lauantai 24. joulukuuta 2011

Merry Christmas

I wish merry Christmas and happy New Year 2012 for all my readers.
Have a peaceful Christmas time and take care your loved ones!
Jätkän kynttilä (finnish candle also called lumberjack candle) made and used novadays especially for celebrations like Xmas and New Year. This one I made from dry pinelog with chainsaw.

sunnuntai 18. joulukuuta 2011

”Parang” from Philippines

My friend came to visit for Christmas in Finland from Singapore and she bring me a knife from her trip to Philippines cause she knew that I´m kind of “knife nuts”. She asked there parang and something handmade. So she got this and it´s somekind of mix of a parang and western style bowie with sawback and weird notch on back which is maybe decoration.
I can see that it´s definitely handmade due the unevenness, but I think blade is “machine cut” into shape and then heat treated and sharpened. Tang is stick tang and goes through handle. Handle is bent downward and have decorated head . Handle looks like ones parangs have. Handle material something hard black stuff I´m not so professional to tell what it is, but I think it´s somekind of natural material.
Blade is around 4-5mm thick and made of carbon steel. It have concave grind and secondary bevel just like bowies normally do. Sharpening starts quite far and there´s 2-3cm of unused part on the blade so I thought to make choil for fingers so I can choke up for finer tasks like whittling something or so.
 Sheath is cheaply made somekind of fabric / nylon riveted together with maybe carton(?) insert. I have to remake sheath definitely. Traditionally parangs have wooden sheath that is wrapped around waist with piece of cord.
Cause all my blades are users so also this will not end up on the wall so I´m going to test it today how it works. It´s anyway very interesting and different from my other blades so I´m interested to see how it works out for me.

Erätulilla tv-show again

Last week Erätulilla show contained interesting 3 minutes clip of blacksmith / bowmaker / handcrafter Ilkka Seikku making traditional longbow. In the video you can also see his great full tang bushcraft knives in action (Bush punisher in rough shaping and Bush prowler for fine carving) More information about Ilkka´s bows and his knives you can find from his website
Some of you might think why he uses plastic Fiskars axe to fell a tree for bow, but It´s not so much about the tools more important is how you use it and what you do with it ! That bow won´t be any better if Gränsfors Bruks axe have been used on felling. J
I enjoyed that short clip and it was better than the whole 40 minutes other content together. ;)
Recent Erätulilla-episodes you can find from: YLE-areena

keskiviikko 7. joulukuuta 2011

Bow hunting

I got my first brown hare (rusakko in finnish) with bow & arrow couple of weeks ago.  I was wandering on area where I knew hares like to be. It was already getting dark when I noticed some tiny movement on distance. I walked calmly and as silently as possible to direction of movement rounding it a bit. Same time I slowly raised my bow and took good aim (hand bit shaking, so excited) at max. of 15 meters. Hare have noticed me but thought to trust his camouflage and lied on ground hoping I will pass it. Then I stopped for just nano second to release an arrow. It didn´t know what was that, death for immediate. (Sure I forgot to take good pictures after shot, damn)

After gutted hare I thought that was good end of the hunting day and head back home with heavy backpack.
At home I took head and front legs of and let it hang on my woodshed for few days cause there was just good few plus celcius degrees outside, so didn´t have to worry meat get frozen and cold enough that there´s no more insects interested of body.

After couple of days I skinned hare and butchered it to suitable pieces. Spine with some meat on it I saved for soup. Liver and heart we ate immediately after gutting.

I thought to save it´s fur for some future use so I stretched it round wood plate and cleaned. I left it to dry for overnight into my woodshed. Place was not so well chosen cause I forgot my cat and she devasteted it totally.. :)
Ok, maybe some fur works later in the future then..

maanantai 5. joulukuuta 2011


I found YP-taonta ( puukko-blade from my garage few days ago when I was rearringing stuff there. I was supposed to make knife out of it long ago, but that project had been buried somewhere so I thought to start it NOW.

