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Thread: Hunting on horseback questions...

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Hunting on horseback questions...

    For those of you that hunt off Horseback, or a packstring here in Alaska, Where can I get hay for 5 horses in the Palmer-Wasilla Area? And what is the going rate for a ton of hay or price per bail (60 pound bail), and last question...How difficult was it to take the horses out and what drawbacks should I be aware of. ( Will be bringing 5 up this coming Summer) Thanks for any info.....CK

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    For those of you that hunt off Horseback, or a packstring here in Alaska, Where can I get hay for 5 horses in the Palmer-Wasilla Area? And what is the going rate for a ton of hay or price per bail (60 pound bail), and last question...How difficult was it to take the horses out and what drawbacks should I be aware of. ( Will be bringing 5 up this coming Summer) Thanks for any info.....CK
    I hunted on horseback quite a bit as a kid. I would say the biggest drawback to running with horses is tending to them (which really isn't a drawback). They are quiet and eat off the land. Biggest fear was being stalked by bears, happened twice, once in Denali, again in Peters Creek. You can access a few more areas in Denali via horse.

    Have you had horses before?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Default hay prices

    I worked for a feed store in Anchorage for ten years and I can tell you that the biggest cost you are going to see is in the hay bill. Local hay runs around 7 to 10 bucks a bale (45-60#) depending on who, when and quality. Outside hay from down south runs around 30 dollars a bale (120 pound bales). Hunting on horses can be a blast but they tend to be quite a lot of work in the winter up here. Best advice I could give you if you are bringing horses up next summer would be to call Charlie Willis out at CW Tack in Wasilla and talk to him about hay options in the valley. He has had horses up here for a long time and would probably be a good source of information for you. I currently have two horses here in Anchorage and am hoping to find the time to do a hunt with them in the coming years.

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    Hay costs last summer were pretty high, combination of a poor summer growing season and really high fuel and fertilizer costs made if kind of tough to get good hay. I think the price for local was about $350/ton local (that may be on the low end), and was up to or just over $525/ton for outside hay. We're all hoping the costs go down a little with fuel prices declining. As for the hunting, I'm still learning. A little different logistics involved and time spent conditioning the animals for the hunts. All in all, its the funnest way I've hunted moose. I enjoy the pace the hunt takes on when your mode of travel is on horse rather than motorized. Success is still based on your hunting abilities and as always, right place/right time.

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    The only bales I've ever seen that were that heavy, were baled in Fairbanks in October - baled frozen to get it off the field. Even the so-called 50# bales average around 45#.

    The best way to arrange hay, IMO, is to call and/or visit folks in your area who make hay. Some make a list of people to call when they are baling. Others don't and want you to call them. Then, call friends and get it out of the field.

    $7 per bale out-of-the-field hay will cost $10 - $12 at a feed store this time of year.

    Be careful with round bales. They are a tad tough to "heft" to try to figure out what they weigh. The ONLY way to know is to weigh your truck with and without. I've seen bales advertised as 900# lose 300# between when they are picked up, and the scale 5 miles down the road 20 minutes later.

    Hunting from horses is THE way to go, IMO!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    For those of you that hunt off Horseback, or a packstring here in Alaska, Where can I get hay for 5 horses in the Palmer-Wasilla Area? And what is the going rate for a ton of hay or price per bail (60 pound bail), and last question...How difficult was it to take the horses out and what drawbacks should I be aware of. ( Will be bringing 5 up this coming Summer) Thanks for any info.....CK
    I'm so far out of the horse business now that I'm not sure how true this is any more. But back "in the day" we tried double-compressed bales of timothy/alfalfa mix shipped in from the Elensburg area in WA. It was a neat idea to cut bulk a little and help with shipping, but turned out to be a bad deal. We had a DICKENS of a time with mold in the bales after they had been around a couple of three months. Our horses always fared better in winter on a timothy/alfalfa mix than anything else, whether we bought them separate or field mix in the bale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    For those of you that hunt off Horseback, or a packstring here in Alaska, Where can I get hay for 5 horses in the Palmer-Wasilla Area? And what is the going rate for a ton of hay or price per bail (60 pound bail), and last question...How difficult was it to take the horses out and what drawbacks should I be aware of. ( Will be bringing 5 up this coming Summer) Thanks for any info.....CK
    Until first cutting this summer, for good hay its 165.00 for a round bale. Appox. 1000 lbs It can be had at Pt. MacKenzie for 145.00 but the logistics are more difficult. Such as arranging for someone to be there with something to load the bales with.

