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  1. #1
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    shepperd's Crook or market stick

    I do have to look out when I am walking on un even terrain. I was kicked by a horse just above my right ankle. Complicated breaks that now, years later start to give problems. I use a nice thumbstick with a horn top. For some time I was thinking of purchasing a Shepperd's crook with horn handle (rams handle) ... On E bay UK I found something that I liked, but then this stick was withheld at the border, because 'restricted' ... Is this something new? They sent me the thumbstick with buffalo toppiece without problems ?
    I know that you are heavily taxed if you buy something that has animal 'parts' in America ....
    Anybody has an idea ?

  2. #2
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    I know nothing about import/export rules, but nothing would surprise me
    when it comes to import/export regulations and animal parts.
    We in Scotland know the shepherds crook as a cromach. The comfortable height for them varies from person to person , but as a rough guide your nipple height( plus a couple of inches to allow for wear) is a good guide. Too long or too short then they tend to look silly.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 3rd August 22 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Added an afterthought
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  4. #3
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    Jock is spot-on with his advice, as usual.

    With a shepherd's crook, the advice I was given was that the top curve of the crook should be able to be placed into the armpit when standing on level ground, with the stick at your side - there are several practical reasons for this.

    Thumb-sticks can be shorter, and only you as the user could decide what the correct height for one would be, but somewhere between elbow and armpit is normal.

    An alternative to ramshorn is antler, with a single tine and the crown (where it was joined to the head) smoothed and polished.

    Unles you intend to use the crook to separate off a sheep from a flock, you might find the antler has more practical use on hilly slopes. It can be held and used like and Alpenstock - leant on for support or balance, and the tine hooked into the ground or around a rock or branch for safety.

    But have you thought of making your own?

    It's very easy to do, and finding the materials via the likes of eBay gives you plenty of options - you can then make as many as you like, and in various styles.

    My picture is a cromach I made using a red-deer antler I found that was naturally shed, which I ground, polished and mounted on a stick that gets 'enthusiastic' and regular use.

    DSCF9854a.jpg

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  6. #4
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    Yes indeed cromachs and sticks come in all shapes and sizes, but out on the hill and in more rustic surroundings a longish stick is very helpful for all sorts of practical reasons. I know that some consider them as an affectation outwith their natural surroundings and I am quite sure that they are on occasion, but as old age approaches and with it comes assorted aches and pains then a cromach is a very useful friend.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 3rd August 22 at 03:21 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  8. #5
    Join Date
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    I’ve not heard of any restrictions on horn in the US. Did customs give you any other information? Some kind of horn might be restricted by species but in general, horn should be okay.

    I know others who have successfully ordered horn cromachs from Scotland without issue. Perhaps there was an issue with the shipper’s customs description?
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallpipe View Post
    For some time I was thinking of purchasing a Shepperd's crook with horn handle (rams handle) ... On E bay UK I found something that I liked, but then this stick was withheld at the border, because 'restricted' ... Is this something new? They sent me the thumbstick with buffalo toppiece without problems ?
    It may not have met the export/import requirements shown here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-a...-special-rules

  10. #7
    Join Date
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    Aren't Belgium and Scotland both in the EU?

    I thought a central aspect was having free trade within it.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  11. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Aren't Belgium and Scotland both in the EU?

    I thought a central aspect was having free trade within it.
    Not since Brexit.
    “Never wear anything that panics the cat.”- P.J. O’Rourke
    “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes (kilt) with intelligence, put them (it) on with care, and then forgotten all about them (it).” Paraphrased from Hardy Amies
    Proud member of the Clan Urquhart.

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Aren't Belgium and Scotland both in the EU?

    I thought a central aspect was having free trade within it.
    The UK exited the EU on 31 Jan 2020.
    Last edited by Bruce Scott; 6th August 22 at 04:37 PM.

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  15. #10
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    The USA has always seemed to me a big and diverse place, with plenty of both farmed and wild horned livestock.

    There must surely be suppliers, or sources, of antler, horn and bone that would be suitable for all kinds of stick-making, without worrying about importing materials.

    As for the stick itself, ash or hazel are most common in the UK, but chestnut is also popular as these grow tall and straight as saplings. Any sort of tree that grows to stick length, and that is fairly rigid, would be suitable for a stick.

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