First have to get handle some shape. I like traditional puukko handle with big knob that it´s easy to pull out of sheath so that was easy decision and handle material would be plain birch.

After made brass bolster and hole to handle knife was ready to build up to see what it look like. For handle hole I used drill bit and home made small saw you can see in picture. It´s made out of jigsaw blade.

Next step is to rivet tang into the handle and use epoxy to glue everything together. I like her slow epoxy so you can work without hurry and disassemble parts if there´s some problem without hassle.

Everything looked good so I needed somekind of vise which allow me to press parts together and rivet same time. I made a makeshift tang rivet, from shortened ammo cartridge of .222. I took the primer off from it and reamed the hole big enough for the tang to come through it snugly (saw it done before somewhere like that).
Vise I build up from trashes I found my garage and it worked pretty fine.

So after glue was drying 24 hours it looks like this:

Next step is to shape bolster and leather to fit the handle and oil the handle. Then it´s ready to use after I have made sheath for it. This was actually my first puukko I have ever made. I have made one knife with different technics about 20 years ago, but that´s whole different story.

maanantai 7. marraskuuta 2011

Urban bowhunting

I have been bow hunting couple of times in city gardens for pest control. Rabbits are big problem there and our bowhunting club have license to hunt there. Only blunts, judopoints or G5 small game heads are allowed no broadheads. Hunting in garden you have to be extreme careful cause there´s always some people walking around even early mornings.
Last sunday I drowe there grabbed my trusty longbow, 2 arrows and new 5.11 shoulder bag. Weather was cloudy but surprisingly warm about +7 degrees in november! It was still dark and we had also flashlights allowed, but I didn´t use any still. My friend had flashlight attached at his compoundbow.
I saw all together 7 rabbits, but they were very alarmed all the time and mostly saw them too far meand over 20m away. There was only one chance around 15m distance where I saw rabbit behind bush and there was clear line of sight through small hole in bush. I took aim, but too slow, rabbit moved a bit and shot was impossible.
No shots, no game but I enjoyed that few early morning hours.

tiistai 1. marraskuuta 2011

Erätulilla - finnish outdoor program

Erätulilla started with new 2011 episodes. There´s now some more traditional handcrafts / bushcraft stuff coming. Last week knifesmith JP Ryynänen made knife there (in 23:40 on video) in his home workshop. That three minute shot is very informative and interesting about traditional ways to make knives from scratch.

You can see that episode until 4.11. from YLEareena:

Here´s JP:s blog about knifemaking and handicrafts:

Erätulilla official web-site

Getting new gear and getting rid of old ones

On this season´s hunting trips I have found out that I lack of some items which could make hunting more comfortable:
- I lack good quality small & light binoculars. I have old heavy ones made in USSR that I bought from fleamarket with 6 euros some year ago
- I have found backpack ankward to carry when needed to shoot fast with a shotgun. My backpacks quite wide shoulder straps comes in the way when raising shotgun stock into shooting position. I tried finnish army gas-mask shoulder pack, but it was not so great for the purpose. Normally when I´m wandering around woods with shotgun ready for escaping birds I don´t need much stuff with me so smallish shoulder back would be enough. What I need to carry are:
- EDC survival tin
- firesteel & matches
- pocket knife, SAK
- compass (maybe gps)
- map, hunting license, hunting permit for an area
- pen & paper
- mobile phone
- 0,5l Thermos bottle filled with hot drink
- snacks (bread, muesli-bar, candy, chocolate)
- maglite or like pocket torch
- folding sitting foam pad
- plastic bags, cordage
- space blanket
- hunting knife (goes normally on belt)
- Binoculars (belt pouch, shoulder bag, on my neck)
- Sometime laser rangefinder (on my pocket or shoulder bag)

So I made some gear exchange with guys Perkunas and Akiri and got:
- Minox waterproof binoculars 10x25
- ATM 6x25 laser rangefinder
- 5.11 Push Pack shoulder bag

