26 October 2014
Backwoodsman Interview

An Interview with Charlie Richie Sr Founder of the Backwoodsman

For those of you that have been in the bushcraft world for a while you would have heard of Charlie Richie Sr, Founder of the original self reliance magazine ” The Backwoodsman“. If you are new to self reliance then this is the man to learn from with his in-depth knowledge of learning to use the wilderness as a means to live a self reliant life.

1. Can you tell a little about yourself:

Not much to tell about myself, I’m just a average person who enjoys the simple things in life. Status and lofty opinions of myself will never be part of my thinking patten. I like the quiet life.

2. What got you started in Self Reliance and old frontier living:

I got started in self-reliance and frontier living at a very early age. I grew up camping and fishing in Texas’ Big Thicket. As for frontier living, many of the older people I met who lived in the Big Thicket still lived a frontier lifestyle, and it was only natural that I would pick up their ways.

3. When you hunt where do you hunt and what is your weapon you like to use:

If I had time to hunt these days it would be in the marshes and surrounding prairies of myhome territory on the saltwater bay that I live on. I’ve always preferred the traditional bow/arrow, and a muzzle loading shotgun.

4. You seem to love fishing, now do you fish with a sock like Cody or use more modern methods:

Fishing has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve owned a fishing boat since I was 8 years old. I was also a professional guide and tournament fisherman for 20 years. I have tried just about every fishing method (notice I said “tried” instead of mastered every fishing method.) These days I stick to modern methods.

5. Backwoodsman has been round since the 1980′s, what do you think has changed in the self reliance movement:

We have been around since the 1980′s, and possibly the biggest thing that has changed are the number of people who are interested in survival and self reliance. I also think that survival masters like Cody Lundin and Dave Westcott have brought the arts of survival and self reliance to the masses.

6. What’s your favorite way to start a fire, no matches now!

The ire piston.

7. If the power went out today what are the first steps you would take for your own survival:

If the power went out today basically I would go back to the way I was raised, and my teachings from frontier folks in the Big Thicket. I’ve hunted, trapped and fished all my life, and living without money, electricity and air conditioning would just be like going back to an earlier stage in my life. I’m not sure that I would call it a hardship.

8. Who are your mentors and why:

My mentors have all passed away. Cascade Mason and Slim Wetzel taught me old time woodslore back in a day when woodslore wasn’t being taught. Both of these men lived close to the earth, and knew the art of surviving in the woods with little or nothing. In fact, neither of them knew that they were the last of a breed, they were just living life as they were taught from their old time mentors.

9. You must have some old storie of the past you could with us:

All my stories are dusty and I guess the story about Bigfoot probably wouldn’t interest  most folks anyway.

Thank you Charlie Sr and Junior for allowing us to interview you and bug you from a couple hours fishing.

By Sharon Page 2012 All Rights Reserved

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Lewis Wereb
    1 March 2014 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Dear Old Friend Charlie:
    I consider you an old friend,although you probably don’t recall me from the thousands of subscribers you have.
    I came across an old issue (Volume 28, #4,2007) a few days ago and of all the chances this could happen, it contained an article of mine you published about the Bowie knife. I was grinning all day because of the memories it brought back of when I used to write.
    Therefore, I must subscribe again, I have been “away” from the family for a few years, but now I am back. Thank God you are using Pay Pal, I really find it convenient.
    Looking forward to getting my first issue and I am already planning another article, and maybe you’ll publish it if it meets your approval.I am getting back into the mood to write a little again, I do craft quite a few things in my basement workshop, maybe some readers will find them interesting if I write about that activity.
    I have recently begun to love Texas, also, since I visit Dallas occasionally, to hunt doves with my son who lives there now,with my lovely daughter in law and new Grandson.
    God bless you and Lynne and family,really happy to be back.
    Lewis Wereb,
    Hubbard, Oh

  • Will
    3 September 2012 at 11:20 am - Reply

    The Big Thicket is an awesome place with many stories. The gubbermint thought putting the Alabama-Coushatta tribe there would be a great idea. Not knowing the true history of the area, the Amerind people of the area avoided the deep woods of the Big Thicket. The Caddoan tribes have many stories of the hairy man of the deep woods. The A-C tribes has new stories of the hairy man.

    Thanks for the article on Mr. Richie! Growing up in the pineywoods of east Texas, I understand his closeness to the land. I have left the area on occasion, but I always return here. Fortunately, I have been reading his magazine for many years. Many of the local mercantile stores here carry his fine publication. May you find your peace in the woods. Will

  • Ethan
    2 September 2012 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I’d love to hear the Bigfoot story!