I grew up as a fishing fool. My dad said I was born with a Lamiglas in my hand but I didn’t hunt much until I was 12. My dad didn’t hunt much either after having me and my brother plus living in the city didn’t help much. I fished as much as possible, even caught my first salmon at age 2 (with dads help of course). My dad would pull me out of school to go fishing, when the salmon were running or we would go slay a few bass or even blue gill. I never cared much about hunting, I guess it seems weird now days as I think back.
When I turned 12 I moved in with my mom out in Eastern Oregon and the hunting in the area was awesome so I thought I would give it a try. I drew my first deer tag that year and my mom’s boyfriend, Craig, told me he would take me and teach me how to hunt.
He was a rough man. He gave me little direction, and sent me out, pointed to a hill an told me to stay in cover and use the wind. Hell I didn’t know how to do that. That day I got very lucky and shot my first buck. A Benchleg 3×4 with eye guards. From their I was hooked, I almost forgot about fishing.
Craig took me out hunting all the time after that and taught me a lot. That same year I also harvested my first bull elk, a big spike by fork.
Those years I feel were peer luck and lots of learning, not much skill involved at all.
Since then I have been very fortunate to have taken many big game animals. I am 10 for 10 on my bull elk tags and this year I tagged out with all 3 of my tags (muzzle loader, archery bull elk, cascade archery buck). After I tag out, I’m still out with friends helping them fill their tags. This year alone I helped fill tag after tag. It was a very successful year.
I get asked a lot, “what do you do to be successful in the field?”
My first answer when people ask me is stubbornness. I’ll wait out an animal for days, ill hunt the nastiest weather, and I stay out from sun up to sun down. I also use the wind more than any other tool. I don’t care if I have a 400-inch bull at 80 yards and know it’s my only chance, if the wind is wrong, I will back out. I have always been told that a deer/elk can see you twice, hear you three times, but if they smell you they are gone. Wind can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Learn to use it and your odds of tagging out will intensely increase.
Over the years I have learned patience pays off more than anything. I used to just stumble around and never sit. Always wondered what’s in the next draw, and usually walk over the hill into the draw, sun at my back and skyline, spooking everything out. Now I will sit and wait, watch everything, find ways to not cross a ridge without cover and always, always watch my step. I don’t know how many rocks I’ve sent down cantons on accident just to spook all the deer out.
When I am walking through the woods I will move like I’m 100 years old. I see so much more that way. Before I learned to move slow, I would blow animals out all the time. Always look ahead. I’ll take 3 steps, stop, look around, and listen. I see ten times the game now that I do this.
Success also comes with knowing your equipment and practicing with it. I shoot my bow year round and hike with my hunting gear, I shed hunt in the off-season to scout, and see what bucks made it through winter. I practice stalking animals when I am she’d hunting too. I try and see how close I can get. I scout my ass off all year and try and pattern my prey, so I know what they do at any given time of the day, or in any weather. 90% of my success on a hunt is in a storm, rain, lightning, and wind. The harsh weather gets the animals moving.
I try to set my season up to where I have several spots to hunt. That way if someone is where I want to be I can go to the next. Or if the wind is wrong I can go to a spot where I can use it to my advantage. If I haven’t tagged out, I am in the woods. I’ve killed 9 of my 10 bulls on the last weekend of season.
Those are what I would consider my main keys to success. To this day, I still don’t know if it’s Lady Luck, skill, or just being in the right spot at the right time, but whatever it is I hope nothing changes for me. I feel very lucky to have harvested all the animals I have.
November 30th. It was the last day I was going to be able to hunt Oregon’s late season Blacktail season. I picked my brother up at 5:30am and we headed to my spot. We started the 2 mile hike about 45 minutes before the sunrise. We made it about 150 yards from the gate before jumping our first deer in some re-prod. We never saw it but we heard it bound off. We tried to back track after it, but after 20 minutes we gave up. We knew there were more deer in the area and didn’t want waste any more time.
The rest of the hike we went slow. I didn’t want to spook anymore deer. The deer back in the area we were heading don’t start moving through until 9:00am so we weren’t in a hurry. We stopped a few times shedding layer as it was pretty warm for being the end of November. For that whole week the weather was warm and clear skies, but today was cloudy and a big storm was moving in later in the afternoon. It was setting up to be a good day.
