Sunday, 20 July 2014

Stuart Mitchell's Muntjac


While at Andy's he showed me this sweet little stalking knife by Stuart Mitchell of Shefield.
Mr Mitchell is a legend on this side of the pond, I've coveted his work since I first saw some pix on BCUK years ago. This model, his smallest and most every-day-carry, is named after the smallest deer in the UK, which is also the species you can hunt 365 days a year.


Standing 20in/500mm tall these little deer are pretty cute, at a distance. A bit closer its a different story, they have FANGS, yep fangs! Long enough and sharp enough to pose a significant risk to everything more loveable than a pit bull. They are also extremely territorial and indeed aggressive.
Introduced by the Duke of Bedford around 1900 they've spread a long way in the last 100 years, even 'swimming' the Irish sea. I've hunted them unsuccessfully a couple of times, and eaten them very successfully a few more times.

To mention the price of commisioning an SM in the presence of wives past and present is to elicit shrieks of dismay. I think his prices are very reasonable when you consider his 30+ years of practice, and workshop full of machines, especially when you set them against the prices of some production knives.

So what's it like in the hand? In a word, Ergonomic.
In a few more; fit and finish are so flawless as to be almost other-worldly.
Double want one.

Elfa "Think of the huntings you can do for that money"
SBW "Exactly, you've never eaten Muntjac have you? You're gonna love it"
And people wonder why I put up with her!

More soon, your pal
SBW

Some pix of his work HERE
Website, Facebook ect 

9 comments:

hodgeman said...

When the significant other talks to you about bespoke gear in terms of hunting adventures you have won.

I mean it- won.

Last year I considered a very nice custom rifle...Mrs. Hodgeman declared I could go on a stellar flyout hunt for the cost....well, I didn't get the rifle but I get on the plane late Aug.

'nuff said.

Phillip said...

That looks like the perfect backcountry knife. Small and handy for skinning and the finer work inside... I like it. Add that to my "Want" list too.

Suburban Bushwacker said...

Chaps
She wasn't so happy to see the hat back
SBW

Chad Love said...

Don't like it at all, just too practical looking...

Suburban Bushwacker said...

Chad
you have the same problem as me, plagued by dichotomy:
You are a gentlemen of refined taste, with the fiscal wherewithal of a hobo.

In less dichotomic times Mr Mitchell could, for a modest consideration, equip the gentleman stalker with a knife to the same pattern, rendered in Odin's Eye damasteel and fine english walnut, perhaps supplied by one's gun maker, achieving a charming match to the gentleman's sporting battery.

But as discussed, modern life is rubbish, so this is unlikely to happen, unless we are fortunate enough to book a safari to hunt skeins of pigs as they take flight over the frozen wastelands of hell. Bah!

LSP said...

"modern life is rubbish" -- heh. I want that knife.

Anonymous said...

Sten
For me and many others who make their livings from the land and the birds and beast that land supports a knife is a working tool.
I have admired Stuarts work for years, but the prices he charges are unbelievable. Anyone would think his blades are made from unobtainium not commercially available tool steels.

Atb

Clem

Suburban Bushwacker said...

Clem
Have you ever handled one? His work is very very good, and his costs go way beyond the materials. if I had the good fortune to be in that spending bracket i wouldn't think his prices unreasonable; have you seen the price of a reasonably nice wristwatch lately, especially in contrast to other small volume manufacture items like a nice waterproof jacket or rucksack? Not to mention that titanium canteen I reviewed a while back LOL

As i once had to tell a client who spluttered at the projected costs of building the bathroom she'd designed "you 'can' complete your ablutions with a bucket, a car-washing sponge, a jubilee clip and a couple of meters of secondhand hosepipe. But....'

SBW

Anonymous said...

where arrrrre you?????