My current stick I am working on...
I started collecting diamond willow sticks in January and I have more than 300 in my workshop now. I still want more. It is an obsession.Currently I have about 40 sticks to carve on... dried and shed stored for close to two years I believe. This winter I am going to cut twice that much but have to go out now to mark the species. Mostly Maple. I never feel that I have enough sticks! Anybody else have tgat problem? Lol
I'm in the same boat as you, Rodney. I started less than a year ago, and in my enthusiasm, I wasn't as selective as I could have been. I have lots of gnarly sticks that have plenty of diamonds, but aren't straight enough to be a walking stick. I just need to think of a use for them. I've learned to be more selective now. It's hard to resist a beautiful, gnarly stick that's loaded with diamonds!I just started about a year ago. What I'm learning is the sticks I collected then aren't ones that I would collect now. I'm beginning to get a better idea of what I think makes a good stick and my older selections just aren't up to current standards. I'll use them because I have them nut I plan to collect more this year with a better eye to quality.
Good thing about it, I enjoy gathering them as much as I do making them.
In regards to National Forests, dead standing or downed wood is perfectly OK to harvest. With the pine bark beetle killing off the trees at an alarming rate unfortunately there is a huge supply of dead standing timber available. I have collected a few good pieces of lodge pole pine. It makes for a very straight stick.In the mountains around me is National forest areas. I am pretty sure they wouldn't want me rummaging through there.