Monday, November 22, 2010
belt pouch hunting....or "do you want a round house kick while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget About it!!!"
This time of year is so hectic…..So I’m going to apologize for the lag in my posts. Between hunting/work/family and my own weirdness (mostly my own weirdness…..I have issues) I’ve been pretty busy. I gave a weaving talk at Fort Niagara which went pretty well but for me the best part was the tour of the Fort By Ian Stout as the few times I had been to the site I never had time to walk around and take it all in. It was also awesome to hang out with the usual cast of characters (eric schatzel, Ward Oles, Mike Galban, Eli Motsey, Mark Hersee, Brendan Menz) As usual the craziness resulted in a lot of learning and more questions. Those are the weekend I really feel lucky to have the friends I do. Then again they also result in the drinking of shawneebrew….it had a lot of hops…forget about it! Anyhow….This week I’ll make up for it with the stuff I started and stopped over the past few weeks.
So anyhow…the week before the talk I was able to spend a lot of time in the woods. One Thing I finished was a copy of the Lyman pouch I had cut out….I think 2 years ago. Being a slacker sucks sometimes. The pouch was based off a tracing I had done of the original pouch. I used some Bark Tan pig hide for my pouch (I’ll cover this more later) But after the pouch was finished I decided to try it out at my camp in place of my new pocket method (ADD is a hell of a drug)
So my hunting rig was a belt pouch (shot/round ball in the front pocket, turn screw flints and toggle in rear pocket) my horn with the pipe bowl measure (pick and whisk on the strap) I also wore a haversack (authenticity gods forgive me) to use as a game bag as I haven’t finished my netted bag yet. And while hunting I found a penance for this…..
Anyhow…So I headed out from my camp building towards the center of the camp. I had lost a tobacco pouch in the “brush” last time I was out so I figured this was a good route to take to try and get it back. As I walked the trail I flushed a grouse right off the bat. The grouse flew ahead of me and I had no chance of shooting it. So I Pulled the gun up to my shoulder and walk towards the spot the grouse landed. About 15 yards from the spot the grouse landed the grouse popped back up and before it could fly I pulled the trigger. The grouse rolled onto the open trail ahead of me.
Ok so here is the point some ppl will say to themselves….hey !he shot it on the ground! That’s not what I would have done!....well F*ck you. That’s how I learned to hunt. Why put a grouse in the air or flush the rabbit from the brush pile when you can shoot it and eat it? Kobuck’s Kill animals and eat them. You have a problem with that…well don’t hunt with me.
So I reloaded quickly as I was in the brush and had seen a lot of grouse this season in the area. But nothing else popped up. As I walked I spotted a section full of dogbane. So cut a few stalks and shoved them on my pouch and kept walking.I walked the rest of the trail until I came to the end of the brush. I headed up the ridge and found a nice hollow to watch.
I sat on a log looking down the hollow and while I was there saw 6 does work their way up towards me. While I watched them I broke up one of the dogbane stocks and striped off the bark to make cordage and rolled it on my leg. It sounds odd but The deer came within a few feet of me as I sat there making cordage. After about an hour I tucked my new “string” of dogbane in my pocket and walked along the ridge towards the camp.
As I was heading towards the camp I spotted a hornets nest in a pine tree. It was about 20 feet up so I took a few minutes to toss limbs at the branch until the nest broke free. I then looked at the nest for a few minutes for live wasps and tossed the bag into my haversack. I plan on using it for wadding for the rest of the season/
The Section I was hunting wa the spine of a ridge with little islands of brush and open timber on each side. I walked a few yards then stood still listening. Then to my left I heard some squirrels chattering. I snuck along the Ridge and spotted 4 squirrels in a section of pine trees on a shelf below me. As I snuck towards them 3 of the squirrels climbed to my left and one went higher in the tree I spotted them in. as I got within about 10 yards of the tree I shot the loan squirrel.
The squirrel fell in front of me and I quickly reloaded and moved towards the squirrels to my left but they had already moved behind me to a section of hollow trees/brush. I waited a half an hour for movement but it was getting dark so I walked off the ridge spotting a few does as I did. It was a pretty nice day to be in the woods….especially with a new shot pouch…
The pouch I made is based of the Lyman pouch. The pouch is pretty small by most modern shooters tastes but it has a really kewl feature. There is an internal divider that allows you to put shot/ball on one side and the other items you might carry on the other (in my case a screwdriver, extra flint and leather pad. The pouch matches up to the description of the belt bags worn by Roger’s rangers as well as a description of early 19th century hunter/rev war Veteran Nicholas Stoner: “He usually wore a fur cap when hunting, and a short coat, or cloth roundabout. A belt encircled his waist, at the foot of which was fastened a bullet pouch, and beneath which upon the left side were thrust a hatchet and knife; while under his right arm hung a powder horn of no mean capacity.”
I was able to examine the pouch when I was working the clash of empire exhibit and there is a really good image of the pouch in the Clash exhibit Catalog (which is worth buying for so many images ) From what I understand Matt Wulf did an article on the pouch for “On the trail magazine” but I haven’t seen the article yet. God I’m a slacker….anyhow…
I’ve often wondered if these belt pouches were something you’d see more in the Northern states based on the info I’ve seen but honestly….I don’t have a clue. I’ve been a big fan of belt pouches for some time. I’ve carried a pouch based off a dug example since the late 90’s and a belt pouch combined with a belted hunting shirt (with a pocket)t in all honesty I have found has been all I really need to wear when in the woods for long periods of time. My gun equipment goes in the belt pouch (shot/ball, turn screw, flints), pick and whisk on my horn strap (with a tow worm) and other gear goes in my hunting shirt (like Doddridge mentions) or in the hunting shirt pocket.
It might seem odd to carry so little But the more I look in period info from any source relating to hunting I just don’t see the oversized shot pouches full of a hundred little pieces of gear. I really think as a culture reenactors are so “stuff” focused that we really miss the simplicity in the idea of meat/hide hunting. If you’ve ever hunted with anyone that learned to hunt during the depression your idea of “gear” goes way beyond the real tree under armor of today’s hunters. But there I go….off on a tangent.
SO folks if ya get a chance get a hold of WUlf’s article or the Clash Catalog and try a belt pouch out for yourself. They do rock and help cut down on the straps you wear as you walk thru the woods.
back issues of OTT for the Wulf article
catalog with Lyman pouch and alot of killer stuff in it...
"Clash Of empires The british French and indian War 1754-1763" By R.S. Stephenson