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Author Topic: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?  (Read 28832 times)

Offline lokidog

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2014, 11:22:20 AM »
And then your new pack horse/mule slips and breaks its neck the first time out....  I met some guys who this happened to, they ended up butchering the horse up since they were out for meat.  😉

Growing up, my grandfather raised Arabians, he had a three quarter Arab, one quarter Quarter horse that would do anything you asked.  But I also learned what a PITA keeping them is and how expensive they are.

Offline AKHUNT

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2014, 11:57:16 AM »
Owning horses is sort of like owning an airplane. It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle.  They take some amount of work everyday, hunting season or not. You also need to keep them conditioned and work them. We own Morgans and they do great at hunting and packing. Pretty cheap to feed vs some other breeds and tend to be calm and good at picking their footing. During the hunt, when we are calling moose or going after something, we high line if there is time. Otherwise we just tie them ( high and short is the rule here). I don't prefer this as some horses are great escape artists. We keep them on high lines and behind an electric fence in camp. We have to worry about brownies up here.

Offline Jaques Bonet

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2014, 12:34:57 PM »
Save your self the time, pain, and money , hire a Packer.  Use an outfitter, you will spend as much money or more in the long run, and  hunt a lot more. If you feel the need to look the part Buy a cowboy Hat. Been there done that. If you feel the need then contact me, I've got a real nice pair of chaps, you will need them.

Offline Machias

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2014, 03:53:56 PM »
 :chuckle:
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Piscatory_5

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2014, 12:37:17 PM »
Both our horses are Quarabs, and they sometimes are a little jumpy but controllable. We trail ride frequently enough that they are used to it but not conditioned well enough for a back country hunt. I was just thinking of day hunts riding him in a few miles on gated roads. Gives him some exercise and it seems game animals are not as afraid of them as they are a hunter on foot. I don't think he would do well tied for very long, half hour or so. Never highlined either of them. We did lose a papered purebred Arab couple years ago cause he was tied too long -  wrapped up in the rope and went down. He pulled something in the groin area even though we untied him and got him up in about 15 seconds. Wouldn't put weight on a bind leg and was holding it out to the side. Died about a week later. I think i would prefer a nice lethargic QH for back country.

Offline lokidog

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2014, 01:24:10 PM »
I used to shoot rabbits with a .22 off my grandpa's 1/4 Quarter 3/4 Arab.  What an awesome animal he was.  We had a nearby farm that had a shepard that would chase horses walking by on the road.  I got sick of it one day and chased that stinking dog right back to his porch, he never bothered us again.   :chuckle:

Back in the days I thought about getting a horse, I always thought a Morgan cross would be a good one for this type of thing.

Offline Jaques Bonet

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2014, 02:02:41 PM »
Do you want to hunt or ride? If you want to hunt than use someone else's animals. Not trying to pick on you, just want to save you the hassle of playing guide and RANGLER NOT TO MENTION VET BILLS, FEED AND TACK. IF YOU HAVE'NT PACKED BEFORE IT'S AN ART THAT TAKES PRACTICE. ALL THIS WILL LEAD UP TO LESS HUNTING. I grew UP AROUND HORSE'S,MY FATHER GREW UP ON A CATTLE RANCH IN MONTANA. I LOVE HORSE'S,JUST TRYING TO GIVE YOU MY EXPERIENCE. I LIKE TO HUNT MORE THAN RANGLE. WISHING YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.

Offline Piscatory_5

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2014, 09:59:11 AM »
That's what i was thinking, a drop camp. They pack your stuff in and come back in a week to haul you out.

Offline AKHUNT

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2014, 11:34:48 AM »
Do you want to hunt or ride? If you want to hunt than use someone else's animals. Not trying to pick on you, just want to save you the hassle of playing guide and RANGLER NOT TO MENTION VET BILLS, FEED AND TACK. IF YOU HAVE'NT PACKED BEFORE IT'S AN ART THAT TAKES PRACTICE. ALL THIS WILL LEAD UP TO LESS HUNTING. I grew UP AROUND HORSE'S,MY FATHER GREW UP ON A CATTLE RANCH IN MONTANA. I LOVE HORSE'S,JUST TRYING TO GIVE YOU MY EXPERIENCE. I LIKE TO HUNT MORE THAN RANGLE. WISHING YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.

Yup.

It does take time away from hunting.  An atv, you just park and turn it off, then go.  A horse(s)...not so much.  We do the majority of our big game hunts on horses up here.  We do quite well with them, and there are benefits to having them as well as negatives.  Our horses are pretty well versed in the hunting thing, and I can bail off, tie up quickly to a bush/tree and go if I need to, and they do OK with that. But these are really calm horses, who have been doing this for a while now.  Normal day:

Wake up about two hours ahead of your normal wake up call, so you can feed/water them.  Then spend about half an hour ahead of your leave camp time to tack them up.  While out hunting, you have to take time to set up a high line if your going to glass or call for any extended amount of time (otherwise you have to keep them on a leash which is a pain).  At the end of the day, you have to untack, feed, water......which all put you relatively late into the night if youve been out all day, then do it all over again the next day.

The positives are, you dont have to pack meat on your back, you sit high while riding, which can be a great advantage, and horses seem to attract moose for some reason.  Had more than one bull step on the trail in front of our horses and stand there long enough to get themselves shot.  Calling with horses tied on highlines is also very effective.  Horse make a lot of "moosey" sounds which just adds to the calling.  Done very well in this area.  Caribou.....just crazy animals, I've had them come running up to us A LOT of times while riding around.  But they are just some really goofy animals.

In our case, obviously, the benefits of using horses is worth the hassle.  That, and we get lots of enjoyment from them the rest of the year. 



We do occasionally just "ground tie" them when conditions require....I was putting the finishing touch on this bull with the horses "ground tied" behind me.  Our horses are very good hunting horses.






One other benefit.....my horse crazy daughter goes hunting with us.


Offline csaaphill

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2015, 12:19:46 AM »
can't add much, but my grandad had his own farm Miss that place, but he always had 2-3 horses. he always hunted,and packed with them. I never got to go, but always wished I had. He did all his own shoeing and working with them so I'm sure there was a hassle but I bet worth it in the long run if you had your own place as OP oringinally stated he was planing on getting sometime. Always wanted to hunt this way, way back in the wilderness and see all the deer, and elk you wanted.
"When my bow falls, so shall the world. When me heart ceases to pump blood to my body, it will all come crashing down. As a hunter, we are bound by duty, nay, bound by our very soul to this world. When a hunter dies we feel it, we sense it, and the world trembles with sorrow. When I die, so shall the world, from the shock of loosing such a great part of ones soul." Ezekiel, Okeanos Hunter

Offline longrange7mm

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Re: Horses for backcountry hunting and packing?
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2015, 04:29:27 PM »
Would a horse or mule be able to pack out an entire elk on its back with a rider?

65# a side + 60# top pack is the most I will pack my animals. you have to remember this is dead weight on them it doesn't balance and move so they have to do all the work. If you sore a horse or mule you will ruin a good one in a hurry.
Never to far, Just grab another minute!

 

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