Hello! My name is Elijah Cairo. I am the main author and owner of this blog/website. I have a passion for all things natural and the beings which dwell within. I am a self-taught outdoorsman. I have taught myself how to (roughly) flint knap, fish, hunt and garden. I have been fishing for most of my life and from the age of four recall always owning a fishing pole despite no one in my immediate family fishing. Out of all my skills fishing is my strongest (especially in the field of freshwater catfishing). I only recently started gaining an interest in hunting/trapping when I first discovered Steven Rinella’s television show Meateater during my freshman year of my undergraduate degree. Like many who have discovered the show, I became deeply infatuated with the sheer beauty and humility of the discipline. I somehow convinced both myself and my girlfriend of the time to take our state’s online hunters education and the rest is history.
Since then, I have learned numerous invaluable lessons that adult hunters may find useful regarding, scouting, blind location, wild forage identification, ideal cover, and weather adaption for whitetail deer. Since graduating college I am now making more time to go out into the woods and observe. Observation is what makes us human. Our ability to watch someone create something or do something teaches us in and of itself. I have used this skill in all avenues of my life as almost all of our issues are human derived and can be fixed or reduced through observation, especially in the field of gardening.
I learned how to garden the way most people do. I spent time in my grandmother’s backyard with my hands in the dirt playing with worms as my grandma transplants her seedlings she bought from the store. I recall observing her use of fertilizers and pesticides/herbicides to keep the hungry insect pests and weeds from stealing from our garden beds and her lawn. Since then I have learned how to raise my own seeds from scratch and how to garden without the use of nasty chemicals and artificial fertilizers through my time studying gardening/permacuture. Once you realize that the issues we are facing in our garden are nature’s ways of saying “something isn’t right here” and you start trying to emulate what you observe in the forest or prairie remnants does nature begin to work with you rather than against you.
While fishing I found the artifacts (seen above in the banner photo) and began to grow interested in the history of using rocks as tools and the art that it is. It interested me so much that I began researching how to flint knap and the tools I needed as well as the technique to producing flakes. This is my most recent endeavor but I have learned so much from knapping that translates to all of my hobbies/disciplines. I also enjoy the idea that the issues I am running into were happening to humans thousands of years ago (i.e. step fractures, breaking a piece, turtle backs, improper heat treating, finding knappable material, etc.).
Academically I have achieved two bachelor degrees in the field of ecology/conservation biology from the University of Kansas. I am eager to learn about new topics and share what I have to offer. I do not claim to be a master at any of these skills, but wish to voice my passions and maybe inspire a few to do the same!
Hello! I am Daniel, I too share a passion for the outdoors. I have a deep appreciation for fishing, hunting (with an emphasis in bird hunting), bird dogs, sporting clays/trap, and general shooting sports. I hope to share my interests with you all and hopefully teach someone something new!
This blog contains pictures and posts that may be insensitive or graphic to some in regards to the treatment of animals (vertebrates & invertebrates). I try my best to safely release animals caught by bycatch and humanely harvest the animals I do choose to keep. I always give thanks to the animals and the Earth no matter how large or small the animal as they gave their life to me so that I may continue existing. I try my best to respect the animals both in life and in death. I utilize all parts I do not directly consume into my compost or garden beds for fertilizer and sometimes use bones for tools or as decoration. I do not wish to glamorize the killing of animals nor do I wish to promote unethical practices in regards to utilizing a local natural resource. I do however wish to promote the idea of self-sufficiency, ecological awareness, and greater respect for both the animals/plants/fungi we pursue and the habitats they depend on.
P.S. some of the hobbies I showcase on this blog are dangerous and involve the use of firearms, bows/arrows, and sharp hooks. Others pose long term health risks such as flint knapping if not following ideal safety precautions (i.e. protective glasses, leather gloves/padding, open ventilation) you can develop serious issues such as deep lacerations, rock/glass fragments stuck in your eye, and most serious of all, silicosis.
Silicosis can be disabling and in a lot of cases a fatal disease. It is progressive over time/exposure and there is no cure. If you do all of the preventable steps mentioned previously this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Prior to my own knowledge of the disease I began my flint knapping indoors in small batches, but only did this two-three times for less than an hour each (one of which was in a garage with a ceiling fan and two open window and it still wasn’t enough). A good rule of thumb is that if you can smell a “dusty” rock smell after spalling a rock or removing flakes, you are inhaling silica dust. A little inhalation is inevitable and harmless, but please respect the particles as the hobby is not worth a reduced lifespan or decreased quality of life.
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