All posts by Yankee Hunter

Filson Customer Service: Stand Or Fall?

My Filson Customer Service Experience.  One Thing Leads To Another and the bellows pocket stitching on my Filson Tin Shooting bag failed for no apparent reason (other than 10 years of use) and 20 gauge shells were slipping out leaving a trail that a blind man could follow.  Would Filson Customer Service Stand Or Fall? Filson Customer Service Filson Shooting Bag

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Woodcock In The South

Woodcock In The SouthMy favorite book on woodock hunting is Making Game: An Essay on Woodcock by Guy De la Valdene. My second favorite is A Fall Of Woodcock by Tom Huggler.  Both books detail accounts of woodcock hunting and woodcock in the south.   It is during the winter months that this Yankee seriously considers becoming a Southern Man.

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Skinny Bowstrings For Traditional Archery

Skinny Bowstrings For Traditional Archery

2018 New Year’s resolution: This is the year that I will become deadly accurate with my traditional bows.  I will practice form and shoot my recurve bows EVERY day.    To kick start this initiative, I needed a new skinny bowstring for my 30# Wing Falcon recurve from Silent But Deadly Bowstrings. When the package arrived the first thing I noticed was That Smell!

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Schnees Pac Boot Rebuild

Schnees Pac Boot Rebuild

Schnees Pac Boot Rebuild.  Boots- barely alive… Gentleman, they can be rebuilt… We have the technology. We have the capability to fix these boots… better, stronger, faster…  There’s a lady at Schnee’s in Bozeman Montana who’s an expert at rebuilding or “rebottoming” their famous pac boots.   I recently send my Schnee’s Guide Boots back to have this service performed.  Bottoms Up!

Schnees Pac Boot Rebuild Service Q & A

Schees Pac Boot Rebuild
Schnees Pac Boot Rebuild Tire Tread
  1. What is the typical number of times a boot can successfully be rebuilt?  We have bottomed boots that were 20+ years old. It really depends on how well the customer cares for their boots. Conditioning on a bi-yearly or more basis is super important.
  2. Is there a record for the number of times a customer has had a particular boot rebuilt?  Not sure, but the condition of the leather makes or breaks it.
  3. What is the worst condition you’ve ever seen a boots come in for rebuild?  Very hard, dry, cracked leather. We do get the occasional “dog ate my boot” which we can patch or replace depending on the amount of damage.
  4. Is there a particular individual that performs the rebuilds and if so, what is the individual’s name an skill set?   We train our staff into this position. There are several steps involved and the longer they are with the company, the more advanced steps are introduced.
  5. How many rebuilds do you typically perform in a month’s/year’s time?  About 1,500 or so.
  6. Is it easier to build a new boot, or do a rebuild?   Rebuild is faster and most of the time easier depending on the condition of the upper.
  7. Can the customer request any modifications during the rebuild process and if so, are there any typical requests?   Other than changing to/from ADV or T/T soles in the same boot style, it is very difficult to make changes.
  8. What is the typical turnaround time for a rebuild?   Usually one week, possibly longer during peak season.
  9. Do you prefer the customer to leave the lowers attached when sent back or removed?   It is best to leave them attached for identification of style and size.
  10. How much does it cost?
    $90 + shipping for tire tread and $100 for advantage bob sole.

Where To Get A Schnees Pac Boot Rebuild

To learn more about the rebuild service, visit

Schnees Pac Boots Leather Boot Care

Schnee’s Pac Boots Leather Boot Care

I thoroughly enjoy caring for my leather products, especially my Schnee’s pac boots.  It’s one of my favorite Fall activities.  Rubbing these boots down with Montana Pitch Blend makes me feel like I’m Dancing With Myself.

