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  • Jan Vaterlaus

One Last Elk

The knife "One Last Elk"is a gift for my father on his 82nd birthday. He is the one that exposed me to the Mountains of Idaho and instilled in me the love of the hunt. We have spent countless days roaming the Idaho high country in search of Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, Sheep, Black Bear, and Mountain Goats. We have hunted the high deserts for Pronghorn and Sage Grouse. We have backpacked, hiked, motorcycled, and jeeped around some of the most remote country there is. We have caught Rainbows, Cutthroats, Goldens, and Brookies and dined on them while sitting around a mountain campfire. We have endured heat, cold, rain, wind, and snow to enjoy each and every one of our adventures. The only real take away is that I know they would not have been as memorable had my Dad not been there with me. Happy Birthday Big Al! The Knife is W2 steel forged with hammer and anvil and heat treated to the perfect temper to be durable and hold an extremely sharp edge. The slim drop point design makes it ideal for a hunting and skinning knife. The acid etched wrought iron guard spent its first existence supporting a bridge back east and was gifted to me by Matt Chase of Hogtooth Knives. It is held in place with a brass pin that matches the brass pins and lanyard tube in the handle. The handle is homemade linen micarta which is layers of linen fabric infused with epoxy resin and then put in between pressure plates to squeeze out the residual resin leaving a 3/8” thick block of handle material. When sanded, shaped, and contoured the levels of alternating color appear making a spectacular looking handle.


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In 2018, without a bow, I went on my first archery elk hunt with my friends Mike and Rusty Cook. On the first day we walked three miles in the dark on logging roads and trails to our starting point.


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