Not Taught in Most Schools, Longhunter University Open House Saturday at Hickory Ridge

Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 5:32 pm

By Luke Weir

For those with an interest in the outdoors, survival skills and America’s rugged past, Longhunter University is hosting an open house at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum on Horn in the West Drive this Saturday, May 5, from 2 to 4 p.m., according to the program’s director.

Charlie Anderson, Director of Longhunter University, said in a press release that longhunters were essential to life in the 18th century, and got their title from spending months at a time exploring America’s untamed wilderness before returning to civilization.

“Longhunters were rugged outdoorsmen, sadly the skills that made them essential parts of American history have been largely forgotten,” Anderson said. “They trapped animals for pets and hunted larger animals like elk and bear to feed settlements.”

The open house event Saturday will offer a preview of the skills being taught monthly at Longhunter University, starting in June. Classes include making fire with flint and steel, finding and making shelter, cooking over a fire, foraging, introduction to muzzleloader hunting, primitive fishing, skinning game and more. Participants who complete the full year of courses will receive a certificate of completion when the program ends next June.

The program’s instructors represent more than 50 years combined experience in historical interpretation, Anderson said.

“I’m really proud of the instructors we’ve gathered,” Anderson said. “They have been working in their focus areas and educating the public for a long time. This program feels like a natural progression in historical interpretation.”

The open house event at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum Saturday will showcase the program and allow the public to register and ask questions. Classes are priced based on materials and time needed, ranging from $30 to $100 per course. For more information, contact the Southern Appalachian Historical Association by phone at (828) 264-2120, or online at

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