I finished this arm guard last night for my good friend, John Pruitt, who will turn 79 next Sunday. Mr. Pruitt is an accomplished bowyer and gunsmith and I have whole room full of his bows and flintlocks to attest to his skills. He's also as windy as a sack full of politicians which brings me to the story behind this arm guard.
John never lets an opportunity go by to tell me some tale. Over the years I have known him, most of these tales I have heard many times. This one is no exception. John claims that anyone can hit a big target like a deer or moose but it takes exceptional skill to hit something really small like the time he killed 811 field mice with his bow in one year. Mr. Pruitt swears that all these kills were confirmed by his friends who, conveniently, are all dead now so I will just have to take his word for it. When I first heard this story, some 15 years ago or so, I think the number was quite a bit less than 811. But that is the number he is going with now so I have recorded it on the back of his arm guard for posterity's sake. John also has a sweet tooth so I will have to send him some homemade cookies or brownies to go with the arm guard. Otherwise, he will be calling me up and whining that he was slighted on his special day. That man is like a Walker hound - you make the mistake of feeding him once and now you have to feed him for life!
Arm guard specs: The backing is made from vegetable tanned cowhide and the facing is hippo hide. The yellow trim is moose hide that, ironically, came from the one I killed with my longbow in 2015. The field mouse was laser etched onto a piece of deer hide by my friend, Chad Thomas, at Springfield Leather Company. I carved the lace hooks out of deer antler and sewed everything up by hand using artificial sinew.
Here is John in all his glory. I don't think anyone cooks in his family so I sent him a pan of brownies and a do-it-yourself birthday party kit along with the leather work. He received his box of goodies yesterday and was very pleased with the contents. I told him to send me a photo of him celebrating and this is what I got. It sure made my day!
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