I haven´t really test those in action, but so far feels good. Report will follow later...

lauantai 22. lokakuuta 2011

Syyskuinen metsästysretki - Autumn hunting trip

Syyskuun puolen välin paikkeilla ajelin kotikonnuille metsästämään ystäväni E:n kanssa. Olin yötä vanhempieni luona ja aamulla viiden jälkeen kävin noukkimassa E:n kotoaan ja suuntasimme autolla kohti jahtimaita. Aamu oli kirpeän viileä vain pari astetta plussan puolella, kun syyskuu oli tähän asti ollut hyvin lämmin vielä. Aamuhämärissä saavuimme metsäsaarekkeiden täplittämälle peltoalueella ja jätimme auton vanhan ladon viereen. Tarkoituksenamme oli saada kyyhkyjä ja hyvällä tuurilla saattaisi hanhetkin ilmestyä paikalle, sillä samoilta alueilta oli E:n veli ampunut 2 hanhea viikko sitten. Vähän jännitti kuin miesten käy, kun tämä oli elämäni ensimmäinen lintujahti sillä tätä ennen olin käynyt vain kerran jänismetsällä viime talvena sen jälkeen kun loppusyksystä metsästyskortin suoritin.
Mukaani otin kiikarilla varustetun vaimennetun pienoiskiväärin kyyhkyille ja varmuudeksi vielä haulikon hanhille suht karkeilla hauleilla. E oli jokin aika sitten hankkinut muutaman hanhikaaveen ja lisäksi oli säkillinen kyyhkykuvia ja yksi varis.

On middle of september I drove to my hometown to hunt with my buddy E. I spent night on my parents place and picked up E after 5am. We headed to our intended hunting area which was just 10-15min drive away quite near E´s parents farm.
So we reached that field area spotted by woods islands. It was still dark morning dusk and first time this autumn temperature dropped down being only few plus celcius degrees. We thought to see some pigeons and possibly geese also, cause E´s brother have shot two geeses there week ago. So I was quite a bit excited since this was my first birdhunt ever (Got hunting license last year and only been hunting rabbits once last winter). I took my scoped & silenced .22LR rifle and 12GA shotgun for goose. E have got some pigeon and goose models to put fields to lure birds.

Siitä sitten lähdimme tarpomaan pellonreunaa pitkin sopivaa paikkaa kuville hakien. Hetken kuluttua tulimme pellolle, jonka tuntumassa hanhia oli nähty ja jossa kyyhkyjen tiedettiin ruokailevan. Paskan hajusta ei voinut erehtyä ilmeisesti peltoa oli lannoitettu edellisenä päivänä :) Pohdimme, että tuskin tuo löyhkä lintuja niin paljon häiritsee kuin meitä. Ei muuta kuin hanhet asemiin nokat vastatuuleen ja pienen matkan päähän kyyhkyt.
Aamun valkenemiseen oli vielä kosolti aikaa, joten päätimme vielä tarkistaa pienoiskiväärini kohdistuksen. Ammuin pari laakia keppituelta 60 metriin ja totesin kohdistuksen olevan parin napsun jälkeen kohillaan.

So we started to walk silently along fields to look for optimal spot for our fake geese and pigeons to lure birds to land. After walking a while we reached place which was known eating place for pigeons and geeses, so we dropped fake birds there noses against wind. There was still some time for sunrise so we went nearby forest island and I checked my rifle´s scope settings with few shots for 60 meters. Light adjustments and it was good to go.
Jahtivälineet / Guns for hunt

