Here are some photo's of an Owl I carved about 2 years ago. Wood carving helps improve manual dexterity and was actually taught as "manual training" in schools during the 1800's through early 1900's. Do a search at Internet Archives http://www.archive.org/details/texts for "Sloyd" or "Slojd" and you'll see. Notice the style of knife used. Its a Scandi very similar to a wood handled Mora. Matter of fact it probably is a Mora. Basically, the more you practice carving the better and faster you become. In a survival/bushcraft perspective, knocking out a spoon, tent peg or trap part in a few minutes is a valuable skill.
These knife illustrations are from a few of the books available for free download from the archive.
Here are a few titles;
Barter-Woodwork (the English Sloyd)
Hoffman-The Sloyd System of Wood Working
Larson-Elementary Sloyd & Whittling
Salomon-The Teachers Hand Book of Slojd
The owl is carved from a growth that forms on mesquite trees when they are attacked by mistletoe. They look kind of like a club and usually stand straight up on the limb. Unfortunately a lot of mesquite trees are dying from the excess mistletoe growth. I read somewhere that the Indians harvested the mistletoe from the trees. Since this is no longer done the trees are in danger.
Dexter Russell fleshing knife
1 hour ago