Guest Writer

   Smoke Signals

                   Nov./Dec. '10


This is an exciting time in good literature that fits into our time frame of 1750 - 1843. I was asked to start this column by our leaders in command, hey that's what Howdy said ! So here goes with a few book reviews. I'm going to take advantage of what others have written rather than stumble around and fail being the first attempt. Here we go folks with "Rocky Mountain Tough" by our Captain Bill Cunningham. 

Rocky Mountain Tough

By: Bill Cunningham

The mountain man of the 1800s fought the elements, the unexpected, and the Indians. A careless moment, a wrong decision, and he could lose his furs, his plunder, his hair. . . Today’s buckskinner faces a more cunning, vicious foe—special interests want his land. For Maxwell Stacey, it may mean his plunder, his woman, even his life; the men chasing him have the finest modern guns and equipment money can buy. Max has only his flintlock rifle, his horses, and some fine honed survival skills from the fur trade period.

Check out this series of books, you'll find yourself really getting involved with the characters and the events they find themselves in. Good read folks.




This is a collection of articles that our own Mike Moore, staff writer on the western fur trade for On The Trail magazine, has written for that magazine and others. It took over five years to do the research and compile the chapters. You may have seen an article by him in some of the following magazines:  Backwoodsman, Tomahawk and Long Rifle, Muzzle Blasts, Poke and Stroke and On The Trail & NAF Smoke Signals.

  This 184-page paperback is an overview of the fur trade and the people who came west during that time. The chapters cover often overlooked areas and will let you see what the people who were there said about the topics. Heroes to Me has many references that give you a different view of the early west than is found in most writing today.



This review appeared in "Muzzleloader" magazine Nov/Dec 2005 issue 

reviewed by Mike Nesbitt



  The title of this book suggests that it is all about a successful business venture and, in fact, it really is.  But more specifically it is about the success of just one item which was born during the early part of the fur trade years and used for many years after that, this single item is the Northwest Gun.  This book, written by Barry “Buck” Conner, in a real big way continues where Charles Hanson’s book The Northwest Gun left off.

  In fact, this new book falls back at times to include some of the information and original photographs that were in The Northwest Gun, supplied by Mr. Hanson.  This isn’t done in a “copying” way at all and some of the letters and conversations between the author and Charles Hanson are also included in this new book.  In addition to that, all of the information in this new book expands or adds to the facts that were previously written.

   Success In The North American Fur Trade is a book divided into 19 chapters. It is not a book that a person will normally read from cover to cover, this book is full of facts and typically a reader will look up the points that are interesting at the moment and go to that particular chapter or pages. Both Charley and Curly felt this should be a research book rather than  another book on an old weapon. Included near the end of the book is a chapter about “Planning A NW Gun” which goes into today’s sources of parts, kits, guns “in the white” or complete guns.  There isn’t any area where this new book is found lacking.


Nov/Dec 2005

 How's that for a first for the North American Frontiersmen's "Book Review" column.



Most will have to agree that our officers that are stepping down have done a "bang-up job" with their continued efforts in moving this association forward. 

Thank you guys your leadership will be missed.

I remain, Yr Svt.                            

Elmer Pope

I'm the original Elmer (damnit).


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