bank and broke off a sapling of unknown heritage now to help me get up. It was crooked but seemed strong enough. I got up the hill and started the long trek home. It took me at least 2 -3 hours using the stick as a cane. After getting back to the truck, well after dark, I drove home with the stick in the bed. After getting into the house I put it in the furnace room with my wet cloths. It ended up getting put in a corner and forgotten. It was actually between wall studs. One day years later I pulled it out and immediately remembered that day. The stick of course was well cured and quite springy. I sat down and finished taking the bark off. Most had peeled off when I was cutting it to get home in strips. I cut the ends off squarely and lightly sanded it to clean it. I quess I was just looking for something to do. It went into the rafters of the shop a few more years. I decided to make a cane from it. A friend who had a bar was throwing billard balls into the dumpster. I asked for one and got the 8 ball. Wish I'd of got them all. The Que was missing anyway. I drilled and mounted that ball with epoxy. I put clear urethane on it and a rubber tip. I keep it mostly for remembering that very painful day. I do sometimes take it with me but I do not put my weight on it. I have gotten so many comments on it over the years. I think that is why I look for bent sticks to convert to walking sticks.
 

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Good story! And we all probably have a stick that we have sentimental attachment to, I do! I have a stick that took 47 years to make/grow -- but that's another story -- nice memory stick Agedperfection!
 

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Hi, thanks for the story. The first time I drove thru Penn. was during deer season. I was surprised at how many hunters I glimpsed in the hills as I drove down the highway. Good you found a stick to help you home, and curious how the memory came back when you found it.

My 1st "official" stick also got me thru a problem. Here's how I came by the stick.

I had always used my work vacation time to take long hikes. Typically, I would drop at least 10 pounds over 2 weeks. But the situation at work became ever busier, and tho' I had many weeks of vacation time, I could rarely get more than 3 days in a row. So I ended up carrying more weight than was good. I was determined to sweat some off, and so I headed out into a state park on a day when the temp was in the high 90s, as was the humidity.

About a mile into the woods, I felt pretty happy that the sweat was clouding my eyes. Eventually, I was in an old 2nd growth grove, and tho the shade was almost complete, it was like a steam room. I noticed that the stream bed by the trail was dry, and decided to go into a portion of the woods that had not had an open trail for at least 10 years. For this area, it was hilly. Lots of 20' ravines, and there were many downed trees to climb.

As I climbed over on tree, I turned my ankle, and wrenched the bad knee above it. I found myself flailing around, and realized I was becoming dizzy and my heart was racing.

"Good work," I thought to myself "off the trail, half way to heat stroke, no water, and you can't walk."

But happenstance helped me. Thew huge old fallen beech that I had stumbled over had taken down a young straight beech. The thin trunk was clear of branches for the first 8'. I was able to snap off the portion where the branches were. I ended up bashing the lower portion against another tree to break off a useable length. That was just the support I needed to make it back to my car.

I kept the stick. Eventually the end where I had whacked it began to split. I stripped some of the bark, filled the crack w. white glue, carved the end into a knob, and wrapped wire under the knob to give the wood some support. After a few months of keeping that w. me, I decided that it would be good to make one that was a little stronger, and easier to hold.

Here's a shot of my trusty beater.

First.jpg
 

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Great stories, make sure when you pass them on you tell the inheritors.

I grew up watching tv and always yanked down branches or sapplings to make bows and quarterstaffs like robin hood, or spears like on Tarzan, or swords like Zoro, so wood has just always been a part of my life. it was ineviteble that I would start making canes and staffs. I have serveral that i have used and played with, but one I use for when the trick back goes out. It is still a wip, I will post pics later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I'm a lover of wood and the grain ,knots and it's curves and imperfections. And I do like to incorporate it in my sticks. In fact I passed up some straight shafts and have taken the ones that "speak" to me. But I have a mental note of their location. I love sassafras but I also will not harvest a grove too much. We used to get sassafras in a small grove when I was a kid. We only took what we needed and always left most alone. Someone found that little wild grove. The pulled all the trees out for their roots. I checked last year and after 40 years I do not see any sassafras there at all. Where I get it now has saplings of all sizes up to full mature trees, and I tell nobody where they are. In fact a few years ago a tree started growing on the edge of the yard and it is one. This year I found several more close to it. Never had them right here before. Seeds must have passed through a bird. I'd love to know to this day who destroyed all those trees, they raped them to the death of that little grove.
 

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Its interesting to know how people get into stickmaking

I just started it when my wife decided to join a healthy group walk and decided to make one for her

this is it

didnt like the folding poles thought they lacked character

p&j hiking (43).JPG
 

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