Asetuimme kuusitaimikkoon ison männyn juureen odottelemaan mitä tuleman pitäisi. Aamun alkaessa valjeta kurkien huudellessa jossain kaukaisuudessa alkoi kyyhkyjä suhahdella ympärillämme. Kuulimme myös hanhien ääntelyä ja näimmekin niiden lentävän korkealla, mutta kuvillemme eivät tulleet. Kohta kuitenkin ensimmäinen kyyhky laskeutuikin mäntyyn n. 40 metrin päähän ja nostin varovasti ja hitaasti kivääriäni. Hetken kiikarin läpi tähystellessäni löysinkin kyyhkyn istumassa puun latvuksessa. Tuin asetta puun kylkeä vasten ja napsautin varmistimen pois päältä. Kyyhky katseli minua kohden, muttei näyttänyt epäilevän mitään. Ristikko rinnan kohdalle ja pidätin hengitystäni..rauhallinen puristus liipasimesta. Ase tussahti vaimeasti hiljaisessa metsässä ja aliääninen reikäpääluoti löysi kohteensa. Kyyhky putosi puusta kuin kivi äänekkään mässähdyksen saattelemana. Latausliike ja varmistin päälle. Ensimmäinen kyyhkyni, mahtava fiilis !! E, joka seurasi tilannetta takanani onnitteli kuiskaten ja kotvan odoteltuani kävin noutamassa kyyhkyn (meinasin jättää aseen piiloomme, mutta E neuvoi ottamaan sen mukaan yllättävän uuden ampumatilanteen varalta) ja asetuimme taas odottelemaan. Eipä aikaakaan, kun yksi kyyhky kaarsi taas samaa puuta kohden ja laskeutui kuin laskeutuikin liki samaan paikkaan. Kohotin aseeni, kiväärin yskäisy, mäiskähdys ja toinen kyyhky tuli alas kuolleena. Noniin nyt oli sitten ammuttu kaksi lintua edellis syksynä hankkimallani käytetyllä saksalaiskiväärillä. Ei hullumpaa.

We sit down on spruce bush under big pine tree to wait and listen for a while. Sun started slowly rise and weather was a bit misty. Cranes where screaming in distance. Suddenly we heard sounds of geeses, but they  flown very high and didn´t stop by. Soon after I heard first pigeon flying and landing on top of pine tree around 40 meters away. I raised my guns slowly and silently and tried to find birt into my scope crosshair. I discovered it and took support from pine trunk and calmed down crosshair moving by stopping breathing. Then safety off and gentle squeeze from trigger and gun whispered in silent woods. Bird got good hit and dropped down like stone. Reload and safety on. My very first pigeon ever, great feeling! My buddy also congratulated me from my first pigeon and I waited for a few minutes if there´s more. Silence, so I went to look for downed bird and found it easily. 
We changed a few words whispering and then again several pigeons flying over. They rounded us for a while  and then one of those landed nearly same place than first one. Again slowly gun to aiming position and steady squeeze..another hit and bird dropped. Not bad, first time hunt birds with a old used rifle which I have only shot couple of times before to roughly adjusted the scope.

Latvoja tähystämässä / Spotting pigeons

Seuraavat kyyhkyt sitten kaartoivat aika paljon kauemmaksi ja asemissamme oli hiljaista. E päätti lähteä kiertämään suuntaan, jonne näimme kyyhkyjen lentävän ja jossa näin yhden kyyhkyn istuvan kuusen latvassa parin sadan metrin päässä. Minä päätin jäädä aloilleni mäntyni juureen vielä odottelemaan, josko tilanteita vielä tulisi.
Hetken kuluttua etuvasemmalta kuuluikin E:n kiväärin tussahdus ja osumasta kertova mäiskähdys. Tuli hiljaista ja seisoin paikoillani kuunnellen jonkin aikaa. Istuin alas puun juurelle hetkeksi. Silloin kyyhky kaarsi etuoikealle korkealle puuhun. Kohotin kiväärin silmilleni nähdäkseni mihin kyyhky laskeutui. Hetken kuluttua löysin sen ja oli oksiston katveessa niin, että vain pää näkyi. Koitin hieroa parempaa ampuma-asentoa sillä tukea ei juuri ollut ja ampumakylmä oli jyrkkä yläviisto. En saanut mitenkään asentoani parannettua ja käteni alkoivat pikkuhiljaa tärisemään. Koitin rauhoittaa ristikon pään kohdalle ja puristin laukauksen. Piirun verran ohi, pahus!

