Mathews Inc.
CWD-Brain Tanning
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Bowriter 20-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 20-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 20-Oct-18
Nick Muche 20-Oct-18
Buffalo1 20-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 20-Oct-18
Bowriter 20-Oct-18
tobywon 20-Oct-18
Beendare 20-Oct-18
Franklin 20-Oct-18
Bowriter 20-Oct-18
From: Bowriter
20-Oct-18

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
This is actually a serious post about an issue that has been brought up regarding CWD and brain tanning. I have a friend of over 50-years, Tom Oar. If that name sounds familiar, he is one of the original stars of the television series, “The Mountain Men”. He lives in the Yakk Valley of Montana and is an expert at brain tanning. He sells all the buckskin clothes he can make and he tans all his own hides. I asked him of his concerns, if any.

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.

20-Oct-18
People aren't complaining about what you write. They are complaining about the appearance that you need attention for your writing. I get that. I get you. It doesn't bother me and, I know much of what you do is to pull their crank.

With that said, I enjoyed the post. I think he is right on concerning CWD.

20-Oct-18
Good thread, John. I enjoy watching the show, Mountain Men, and think it's pretty darn cool that you are friends with Tom. I agree with both your assessments on the CWD issue. Good luck with the stress test....I'm sure you'll pass with flying colors!

From: Nick Muche
20-Oct-18
John and Tom go way back.

From: Buffalo1
20-Oct-18
Interesting read. Tks for sharing.

From: BIG BEAR
20-Oct-18
Tom is one of a small handful of TV personalities that I really enjoy watching..... Along with Marty Meierotto,, Sue Aikens,, Heimo Korth,,, And Stan Zuray. I ran into Stan on a flight out of Fairbanks to Anchorage last year......

From: Bowriter
20-Oct-18
Tom is just exactly as he appears and Nancy, his wife, is one in a million. I agree with the others Big Bear mentioned but do not know any of them, personally. And yes, Nick, we do go way back. I have a few friends like that. Tom was pretty close to flat broke when he left IL and moved to MT. He got where he is, just the way he lives today...off the land. Except of course for the serious money the show pays him.

From: tobywon
20-Oct-18
Tom and Nancy seem like great people and I truly hope they are making serious money. They deserve it.

From: Beendare
20-Oct-18
OK, so he isn't concerned with contacting CWD....old school guy....got it. Seems like a good guy...so please don't take this as a slight to anyone.

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.

From: Franklin
20-Oct-18
John, what is your last name? My in-laws are/were very good friends with Tom and Nancy and my father in law rodeoed with Tom back in Illinois. Who else do you know from the Illinois group?

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.

From: Bowriter
20-Oct-18
My last name is Sloan- Rodeoed with Tom, Ron Martin, Larry Spurgin and a few others from IL and southern WI. I worked Longhorn Rodeo when Loretta Lynn owned it from 72-76. I know there were some others from IL but the names escape me. Been a long time. In 73, I wrote a magazine article on Tom for Rodeo News. I am reviving it in January.

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