Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

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ineffableone
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Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by ineffableone » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:09 pm

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Introduction

Well first off let me start by saying I have no affiliation with Steve Catts of Hidehandler leather other than purchasing one of his quivers.

Second I will say I had been looking and lusting after his quivers for a few years after coming across them while doing an image search of quivers online. Though originally I was more interested in his Combo Hunter till I realized it was pretty much the same as the Mountain Hunter Elite which is what I ended up getting. Only two real differences I found between the two. Neither made me want opt for the higher priced Combo. I have actually had this quiver for over 6 months, and finally getting around to reviewing it.

Third I should disclose I had a long wait for this quiver. From the date of ordering to actually receiving it was almost exactly a year. Steve Catts the maker of these is a small business man, who does all the work himself and had built up a bit of a back log. He also ended up having issues with leather supply, and health. At least according to him emails. After ordering I waited quite awhile before contacting him to ask for a progress report. His responses were always fast, and he always had what seemed a reasonable answer. A lot of the time I waited he had not even started my quiver, and admitted he was still working through his back log. I am a patient and reasonable person. So did not overly stress on the time it took, though I know plenty of people who would not have been so patient. In the end I got the quiver and am very happy with it.

Fourth, I should also point out, side quiver is not a hip quiver. Side quivers are a single strap over the shoulder style quiver. Also commonly called a Stalking quiver, Plains (Indian) quiver, Safari quiver, and likely more. As some of the names might suggest, this is a popular hunting quiver style.

Fifth, the leather "The Mountains are Calling" patch was added by me and bought from BCUSA. Quote from John Muir. It just seemed too fitting to not be added to this quiver.
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Sixth sorry for the crappy quality cell phone pictures, it is all I have.

Finally in this introduction I would like to say, this is an expensive quiver and not one everyone would want to spend the money on. For me, it was worth the price for the function it offers.

Historical overview

Shortly after someone invented the first bow, they realized they needed a way to carry arrows. And the Quiver was born.

This quiver is a mix of multiple types of quivers a back quiver, side quiver, and bottom draw quiver. Each having a long historical president, but to my knowledge none have combined features like this. So historically this is modern and not a reproduction of some old style.

Despite a lot of hype from a recent viral video, back quivers were quite prevalent in history. While less common in Europe they were still employed quite regularly by Europeans as a way to travel with arrows. Asia, Middle East, Africa, The Americas, etc all however employed back quivers. As well as other quivers.

And that is another part of the history, there is no one type of historically accurate quiver. As different types of quivers were often used by the same culture in the same time period. Hip quivers and back quivers were in use by the same people in one area. While a little ways away they preferred side quivers and back quivers.

Which is why I liked this quiver, it is a mix of a back quiver, side quiver, and bottom draw quiver. While mainly a back quiver, the ability to use it multiple ways is a great find.

Initial Impressions

When I first got it. My first impression was "wow a lot lighter than I expected" For a large leather tube made of it pretty thick heavy weight leather, it was surprisingly light. Next was noticing a couple differences between my quiver and the stock photos. The cover for the bottom draw for example having 2 Sam Brown studs rather than just one from the stock photo. There being extra loops on the top for the straps to go higher when not being used as a back quiver. Neither upset me, both actually were happy extras I had not expected but could understand why they were there.

Next I was quite stunned by the beauty and craftsmanship. This quiver took a lot of work and was done very well yet still retained evidence of being hand crafted. The leather work was wonderfully done. The color great. And the smell, well new leather just smells awesome.

Statistics

Stats are never going to be the same for quivers, they are hand made for your specific arrow length. But just to give folks an idea.

Overall Height: 34 1/2"

Width: 5 1/2"

Depth: 4"

Capacity: 24 arrows

Weight: I don't have a scale for this, I will try and borrow one and find out.

Components

There are a few main parts to this quiver.

Main body
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Top fletching cover/guard
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Loading lid
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Bottom access port
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Pouch
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Straps

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Strap in load lifting position for use when fetching guard is on (better weight distribution)
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Strap cinch to tighten to the quiver
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Handling Characteristics

This quiver fits me quite well. When just wearing it alone while hiking, in transport mode. As a back quiver while target or stump shooting. Using it for bottom draw. Or as a side quiver. The conversion between these modes can take some strap adjustment, and trial and error. The least perfect usage and handling is side quiver style. Mainly due to balance issues with the pouch. If I had it to do over I would likely have had the pouch placed in a different spot to enable the side quiver usage with less difficulties. Though it is still quite usable as a side quiver.

