I have been on a search for a Roe sack for some time now. I admit I am pretty fussy and I wanted something that is rugged, hard-waring, comfortable both pre and post stalk, for long and short hikes whilst being aesthetically pleasing with a traditional look. I have had a good look and trialled quite a few from cheaper to the more expensive commonly available german ones but I have been disappointed with either build quality, cheap looking materials or both.
Having narrowed down my search of the readily available sacks to either a Poppins or Monarch I felt they were still short of what I wanted. Poppins has the traditional look and uses quality materials but lacks back support. Monarch has the right idea with some back support in the form of a belt and nice big pockets but uses synthetic canvas which makes it look cheap (in my opinion).
Being a creative type I started thinking if there would be a way of making one myself. It has taken me about 4 months and a few time consuming mistakes but the following is the result.
Put together and painstakingly hand-stitched from some of my issue kit that have sat unused in cupboards for years. It utilises the back and shoulder straps from a bergen (including metal frame). The second photo shows the the metal frame in use and the last 3 show how compact it can be if I choose to take it out.
Now all it needs is a proper field test.
If the heavy duty shoulder and waist straps prove to much for my short woodland forays then I might make a poppins style one.
Got out on the ground this evening and had a mooch through the woods including some slow stalking in a bit of dense woodland. It was noticeable by comparision to some of the light canvas/loden traditional designs but it was still comfortable. The shoulder straps were not too much of a hinderance and the rifle sling sat on the inside of it quite well. The bolt knob on my rifle found the part of the shoulder strap where it joins the bottom of the sack and rested on it so the sack carried the weight of the rifle. Saw a few roe but no adult bucks so a proper test will have to come in part 3.
Got my first customer today
A young Roe Buck obliged and I battled the flies to process the carcass before opening up the sack to lower him in. My antler pegs are a little filddley but its a price I'm willing to pay as I like the look of them. I use an extra large ortlieb dry bag for a liner (sack made to measure) and this works well.
Tested without the frame. The buck weighed just over 40lb. Fitted easily and I'd expect to fit a 50lb+ carcass with not too much trouble.
The padded shoulders made it more comfortable than most traditional design roe sacks without a waist belt. With the belt done up tight my waist carried some weight but over half was still on my shoulders but I was very happy with weight distribution otherwise. I will have to remember to point the antlers the other way! Next will have to try with the frame.