I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows that follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright - Hawks Shadow

Friday, December 25, 2020

A Skull in the forest

 A wander through the woods can reveal much about the world around you. 

Tracks and sign left by the wild ones lead to many discoveries and adventures. 

As you wander, the primitive side of you slowly comes out of hiding and reveals itself. You begin to blend into the forest and you start to feel the energy which surrounds you. 

As you shed the skin of civilization, your body begins to respond to sensory inputs which have laid dormant for far too long. Small noises now have meaning, bird song becomes a message and the tracks on the trail are the signatures of the creatures which call the forest home. 

Always enter the forest without expectations, leave fear at home, simply go for a wander and let your mind drift; the forest will do the rest. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

How to build a log bird feeder

 The snow covered forests and fields are home to birds which do not fly south when brother cold blankets the land. They are generally the species which hunt for seeds, nuts, dormant bugs and the carcasses of animals. 

Winter is hard for the wild ones. Foraging becomes a never ending quest for energy. Both predator and prey must dance to the dictates of the winter winds. 

Setting up a bird feeder helps augment the wild birds diet and allows you to watch the interaction of the many species which will visit. 

The happy-go-lucky chickadees will flit in and out taking a seed at a time, the nuthatches will entertain you with their antics while the verbose blue jay's will test your patience as they scoop out half the contents of the feeder looking for the perfect seed. 

Red squirrels will find your feeder quickly, this will certainly command the attention of the predators. I have seen hawks, owls, weasels, fox and wolf at the feeders I have in front of my home. (Don't worry, the chatty red squirrel is clever and alert.) 

The project in this video is simple to make and easy to use:
1. Drill holes in a log of any size. 
2. Fill the holes with suet or peanut butter.
3. Place your log feeder where you can see it.        
4. Sit back and enjoy the dance.  



Monday, December 21, 2020

How to make a hiking pole

 A hiking pole is a versatile tool that can quickly become indispensable. 

Camping and hiking through the wilderness has challenges that must be experienced to be fully realized. 

A hiking pole can be used for a multitude of tasks. A few example are; hanging your jacket, pole vaulting over creeks, a cooking pot hanger, a shelter support, for pushing a canoe through a shallow marsh or river and as a crude fishing pole. Heck, you can even use it as a monopod for a camera. 

They are simple to make and fun to use.  

Please do not cut live trees to make your hiking pole.
The one in this video was dead stand. 

Always test the pole prior to working on it. Make sure it can bear your weight. It would be relatively embarrassing if you pole vaulted across a creek only to end up swimming.  

Have fun and keep on hiking!


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

How to Blend and Flow.

The forest is a place of wonder and adventure. It is a place where we can reset our civilized minds and center ourselves. 

This process is circumvented when we carry the baggage of expectation and fear. The two are separate burdens wrapped up in the same backpack. 

Expectations, simply put, are thoughts which prevent us from being in the moment.

As you wander down a leaf strewn trail, The trees form a cocoon of wonder all around you and the forest smell intoxicates your mind. You have your camera ready for the big moment when a buck deer will bound out of the bush and present you with the photo opportunity of a lifetime. 

Waiting for that moment or expecting that moment, precludes you from seeing the porcupine high up in a hemlock tree, casually living life as all the quilled ones do. You miss the mice people as they search the forest floor for food. You miss the hawk that is silently sitting on a maple branch waiting for the opportune time to launch itself at its intended target. You miss the dance of life which surrounds your every footstep. 

Fear works in exactly the same way, it stops you from becoming part of your environment. The world around you becomes a living nightmare and prevents any knowledge the forest has to teach you from manifesting itself. 

Forget the lessons Hollywood has ingrained in you, it is not real. Leave your expectations at home. Enter the world of the green with nothing but wonder and you will be amazed at the release this will bring you. 


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Blood trail in the forest

 The forest is built upon layers and layers of humus, in other words, decaying matter. 

Death is a constant and is absolutely necessary for the survival of a healthy forest. 

I have taught this simple lesson to thousands of children and adults through my career.

I have witnessed wolves hunting and killing deer, otters killing muskrats and beavers, fishers killing porcupines and a host of other predators doing what they must to survive. I see a design in this, a reason for the killing. I see the forest flourish because of it. 

When I see humans, decked out in the latest hunting attire and carrying the latest technology designed to make the kill easy, I see an imbalance, an unfair advantage.
I have killed, not for need of meat, but rather to end the misery of an animal which has been mortally wounded. I hold no ill-will towards human hunters as long as they follow the rules and hunt ethically. 

For me, all life is sacred and should be treated with respect and compassion. We are an apex predator and as such have a responsibility to act sustainably. 

When I see a blood trail from an animal in distress, I am compelled to follow. I have an innate desire to uncover the story behind the crimson writing on the forest floor. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Chainsaw fire starter

 I discovered an easy way to make tinder one day while trying to split some elm logs for firewood.

Elm is incredibly hard to split by axe. I used steel wedges and a sledge hammer. After several attempts, my brain started working again.  

I cut the log along its length with my chainsaw to a depth of an inch or so. by doing so, I broke the grain enough to allow me to assault the log with my axe. Success!

The added bonus - Perfect tinder for starting my campfires. 

I know it could be considered non-bush crafty, but who cares - it works. 

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