Conclusions

I am quite happy with this quiver. I am glad I ordered it, and glad I was patient with the maker to get it.

Pros

- Multi functional. Back quiver, side quiver, bottom draw quiver.
- great for protection of arrows during travel
- High capacity arrow carry
- unique and beautiful eye catching quiver
- custom made for you, if you want something a little different he will work with you
- adjustable straps to fit the user

Cons

- took a long time to get (though my experience might have been longer than typical due to issues in the maker's life at that time)
- cost, it is not a budget quiver at the $400 range
- leather needs to be cared for and takes maintenance (for some this is a con, I don't have a problem caring for leather)
- weight, while this quiver is light for leather and balanced well. It is leather and leather weighs a lot more than other materials.
- no instructions on how to adjust the straps into different configurations

The Bottom Line

Yes I would recommend this or other of Steve Catt's quivers.
Here is the site, http://www.hidehandler.com/index.htm
He is an amazing leather worker, and he knows what he is doing. I would however maybe suggest making sure to contact him ahead of ordering and get an idea of what sort of wait you might have. The Hidehandler site is not a click and order site. You can look through his work but you have to mail your order in to him.
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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by Storm Crow » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:42 am

*Very* cool piece of gear! Thanks for the pics and review.

I'm not even remotely an archer, but I appreciate good gear, and this guy does a bang-up good job. Quite impressed. I also like modular gear, so having multiple modes of usage is awesome.

Speaking of not being an archer, I had no idea there was such a thing as a "bottom draw" quiver. What is the advantage over drawing the arrows from the top? I have an idea, but want to hear what you say.

Speaking as someone who makes his living as a one-man shop, it is not surprising that someone who is competent in their field is going to have a wait that long. A lot of custom knifemakers build up a multi-year waiting list. Sometimes your best bet to get a maker's knife is to show up at a knife show and participate in a lottery just to win the opportunity to buy one. Others will take on a list of orders, then close their books until they can catch up again. Working by yourself, you can only go so fast, and if anything interrupts, the work doesn't get done.

His pricing for quality custom leatherwork seems reasonable, though you're right that a lot of people won't lay down the money for it. Looks like enough do to keep him busy.

Good review! Thanks for doing it. :)
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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by ineffableone » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:41 pm

Storm Crow wrote:Speaking of not being an archer, I had no idea there was such a thing as a "bottom draw" quiver. What is the advantage over drawing the arrows from the top? I have an idea, but want to hear what you say.
The advantage of bottom draw is less flagging of your position. A bottom draw takes smaller and less movement to get the arrow. A draw from the top requires a lot of movement and some full extension. This can alert an animal to you as most animals are tuned to pick up movement. So less moving you need to do and if the movement is compact less it will alert an animal.
"Once a man has seen society's black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend, like you do, that it doesn't exist"

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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by ineffableone » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:46 pm

Realized I forgot to post a side view

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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by Storm Crow » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:36 am

ineffableone wrote:
Storm Crow wrote:Speaking of not being an archer, I had no idea there was such a thing as a "bottom draw" quiver. What is the advantage over drawing the arrows from the top? I have an idea, but want to hear what you say.
The advantage of bottom draw is less flagging of your position. A bottom draw takes smaller and less movement to get the arrow. A draw from the top requires a lot of movement and some full extension. This can alert an animal to you as most animals are tuned to pick up movement. So less moving you need to do and if the movement is compact less it will alert an animal.
Well, that wasn't my guess, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks!

By the way, what's the difference between a side quiver and a hip quiver?
Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by ineffableone » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:52 am

Storm Crow wrote:By the way, what's the difference between a side quiver and a hip quiver?
Hip Quivers attach to the hip, usually on your belt.

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Side Quivers are a single shoulder strap quiver that hangs about hip level

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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by mattltm » Mon May 11, 2015 12:58 pm

That looks great. Very well made.

I prefer hip quivers, field style. Been looking at getting one of E W Bateman's but its a pain to order one from the UK!
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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by Beowolf » Tue May 12, 2015 12:15 pm

That is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing!
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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by ineffableone » Wed May 13, 2015 1:19 am

Beowolf wrote:That is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing!
Glad to share, when I had gotten interested in his quivers I only found one online review about the combo hunter quiver. So felt it was worth giving the internet another option to find out more about Steve's great leatherwork.
"Once a man has seen society's black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend, like you do, that it doesn't exist"

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Re: Hidehandler Mountain Hunter Elite Quiver Review

Post by ineffableone » Wed May 13, 2015 1:41 am

Here are some bonus pictures, from my recent Penobscot bow build thread

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