Huber Foxworth Bowie: The Men Behind The Blade

Reproduction Foxworth Bowie
The author’s reproduction of his father’s Dan-D Huber Foxworth Bowie features an 8-inch blade of 154 CPM stainless steel and a cocobolo handle with vintage ivory Micarta® spacers. Overall length: 12.75 inches. The leather sheath boasts basketweave stamping.

The men behind the Huber Foxworth Bowie are as captivating as the knife itself.

This is the story of a knife named in honor of an incredibly special man. In this highly populated world not many people get their name attached to anything. I do, however, know for a fact that Craig Fox Huber was very proud of the idea that people would be wanting the knife that bore his name for decades to come. He told me so in person. He lived a life that so many would aspire to but very few would have the moxie to follow through on. He was the real deal.

So, how did Craig impact a knifemaker to the point of naming a knife the Huber Foxworth Bowie? Here’s what my father, BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Dan Dennehy, wrote about Craig in his 1970 Dan-D Knives Brochure:

Many self-styled “experts” have stopped by my shop from time to time to suggest to me how I should design the “perfect” knife … Not long ago a trim bearded crewcut type found his way to my shop, and we started talking knives. [Circa the late 1960s] I took an immediate liking to this handsome, rather cocky gent and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he spoke about knives with a rather rare understanding of design and more than just a rudimentary knowledge of metallurgy that I found uncommon even among some men whose names would be familiar to you as supposed “experts.” He not only talked good theory and design, but he spoke with considerable authority on how a fighting knife should be used.

Craig Huber
That’s Craig Fox Huber inset circa 1970 at the Fox Den’s second location in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

During our conversation I learned that he had earned three Purple Hearts while serving with a Marine Recon Unit in Viet Nam, and enough other “breast hardware” that when he spoke, I listened with both ears, and rather attentively.

Those who knew Dan might realize that these comments mean he really respected the “cocky gent.” And Craig respected Dan. Their long friendship stayed the course until the end. I also had a lot of respect for Craig and his vast knowledge of knives and other things.
I met him in the early ’70s at The Fox’s Den, his gun shop located in the small ranch community of Kirkland, Arizona. Dan took me there to meet Craig when I was about 13. I shook hands with a man wearing a drop-loop gun belt with rounds in every loop and a .45 Long Colt pistol in the holster. I was in awe. I also got to see some of the knives he carried and to learn why he carried them.

About a year later my family bought a small ranch in the area. I visited the gun shop at every chance. Dan would take me to Craig’s home occasionally. I was equally impressed at his collections. The next summer I worked for Craig, helping with his horses and other stuff around his place. They were good times and I must say that it was from his influence that I went to see the United States Marine Corps recruiter a few years later.

Craig Huber: Christian Patriot

Craig’s son Hunter can tell you better than anyone about his father. Of Craig he wrote:

Dad was a lot of things. He was a soldier, a gunfighter, inventor, storyteller, adventurer, hunter, fisherman, survivalist, outfitter, collector, gunsmith, writer, and the list goes on. He was a patriot and a Christian. He lived his life to the absolute fullest and would fight for everything he believed in and loved.

Two sides of bowie knife
In his vast collection of Dan Dennehy knives, Craig’s favorites were the Dan-D Alamo Bowie and the Huber Foxworth Bowie. The Alamo Bowie has a 12-inch hollow-ground blade a quarter-inch thick and 2 inches wide. The blade’s non-mark side is etched with an eight-line poem that commemorates Col. Travis’s call for “defenders to step forward.” The handle is walrus ivory inlaid with 18 turquoise cabs. Overall length: 16.5 inches. The custom sheath is cowhide. (Bob Glassman image)

Despite having the option to go work for his father’s rapidly growing company in York, Pennsylvania, that was obviously of no interest to Dad so he went into the military. Even though he had trouble with authority and rules, he thrived in the Marines.

After the military his life got really interesting. His resume speaks for itself but here is a summary: police officer; sheriff; private investigator; horse wrangler; hunting guide, Ozark Mountains; fishing guide, French River, Canada; gun shop owner, Fox’s Den (Kirkland, Arizona, and Mountain Home, Arkansas); salesman, Camillus Knives and Levis; personal protection, bodyguard for Saudi Royal Family; professional hunter, South Africa; writer, Whitetail Times magazine and several personal protection books; gunsmith; gun dealer; private security, consulting and training; fugitive recovery; and much more. This is a very general overview and it took him to some very interesting places and dangerous spots, and he met some really interesting people along the way.

