Walking Into The Old West: Montana Buffalo Coat Available Now

The Montana Buffalo Coat

The Montana Buffalo Coat hanging next to the Madison River, just outside of Yellowstone. Click image for larger view.

Imagine yourself walking into the swirling Montana snow, ┬ánegative 40 degrees, and you can’t see past the nearest lodgepole pines because of the white-out conditions. A calf was about to be born and it’s vital you get outside to check on it. But how do you stay warm?

A hundred years ago they knew what to do – pull on a full-length coat made from a buffalo hide. The interlocking hair traps your body warmth and the leather blocks the fierce winds.

This classic western coat is now available to be custom made just for you.

It takes about eight weeks to create one of these beautiful coats – the tailoring doesn’t start until I get all of your measurements, meaning this is made just for your size. Why all this work? Remember, people are going to admire this coat, it will stir distant memories of cowboys and ranchers and trappers, and they will come up to admire it. You want to look good, so the custom-tailoring is key.

Here’s the other important factor: I let you pick out the buffalo hide, meaning I’m not using left-over pieces that wouldn’t sell otherwise. That’s right – what I’m offering is that you get to choose from my premium selection of thick-haired, colorful, prime winter hides that I personally pick out each year.

Don’t delay in ordering your coat. Here is a page on the main web site with additional photos. It’s easiest to do this work over the phone, so call me, David Barnes, at (314) 322-3299 and we can get started right away.




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Buffalo Hide in new True Grit

Did you notice what Jeff Bridges was wrapping himself with while sleeping in the new True Grit movie? A great, big buffalo hide.

The buffalo hide makes a great bed cover. They are warm, of course, but you don’t get sweaty in one because of how they breathe. This is a natural product, and better than whatever synthetic things that have been dreamed up since the frontier days.

So, did I like True Grit? It was OK, but it needed the charisma of John Wayne.

Order your buffalo hide here or give me a call at (406) 646-6717.

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Top Five Western Father’s Day Gifts

Here are five great ideas for a Father’s Day gift for the man with at least a little touch of the mountains or American West in him.

5. Bison Fiber Gloves. These rugged gloves handle moisture incredibly well, meaning I can dip my hand in an icy lake and the moisture will be gone from my skin within about five minutes. Cotton simply can’t come close.

4. Elk Antler Pens. A man should always have a really nice pen. These are hand-crafted in Montana and I think they are fantastic. They are noticeable because of the gold or silver trim, and the fine polish on the elk antlers, but using the natural product brings them down to earth. The antlers naturally fall off of the elk and were collected in central Montana.

3. a Bison briefcase. These rugged briefcases are made from shrunken bison leather which really brings out the grain. They come with a manufacturers lifetime warranty on the parts wearing out, so you know this is a quality product. And since this list is for the Western man, I’ll mention the briefcases come with a side pocket designed for carrying a firearm.

Bison Leather Wallet

Bison Leather Wallet in Bryce Canyon

2. Bison leather wallets. These long, slim wallets fit nicely in a front pocket, back pocket, or, best of all, the front pocket of a coat (imagine your Dad smoothly pulling out this wallet when he’s picking up the check). Pictured here is the one I carry with me all the time – I took the picture in Bryce Canyon in Utah.

1. A buffalo hide rug. This is the ultimate for decorating your father’s cabin, the living room floor, or even draping over the bed. It’s a lifetime purchase, so you can also call me at (406) 646-6717 and talk about a good selection.

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Some quick store updates

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks getting the store up and running, but it’s back and better than ever. Here are some updates:

Bison Leather. Did you read the Wall Street Journal article about how everyone is looking for iPad bags? Well, I’ve got two in stock, made from bison leather. You can take a look at them at the store, and it’s possible I can do a special order for you.

Canes. Ross Taylor of Utah stopped in Saturday morning and brought some of his hand-crafted goodies. Canes, shoe horns and dog chews made from the reproductive organ of a bull. Yes, you read that right and there have been two repeat customers already for the dog chews. I had a good conversation with Ross, especially about the state of boxing today, and rumor is he may be visiting again.

And the big news: an online sale. I’m taking part in Google’s “Dads and Grads” promotion, meaning you get a $20 discount on orders more than $120 when you use Google Checkout. More details on the site.

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Buffalo Hides: from Historical Account to Modern Panorama

I have a couple of developments on the buffalo hide front that may be of interest:

1. I enjoy reading historical accounts of the buffalo and found an oral history taken by the American Museum of Natural History back in 1913. They spoke with a female member of the Hidatsa tribe and she talked about how they used buffalo hides. You can read more about this on my e-commerce site. I also include pictures comparing a summer buffalo hide to one in winter.

2. I have a great new buffalo hide available and, for something new, I’ve created a panorama of it. You can zoom in and out as well as scroll back and forth. My whole goal is to help you envision how the buffalo rug will look in your cabin or mountain lodge. You can go to the panorama page by clicking here.

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Fishing with Bison Fiber Gloves

Fishing with Buffalo Fiber Gloves

This winter while ice fishing at Hebgen Lake, just outside of West Yellowstone, I wandered away from the poles to find a new place because nothing was biting.

At that moment my friend started yelling: “You’ve got a fish.”

I turned around and saw the pole tipping deep into the hole. I started running back yelling “reel him in.”

Just as I reached the hole my friend was pulling it out of the water. I could see the fish’s head and part of his body, when it happened: the line broke.

So I did what you would have done. I put my hands together and dived arms-first into the 12-inch wide hole. Up to my biceps in icy water I felt the fish, grabbed the fish, and hauled him out of the water.

In that situation you don’t have time to take off your gloves, and I had been wearing my bison fiber fingerless ones. I took them off, wrung out the water, and then slipped them back on.

I could tell they were heavier than normal, but it wasn’t uncomfortable wearing them. Something like cotton would have been sticky and soggy, but not these. In about five minutes with the breeze they were completely dry.

I’ve just added a page on my online store with more information about fly-fishing with these gloves – the season is almost here in Yellowstone. You can visit the page here, or head directly to my gloves section and order yours today.

Brown Trout caught with Bison Fiber Gloves

I cleaned this fish on-location in the snow while wearing my bison fiber fingerless gloves. They were as good as new after throwing them into the washing machine.

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Top Five Uses For A Buffalo Hide

After much research and thought, I’ve come up with the top five ways to use a buffalo hide for that rustic cabin decor:

1. Rugs
2. Blankets/Comforters (I sleep under one during the Montana winters and never get cold)
3. Wall hangings
4. Furniture Throws
5. Over a Stair Rail

Need more reasons? Visit the “About Buffalo Hides” page here at my online store. Or, go directly to the catalog of what is currently available.

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Bison fiber photography gloves

I’m a big believer in using my own products (yes, I sleep under a buffalo hide), and one of the items I’ve used all winter are my bison fiber gloves.

If you’ve ever gotten cotton wet, you’ll understand why these are so remarkable. They simply do not get soggy, and dry out remarkable quickly. Yesterday while doing the Beaver Creek video I was falling in the snow and regularly got them moist, but had no problems with coldness.

I use the fingerless version so I can change lenses and camera settings while at the same time keeping warm. Yesterday was in the low forties and these gloves were the perfect insulation.

Available in fingerless, or full-fingered.

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