Joe Mills – Bag Maker
For over 30 years Joe Mills has been a creative and masterful modern day explicator of original rifle bags from the 18th and early 19th century. Inspired by the book The Kentucky Rifle Hunting Pouch by Madison Grant, he uses the same materials, tools and techniques to create contemporary examples of longrifle hunting bags for modern shooters to use and enjoy. Joe lives in Owensboro, KY. He has a wife, Vicki, and 5 children.
Circa 1990’s. Joe’s representation of an American game bag. Hand-knotted game pouch used to carry birds and small game. Restored original flat horn made by Mel Hankla.
Art Riser Collecton.
Joe Mills’ personal hunting bag for .32 caliber H. House rifle. Measure by Greg Mills. Original Carolina horn. Coverlet lining. Circa 1986.
Circa 2017. Made for Dr. Philip Hurley. Bag is home-tan deer. Straps are distressed calf skin. Pick and brush by Joe. Powder horn made by Brian Barker. Knife by Ronnie Payne.
Circa 1998. Representation of an early primitively made hunting bag. Currently in the Art Riser collection.
Circa 1992. Beaver tail design. Deer hide tanned by Greg Mills. Hand stitched linen strap. Tin Powder measure by Art Riser. Antique linen cloth lining.
Joe Mills’ personal ‘smooth rifle’ hunting bag. Circa 1995. Knife made at Mel Hankla’s first ‘Hammer In’ in 1993. Powder measure by Joe. Original horn restored by Art Riser. Procured at Manskers Station, TN, around 1995. Quill strap by Lally House.
Circa 1900. Christmas present to Randall Mills from son Joe. Home tanned deer with antique wool coverlet lining. Original 19th century knife…by Joe. Now in the Joe Mills collection.
Circa 1984. Double pouch design. This was a Christmas gift to brother Greg. Strap was old furniture webbing/cargo strapping material.
Circa 1990. Made for Gary Ganas, now in the John Hast collection. American deer hide. Original horn… by Joe. Strap material is skin tanned by Scott Miller.
This display by Greg Mills won a Display Award.
Photographed at the 2018 CLA Show by Jan Riser.