I've owned and used the Knives of Alaska Bush Craft Knife for a long enough to offer this review.
First the good: It is a versitle and reasonably priced, good quality American made knife with a full tang blade of D2 tool steel. The 6" drop point blade is a great shape and handles well for all the camp, scouting and hunting chores I have put its through so far.
The not as good: The fit and finish of the scales and the material of the scales is average. The non glare blade finish easily stains. Additionally, there are no sheath options except the standard leather but that is easily modified with an after market sheath.
The knife fits well in the standard sheath.
My knife after a few scouting trips. The stains did not wash off, even though I washed my knife within a couple hours of use.
UPDATE: After emailing customer service they requested I ship the knife back to them with the pre-paid label they provided. I was emailed back that the string is to be expected when certain species of wood is encountered. Specifically Pecan was mentioned. However, I was chopping through a number of species of typical Florida swamp and hammock brush and one or more of those species must have caused the staining. Bottom line is they shipped me back the knife as is. They did offer to refurbish the blade for $10 plus $10 shipping and handling but I declined.
Although the staining does not effect the functionality of the knife, the coating used on the blade is not the quality needed to hold up to typical scouting and hunting jobs without staining. However, I still like the knife and recommend it overall.
One of my requirements was a durable sheath that would hold the knife securely, adjustable and equipped with a fire steel, emergency light and some paracord.
After some homework it was an easy choice to select a kydex sheath from YELLOW HAWK CUSTOMS / OUTDOORS. Go to http://www.yellowhawkcustomkydex.com for more information and how to order.
It takes motivation and dedication to scout in Florida in July and August. Armed with enough water, insect repellent and snake boots, it's really not so bad...if you are accustomed to walking around dripping in sweat.
The rewards are many, and the effort will provide your best opportunity for success, especially on public lands.
Here in the Big Bend region of Florida, everything is growing rapidly. The gators, snakes deer, turkey and especially the insects are all doing very well this time of year. Both the animals caught on camera and their habitat seem to be doing well given the abundant food, enough rain and no man made pressures.
Our typical scouting takes place from early July right up to the start of archery season in September and included aerial, on the ground and game camera scouting. Our goals are to find deer and of course hogs, and to log GPS coordinates for promising setups.
When a funnel, edge or burned / cutover area is found the next steps are to set up a game camera, identify trees to climb and routes that will get us in with the wind in our favor and in the dark.
I also recommend taking a camera preferably equipped with GPS so you photos will be tagged with the coordinates off where they were taken. Finally, take your time, look and listen with appreciation.
I've now had the TZ-2220 pack out for three scouting trips. I've loaded it with between 12 and 20 lbs of gear and water on these trips. The July temps have been between 85 and 97 F (HOT!). The pack appears to be put together well with good quality materials. Strap, pockets, access are well thought out.
The Pack is comfortable and rides well on both shoulders and hip. The ventilated back panel does seem to work, at least as well as anything can in this heat. It does breath better than my ALPS pack or any pack I've had with maybe the exception of my around town Osprey day pack.
I have not hunted with the pack yet. I did strap my bow to it and it seems to carry it well but the the proof will be when I'm hunting and climbing with it.
Verdict so far: Highly recommended.
With the Ranger Ghost 169 back into service after sitting idle for a few years, we have been prowling around the Bid Bend, looking, learning and fishing.
As we have explored some favorite areas not fished for years we have found very productive fishing.
Our main targets, Redfish, Trout and of course Black Drum are plentiful and dependably caught on live shrimp, cut mullet and artificial baits.
Thanks to large amounts of mullet and pin fish, a small 5' diameter cast net is all thats needed to keep the live well stocked.
Captain Hoginator and I have co-ventured to bring the boat back into service. I can without hesitation state that this renewed relationship with the Ghost has been great. The boat is very high quality...... dependable, pleasurable and an excellent platform for stalking fish in the backwater.
After the typical electrical system repairs, fluids replacement, new batteries, water pump service, and of course the inevitable trailer repairs, the boat is in fully operational while the small ongoing items are dealt with.