In the bag

Quarry Deer1

Ogden’s roe sack

There are always new products being released by the plethora of shooting equipment manufacturers, usually touted as the next ‘must have’ item.

Over the years the quality of kit has generally become better and better, which is great for all us ‘new kit’ junkies everywhere.

Room to manoeuvre: It’s spacious enough for a roe and a selection of kit

Room to manoeuvre: It’s spacious enough for a roe and a selection of kit

Last year at the Catton Park BASC Gamekeepers’ Fair I happened upon Phil Ogden’s stand. I noticed a nice-looking roe sack and enquired further. Following a brief conversation I found out Phil manufactures all his bags, gunslips and holdalls himself at his unit in Oldham. A good start – British-made using British made materials.

Phil proceeded to talk me through the design of the roe sack and its evolution from the original he made some years ago. While Phil is not a deer stalker himself, it is abundantly clear he listens to the requirements of those who are.

I have now been using this roe sack for nearly a year and it has served me well. No rips, tears or split stitching here. The sack itself is made from tough Cordura material with leather fasteners on the two front pockets and one on the main flap. This also secures the long telescope pocket – no noisy brass buckles to give the game away. I was unsure at first as to how these would hold up after prolonged use, but they have been excellent and have never come undone accidentally. You can also open and close them with one hand.

The two front pockets are lined with waterproof material and are spacious enough to fit a pair of binoculars or an extra layer of clothing should the need arise. The telescope pocket is deep and is ideal for storing your knife and breastbone saw if you don’t have a draw telescope to put in it.

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Back bone: The rucksack design distributes weight evenly

The main compartment is large enough to carry a small sika and easily accommodates a roe. This compartment has a removable waterproof liner, which is easily washed out after use. You’ll notice from the photo that the liner appears to be larger than the main compartment. That’s because it is. This makes keeping the rest of the sack clean easy as it totally encloses the carcase when the drawstrings are tightened up.

Another interesting feature is that the sack can be folded in on itself, thus reducing the size by half when you’re not carrying away your quarry. Simply use the press studs on the leather tabs and it’s done. This keeps the sack close to your back and assists greatly with quiet movement.

When you are carrying a load, the well-designed shoulder straps are perfect. They are fully adjustable and have a chest strap to stop them sliding off your shoulders. There is even a metal stud located there to hook your rifle sling over to stop it slipping. To complete the load carrying straps, there is also a fully adjustable belt. This is much the same as a large rucksack, and when correctly fitted it transfers the bulk of the load weight onto your hips, making the walk back far easier.

This is a well designed, well thought out and very well manufactured British roesack that will not disappoint. Phil will also modify it should you want additions – he also does full custom work to your specific requirements. How many larger companies out there can offer a similar service?

Richard Hampton

Contact: Ogden’s ■ 0161 620 2190 ■ www.gtimatchman.co.uk

Apex Predator

The inner lining is easily removed and washed, and there’s always a spare handy

The inner lining is easily removed and washed, and there’s always a spare handy

Once again Napier presents a new product to the market, making hunters wonder why it hasn’t been done before.

The Apex Predator is essentially a utility waist belt, allowing you to carry the usual hunting essentials while out in the field. Its functionality is not limited to this, though, as unfolding the bag reveals a full-sized roe sack, ready to extract anything up to roe deer-sized game.

In its utility belt form, it offers multiple zip pockets for storing kit from S-hooks to butt-outs and first aid kits, while a drawstring pocket offers constant access for items such as puffers.

Grip tabs at either end help the waist bag sit comfortably and prevent it slipping down whether walking or crawling.

Sitting on the waist either to the front or back, it allows a rifle to be carried muzzle up or down unimpeded. Napier has also considered the stealth required in stalking, using waterproof and silent Hushtex material on the outer, and a strong, lightweight ripstop material for the game sack itself.

When it comes to carrying game, the waist belt is unfolded and the shoulder straps are attached at three fixing points on the back of the sack. To this point the straps will have been stored out the way inside one of the pouches. With the easily adjustable straps fitted, the bag transforms into a roe sack, with a tight draw string top, helping to prevent carcase contamination and protecting the hunter from blood, keds, ticks and other parasites carried by the carcase.

The Apex Predator in roe sack form  after it’s been converted to waist bag form

The Apex Predator in roe sack form after it’s been
converted to waist bag form

The internal liners are waterproof and washable, buttoning into place via studs inside. Napier provides each Apex Predator with a spare liner, allowing one to be used while the other is drying after being cleaned. Further spare liners are available should one get damaged.

With the game loaded, the previously used waist belt strap can either be brought around your front to help support the weight of your quarry, or tightened back around the sack to compress the load for ease of carriage.

The waist bag has a total capacity of 8.1 litres, while the game sack offers another 46 litres. All in the Apex predator weighs 960 grams and comes with a 12-month warranty.

With applications ranging from pigeon shooting to stalking, and the clever stowage of kit offered by Napier’s new product, the Apex Predator will surely find fans in the hunting world.

Byron Pace

Contact: Napier ■ 01235 812993 ■ www.napieruk.com

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