“Boiling Water”

A trading-post hunter boils water in a brass kettle.

After the morning’s unsuccessful deer hunt, the trading post hunter boiled water in anticipation of a meager broth of dried venison and corn. Old Northwest Territory, two ridges east of the River Raisin, in the Year of our Lord, 1795…


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3 Responses to “Boiling Water”

  1. Joe says:

    This photo makes for an appropriate opportunity to ask something I’ve wondered ami hunting with a flintlock: what to do when you’re unsuccessful? Seems a huge pain to load the morning of the hunt, then use a ball puller or worm to pull the charge and shot/ball after an unsuccessful hunt. What’s your normal procedure? Obviously if you’ve fired your gun, you probably ought to clean that night. Boy what of the unfired gun? Just dump prime? Are there concerns (other than simple safety) with leaving a charge in the gun? Moisture/corrosion/etc? Thanks, Dennis. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts.


    • Dennis Neely: Traditional Woodsman says:


      This is a great question, but whether you know it or not, you opened a pretty good sized can of worms! I’m not sure one blog post will cover the answer, but rather than give you simple answers, I would prefer to dedicate one or more posts. Can you bear with me a bit?

      • Joe says:

        That sounds great. I’m humbled to have that level of intent and attention! Here I thought I was asking a simple logistical question. And I can see justifications for both keeping it loaded (historically, having an arm prepared for self defense or the opportunity of game presenting itself), or unloading for safety or otherwise. Anyway, I’ll look forward to it. Thanks kindly,


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