At about 8:45 we made it to our area. We were only 100 yards from what we call the split. It’s where the road we walk in on splits. We see deer at the split almost every time we go back there. Today was no different. I spotted some movement behind some brush and picked out a deer. I stopped my brother and got a better look. It was a doe, and like I said it was my last day and had made up my mind to take a doe if presented a shot. I watched it as it fed towards the road. I ranged it at 45 yards and waited for it to clear some small trees. It put its head down to feed and that’s when I noticed it wasn’t a doe but a small 2 point. At that same time it must have known something was wrong and turned and went the way it came. I told my brother I was going in after it. Where we spotted this little buck was in a 7 year old clear cut. I snuck down the road in onto a skid road going along the top on the clear cut. I stopped to glass up the little buck but I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was just getting ready to turn around when I spotted some movement off in the distance. I checked it out with my binoculars and found a very nice buck. I immediately dropped to my knees and took my pack off. My heart began to beat furiously. I watched this deer for about 20 minutes as he walked my direction. He stopped to thrash trees and feed. A couple times he turned and heading the other direction only to turn and come back my way. While watching the buck my brother had no clue what was going on and started to come down to see what was going on.
While the buck fed I stopped my brother at the top of the skidder trail and had him drop to his belly. The buck must have seen him or something because he through his head up and looked in our direction. After what felt like an hour he started his walk towards me. I ranged him at 60 yards now, right at my comfort range. I got my arrow ready and waited. The wind was perfect and the buck was still coming so I waited. He walked behind a brush pile that I ranged at 45 yards. I stood up and when he cleared the pile I drew back only to have a small shrub right in my shooting lane. I took 2 steps to the left and with a clear lane, the buck stopped, I put my 30 yard pin a little high on his back just behind the shoulders and let my arrow go. The buck took a step just as I released. THWACK! Was the sound I heard; My arrow shooting straight into the air and with the buck taking off running is what I saw. My first thought was Holy s*%t I missed!!! I thought my arrow went right over his back and hit a brush pile right behind him. My heart sank. The buck ran off about 40 yards and stopped. He stood there for about 3 minutes. Then he stared to wobble a bit and turn broadside. Seeing his reaction my heart began beating again. I hit him!! I threw up my binos and saw blood! He had blood on his body. It was a little far back so I knew it was a liver shot. About a minute later he laid down just behind some shrubs.
My brother, through the whole situation had no idea what was going. He didn’t have a view of the buck or me the entire time. He heard the sound of the shot and the sound of a hit. I called back to him to come down and told him I was sure I just hit a nice 3 point maybe even a 4. I wasn’t sure yet what he was. The only thing I knew was he was big and the shot was a little back. We started to high five and celebrate. I gave him about 45 minutes and decided to get my arrow. I took about 10 steps and the buck jumped up and ran over down a hill out of sight. My heart sank just a little. I went to where my arrow was and found it covered in blood. I had a straight pass through and 38 yards and it hit a stump and flew straight in to the air. Now know he was for sure hit we decided to give him some time. My brother still had a tag to fill and we have been seeing deer all morning.
After about 2 hours we decided to track my buck. We got to where he bedded after the shot only to find one little puddle of blood. We stared to look around and couldn’t find any more blood. I was getting frustrated. We slowly made our way down the clearing in the direction he ran. About 60 yards down the hill my brother waived and pointed down the hill. He then called out saying the buck jumped up and ran down into some thick timber. Again my heart sank. With no blood trail and him running into thick timber we gave him more time. We made a call to my dad to come help track him. I knew he wasn’t going to make it much farther as he was slow to run when we jumped him. An hour passed before we pressed on. My brother took the tree line and I went 30 yards into the timber next to a creek. I found a game trail with some fresh tracks so I walked down the trail. I went about 40 yards and went around a small bend. I looked down the trail and about 15 feet in front of me laying on the trail was my buck. He was facing the opposite direction and that’s when I noticed how big he really was. My heart now pumping out of my chest I knocked another arrow drew back and let it flight. Direct hit! Down he went! I was at the highest of highs at this point. I called for my brother to come down and the celebration was on. This hunt was an emotional roller coaster! From the high of the first shot, to the downs of jumping him with no blood trail to follow, ultimately the payoff was worth it as I walked up to my biggest Blacktail ever. He turned out to be a very nice 4×3 with small eye guards and very good mass. ~ Josh Taylor (field staff)
Recently we were sent a GoScope Extreme telescoping GoPro Pole to try out with our GoPro POV cams. When I opened up the package, right away I was a little scepticle about the durability of the product. After using it for the past few weeks, I can definitely lay that assumption to rest. I have dropped it countless times, shoved it in and out of my pack, dropped it from a moving truck at 45mph and it still works like a charm.
