He somewhat surprised me. According to his research, he is one of the few who still actually uses cervidae brains to tan hides. Most use brains from other animals and some use commercial products. The reason, however is not for fear of CWD. It primarily due to a need for large amounts-larger than can be legally obtained through personal hunting. Tom does get his legally, I assume from a lot of friends who hunt. (He also makes bows and arrows and points and a whole array of Native “stuff”.
He said his concern was not with CWD. However, when using any brains, he wears a doubled set of full-arm rubber gloves. I asked him why, if he was not concerned with CWD and with his sly grin, he replied, “To keep my clothes dry.”
His opinion, though as it is with mine is not scientifically proven, is that CWD has always been in various members of the deer family and there is some indication of that in certain widely scattered word of mouth traditions among various deer bands in their handling of the brains. They seemed to take some care in using handling them.
Tom is widely read on the subject and learned the art of brain tanning after moving to MT. His clothing and equipment is traditional in that only natural products are used. He stitches with sinew, knapps his points, makes his arrows and lances from traditional woods and charges an un-Godly price for a bow and three arrows. Then he mentioned, “John, the $%@@87^ wolves are going to drive the price even higher. They are about to wipe out our elk and deer.”
So take it for what it is worth. Oh, and when we traveled to rodeos, together, he was a pretty fair saddle bronc rider. That accounts for why neither of us can walk normally. I’m doing a major article on him sometimes in January and may learn more.
I am posting this because if I write about bow hunting the “experts” complain. If I don’t write about bow hunting, the “experts” complain so, I thought I would provide fresh fodder before returning to see how mudder is doing. It is now, almost 4-am and I have been up almost an hour. Since it seems many of you are concerned with what time I arise in the morning. Oh, I have not yet had my coffee or voided my bowels. And this is the first of probably some 6,000 words I will write today. Maybe some less since I have a university football game to shoot, this afternoon and still need to study for my stress test. This is Tom in 1973.
With that said, I enjoyed the post. I think he is right on concerning CWD.
This is just another anecdotal internet opinion, IMO. Doesn't mean he is right.
I would much rather base my opinion on scientific facts. And I would rather be safe than sorry. This guy doesn't have much choice, his livelihood depends on him doing it the same way he has always done it.
Seems to me he is ignoring CWD vs making an educated opinion on it. Best of luck to him.
I used to hunt the Yaak when they lived in the old cabin...a good friend used to own the "Dirty Shame" bar in the Yaak.