Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 62

European military accoutrement bags to the very plain, utilitarian pouches of the frontiersman, and the brightly decorated bead and quill bags of the Native American, the bag has a storied past. But, and unfortunately, while the rifles survived, the leather and cloth bags did not. There are a few relics now carefully maintained in museums and private collections, but most of our popularized ideas of how a bag should look have come from movies. So, if you are looking for the correct bag to hang with your primitive rifle, we need to generalize. Those who reenact the French and Indian War carry a fairly large, square-shaped bag. The leather bag, perhaps was a tougher version of the German cloth haversack (sack for horse food), it carried more than the tools for the flintlock musket. It carried salt horns, cups, spoons, mirrors and other tools needed for frontier military life. But as riflemen left the ranks of the militia and embraced the solitary lifestyle of Appalachian frontiersmen, the hunting pouch got smaller. From that time until the end of the black powder era after the Civil War, hunting pouches generally took on one of five shapes, and were sized between smaller 6- and 8-inch widths, and 7- to 9-inch depths. Madison Grant grouped them into five distinct styles: D-shape, double-pouched, heart-shaped, square-pouched and, kidneyshaped. The D-shaped bag was a deepened semicircular design that seemed to be the workhorse bag of the hunting fraternity. A small bag, from its strap hung a vent pick and brush, powder measurer and loading block. Knives were hung in a scabbard on the strap or attached to the back of the bag. The double pouch, which was a modification of the D-shape, offered more room and better organization of contents. The two pouches kept metal tools from rattling, spooking game, or giving away the presence of the hunter to hostile enemies. The heart-shaped bag forced the contents to settle to the center of the bottom.
62

This prevented spillage of the tools while running over rough terrain, or hitting the trail at full gallop on a horse. The square pouch seems to occur in every stage of muzzleloading rifle development. From the earliest Plymouth Rock pilgrims to the end of the Rocky Mountain fur trapper era, the square-shaped bag was used. This is probably because it was the easiest of the shapes to make from one sheet of leather or cloth. It gave the greatest depth and volume for the money. The kidney-shaped hunting pouch provided greater room for longer items. Long handles on lead-melting ladles, buffalo skinning-knives, long-handled bullet molds and other lengthy utilitarian tools needed the room, and the kidney shape did that without becoming too bulky. The flap on all of these shapes varied greatly. While shorter flaps were made of heavier designs that included the fur-faced fox, bobcat or bear skins, the long flaps of leather gave a closure that did away with the need for a button or buckle. In many instances, the weight of a hanging powder horn kept the contents firmly inside the bags. Without a clasp, the hunter could gain faster entry for reloading or repair. Leather piercings didn’t seem to appear until after 1820. Cut-outs in the shape of acorns, oak leaves, hearts, stars and other folk art motifs, revealed a splash of color from the underlying fabric or leather. By 1850, however, elaborate designs disappeared as demand for utilitarian “percussion” tool bags emerged. Throughout the hunting pouch’s history, calfskin was most often used. Deer skin, elk and moose skins were used, but didn’t possess the durability needed to resist the abuse from metal tools. Furbearers, such as raccoon, opossum, skunk, bear, fox, coyote and wolf also entered the mix, but most of those haven’t survived for us to examine. Today, many of these fur-adorned hunting pouches are popular with rendezvous reenactors. The modern muzzleloader hunter has
GAME NEWS



Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
Groundhog Hunting
Worth the Wait
Fire For Wildlife
Integrity
No Better Investment
Bobcat Charlie
Mentored Youth Hunting
A Long Time Forgotten
The First Hunt
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Groundhog Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Worth the Wait
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Fire For Wildlife
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Integrity
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - No Better Investment
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Bobcat Charlie
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Mentored Youth Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - A Long Time Forgotten
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - The First Hunt
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2010 - Cover4
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