Friday, 22 July 2016

Rabbit/ Digging stick

This is probably the most versatile item a person can make in the field, it can be used to hunt, gather and defend.

In the UK the most dangerous animal we're likely to come across is an over excited dog or feral chav even so the Rabbit/ Digging stick will ward off a would be assailant as well as put food in your belly.

Many people consider the Rabbit Stick and the Digging Stick to be 2 seperate entities but there really is no reason for this to be so. If you go the more aboriginal route as many primitive cultures have with a curved "Boomerang" type affair then yes it's probably better to have 2 seperate sticks for the different chores, however I believe a straight stick to be just as effective with the benefit of being multi purpose.

The digging stick is usually 2ft upwards depending on the environment and intended purpose (yes I know it's mean't to dig with but sometimes they are used in agriculture), the rabbit stick is often between 18" and 3ft so for a duel purpose tool I opt for between 18" and 2ft this is personal preference only.

First you need to select your wood, a hard wood is best a heavy wood such as oak or holy even more so. Ashamedly I have no idea what tree this was but it's been blown down since the last storm we had through.

Finding a suitable looking branch, cut off what you need.

This is roughly 16" so just shy of what I would normally choose but a good size all the same and suitable for instructional purposes.

Generally I peel the bark as it feels nicer in the hand, this is usually done with my knife but in this instance the bark peeled off in long strips by hand.

 I prefer a stick thats roughly as thick as my thumb, for strength and durability.

Next I create a pointed ended more often than not I'll create a rounded point, this is done off centre for strength although the point here is quite sharp and not yet finished. The reason for the point is for burrowing or breaking ground when grubbing for roots.

 The other end is flatter for scrapping away the loose soil you've just created with Mr Stabby the pointed end.

The digging stick is useful to make on the fly for getting to pignut, burdock or dandelion roots, while the rabbit stick will take rabbit (obviously), pigeon, crow, duck and pheasant (squirrel also with a head shot or enough power in the throw). Combining the two in this way means you can forage and always have a tool at hand for any passing meat to accompany your roots for dinner.

Next you need to practice as with most things, there's no free ride if you want something from mother nature, besides it's good fun.

1 comment:

  1. One of the genus Salix, Salix caprea or Goat willow perhaps?