The Guy Behind the Knives
Who is Todd Orr?
Todd Orr, an avid outdoorsman, grew up on a fish hatchery near Ennis, Montana, nestled at the base of the Gravely Mountains, just an hour from Yellowstone National Park. Thanks to a family of hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and explorers themselves, Todd has spent most his life enjoying this “big sky country” of southwest Montana.
With his father at his side, Todd cast his first fly line into the famed waters of the Madison River at age 7, and has long since enjoyed fly fishing the clear, majestic streams and mountain lakes of Montana. He looks forward to an occasional evening or weekend of fishing at his family cabin, overlooking three such lakes above the Madison Valley.
Also at a young age, Todd joined his father on many backcountry elk hunts. Eager to learn the land and the ways of its' wild inhabitants, he paid close attention, asked many questions, and consistently submersed himself into a life of hiking, exploring and hunting.
Todd harvested his first bull elk and a respectable mule deer buck on opening weekend of the general season at age 12. Two years later, Todd took up bow hunting as well, gaining a vast knowledge of elk behavior over the coming years.
Unfortunately, a snowboarding accident in his early twenties, put an end to Todd's bow hunting for the next twenty years. A double shoulder dislocation and permanently severed tendon, left him unable to pull a bow and continue his passion for bow hunting.
Disappointed but not discouraged, Todd searched for a new challenge. Refusing to return to the simplicity of rifle hunting, he purchased his first handgun. Todd was determined to hone his pistol skills and use the Ruger 44 magnum revolver to take down his next elk and put meat on the table. Two months later, he did just that.
Todd has humanely harvested numerous big game animals in Montana, including 37 bull elk, of which 28 were taken with a pistol. All were processed by himself, filling his freezer with lean, healthy meat, while aiding in an important state-run game management plan.
Throughout the years, Todd's recreational activities have included hiking, camping, climbing, caving, fly fishing, shooting and hunting. He also craves the adrenaline rush of snowmobiling in the winter months, and the thrill of dirt biking a technical mountain trail, spring through fall. An occasional summer weekend is well spent on the lake with friends, wake surfing behind the boat.
On occasion, Todd finds time to travel. With a growing addiction to the desert country of southern Utah, he takes a few winter and spring trip south to explore the canyon lands from Zion to Escalante to Moab.
Other adventures have lead Todd to the Hawaiian Islands. Todd's brother, a former Volcanologist at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, coaxed Todd into numerous trips to the Big Island for exploration of the endless, ancient lava tubes, as well as the breathtaking underwater sights along the many coral reefs. With his brother recently relocating to Alaska, expect to see upcoming photos of Todd's glacier hikes in the Chugach and Wrangell-St. Alias, along with salmon and trout fishing on the Kenai Peninsula.
On October 1, 2016, Todd Orr was viciously attacked twice in one day by a grizzly bear. Thanks to quick thinking, bear spray, training, and the will to live, he survived the horrific ordeal, hiked three miles out of the mountains with a broken arm, severed tendons, puncture wounds, and a severely lacerated scalp, and then drove himself to the hospital.
Today, Todd has mostly recovered, with only minor complications persisting in his left hand and arm. Todd was back in the woods just two months after his grizzly attack and continues to work and recreate in the wild backcountry of Montana. He carries UDAP bear spray and a handgun on every hike, knowing a bear encounter could happen most anywhere, and when you least expect it. He is very thankful to be alive and regularly shares his incredible story in hopes of educating others and saving lives.
Todd currently lives in Bozeman, Montana and holds a degree from Montana State University in Fish and Wildlife Management. He has studied bears, wolves and mountain lions in Glacier National Park, and coyotes, wolverine and elk within the Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Todd has now been employed by the Gallatin National Forest for 30 years. His current position is an Engineering Technician, specializing in trail design, survey, contracting and construction engineering. He enjoys his daily work in the woods from March to December, and avoids the politics of the office as much as possible.
In 1987, Todd learned the art and skill of custom knife making from a family friend. Todd developed his skills over the years, and is the owner and knife maker of Skyblade Knives. His beautiful, hand-crafted knives and cutlery have been sold to satisfied customers across the US and in over a dozen countries worldwide. Crafted from the best stainless steel available and backed by a lifetime warranty, Todd's knives are a desired commodity sought by both hunter and collector alike.
Todd Orr is an outdoor enthusiast to the core.
He has grown accustomed to the rough terrain and harsh conditions commonly found throughout the Rocky Mountains and Montana. Thrilled by the challenges these majestic mountains offer, and motivated by the desire for a good workout and healthy lifestyle, Todd would likely be found in worn Carhartts, heavy hiking boots and a faded blue ball cap, exploring somewhere deep within the dark forests, or high up on the side of a steep, rocky mountain slope.
But good luck finding him...