So here is what Dad loved. He loved his country and God. He loved our mom. He loved me and my sister. He loved adventure. And he loved guns and knives. Dad was an encyclopedia of firearms, handloading and ballistics. He had a real passion for Rugers, Ruger M77s in any and every caliber they make, but especially 7×57 and Ruger single action pistols. He was also a 1911 fanatic. I don’t remember a single occasion in my life where I ever saw Dad without a 1911 on his side or in a shoulder holster.

And he loved knives. Man did he love knives. I don’t know exactly where in his life this interest started, but he was as passionate about knives as guns, and maybe more. And this is coming from a guy whose gun collection is over 500. He loved all knives and always carried at least two at a time. He had a real appreciation for a good blade and considered knives the most valuable tool an outdoorsman or soldier could have.

Fox's Den Gun Shop
Here’s the second iteration of The Fox’s Den Gun Shop as it appeared in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Note the sidewalk parking meter.

As you would expect, just like factory rifles with factory ammo were not suitable for Dad’s standards, neither were factory knives. As a result he started reaching out to custom knifemakers and collaborating. He formed relationships with Bo Randall, Jimmy Lile, Art Wiman, Clyde Fischer, Blackie Collins, Harold Corby and George Herron, and most notably Dan D. Dad spoke of Dan D. with a manner of respect and admiration that he did not offer up lightly to many. A shared respect and appreciation for the art and skill behind making the ultimate tool, something that was practical and efficient, beautiful and deadly. Dad’s collection of Dan D. knives is vast but his two most prized are the Alamo Bowie and the Huber Foxworth Bowie.

Dad was the toughest man I’ve ever known. A real fighter, rock solid, set in his ways and unshakeable. No matter, if you had a problem, my Dad would be your first call and the man you wanted in your corner. Dad had a lot of fans and a lot of enemies. He had many acquaintances and peers and only a small handful of good friends. He always said if you get through life and only have a few good friends, real true friends, then consider yourself lucky. Dan D. was a true friend of Dad’s.

Machete and knife
Two of Craig’s favorite Dan-D users included a survival machete and a Woodsman model. Craig designed both, with Dan-D making the former and helping Craig make the latter in the Dan-D shop. Craig carried the Woodsman more than any other knife for over 40 years.

Craig was one of those rare characters you meet along the road of life and always remember. Later he told me stories of discussions with Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Bo Randall and knife designs for different purposes. Another story was how he talked to Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Bob Loveless about the simplicity of balancing a knife using his personal theory of the tapered tang. He visited with his friend Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Jimmy Lile long before the Rambo knife was created. John Horrigan told me about their hunting trip in Africa. Since Craig was a licensed guide the trip was arranged in exchange for a knife identical to the one John presented to President George W. Bush.

Huber Foxworth Bowie

But back to the Huber Foxworth Bowie. The brochure description continues:

This knife is a pure and simple Bowie style but with the handle dropped slightly which seems to give it a much better “pointing” ability and maneuverability not found in most common Bowie styles. [Craig] had a prototype of this knife made for him by a Philippine Negrito instructor while he was attending the armed forces Jungle Survival School in the Philippines. Pound for pound these little Negritos are about as slick and fierce a knife fighter as will be found anywhere.

Knives
In a 2011 email to the author Craig wrote, “This [image] shows all four pair of boot knives your Dad did for me, including two pairs of my Model III. All have been carried extensively over the past 40 years, and two of the knives have saved my life.”
The blade is 8 inches long, 1.75 inches wide and in quarter-inch stock of 154 CPM stainless steel heat treated by Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Paul Bos. It has a double guard and a 4.75-inch handle. According to the brochure, “This is a knife you could bet your life on.”

A couple of years ago, Hunter contacted me and told me of his father’s passing. Craig lived 76 years his way and made his mark in the world. His passion for God, his country and living life to the fullest extent had been accomplished. Hunter went on to explain that out of all the knives they cannot find the one that meant more to Craig than the Huber Foxworth Bowie.

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