Next pigeons flew much more far and were out of my rifle´s reach and it was silent on our position. We waited there calmly some 15 minutes by listening and watching around gently. My friend E decided to round more near birds recent sitting trees and I stayed in my position. Soon after E disappeared I heard his rifle whispering and heard much louder "smash" sound when hollow point bullet found it´s target with deadly accuracy.
I was thinking was it mistake to stay here cause it was so silent some half hour when suddenly I heard something. I didn´t see it, but find pigeon sitting on tree on same direction than those two before, but badly covered by branches only head clearly visible. I tried to find steady position to shoot, but it was difficult. Anyway I tried a shot even it was difficult. Shot, barely missed, damn!
Välillä piti istahtaa / Taking rest for a while

Puolisen tunnin kuluttua E palasi takaisin kyyhkyä kantaen. Kyttäsimme vielä tunnin pari ja sain yhteensä 4 kyyhkyä saaliiksi. Pellolle ne eivät laskeutuneet missään vaiheessa.
Päivän ollessa jo pitkälle pakkasimme kamamme ja kävelimme takaisin autolle ja siivosimme kyyhkyt. Otin linnuista talteen lihat, koivet, sydämet sekä kivipiirat. Seuraavaksi kokkailimme E:n vanhempien luona pihvejä ja perunoita. Iltapäiväksi oli luvassa vesilintuja ja koittaisimme edelleen nähdä hanhiakin...

After half hour or so E returned carrying good sized pigeon. We were trying to spot pigeons few more hours and I got totally 4 pigeons and two missed. Pigeons didn´t land on field at all.
Morning was turning to day already and we decided to go back to E´s parents place to clean the birds. I took carefully most of the meat and hearts from birds. After good lunch there was some duck hunting and goose spotting on afternoon, but that´s another story.
Kyyhkysaalis / Pigeons

Tyytyväinen metsästäjä / Happy hunter

perjantai 21. lokakuuta 2011

"Bushbeast" by Ilkka Seikku

Seikku bushtool series continues...So now is time to introduce you another heavy use knife by Ilkka Seikku. This models carry name Bushbeast and it really is a beast in use. This particular piece is maybe even the very first bushbeast ever made, oooohh!! :)
As you can see from the shape it´s more chopping in mind made than Pathfinder I introduced you earlier. It´s little bit like full tang leuku with some special charasteristics.

Blade is very robust hand forged carbon steel, quite heavy and it widens and thickens towards the tip which gives the weight there where it is most needed for powerful chop. Edge grind have two parts finer carving part near handle and rougher "axe-like" grind towards tip for chopping. That works wonderfully and blade is relatively short which makes carving still quite pleasant. Chopping power it have much more than Pathfinder cause wider and tip heavy blade. Blade is about 15" long, so it´s medium sized chopper and goes nicely on your belt.
Handle is rough but practical juniper wood I think and works fine. Tang is left a bit visible on back of handle for hammering etc. There´s also lanyard hole if you like to use one. Handle gives you good grip, but is maybe bit massive for small handed guys or ladies.

Sheath is simple and rugged sandwich-style leathersheaht made by Perkunas and is dangling type. It does it job finely without bells and whistles.Knife fits very securely into sheath, but be careful when you are putting it in not to cut sheaths mouth with wide tip of bushbeast. It goes nicely in when you squeeze sheath a bit so mouth widens and won´t get cut.

I haven´t had time to test this knife much, but what I have tried it batons wonderfully and chops really well being only 15cm long. Carving works as expected and couple feather sticks came out easily. Tip could be maybe bit sharper and finer to have more multipurpose uses.

Bushbeast is good allround tool where chopping ability is important and you don´t want longer knives tangling on your belt. Compact workhorse. Tip is so strong and "dull" that it also can stand digging ground quite well if needed to. Another fine bushtool from Ilkka Seikku.