Now we do a lot of POV style filming in our hunts and outside of Heavy Hitters Outdoors on various personal projects with Sycan Media, so its nice to be able to add to our arsenal of tools that we have available. A few of us ski and snowboard as well as surf and having this will be fun to test out when the weather finally turns and we are able to get out and do that. The GoScope has allowed us to get a whole new angle with our B-Roll shots. I was able to get angles I normally wouldnt be able to get before, without have to lug around a big monopod or tripod with a heavy camera on the end. I’ll be able to get closer to some wildlife like Copperhead Snakes without worrying about getting bit and getting some Epic film.
The GoScope allows for two GoPros to be mounted on it for two simultaneous shots. I have not used this feature and not sure that I would have any use for it with what I do but it gives you that option of filming yourself as well as what is in front of you which would add new dynamics to your film. The grip is soft and comfortable and it comes with a wrist strap that is very rugged and has a superb grip on it for anti-slip situations. The telescoping takes a second to get used to. Once it’s locked in, you don’t have to worry about it coming loose but isn’t super fast like a lot of tripod or monopod legs.
There is only one real complaint I have about this product and that it does not have an option for a 1/4-20 mount for accessories like a light, or a different POV cams like a Contour or a Kodak Playsport which we also use. Would be nice to have that option available and you could still mount a GoPro using the GoPro tripod mount.
If you are into solo filming and doing trick shots and/or adding new, creative B-Roll to your portfolio, this GoScope is a MUST own! We are stoked to have this new tool and intend to have it with us on every trip we go on from here on out!
– Super lightweight: 6 Ounces
– Fits in your backpack
– Comes ready to attach to your GoPro® Camera
– Telescoping from 17″ to 37″
– Mounts on Two Sides (Capable of Holding Two Cameras)
– Durable in Saltwater, Freshwater, and Snow
– Floats with One Camera Attached
– Indestructible: Made of Forged Aluminum and Poly-carbonate
(ALL UNDERWATER SCENES WERE FILMED USING A GOSCOPE)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received GoScope for free from GoScope, LLC as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Retailer Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.
As soon as one season ends the next one is on your mind! You take the mistakes you made from the previous season and correct them for the up and coming season. We spend countless hours scouting, shed hunting and critiquing our archery skills and equipment. Your bow string is something most dont even think about, but at the moment of truth it is the tool doing the most work. For the past six years, I have had privilege to bowhunt whitetail deer. They are very cunning and nervous animals. Being notorious for jumping and ducking at the sound of a bowstring. With Winners Choice Custom Bowstrings you wont have to worry about that anymore. Having installed Winners Choice strings, my bow is quieter, much faster, and accuracy is far superior than factory strings.
What I noticed right off was my peep sight came up at the same position every time the bow was drawn. Even after hundreds of shots, there is no stretch in my strings. Accuracy is phenominal and it is quieter than ever. String fray is very minimal to non at all so winners choice strings will out last the competiton. Even if you do not hunt and just love the challenge of shooting archery equipment, there is a Winners Choice Bowstring for you.
What I like the most about my Winners Choice strings is the accuracy my bow has gained. I have always liked shooting my bow before but now my confidence has risen to a whole new place. Knowing my bow shoots better than ever I’m less reluctant to travel to 3d bow shoots. I also practice longer shots without fear of losing an arrow. So when the moment of truth steps out from behind that oak tree broadside twenty yards away, with the confidence you have built up in your bowstrings, Winners Choice Custom Bowstrings will not fail! – Nathan Knapp
I recently received a set of Winners Choice X8190 Bowstrings and Cables for my 2013 Hoyt Charger. Upon receiving the new strings I noticed the level of quality right away. I had heard great things about the product that Winners Choice brought to the archery game but had never experienced it myself. Until now……..Prior to receiving the new X8190 strings and cables, I was shooting the stock strings that came on my Hoyt Charger.
In the 3 months that I shot with the stock strings my bow came out of time due to the strings stretching four times. The last time was so bad that the top cam was at full rotation nearly ½ of an inch before the bottom cam. On top of dealing with string stretch I was also dealing with constant peep rotation. Within days of receiving my new X8190 strings, I was on my way to my preferred bow shop. Once my bow was restrung, I noticed an immediate difference. As soon as I returned home from the bow shop, I put the new strings to the test. I was truly amazed at how minimal the shoot in time was. I’m talking less than 15 minutes. I have now had the X8190 strings on my bow for the better part of two months. I have been amazed at the performance and consistency of these strings. I shoot anywhere between 100-500 arrows per week. I have experienced zero string stretch and zero peep rotation.