Where To Get Schnee’s Pac Boots And Montana Pitch Blend

Schnee’sSchnees Pac boots leather boot care of Bozeman Montana builds and sells their famous pac boots and Montana Pitch Blend, which is my favorite leather dressing.  Paul Brunner used to sell it from his Screaming Eagle catalog and I think it was Paul’s brother that actually started Montana Pitch Blend.  Anyway, I buy it in 52 once tubs for a mere 87 cents per ounce, but it’s also available in a 4 once size for those that like to pay more ($2.48/ounce), or if you just want to give the stuff a try.

Montana Pitch blend is purported to be an all natural leather loving concoction that won’t spook game.  It contains a proprietary mix of bee’s wax, mink oil, pine pitch and other stuffs.  Screaming Eagle claimed to have done “tests” to prove it to be so.   I don’t know about that, but it sure works good to condition leather and it smells good, too.

Schnee’s Or Filson?

As shown in the video, I run both Schnee’s guide boots and Filson Uplander.  Both are great boots and I’ve had more than one pair of each.  I like the Uplander, but for overall use I find myself donning the Schnee’s more often, if for no other reason, they are virtually waterproof and the terrain I hunt most often in central Pennsylvania demands it.  They’re lighter, too.  (See Schnees Pac Boot Review.)

I often wear the rubber bottomed pac boots while bowhunting.  The more I think about it, the rubber bottomed/leather upper boots are probably not any more scent free than the Filson boots, but they’re more quiet in the woods for sure.  I would have to think that the leather uppers would lay down a pretty good layer scent molecules on the way to my treestand, especially when it’s saturated with Pitch Blend, whether it spooks game, or not.   Still, I’ve killed more than one deer with an arrow while wearing leather upper pacs so I guess it’s okay.

Pennsylvania Hunter Education 2016: 34 Years Later

Pennsylvania Hunter Education 2016. I couldn’t have been happier or more proud to take my son to Pennsylvania hunter education class. Hunter ed classes fill up fast and I watched the Pennsylvania Game Commission registration webpage like a hawk to ensure my boy would have a seat at the table- the exact same table I sat at 34 years ago.   This time around it was Adult Education.

Pennsylvania Hunter Education: Nothing Has Changed

There are exactly two things that have changed inside the fish & game club room where I took hunter education 34 years ago. First, there are now “No Smoking” signs on the wall. Signs at hunter educationSecond, there are no ashtrays on the tables.  Other than that, the room is exactly as it was in 1982 and for that matter probably 1962.  “No One” has been allowed in the kitchen of this establishment in quite some time.Signs At Hunter Education

Teaching Hunter Education Class

Thank goodness for the volunteers that taught the class.  It was group instruction with no One On One. The lead instructor carried the class and had his presentation down pat.  His assistant seemed to be a kind man and he and delivered his material equally well.  A Wildlife Conservation Officer was present and lectured the class on laws, regulations, hunter image, and a few other topics that I lost in a web of tangents.  His presentation skills were lacking.  He seemed Out Of Touch and was probably close to retirement.

Teaching An Old Dog

Hunter Education Class RoomThis old brittany has maintained a staunch point for the past 50 years or so- maybe more. It’s hard to say how many hunter ed classes he’s sat/pointed through. Flanked by an English pointer and an English setter, he’s heard it all and back in the day he was forced to endure cigarette smoke so thick the Marlboro Man would choke. Old School Pointing Dogs At Hunter Education ClassThis old dog has observed countless lectures. I wondered how much longer he would remain on the wall.  I imaged how someday he’d be considered worthless and unpinned from the wall and discarded. I briefly considered ways that I might save him from such a fate.

Hunter Education- Everything Has Changed

During a break while nobody was looking, I asked the old pointer his thoughts on the new school compared to the old school.   Here’s what’s new in Pennsylvania hunter education:

  • Instructors teach to the test
  • Numerous girls and women attend the class
  • Minimal coverage of trapping, heavy firearms safety and little coverage of hunting regulations
  • Lots of instructional videos, some cheesy, and some sobering
  • Surprisingly heavy coverage of muzzle loading equipment  (Test Tip: The “L” shaped piece on the lock is called the F-R-I-Z-Z-E-N).
  • There are plenty of breaks
  •  The instructor reads the test questions aloud so that each student can complete the test at the same pace