Bushbeast and Pathfinder side by side

tiistai 18. lokakuuta 2011

"Pathfinder knife" by Ilkka Seikku

a while ago I got to know Ilkka Seikku a finnish blacksmith / handcrafter and bowmaker. Ilkka has also been professional wilderness guide and instructor since year 2000, spezialised in traditional Finnish wilderness skills, survival skills and all kind of bushcraft skills.
My buddy Perkunas have recommended his products and I decided to order heavy jack-of-all-trades type knife from him. I got idea to my knife from Blind Horse knives made Pathfinder knife which was designed by American survival expert Dave Canterbury. I just loved that knife shape when I first saw it and I was very curious to try that kind of knifeshape which was not familiar to me at all.

So a couple of weeks later it finally arrived with custom leather sheath by another handyman Perkunas.


My first impression about knife was: wow, that´s really massive hunk of steel knifes spine being 7mm thick! Bevel grind was very long however so it would still slice well and was very balanced and lively on my hand. It have quite long handle lanyard hole in the end making different grips possible and lanyard will secure knife in chopping while gripping end of handle to maximize the force. Blade is around 15cm long carbon steel and tempered quite hard what I experienced later. Handle slabs are some exotic wood I don´t even know what they really are. All in all knife is maybe most rugged what I have ever had and I could imagine it being good candidate for do it all survival type knife where you have to abuse your tool in many ways being not scared of break it.


Leather sheath is basic sandwich type having small utility pocket for small survival equipment, pocket knife, sharpening stone etc. It also have loop for army size firesteel (9,5mm diameter). Sheath is rugged no bullshit style well functioning and practical where knife sits well and is easy to unsheath. And on this knife I also remembered to wish sheath maker to make it mirrorlike for standard sheaths cause I´m left handed.


I tried knife immediately on my backyard when I got it and tried to do some chopping work. Thin edge bites deep on wood and long handle gives nice reach for knife size like this. I noticed immediately that lanyard is must on this type of handle cause it don´t really have leuku type end knob to stop handle slipping away. Next I tried to split some firewood cause that was one of the main function I have designed for that knife. So I batoned some dry birch wood for firewood and amazed how well that thick spined quite wide blade splits, almost like small hatchet.
After batoning I tried carving different projects and even it´s not really carving knife it´s doing it´s job quite ok on that area also. Ilkka´s knives were advertised being tough and hard edged tools so I tried to cut few water filled beer cans first horizontally..piece of cake and then vertically which was far more challenging. Knife survived from that also with almost clean papers. Few small dings on edge which I honed away in minutes. Normally I don´t do that kind of stuff to my knives, but cause this was intended for heavy general use I wanted to try it´s limits a bit.


All in all very good user for tough jobs more than worth of every your I have spent on it! Perfect companion for trips where you don´t want to carry axe with you and still need more capable tool than ordinary puukko.
More of ilkka´s works you can find here:

maanantai 17. lokakuuta 2011

New blog (again)

I have tried to open own outdoor related blog few times, but always failed due the lack of time, lazyness or latest technical problems (wordpress). My buddy have encouraged me to take good grab from my neck and start over again one more time. So here is the new beginning and here will be stories and thoughts about hunting, fishing (less that), hiking and bushcraft. I´m new in hunting and that fills my heart at the moment (and hunting season is going hot) so be patient.. ;)
Sadly I don´t have enough time for hunting at the moment cause I have two young boys to be with also and they are bit too young for sharing my passion yet.

I´ll write both on finnish and english and sometimes stories can be in both. Why this? What I have noticed there´s only fistfull of readers from my beloved homecountry and countless of people international who likes to read how we do things here in Scandinavia. So I think here will be more international readers than finnish, but who knows only time will tell.

Have a nice autumn!

- Finnman

Magnificent landscapes on hunting trip in Heinävesi, eastern Finland, autumn 2011