My 2013 Hoyt Charger is set at a 30″ draw length and 70lbs of draw weight. I shoot a 450 grain Gold Tip Expedition Hunter arrow with 2″ Blazer Vanes that are set with a 3 degree helical. Prior to putting on the Winners Choice X8190 strings, I was shooting 304 feet per second. After installing these strings, I am shooting 310 feet per second with an astounding kinetic energy level of 94 foot pounds. I will recommend the Winners Choice X8190 Bowstrings to family, friends and strangers alike. The entire team at Heavy Hitters Outdoors trusts them……YOU should too. ~ Sean Schulz
8190 Xtreme™ is made from proven 100% Dyneema fibers just like the exceptional 8125 material except that 8190 Xtreme™ features the never before available SK90 grade Dyneema which is a major improvement on the SK75 grade used in 8125.
8190 Xtreme™ features
8190 Xtreme™ is quite simply most advanced bowstring fiber ever introduced. Used in conjunction with Winners Choice proprietary construction method 8190 Xtreme™ has enabled Winner’s Choice to once again raise the bar in bowstring quality and reliability.
KEY PRODUCT FEATURES
No Peep Rotation…Guaranteed !
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So I was recently given a pack of Toxic Broadheads from a friend and thought I would test them out after a bunch of heated discussions whether or not they had penetration power and if they were legal in states like Oregon where there is strict guidelines on what broadheads you can or cannot use. These are a killer looking broadhead that look like Muzzies bent to form the shape of a toxic chemical warning symbol. The only real issues I would have is the blades are pretty much one and done, although replaceable, it makes it hard to site in on a perfect broadhead everytime. The other is that it only comes in a 100 grain application. For us Elk hunters, we like to have all the KE we can get so a 125 grain would be great.
There are countless ways to mess up an elk hunt, or any hunt for that matter, but one way to better yourself as a hunter is to be physically and mentally prepared. Being prepared will help minimize your mistakes and make your hunt more memorable. Elk hunting is tough; steep mountains, high elevations, and brutal weather conditions will be against you and all for the elk. Hunting in the mountains under these conditions can test anyone’s physical and mental fortitude. This is why it is important to be prepared to optimize your odds for success.
I read a quote by Cam Hanes recently that got me thinking “Everyday you spend in inactivity, you get weaker. Everyday that the elk move through the high country, they get stronger. And the longer you wait to exercise, the wider the gap grows”. Persistence and perseverance are critical components of any hunt but they are also critical components of a strenuous workout and shooting routine. Before embarking on your hunt, make the commitment to yourself that you will hunt hard every day, no matter the circumstances and not to quit before the end of your hunt. This is also true for your workouts and shooting routines. This is where being physically prepared comes in handy.
A lot of elk hunters do not focus on the important areas of the body that are used the most during the hunt. So what specific areas of our bodies should we focus on improving if we want to become capable and confident hunters? The answer is simple; legs and lungs. I’m not telling you to just lift and workout just your legs and lungs but focus on them a little more at least. Think about it, everything you do in the woods starts and ends with your legs. Legs are a foundation for your body and also a foundation to a successful and most importantly a more memorable hunt. Your legs are one of the most essential physical assets that will determine how hard you will be able to hunt.
In the mountains you will be facing a scientifically proven battle for oxygen resources. The low concentration of oxygen in the high, thin air at altitude will make it difficult for your body to perform at its best. I’m going to put this as simple as I can…BE IN TOP CARDIOVASCULAR SHAPE! We have to train our heart and lungs to be as efficient as possible, so our blood circulation and oxygen is prepared for the stresses of hunting.
If you’re just getting started on a fitness regime you should aim for a minimum of days of cardio exercises a week. From there work your way up to 5-6 days a week. Shot for a minimum of 20 minutes a session but no longer than 60 minutes a section. When doing cardio you will need to be in your Target Heart Range (THR) to exercise your heart and lungs. This THR is 60-85% of your maximum heart rate (if you need help finding your THR send me and email at email@example.com and I will help you).
The best way to achieving your desired physical fitness level is through variety. When hunting you will be faced with a multitude of challenges, this is why you shouldn’t rely on one exercise to prepare for your season. Mix it up so you aren’t getting bored with your exercises, go on a hike, a bike ride, run the dog, do circuit training, or crossfit, just mix it up.
