View Full Version : The tailgunner as a hunting pack

09-19-2010, 07:39 PM
When I first began elk hunting, some 33 years ago, I was using a small daypack, maybe 1000 cubic inches. Over the years, I've become more sophisticated, I guess, and my most common pack is the Late Season, three times that size.

Well, I decided that packing in a bit required something lighter than the LH frame, but more substantial than the LH bag. Enter the Tailgunner. 2nd gen, TG 1. About 1000 cubic inches.

First thoughts, it's comfortable. Nestles right in against my back, and leaves a lot of my back exposed to the air. One complaint I have about a full sized pack, even a good daypack, in hot weather, is that my back sweats. Not bad, but it does. Not with this one.

The insides have pockets galor, and pals loops outside. Good shoulder straps, which mainly serve to hold my water bottle hose close to my mouth.

After a day and a half, some observations. first, in hot weather, and the way I was hunting, I used every drop of water in the Camelbak fanny pack water bottle plus a pint in addition. Second, it holds about as much as you need in warm weather, and you could strap anything to it. I didn't find out aobut whether you could haul out an elk quarter with it. But it sure works for when you need a small pack, or for warmer weather. And the coyote brown blends in perfectly.

09-19-2010, 08:20 PM
The amount of organization of the TG1 really amazed me. I think it's the little "gem" that might not be known to most without one. How much weight were you carrying in it?

For basically the same size as a E&E, you get all of the organization built into it, plus the option to carry it strictly as a lumbar pack.

09-19-2010, 08:36 PM
Not much. I doubt it was over ten pounds in it, but it carried perfectly. And you're right...knives, lights, etc, all have a home. Patrick could make a hunting pack with that level of organization and sell it to the uber-organized by the dumptruck load.

09-19-2010, 11:22 PM
I'm still using my two Mountainsmith Lumbar packs that I bought in the 90's, the smaller of the two at about 700 cc has seen by far the most use, IMO, as close to ideal as one can get for a day hike pack. It's easy to see the Tailgunner's roots in my larger pack. I have always loved the Lumbar design philosophy for packs under 1000 cc. If you need to go larger or start lashing much weight, best get a bigger pack with shoulder straps, but i do love those lumbars. Patrick is the TA Edison of the pack world, no doubt.
As an aside, I never cared too much for the top pouch/lumbar pack that Patrick used on his larger packs back then, straps were kinda weird I thought. My general practice for backpack hunting was to use the Tour pack as my top pocket and it would then become my day hunting pack, with a trip back to base camp for the large pack when an animal was down.

11-08-2010, 03:31 PM
I have been researching lumbar packs to use while hunting for years but I never found one that fit the bill. However I have been looking at the tailgunner and I think it may be the one. It seems to be the perfect size and can be made to fit a large person such as myself.

11-08-2010, 04:17 PM
I have hunted with the TG and the Spike Camp both have been very good in their own way. I think the TG is just right for good weather not to far afield. The Spike is great for worse colder weather, more gear and farther away. For myself and the way I hunt, I have come to the conclusion that something in between like the Scout would be perfect and will be getting one someday. If a lumbar pack of TG size works for you then the TG is the one. It is the best I have ever belted on and I've belted on a lot of them. I use mine everyday.

11-08-2010, 05:02 PM
Here's a shot my wife took while we were out Mulie hunting today. Not sure if you can tell, but that's a G1 Scout with some side pockets and a small pod added. My poles and a shed are strapped to it, but it still rides great. About 15#'s, so not a lot of weight, but VERY nice to carry. Unfortunately, I didn't get to load it up with meat:-(

11-08-2010, 06:24 PM
I've got a G2 scout and a G1 TG1, with the belt and straps off the scout this would make a great "nice weather' day pack. Scout would be a nice cool to cold weather pack as you could lash heavy clothes on the outside and still have room for gear.

John Havard
11-09-2010, 11:48 AM
I normally hunt in cold weather and therefore rarely have use for a true day pack. However, I bought a TG-1 a while back and added two 1-liter bottle pockets on either side of the pack, a 2-liter pocket on the back, and a small pod underneath the bottom of the pack. It's the bee's knees for going fast and light in warm weather. I use the single padded shoulder strap and sling the pack over like a bandolier for added stability. Not necessary unless I strap something ungainly to the outside of the pack. All-in-all it's a very convenient and versatile setup.

11-24-2010, 02:37 PM
I just got a G1 TG-1 last night and after I added a couple of 2qt utility pockets to the sides, I loaded it up. I tend to overpack, so I tried to limit what I put in it. There is alot of room in the pack and I really like all of the organization. I carried a pair of binoculars and small Otis kit in one of the side pockets and a rangefinder, mask, and gloves in the other one. I filled the interior slot pockets with calls, scents, rope, a knife, trail markers, and handwarmers. I always leave a flashlight and IFAK in every pack, so I put a headlamp and S/F G2 in the top mess pocket and a IFAK in the back mess pocket. With all of this packed, there was still plenty of room in the main body of the pack for a liter bottle, a couple of powerbars and an extra box of ammo with a little room left over.

I hunted this morning and the pack worked really well, other than trying to get all of the straps on over a large rain jacket and orange safety vest. It was raining when I got to the woods so I wore bibs and a jacket, but I can see that I'm going to need a small POD for a set of packable raingear. I normally hunt in a stand or blind within a 1/4 to 1/2 mile of where I park, so this should be all the pack I'll ever need for hunting in Kentucky, but I'd take the X-Ray if I go back out west.