|Field Cuff KHP Marsh Pants|
Innovative pants from an expert hunter
For those 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 Pants are near exact duplicates of a pair worn for years by Robert Pettegrow, Robert handed them down to his grandson, Brent Pettegrow, who became the Ducks Unlimited State Chairman from Maine. It’s the most practical, versatile, traditional hunting pant we’ve ever offered. And it’s the toughest. It’s hard to imagine a more rigorous field test than that performed by Robert Pettegrow on these pants.
Wedging 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 pants to the test to put food in the larder. The genius of these pants start at the cuff, an area overlooked in the design of most upland and duck-hunting pants. The rack-on-rib knit wool cuff snugs the pants to your field boot top to keep out the cold, water, and debris. And it holds the pant 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 pants 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 pants. It’s heavily washed to tighten its grid-like weave and to soften the pant. Robert Pettegrow didn’t have the advantage of a heavy wash to soften his sailcloth pants. 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 pants, 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.