Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our First Mini Trek

Last Saturday, we went on a small trek on the mountain near where we live. The mountain is actually named after a man who hunted there in the 1750s. Our mission was to trek in and set up a hunter camp that we can go back to. We started on a lean-to shelter.

There were several small trees bent over that provided the intitial frame. We then began adding limbs to make the structure.

We pretty much got the structure built. It will need a layer of pine limbs and dry leaves next time.

While Alan worked on the shelter, I went out to find some lunch. After a short walk down an old logging road, a nice fat squirrel presented itself. I had my .62 cal fowler loaded with #6 shot and they did a nice job on the squirrel.
We gathered some dry wood and Alan got the fire going with his flint and steel. It wasn't long until we were enjoying our squirrel and a nice cake of bannock bread. This was my first attempt at bannock and it turned out pretty nicely! We hope to go back and finish the camp soon, so stay tuned! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Deer Season Is Over

Deer season has come to a close in our part of North Carolina. We ended the season with a couple of snow hunts! One a few weeks back in Watagua County and the other this past weekend at home. We got a really nice winter storm on Dec. 18th that left about 7-8" of snow. We found quite a few tracks in the snow both trips and saw a few does, but we didn't come away with any more deer. It was a great season though! Alan got his two bucks and I got my doe. All killed in 18th century fashion with no bait or tree stands!

I would like to try to get a few squirrels and maybe a few rabbits over the winter to tide us over to spring when we'll be after turkeys! I think taking a spring gobbler in period attire would about the ultimate and I hope to get one this spring. I will post a few pictures from the snow hunt.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Buck!

Andrew and I went hunting again Saturday and had another good day. We hunted in the woods near the field where I killed the buck on Tuesday. Andrew stayed down close to the field and I went up farther in the woods. Not long after daylight I saw several deer over across the creek that was below me. I saw several does running back and forth and then a buck chasing after them. This went on for about 15 minutes or so, they were about 150 yards away from me. They moved off out of sight for a while and then suddenly a big doe came out of nowhere and stepped across the creek 25 yards down the hill from me. I could have shot her but I thought the buck was probably close behind and just then he stepped out. I pulled the trigger and when the smoke cleared I saw him running up the hill and heard him crash on the other side of the creek. As I was reloading a spike stepped out and walked toward where Andrew was but he never saw it. As I got up and went to where I shot the buck the spike and three other spikes walked in close to me and then moved off up the hill. Andrew came up but he thought my the shot was someone else so he was surprised to find out that I had a deer down! We went and found him. He was a seven pointer and around 150 pounds.

Another first flintlock deer

Andrew got his first and on Tuesday evening it was my turn! I went back to the field where I saw the buck chasing a doe on Saturday evening. I knew the spot where the deer usually come out in the field late in the day so I knew where I wanted to be if the wind was right and it was just perfect. As I approached the spot where I was going to sit a small buck was already there and ran in to the woods. I thought that might hurt my chances but I sat down against a pine tree and started waiting. It was starting to get dark and suddenly a big buck walked out in the field and started walking straight toward me! When he got about 50 yards from me I fired and he disappeared in a cloud of smoke. He turned and ran straight away from me and in to a low spot in the field. Since it was close to dark I jumped up and ran up the hill to see where he went and was glad I did. He was running straight out of the field but at the last second turned left and went to the bottom of the field. I eased over to where he went in the woods but didn't go in as I wanted to give him some time. I left and got Andrew and we went back and found him about 20 yards inside the woods. He was a 7 pointer and close to 200 pounds.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Near miss!

Alan and I were out hunting Saturday morning. Black powder season came in for Northwestern district of NC, where we live. I was set up on the edge of a recently cut over corn field. Alan was in the woods adjacent to me about 150 yards to the south. I didn't see anything in the field at daylight. But, soon I heard Alan's flintlock fire!! What a lovely sound! I sat still for a little while, but soon signaled Alan with a turkey yelp that I was heading his way. I couldn't wait to see what he had got! On the way to his position on the hilltop, I found numerous fresh scrapes and rubs. There was a big boy using the area, for sure. Had Alan found him?? I found Alan in a grove of pines and inquired about his deer. He had missed! Oh no! A doe had came into a thicket behind him. She blew, as though she had made him out. He turned around and got off a quick shot. There was no blood to be found. Looked like a clean miss.

We then made our way slowly through the woods looking for more deer. We separated by about 50 yards and advanced slowly. We would go about 30 yards and stop for a few minutes to look and listen. There were more than enough squirrels in the woods, but no deer. Maybe next time I need to load with squirrel shot.

That evening we returned to the cornfield I had hunted that morning. I positioned myself in the east corner of the field where I had seen a lot of fresh tracks. Again, I didn't see any deer. Alan, however, saw a nice buck chasing a doe through the field not long before dark. The light was fading and the deer were a bit too far to take a shot. We will return to the field to hunt soon. Hopefully, the buck will show himself again!


Thursday, November 5, 2009


I received in the mail yesterday linen enough to make and a pattern for a pair of French fly knee breeches. I will be starting on those in the very near future. Check back for updates on that. I got my materials from Burnley & Trowbridge Co. They have period materials at great prices! Check them out: http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com/index.asp

God save the King!


Monday, November 2, 2009

First Flintlock Deer!

I bagged my first flintlock deer in Western, NC a few weeks back! Me and my brother were hunting and spotted a doe standing out in the field. There's a dirt road leading back to our barn. We had the wind in our face, so we slipped in a little valley and put a hill between us and her. We made it to the road and crept forward. There were a lot of honeysuckles and small pines to provide cover about half the way to her. When the cover ran out, we belly crawled the final few yards. She went behind an old dead pine tree pile long enough for me to make my final preparations. I rested my .62 cal smoothbore on the old fence rail beside the road we had advanced up. She was at about 50-60 yards. She finally stepped out from behind the old pine and I aimed right for her shoulder. Just as I was about to squeeze the trigger, she turned and started walking toward me! I let her come and she stopped at about 25 yards, nice and broadside. I squeezed the trigger and she dissapeared into a white cloud of smoke momentarily. She ran for the woods, with her front end obviously down. I knew she was hit. After a little wait, we went to the spot where she was standing. There was a nice spot of blood. There was a good blood trail leading to where she entered the woods. We followed and found her about 20 yards inside the woods. She ran about 70 yards from the point of impact. I was thrilled!! My first flintlock deer, in period dress, no less! I do not plan on rejoining the "modern" deer hunting world!

I used 70 grains of FFF Goex powder with a patched .600 round ball. I also cast the ball myself. This, my friends, is a very rewarding and satisfying way to hunt!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Shirt.

I recently completed my first shirt! I machine sewed it (with a lot of help from my Mom) and handstitched the button holes. I used this tutorial I found on the internet: http://www.nwta.com/patterns/pdfs/261MensShirt.pdf. I used unbleached 100% cotton muslin that I picked up from Hobby Lobby. It went together very nicely using the guide. I hope to do more in the near future. Eventually, I want to handstitch the whole shirt.
Here are few pictures of the shirt. I am wearing the shirt in the last picture at Hart Square in Catawba County, NC. I am on the left. My brother, Alan, is on the right.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Welcome to The French & Indian Blog! This blog is maintained by brothers, Andrew and Alan Shook. They have been students of American history since an early age. Andrew is well versed in the America Civil War, while Alan is very knowledgeable on the American Indian. Of recent, both have began to study mid-18th century American and the French and Indian War, as well as the American Revolution. They are also getting into living history and portraying life in Colonial America through authentic dress and period gadgets. Stay tuned for their journey to the 18th century!