Possibly the most enjoyable aspect of stickmaking is the task of sourcing the raw material, i.e. the shanks.
Throughout the year I am always on the lookout for places that might have some suitable shanks. When I identify such spots I seek permission from the owner(s) to enter the land and cut some shanks… if there are some there!
The sticks are normally cut during the period November to February as this is the time when growth is dormant and the sap is down. Cutting at this time reduces the risk of splitting during seasoning.
Some days can be very productive – while others can be disappointing.
Hereunder is a picture of a few successful days ‘hunting’ .