Frank and Karen Sherwood have been teaching ancestral living skills for over 35 years. We have learned – and we teach – that the earth always provides for our needs. Our programs emphasize our connections to the earth and a respect and appreciation for her many gifts.
Our opening session of the basketry program continued as we explored the gifts of cedar. Students began with understanding the proper harvesting seasons and ethical harvesting techniques and traditions before preparing cedar strips for their own weaving projects. They began a complex twill pattern that would then become the cover for their plaited tool kit, to be used throughout the remaining 6 months of the program. The final day of class sent us on a field excursion harvesting basket material. Dogbane, wolf lichen, and pine needles were some of the things harvested to be used in future classes. Demonstrations on dogbane preparation prepared the students for creating soft plied strands for their next project of flat twined bags. The wolf lichen, among other things, will be used to dye basket materials for an upcoming session. A fun weekend was had by all.
Path of the Hunter: Big Game Hunt
With much preparation and extensive scouting expeditions, Frank ventured to the mountains in Eastern Washington with his Path of the Hunter Program. Beautiful fall weather highlighted the trip, while the game were elusive, there was much sign to study and learn from. With the rut just in its beginning stages, the bucks were still being cautious. Despite game not being taken this particular trip, much was learned to prepare the class for future hunting trips.
Trying to rattle in a deer
Practicing Still Hunting
Being the late season, the bucks were starting to make their scrapes. A student noticed this sign above.
Karen most recently returned from teaching a basketry class to the community in the San Juan Islands. It was probably one of the most inspirational classes I have taught all year long. What a wonderful environment to blend those foundations of weaving, the elements of nature and the creativity offered there. Such a fun and focused group of people. It was one of those days that you go away from completely exhausted, and completely fulfilled.
Frank has been very busy with the start of Path of the Hunter program as well. With an intensive opening segment, students set the foundation for field hunts to follow. A field to freezer weekend offered lessons in game care, and students cleaned a wild turkey Frank hunted in the previous week. They also learned how to properly cut and wrap wild game and then made sausage for their field excursions. They then cooked up some great food to sample. Just an extra perk to the program, Frank has been busy scouting for his upcoming big game hunt with his students.
Our unique Path of the Hunter Mentoring program starts September 7, 2016! We are excited about two additions this year: Frank has explored and will be sharing new hunting areas just for this year’s program, and this year’s students will be among the first to use Frank’s recently-published Hunting Journal to record outing details.
We are excited to announce that Frank Sherwood’s Hunting Journal has been published! Providing this simple yet powerful way of deepening people’s understanding of nature has been a dream of Frank’s for over ten years.
In Frank’s experience, regularly recording your outings can help you hone your attention to detail, discover patterns, and improve your level of expertise. He wanted to create an easy-to-use, easy-to-carry field journal to help people capture vital information about their outings. The field journal includes pages to record valuable data about each outing, and practical information about animal tracks and signs, cloud descriptions, a hunter’s checklist, and what to have in your wilderness survival kit. The journal also includes room for personal thoughts and observations as well as inspirational quotes.
We owe many thanks to author Clint Hollingsworth for his beautiful illustrations and publishing assistance. He helped make the dream a reality!
The Hunting Journal is the first in a series of three. Look for the next one – Nature Awareness Journal – this summer.
Copies of the journal can be purchased at Amazon. There’s also a rumor that you can get signed copies for the same price through Earthwalk Northwest!
Frank’s Path of the Hunter mentoring program returned from a wonderful weekend of coastal razor clam digging and surf fishing. Pleasant winter weather at the beginning of January allowed for successful evenings on the beaches.
Coastal Clam Dig – 2015
Path of the Hunter Coastal Clam Dig – 2015
Lessons on razor clam cleaning followed the next day and we packed many clams for future meals.
Razor clams – 2015
Teaching how to clean – 2015
Prepared razor clams – 2015
Late mornings found us back at the beach, knee-high in surf casting for surf perch.