My goal is to become the best possible hunter I can be. I hope that is yours too. Having a wide variety of exercises will get you in an adequate form for hunting and help you become a better hunter. Now the question is do you just want to go elk hunting, or do you want to bring one back? Good luck!!
Whether you are a one day hunter or a 5 day bivy hunter, we all have one thing in common when preparing for a hunt; convenience and comfort. Ribz™ Front Pack has made a pack system that achieves both comfort, and convenience. As a photographer and a hunter, I have always had issues with having my important gear within quick reach without having to take a pack off and rifle through it to get what I needed or having an unnecessary amount of weight to carry the gear. Having the Ribz™ pack on allows me to have all the gear I need right within arms reach and still be able to wear my full pack on my back. I still have a complete range of motion while filming and can pull my bow back and release without any obstruction making it extremely useful.
The pack is made with 210D Cordura brand water resistant ripstop holding a total capacity of 700 cubic inches (regular size). The quiet, comfortable material comes in multiple colors including camouflage. The top straps have a padded adjustable strap that makes the heavy loads no problem and the oblique straps keep the bottoms of the pack taut and keep it from bouncing around while running or repelling. I’ve had this pack from sea level to about 6500 feet in elevation and from 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 with no issues in fabric, water or zipper malfunctions. The Cordura material does a brilliant job of shedding unwanted heat during the summer months but also keeps heat in when needed in the winter months.
All in all I don’t really have anything bad to say about these Ribz™ packs. The only things I experienced with the pack that I wish it had was a padded interior for my lenses, fragile gear and either a clip on strap or a better way to keep track of how they align correctly, it is easy to tangle them up but with a little practice, you’ll be able master how they work quick. If you are anything like us here at H2O, you’ll need to add this pack to your must own list. I won’t leave on a hunt without one! Happy Hunting!
By Jeff Coxen
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I received Ribz Front Pack for free from Cameron Ownbey as coordinated by [Deep Creek Public Relations] http://deepcreekpr.com/ in consideration for review publication.
Growing up in The Great Northwest, I’ve pretty much had the pleasure of hunting in every kind of element mother nature has to offer. After the last 20 years or so I have also had the opportunity to put a lot of gear to the test. The most important thing that will not only make your hunt better is knowing where you can cheap out and where you can’t. Being fortunate enough to have a lot of friends that hunt and fish like I do, I have been able to see them succeed and struggle with their gear too. I get asked often what gear I use and why we have the sponsors we have now. This is a small list of what I believe are the three most important pieces you can NOT be a cheap skate with.
Pack – Whether you are going on a day hunt or an over-nighter, a good backpack is essential. If you are simply just trying to spend as little as possible and find something to throw your gear into, you are going to find yourself very unhappy halfway through your day. I’ve blazed through almost a dozen packs before landing on Oregon Packworks and Ribz . I was a victim of cheap decisions and poor quality. I was even a victim of overpriced name brand packs that market well. I figured instead of continuing to be the Guinea Pig of the hunting pack world I would make a list of what I wanted and needed and wouldn’t buy one until it filled everything I needed. First thing was Durability. I put my gear through hell and back and needed something could keep up with me and mother nature. The second thing I needed was Comfort. There are few things worse than hiking on a 5 mile trip with every step of it being uncomfortable. It turns that 5 miles into 10 real quick. Next was Ergonomics. It has to perform…period! If it is not functional and won’t hold the gear and game I need it to, it just simply, not worth a dime.
Knife – Quite arguably the best piece of equipment you can have in almost any part of life. A knife can get you out of nearly any jam. A knife can be used as a screw driver, bottle opener, universal Spam cutter and a lifesaver. Having a quality knife vs a cheap knife could possibly be a life and death situation. It’s crazy to think that but being stranded or in a position where you need a sharp edge and having a knife that doesn’t keep that edge could be detrimental to a survival aspect. It could also make your life a living hell when you do tag out and need to field dress your game and you have to keep stopping to sharpen your knife or carry multiple knives which means adding unnecessary weight. Obviously I prefer CRKT, not that I am biased or anything. I know that I can count on Columbia Knife & Tool. It isn’t a coincidence that we have CRKT as a sponsor, we believe in their product and know they work like we do….rugged! You may have your own trusty knife and that’s really all that matters. If you trust it and know it won’t let you down then that is what you roll with but make sure it will stand up to the tasks at hand.
