2021 Bull of the Woods | Brian Knutzen

I would like to thank the Deming Logging Show for the honor of being the 2021 Bull of the Woods. Twice in my logging career, the DLS has helped me when I was unable to work due to an injury. With a young family, and not a lot of money, the money from DLS put food on the table until State Industrial kicked in. I am forever grateful to DLS for the help.

      For the past 50 years I have been involved with the DLS in one way or another: from cutting the cedar logs for the roof on the museum, to helping cut timber sales the Log Show had. I’ve been in charge of setting up the pole-falling event for over 20 years. The only event I have participated in is the Old Timers’ Pole Falling,  when Gordy Scott asked me to help out.

      I’ve been involved with the American Legion for 42 years, and for the past 20 years I’ve been Post Commander of Post 224. Our Post has two food booths on the DLS grounds. We cook breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings of the Logging Show, starting at 6:00 a.m., and hamburgers and hot dogs after breakfast, continuing until the show ends. These booths are our Post’s only fundraiser, and all the money we make goes back into our community.

      Born in Whatcom County, I was raised on a small dairy farm on the Pole Rd. and graduated Meridian High School in 1965. I joined the Air Force in August of 1965 and was discharged in 1969 and went to work bucking logs behind Sherman Ousdale. In 1971 my cousin Fred Knutzen and I took a cutting contract for Skagit Logging Company, which started a 20 year career in contract cutting.

      1971 was also the year I married the Love of my life with whom I will be celebrating 50 years this June, Linda Fiddler. We have three wonderful children: Heather Knutzen, Kristin (Jason) Syre, and Erik (Monica) Knutzen. They have given me eleven grandchildren: Cassie, Madison, Cameron, Keaton, Henrik, Elijah, Keala, Ezra, Desmond, Maija and Sylvia. They are the joys of my life.

      Over the years I cut timber for Ted Palmer & Connie Burgstead – Skagit Logging Co., Bob Haner – Haner Logging Co., Dean and Denny Hamilton – Hamilton Logging Co., Howard Hammer – Washington Loggers Inc., Bill Corning – Corning Logging.

      I consider myself lucky to have been born at the right time. When I started in the woods, direct drive chain saws had just come out, also steel  towers, and we still had big timber! I got to work with the best of the men, in the best of the timber. I spent 22 years cutting old growth timber. In my bragging year, my crew cut 67 million board ft of timber.

      In 1991 I quit contract cutting due to the spotted owl and State Industrial Insurance rates. Jeff Rainey and I started Clipper Investments buying land and timber. After 4 years Jeff went back to farming and I kept logging and land clearing and continue to this day as Knutzen Land and Timber.

      I loved the work I did all my life and enjoyed working with all the men that worked with me over the years.

      I got the nickname “Caveman” when I was working for Sherman Ousdale. I used to get my saw hung up while bucking for Sherman and I would break the handle bars trying to get “unstuck”. I was at Jack McAfee’s saw shop getting new handle bars and Jack said “you’re just like a caveman!” Sherman was standing behind me, therefore I became “Caveman”.

      The following men worked as cutters for me either full or part time over the course of my career.   Bill Jones, Terry Davis, Ron Moline, Walt Mayers, Steve McMurry, Arne Knutzen, Robert Clewons, Steve Smallwood, Mike Tenborg, Denny Newendorf, Ron Moa, Kjell Espeland, Willis Moore, Vincent Kucera, Mike Quintona, Rusty Johnson, Randy Queen, Brad Wyman, Henry Sherman, Gordy Jenson, Brett Engholm, George Riddel, Ray Sygatowicz, Jim Harman, Kevin O’Brien, Carl Belguard, Ken Gates, Gary Bisby, Ed Westergreen, Ron Medford, Rick Tinley, Steve Williamson, Mick Russel, John Milson, Ed Rayfield, Ron Trenton, Steve Scott, Mick Buchanon, Mike Gandy, Len Hooper, Chuck Hooper, Glen Adams, Don Dekator, Jay Harvy, Jack McCormick, Bill Bennett, Reed Hamstead, Mike Haner, Dave Dellinger, David Consens, & John Alberts.

      Besides the men that worked for me, it was an honor to work with and for these men: Bob Haner, Archie Pullar, George Charles, Dean and Denny Hamilton, Howard Hammer, Bill Blockley, Bill Corning, Gordy Iverson, Bill Corning, Bill Carlson, Pete Nelson, Vic Engholm, Fred Knutzen, “Dealer” Dick Johnston, Ken Pearson, Sherman Ousdale, Ralph Minaker, Gordy Scott and many more. They were all honorable men of the times that will never be repeated!

      I would like to say that this generation of Logging Show officers and workers are doing an excellent job of keeping the Deming Logging Show going. Us old loggers are proud of you! Keep up the good work.

                                                          Thank you,

                                                                       Brian Knutzen