There was a lot of focus on firearms safety and minimal coverage of actual hunting regulations.  In fact, I’d say that one third of the class centered around firearms and safe handling techniques.  It goes to figure.  The PGC wants to keep itself and its hunters safe in the field.  It doesn’t make front page news when a hunter exceeds his bag limit or is caught hunting past curfew but shoot a turkey hunter in the face with a load of #4 shot…   And they barely covered trapping.  It seemed like they Did It In A Minute.  The instructors glazed over the regulations on tending traps but made sure the class was clear that only BEAVERS could be snared.

Lunch Time At Hunter Education ClassHot dogs at hunter education

The instructors explained that the hunter education class was funded by an excise tax.  The class and materials right down to the free hotdogs and chips were brought to you by Pittman-Robertson.  A lady behind the counter announced that the class was welcome to come up for seconds, thirds, and even forth servings if we so desired.  She admitted they’d end up in the trash if uneaten.

Pennsylvania Hunter Education Class
Test Time

Hunter Education Test Time

After close to 7 hours of lecture and instruction it was time to take the test. It was clearly not the first rodeo for the lead instructor and he ran his test session in a military-like fashion.  Adults not taking the test were ushered to the back of the room.  He bluntly informed his students to maintain Private Eyes.  If they were to be caught cheating, they just wasted their entire day. He read the test questions aloud clearly so that each student could  give each answer careful consideration before moving on the next question.

Pencils Down.  Hunting School’s Out

Upon the completion, the students graded each other’s tests.  Our class had a 100% pass rate.  A young girl hurried outside after the test and smiled triumphantly while she announced to her mother that she passed via smartphone. Not far away three elven year old boys huddled together and confided in each other. It turns out that each boy missed two questions each.  I told my son that I was proud of him and that he Made My Dreams (come true).

Ban The Huntress

What is a huntress?  Why can’t women that hunt simply be called “hunters”?   If you label yourself as a huntress for the wrong reasons it might be time to put down your gun and your makeup.  The Runaways didn’t give a damn, and neither should you.

Does your Facebook page or your Instagram profile include the term “huntress”?  If so, consider referring to yourself simply as “a hunter”.   Before undergarments get wadded, let me say that I’m a huge proponent of women in the outdoors- and I’ve zero doubt that there are number of female hunters out there that could hunt me into the ground.  Secondly, I never said I didn’t like to look at a pretty face.   huntress: womens upland hunting gearI like to look at an attractive woman as much as the next guy.   Here’s the grind:  Many of these media huntresses are seeming trying to use their femininity  combined with the activity of hunting to get attention for all the wrong reasons.   Sure, there may be a few well-intentioned ladies out there using the huntress moniker, but before you use it, consider whose attention you’re trying to get.  Are you trying to be a model, or are you a hunter?

You Might Be A Huntress If…

  • Your face paint consists of 3 “cat whisker” stripes on your cheeks
  • You wear eye makeup in the woods for potential selfie opportunities
  • Your face paint looks like an upside down batman symbol
  • You take treestand glamour selfies
  • You post social media pics shooting a gun or bow while wearing a bikini

ProStaff Huntress

There’s a trend among various sporting companies using “huntresses” (different than women hunters) as pro staffers.    As a serious consumer of hunting gear, I question the intent of these companies and quite frankly I’m totally unimpressed.  So put a pretty girl behind your hunting product and expect me to buy in?  A very thin veil indeed.

Real Clothing For Real Women That Hunt

Eddie Bauer had a good thing going with their Sport Shop line of clothing for women, although they seem to have tapered their offerings since its inception.  Non-huntress women that hunt should also check out the line of clothing and gear at Prois Hunting.

Women Hunters: Don’t Call Me Baby

Thanks to David Hart to penning this article on women hunters on  “Don’t call me baby, and please don’t refer to me as a huntress- not even if you’re nasty.”  Janet Jackson would approve!