03 December 2015

A Piece of History, Pack Idaho / BisonGear

Before there was BisonGear Packs the name of the company was Pack Idaho. As best as I can tell the company has had 2 or 3 owners over the years and at least the one name change. I've been interested in them since I saw the first one in an a Traditional Bowhunter ad back in the 90s, I can't recall the edition but I do recall the image.

I've been using a Lemhi and a Lost River for several years now, mostly as day hunting or bumming or stump shooting packs. I've thoroughly enjoyed them both and think highly of their products in general.

I recently acquired a piece of their history, a very early 'Pack Idaho' First Trip Explorer without the panniers and in I believe Pendleton wool. The original Pack Idaho patch intact! This is a smaller pack compared to the Lost River but also lighter in weight. Offers the same freedom that all lumbar packs offer, no restriction at all when shooting a bow. It holds a days worth of stuff and rides super comfortably.

These packs have numerous attachment points and they are some of the more interesting types that I have seen. You can run webbing through the anywhichway attachment blocks, you can also slip MOLLE type attachment straps through them.

There is enough space in the lower for a puffy, hat and gloves, my HC Canteen and some other assorted sundries

I don't know how old this pack is, I'm guessing it's pushing 20 plus years old. Testament to the quality they have always had. I've read numerous accounts of owners of original Pack Idaho packs sending their packs to BisonGear and them repairing or replacing regardless of age. If you find one buy it, I guarantee you'll like it. If you don't then send me a message, chances are I'll buy it from you!

02 December 2015

Longbow Bunnies!

Of all of my hobbies I think chasing rabbits is one of the top five. I chase rabbits in a number of ways, they're a staple in the Grouch's Kitchen but something about chasing them with a longbow sets that method above the rest.

Having recently put blunts on a new set of bacote footed arrows I was itching to hit the thickets.

We got a pile of fresh snow yesterday, and unlike our usual fluffy fine stuff this was a heavy wet snow. I meandered the backwoods enjoying the quiet serenity of a snow covered landscape. It didn't take long before I cut a slew of hare tracks and trails. I took a post close to the runs and became still, waiting.

The first one was less than 20 paces when he moved, he'd been there the whole time and I hadn't seen him. Such is the case most of the time, be still long enough, be patient, then they move. A couple hops and he was less that 10 yards. The string came back, the briefest of moments at anchor and the arrow sang away. The VPA small game blunt did its business and the bunny expired quickly.

I hitched him up to my BisonGear Lost River pack and headed further into the thickets and snow covered hemlock halls.

I repeated the process and the outcome was the same. Another snowshoe hare quickly dispatched via longbow and blunt tipped arrow. I wondered briefly about how many times this has occurred, how many others had filled their supper pots with hares by way of a bow and arrow.  I find it quite entertaining to imagine my forebears doing as I had done, and wondering the exact same thing.

With enough rabbit for a Hasenpfeffer Stew I headed for the barn. While a short adventure, I felt recharged, the cold air nipped at my nose, my boots slid through the heavy wet snow, the weight of my rabbits pulled on my pack and I felt as if I'd touched some ancient root of the tree of time, had reenacted a dance that had been performed untold thousands of times before. I was my ancestor, if only for a moment.