My Dad has always had a wicked creative streak in him. When the mood catches him right he is capable of doing amazing things with very little to work with. I’ve seen him moved to artistic prowess on several occasions during my youth, including building rustic furniture from birch/cedar trees, using nothing but a chainsaw and a hammer.
When given the time and the inspiration, he is the Chuck Norris of woodland arts and crafts. For the past several months the PVC quiver has provided that inspiration and his “BirchBark Rover” quivers are the result.
It was an idea birthed from boredom. Having built enough arrows to last him several years, Dad was looking for a new challenge. I was experimenting with side/sling quivers at the time, and after showing him my prototype constructed from a hockey stick, PVC, and some suede material, he thought he’d try his hand.
He absolutely loved the tube-style “Canyon Quiver” I’d recently purchased from Rasher Quivers, and wanted to do something of a similar design, only larger. Trips to the local hardware and fabric stores gave him everything he needed to start: lightweight PVC, jute twine, D-rings, polyurethane, and fleece.
He was incommunicado for a few days but emerged with a Mossy Oak-wrapped prototype adorned with antler and jute twine. He made one for me shortly after, and had constructed several more by the time I received it. The newest featured birch bark, wood buttons from Traditional By Nature, foam bottoms, and a variety of fleece patterns, including digital camouflage, wildlife print, and an interesting Aztec print I ended up choosing for my next quiver.
All made great additions, but the birch bark element really struck me as being unique. The family property is surrounded by birch trees whose outer layers shed and curl in long, intact rolls (akin to a cardboard dowel). Finding them discarded throughout the woods is common, so Dad started scooping them up, cutting pieces to length/width and wrapping them around the fleece-covered PVC. A carefully applied polyurethane coating makes the grain of the birch bark really pop, transforming it into a hardened shell. The polyurethane has a similar effect on the twine, which soaks it up and keeps its tension around the quiver.
Things really started shaping up at this point. Each quiver was better than the previous. Dad was really hitting his stride.
My parents drove down to visit Aubrey (my daughter), which eventually resulted in a father and son excursion to the local Tandy Leather. I planned to pick up some leather dye for another batch of arrows, and Dad wanted to scope out ways to improve his quivers. He ended up buying a pound of scrap leather, some rivets, and a bag of D-rings, which aided in creating a better way in which to attach a strap.
He went home a happy man, and I received a barrage of text messages containing photos of his newly improved creations within a matter of days.
I was impressed, and began hounding him to put them up for sale. He eventually caved and and you can now find them on Etsy.
BirchBark Rovers are exactly how they sound, a side quiver with personality, perfect for roving/stumping or shooting a round of 3Ds. Their hard, tubular design allow them to stand upright when not in use, making them an excellent option for arrow storage and a conversation piece in any trophy room or den.
While the DIY PVC quiver isn’t a new concept by any means, my father has truly taken them to the peak of their potential. I have yet to see anything like them and am happy to own several. Each one truly is a genuine piece of Michigan art. I cherish mine, and I know you will too.
BirchBark Rovers can be purchased on Etsy. They are 28″ long but shorter models can be made available if requested. Each quiver is hand crafted and completely unique. Check out Dad’s Facebook page for additional info.