living in Downeast Maine in the early 1900s wing shooting was for the
pot not for sport. Inhabitants of towns like Larrabee took from the
land and sea what food those moody mistresses were inclined to surrender.
Our Field Cuff KHP Marsh Trousers are near exact duplicates
of a pair worn for years by Robert Pettegrow, Robert handed them down
to his grandson, Brent Pettegrow, current Ducks Unlimited State Chairman
from Maine. It’s the most practical, versatile, traditional hunting
trouser we’ve ever offered. And it’s the toughest. It’s hard to imagine
a more rigourous field test than that performed by Robert Pettegrow on
into duck blinds along the rocky shoreline, pushing through the chest-high
tangle of wind-beaten coastal shrubs, or slogging through tidal marshes
in pursuit of moose, Pettegrow put the trousers to the test to put food
in the larder. The genius of these trousers start at the cuff, an area
overlooked in the design of most upland and duck-hunting trousers. The
rack-on-rib knit wool cuff snugs the trousers to your field boot top to
keep out the cold, water, and debris. And it holds the trouser close to
your ankle when you step into your boots.
Depending on what the day brought, a trip to Hen Grays
Cove or to Yoho Cove on the Kennebec Bay side of Machiasport, Robert
Pettegrow might vary his footwear – field boot, hipper, or wader – but
his choice of trouser varied little.
Shipbuilding was central to Downeast Maine in the early
1900’s. Robert Pettegrow’s work clothes were cut from sailcloth, well
suited for the rugged, damp conditions. We located the manufacturer
of the sailcloth fabric that went into these trousers. It’s heavily washed
to tighten its grid-like weave and to soften the trouser. Robert Pettegrow
didn’t have the advantage of a heavy wash to soften his sailcloth trousers.
The elements did that for him.
On gray winter days he’d run his dory onto large ice cakes
far up the Machias River and float with the floes down the river and
onto the flock of goldeneye and black duck in the bay.
Our trousers, like his, are double layered with moisture-repellent
cotton poplin at the seat and thigh to hold off any moisture that might
make its way through the tight canvas weave.
"My Grandfather maintained two duck blinds on what I always
knew as Churchyard Cove on Machias Bay – one on Birch Point, the other
on L-Point – from which he hunted for eiders and golden eyes. I hunted
these coves for several years and had the pleasure of taking my grandfather
on his last hunt on Birch point in 1979."
Placing his shotgun inside the door, Robert Pettegrow
said, "That’s it. I’m done" satisfied in the knowledge that he’d passed
on the tradition to his grandson.
He’d also passed along a legacy of practical, rugged,
functional clothing that Orvis is proud to continue.