Lining canoes with sled dogs....
Perhaps Bushrat may have done this....I understand many homesteaders in the upper Yukon area 'tween Circle and Eagle have developed a technique that uses trained sled dogs...loose on the shore...to pull a canoe upstream...swim around obstacles...and continue with their job, on upstream.
Anyone here done this or something like it?
Yeah, a few of us used to do it. I've done it some on the side creeks as well, mostly in the pools where the going was easy. On the Yukon you can sit in the canoe while the dogs pull it from on shore. Helps a lot to have a good experienced leader. There is no real technique to it other than making a loop in the lining rope at the proper pull point where you attach the dog or gangline. I don't think I've ever done it with more than three dogs. The angle of the pulling was always a bit off the side of their harnesses. Most of what I did was using one or two dogs to help me line a load upriver, so I'd also be pulling and they'd be right behind me. Wish I had a picture of it, but that was all pre-digital days. And now I use a jon boat and outboard on the Yukon for the most part. Here's an interesting pic I took last week with camera placed on stern of canoe while I was lining from on shore.
Sleddogs and lining canoes....
I was sure you had done it....I'd like to try it....I still have about 30 dogs and thought it would be another good way to exercise them....Further, the area where I hunt moose in the Minto Flats has a very high bear population - (both kinds) - and I'm considering taking 2 or 3 dogs to moose camp for sentry duty. Additionally, I have a Wenonah Royalex canoe I'm taking along for off river canoeing and plan to use it as a meat sled....another job for the dogs.
Perhaps the shoulder-pull harness that Jeff King and some other Iditaroders are using might be good for lining, and meat sled hauling...they allow the pull point to move off to either side. It works like a tracking harness.
Thanks for the info.
I've hauled some moose meat in the coleman canoe before, using dogs to pull it over the tundra. Same scenario as you; took a few dogs up to moose camp and they were good for sentry duty for sure. As far as exercising the dogs, just letting them run loose if you can sure beats trying to get them to line a canoe, what with all the hassles one runs into at times. I once nearly got on step when the dogs were lining and I was in the canoe...and they scented a moose or bear or something...got up some good speed then diverted up the riverbank and pulled me right ashore on the rocks! Fun fun. But it is cool when it works and your leader gees and haws around obstacles and even swims across small backwaters and keeps lining. Hard on their pads in places too, like if you run into sharp shale banks. Man, if you have 30 dogs, that's a lot of mouths to feed; we're having a hard time feeding our 11.