Footwear – The most important piece of gear you could possibly own! I have seen too many times where my friends have simply given up because their feet, knees or even backs hurt due to poor choice in boots. I know that $39.99 special over at the sporting goods store looks too good to pass up but I will be the first to tell you that you absolutely get what you pay for when it comes to footwear. I don’t think I have ever spent less than a hundred dollars on a pair of hunting boots. Even if I didn’t have the money, I saved up for it and waited until I could. In fact, I always have at least two pairs with me. One for good weather and one for bad. How many times have you been out in the woods and the weather turned for the worst and you were caught wishing you had that better pair in the truck?
So whether is something as simple as a day hike or a 3 day trek into the wilderness, you might want to do your research and due diligence instead of playing roulette with what could end in a really uncomfortable trip.
When we embarked on this journey to start Heavy Hitters Outdoors, our biggest concern was to get some quality sponsors with products that can stand up to the punishment we put them through. When we first looked into some serious bivy hunting packs, we searched high and low for a product that could not only hold up to our rigorous hunting and hiking but that could also hold all of our gear. Now I know what you are saying, “any pack could hold our gear”, and yes you are partially right, but with our size, our gear tends to be a bit larger and heavier then your average bivy hunter (all of us are over 250 lbs). After we eliminated some other brands, we saw an online ad about Oregon Packworks so the research started. I had tried on packs at every store I could find that carried quality hunting style packs and was not convinced that some of them could hang with us big boys. So far my short list of must have’s in a pack was fulfilled with Oregon Packworks pack. After trying on the pack, I was fully convinced this was the best pack I had ran into and it would fit the bill for Heavy Hitters Outdoors. There were a few very close runner ups as far as quality and comfort but what sealed the deal were two things; 1. Made in the U.S.A. and 2. a local product from my hometown Bend, Oregon. It was a win win for me.
With around 6000 cubic inches, we found that The Whole Shebang had more than enough room for a three to seven day hunt and actually found ourselves questioning if we had enough gear and started looking for items to put in to fill the space that we probably didn’t need. The “WholeShebang” is the complete setup OPW offers and what I can say is that they don’t leave any stone unturned with the amount versatility you can do with this bad boy. With about a dozen different configurations, you can take it all or whatever you need for the type of hunt you are going on. The “Hydration Pack”, is what holds your water bladder for those long hikes is one of the packs best features. Most packs have your water bladder stuffed between the pack and your back where it doesn’t keep it’s cool. OPW makes it to where you can adjust and place the Hydration Pack to where you want it but mainly, keeps it off your back and relocates it to the outside of the pack to keep it temperature safe. I was surprised after hiking for over 10 miles in the sun, my Hydration Pack with an MSR 4 liter bladder inside, it kept it nice and cool throughout the whole hike.
Not Every hunt consists of having the “WholeShebang” so it was also nice that I am able to break the pack down to what is called an “Orion” pack which is the whole shebang minus the main large piece referred to as “The Green Gate” (the belly of the beast). After removing The Green Gate and reconnecting the side overflow bags, Hydration pack, relocating the “Lumbar Pack” to the bottom and snapping in the outer cover aptly called “The Meat Shelf”, which is a long cover/support that starts at the bottom of the pack and connects with two clasps atop the pack to hold in your game, bow and even a rifle, I then had what OPW calls “The Orion”. Remove the side overflow bags, meat shelf and you now have “The Rogue”. Even if you are just going for a small jaunt and just need a small day type pack to carry some small essentials, “The Lumbar Pack” is a great choice as it’s just a waist pack but is spacious, lightweight and comfy.
Once big game season came around this past year, we were able to put these packs to the real test. We hiked close to 70 miles in 7 days with them in all different configurations and I will be the first to say that not only were they very comfortable but they were also quiet and durable. Some of the time, I forgot I had a pack on. I have done the same hunt years before with lesser competitors and struggled the whole time. Temperatures reached near the nineties and dipped down into the teens in the early morning and late night and the pack had no issues with zippers freezing shut, getting caught on anything and the clasps and belts all functioned great. Everything from the plastic to the stitching is heavy duty and the strength was evident when H2O pro staffer Glenn Doney packed out a near 300 pound Black Bear with no issues at all.
The packs are also easy to clean. After packing out the bear, the blood wiped right off in a creek near our camp and we were off hunting once again. We have also used them to hike in gear duck hunting as well as coastal deer and elk hunting during the rifle seasons in Oregon and it had no problem shedding water with the nasty weather the coast range has to offer. If you are as serious of a hunter, hiker or all around outdoorsman or woman that likes a great piece of equipment then I highly recommend you pick up what will be the last pack you will ever buy; an Oregon Packworks Pack.
By Jeff Coxen