Monday, March 07, 2016

Adventures with a Pair of Bushmen

About 16 years ago, a close friend was involved in some dangerous affairs in far lands.  Because of the legal climate, firearms were out of the question.  I gave him a pair of Cold Steel Bushman knives.  They were inexpensive enough that confiscation or loss was not a great financial burden; they were big enough, tough enough, and versatile enough to be useful.  Or, so I thought.

I have maintained contact with my friend, and he has had adventures that make the hair rise on the back of my neck.  He has come through it all intact, gained a wife and now has three lovely daughters.  I won't mention his name, because he is going back into danger as I write. 

Somehow, the Bushmen never came up in our later conversations, but the article I wrote the other day, about the new Cold Steel Voyager, pricked his memory, and I was sent some of the uses that he put the Bushmen to.  As he is now persona non grata in Russia, I can say that is where most of the knife use occurred.  From my friend:
Back in 2000, I taped 2 Cold Steel Bushmans to my hockey skates to smuggle them into Siberia.  I literally cut everything from bread, to dressing out seals, to stripping wires and cracking crabs to reset my crab pots.  I carried them concealed almost everyday.  Awsome knives!

I almost lost my knives by Airport security in South Korea flying into Siberia.  They showed up on the Xray and they questioned me about what they were.  I said hockey skates, they opened the bag and saw the boots, but never looked at the blades.

The first time I used the Bushman was out on a cross country skiing getaway with my Russian language learning group from the University.  The plan was to ski into the Taiga, stop, start a fire, and make soup for lunch. My Bushman became the can opener for the fish for soup; then it was a machete for firewood, then the axe to split some bigger stuff. 

All were amazed by the American with the big, black market knife!  It led to a great cultural discussion of freedom loving Americans and our Second Amendment.  Russians, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans were there that day and learned of the importance of the American right to bear arms.

While mountain biking 70 miles from anywhere, my brake pads wore out.  I used my Bushman and Leatherman to fashion new ones out of my belt.  Worked well coming down the mountains, swelled a bit crossing rivers and streams.

I used the Bushman in an emergency once while exploring an abandoned mining village next to one of Stalin's abandoned Gulags.  A pack of wild dogs attacked me, but my Bushman was more than up to the challenge.  

My Bushman saved the day at a native holiday of the first fish.  There were two teams of natives (Eveni) who had to load up in two boats, harpoon two seals, shoot them in the head with two Mosin Nagant rifles, drag them out on land , field dress and skin them.  One team lost their knife off the boat when a harpooned seal made a run.  The rope pulled the competitor's knife out of its sheath and overboard.  

They got to land, and asked for a knife, as they were now losing the competition.  I handed them my Bushman.  It was all around lightyears beyond the other team's knife.  They came from behind, and with the edge holding capability of the Bushman, won the competition.  They wanted to buy the Bushman, but I didn't sell.
There are other stories from my friend that I cannot tell.  Maybe he will release them when he is out of danger.  We often take our freedoms for granted.  It is one of the reasons that I tell of situations in other lands.  Think of being in India, unable to join a shooting club, because the club secretary is politically connected, and all the allotted ammunition and guns go to his daughter, to further her Olympic shooting career.  No guns or ammunition left over for anyone else.  Or consider Russia, where guns and ammo are very hard to come by (Russia seems to be improving a bit). 

Consider Panama, where a friend of mine was jailed for making a sketch of palace guards in colorful uniforms (It only took us a week to get him out. Fortunately, they kept him in solitary confinement).  Our religious freedoms here are not respected around the world, and most places have nothing remotely like our right to keep and bear arms. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

No comments: