The Shooting Man’s Walking or Thumb Stick.

Carved Shooting Sticks

The thumb stick or walking stick is always a useful addition to throw in the back of a car when off for a days shooting. This is especially the case when shooting on the wet, slippery and undulating terrain in England, where your legs can literally shoot out from under you unexpectedly.

There are many stick makers in the country, all developing their own style from simple to very elaborate. The sticks may be all wood or be topped with stag horn or something similar, it is common to have a V or a crook to rest your thumb for extra grip. The sticks are tall and come up to about your under arm height, in the case of the bottom one above, you can place it under your arm and comfortably lean on it.

On Friday I travelled to a country show to see some of the countries best carver/makers, unfortunately I was a little late and sales had been brisk, but I was able to get a handful I liked and was able to place an order for a further selection to be made over the coming months. Grey and red partridge, grouse, pheasant and a woodcock with the beak stretched out are some of the choices. These sticks are made by arguably the best carver in the country and the delivery, such is the demand, falls right in line with that of one our guns.

To many people, these are perhaps just too fancy to take out in the field but as an example of the craft they make a wonderful addition to any pile of sticks you may have waiting by the back door.

One thought on “The Shooting Man’s Walking or Thumb Stick.

  1. Simon,
    I had the good fortune to meet and come to know a stickmaker named Theo Fossel. He was the founding chairman of the British Stickmakers Guild.
    I had him make me a stick or two and come to Texas to teach stickmaking to customers of mine.
    Cancer claimed Theo years ago but if you can find a copy of his book Walking and Working Sticks you should add it to your library.
    Better tomorrows,
    Mims

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