TERRE HAUTE —
David Blake is an original outdoorsman in a league of his own. A man that lived in a tent in Montana for two years trapping and living off the land, Blake becomes another creature in the wild. You can sit for hours listening to his life’s adventures in awe. I did!
Dave has been tanning animal hides for 30 years. He doesn’t want to grow too big in it, so he has time for his other businesses and hobbies. If you’re a local and want your deer or coyote hide tanned, you can find him North of Rockville, three miles on U.S. 41 at the Peaceful Waters campground. He uses the old tanning method, using salt making the hide soft and pliable.
Dave caught a 70-pound rooster fish in Costa Rica and after a thirty minute battle he won — but thought he was going to have a heart attack. This fish looks like a tuna with a three foot dorsal fin that looks like a rooster tail.
Watch Dish Channel 232 for the Rural Channel. It has an all country format telling everything about the outdoors. You will see Dave’s smiling face while they tell you about the campground, trading post and tanning as well as his special spirit hides. Every Saturday at noon and 5 p.m. you will like learning about all that Indiana has to offer.
You may ask what is a spirit hide? It is hard to describe. You haven’t seen them in any store. elk, deer, buffalo and moose are Dave’s favorite hides to sculpt out scenes.
He would be a great barber, for he cuts the hair on the hide to bring out the scene. It’s amazing the detail in each scene. One hide has coon dogs treeing a coon and there’s no doubt they are walker dogs. I can’t put it in words to justify this art. Go to the Old Goat Trading Post and see for yourself.
He also has fur hats made from raccoon, beaver, coyote, bobcat, and even skunk. The trading post sports many one of a kind items like boots, purses, mittens, and handmade Indian items like dance spirit sticks, painted feathers, and jewelry. If you are decorating a log cabin treat yourself to a trip to the Old Goat Trading Post.
Horn carving is a tedious and creative form of art. It’s when you take an antler from a moose and cut everything away that doesn’t look like an Indian raiding party. Dave says his friend Leroy Whiteman out of Laim Deer, Mont., is one of the best.
Terry Wind from Minnesota is Dave’s teacher on making spirit drums for special Pow Wows. If you stay at Peaceful Waters Campground you are likely to hear the message from one being played of an evening while relaxing around the campfire.
On one of Dave’s many deer hunts, in the early morning darkness, he was sitting in his deer stand with a hooded sweatshirt on and, of course, not moving. What would you do if something suddenly grasps the top of your head and settled in to watch for something to eat? This Mountain Man froze in his seat when others would jump into mid-air then in a dead run. Dave said with a big smile “Old Owl was as shocked as me when I reached up to pet him!”
Treat yourself not only to camping and fishing with Dave and Kathy, but sit around a fire with him to listen to better life experiences than Jeremiah Johnson!
Send stories and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.