Fresh wood is better for trimming and whittling, but dried wood provides more rigidity and durability. It has a compass embedded into the top of it 25mm if memory serves correctand a rubber tip where it meets the ground. Practice caution regardless of which method you employ. Do any staining or sealing in a well-ventilated area. I think if you are keeping your stick or have access to the hand of the person for whom the stick is being made, carving the finger spaces makes sense.
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Check your local city wood drop off spot. Use short, quick, shallow strokes. Just ask your local water works department or city hall. Now I just gotta get the proper leather to make the hand support strap. I've got some pics I'll have to put up showing how I layout paperclips as "pins" right on the stick; I'm also planning to do a video on the long turks when I get some time. Keep whittling until the bright wood beneath is exposed. I haven't been doing this long, Got interested in carving walking sticks in particular when I got back involved with Boy Scouts as an adult.