what do you do in the winter?

We’re out on the water.  Its a beautiful day and as we wait for the next violent tug on the line, I’m asked the inevitable question: “What do you do in the winter?”  Well nobody is going to believe i’m a model  or a brain surgeon so i tell them the truth!  I’m a firewood logger.  Faces usually go inexpressive at this point, as if i had suddenly announced I am a “climate denying” “fascist” “phobic” something.  Well, firewood logging is actually a pretty cool occupation and north of sixty it can be profitable if you’re willing to take  on the challenges.

Challenges that are very real at times.  I cant believe I’ve been at this for almost 30 years, year on year!  (Yes Im old as hell) Also i cant believe i still have all my limbs digits and appendages though i came pretty close to losing one  one time.
The pictures i’ve posted with this article show one of my most efficient ways of turning a tree into cash.

I’ve found the Dodge one ton cummins diesel with a flatdeck, the Stihl MS260 saw and circa 1980 Toyota to be a “deadly combination”.  


First step is to locate a firekilled stand of pine.  (Lodgepole pine is ideal because you waste almost no time limbing these things and the wood is straight-grained, easy to split and dense.  And people like it.)  Get all the apporpriate permits or dont and then just go to work.

I like to lay down about ten trees and buck them into 8 foot “cants” and get the Toyota as close as possible and pivot them all on there.  These old trucks can take a lot.  And the last thing you want is to take your 120k lariat in there and lean it against a tree.

Then i take the half cord or so i get on there to the waiting Dodge at the highway and slide the wood across.  Haul it to the customer and cut it on the deck to the specified length and lo and behold you’ve got cash in hand!

When the snow is deep i like to use my skandic super wide trac to drag whole pine trees to the highway and follow a similar process after that.

So there you go.  Now you can quit your boring job and go self-employed!

The main thing is to produce a product people want and are willing to pay for and, oh yeah, you have to be able to get up in the morning.  You’re welcome!

Published by Douglas Martens

"What can you say when your mind is a total blank?"

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