Outdoors with John Perkovich

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I have always said, “Every hunter has a weak link.” Which means that once you go through their equipment you will find that every one has something about them or their gear that is not quite up to par. For example I know guys who think nothing of spending several thousand dollars for a new rifle but then skimp on the scope that they put on it. Or buy a whole line of expensive hunting clothes but try to climb mountains or hunt tundra in an uncomfortable cheap pair of boots, leaving them with sore, wet or even blistered feet even after a short time into the hunt. Others may have all the expensive high quality gear but bring along a very cheap knife that simply does not do the job. Perhaps the most common weak link is the fact that many hunters are in such poor physical shape that they simply can’t do the hunt anyway.

One magazine article I once read that was written by a guide said the most common problem he faced was hunters showing up in such poor physical shape that they simply could not even get into the hunting area they were suppose to hunt. All the new fancy equipment in the world does little good if you can’t get it or yourself into the mountains. The older we get the more time we need to spend on our eating habits and our physical shape.

I know most hunters don’t do a whole lot of preparation before the hunt and that is why we often get ourselves into trouble once we set out to go on that hunt of a lifetime. Even the easy hunting trips in Alaska can be very difficult even in the most ideal terrain. Hunting in Alaska is very difficult perhaps some of the most physical demanding in the world. So common sense tells me then, why don’t more of us hunters work at getting in top physical shape before even attempting to go on these hunts? Well because working out is not something very many of us enjoy doing or even set aside time for. It is much more fun to be out there fishing than sweating down there at the health club.

Like I said most hunters have a weak link. I decided to write a series of stories about those weak links and this weak I am going to focus on one item that is also often overlooked — purchasing a good hunting knife.

Several years ago Billy Spiers introduced me to local knife maker Tom Broome and I bought a nice hunting knife from him. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that this ex-Midwestern deer hunter would ever be spending over $150 for a hunting knife. Shortly after arriving in Alaska I found out that skinning and cutting up a big bear or moose is way different and much more difficult than a small whitetail deer. Buying a good quality knife is very important here and perhaps one of the wisest decisions I ever made in putting together my hunting gear.

If your going to buy a new knife why not buy it locally where you can even pick out the style or type of handle or blade you prefer before the knife is even assembled. Tom Broome has been making knives for over twenty years and has sold them all over the world. He even had a large variety of his knives on display at K-mart before K-mart closed up and moved out of Alaska.

When I first purchased my new knife I immediately noticed how razor sharp it was and also how well built it was besides being a very nice looking knife. I used my knife to skin out three caribou, a moose, bear, and even skinned out a dall sheep and boned it out before returning it to Tommy to be re-sharpened. There is no way a cheap knife would have performed as well or held an edge as a high quality one like my new Tom Broome knife held up. Tom also sharpens knives for $1.00 a piece and does as good a job on that as anyone I have ever taken knives to. I generally take him 30 to 40 knives once or twice a year and then keep touching them up with a steel as I use them. Once I get my knives back they are all razor sharp and both cutting edges are sharp not just one like some people sharpen knives.

Just last week I dropped off 36 knives, as it was time once again to put or meat chickens in the freezer once again. When I returned later to pick them up Tom showed me his two brief cases of new knives he had on hand to sell. He smiled with pride and rightfully so as the beautiful new knives shinned like a box full of jewels. A very nice high quality product at a very reasonable price and yet it is something you can wear with pride. I have personally bought several of these knives for special occasions or gifts for those special friends. You can find Tom Broome knives on the Internet at the following website, broomeknives.com where you can look for yourself and pick out the style and type you like the best. Guys it might be wise to run off a few copies of the Broome website and leave them in strategic locations around the house just as a little reminder to the lady of the house that the man of the house could use a new knife. You can also reach Tom by phone in Kenai at 283-9128.

Wives, Christmas is just around the corner and if you are not sure what to get that husband of yours this year, try a Tom Broome custom knife. Don’t let a poor knife be the weak link in your husbands hunting gear. Maybe if your lucky he will even let you skin out a moose or two in appreciation for you buying him a new knife. Tell Tom Broome John sent you and that you want to purchase a new knife for your husband and one for John for sending you there in the first place!

See you next week!

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