    For a tight small bale right now is 15.00. Appox. 50 lbs.

    We've got a source for loose bales for 8.00 Approx 30 lbs.

    If you can find them you can get Delta Hay Pellets for 8.00 for 50 lbs.

    In Summer after first cutting you can find big bales for 100.00-120.00

    and honest 50 lbers. in Delta for 8.00. We take a trip and fill a trailer full.

    For Sweet cob at Wal mart its 13.00 for 50 lbs.

    Complete 10 is 12.00 for 45 lbs.

    The worst part about taking out horses is boggy swamps and deadfall trees. Resurrection trail is amazingly maintained, but lots of horses. I know of a few somewhat maintained horse trails but they are in permit areas. Finding enough grass for 5 horses in one spot for more than a few days is tough so you can't linger to long in one spot unless someone is taking horses different graze. If you need any help finding stuff when you get them here give me a call. 244-0207

    Jim
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Anyone still using alfalfa cubes? We fed them the last few years we had horses. Sure beat shipping bales and they kept better than most hay when we bought a winter's supply in one shot. We put warm water on them and let them soak a half hour or so, then poured the oat ration on top. We still gave them flakes of timothy for entertainment.

    Never had to use them packing, but it seems like those cubes would be great for areas with little grass. A 50 pound bag goes a long ways.

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    25.00 for a 50 lb bag for the cubes. We had a gelding that like to steal grain from the mare he was pastured with so if I gave him a couple frozen cubes he would chew on them till the mare was done with her grain.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

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    Default Hay

    Randy Eckles from Delta make hat runs all over the state , best brome hay to be had , sorry don't remember the number (411) . Horses are coming up for sale everywhere out here in Alaska , good deals to be had .

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    If you get your horses use to it in advance, then you might consider Delta Hay pellets. You can put a 50# bag on each side of your horse and that should hold two horses for a week or so. Understand that all the grass they can eat in the field will have little to no nutritional value, so you need to supplement. A smaller amount of the the Alfalfa cubes is a nice bonus, but I use that sparingly. You can also get a grain/hay pellet combo.

    Mud bogs are the only real challenge. If you get a horse stuck up to its belly, your only choice is to wad in and remove everything from its back to get it out. Try to stay on hill sides or ridges whenever possible.

    I always use lots of glow in the dark tape on my halters and tied to the tails of the horse as I have used moose colored horses. I have never had a problem in the field with other hunters except unattended teenagers that will blast by on 4 wheelers.

    Good luck and have fun.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    If you get your horses use to it in advance, then you might consider Delta Hay pellets. You can put a 50# bag on each side of your horse and that should hold two horses for a week or so. Understand that all the grass they can eat in the field will have little to no nutritional value, so you need to supplement. A smaller amount of the the Alfalfa cubes is a nice bonus, but I use that sparingly. You can also get a grain/hay pellet combo.

    Mud bogs are the only real challenge. If you get a horse stuck up to its belly, your only choice is to wad in and remove everything from its back to get it out. Try to stay on hill sides or ridges whenever possible.

    I always use lots of glow in the dark tape on my halters and tied to the tails of the horse as I have used moose colored horses. I have never had a problem in the field with other hunters except unattended teenagers that will blast by on 4 wheelers.

    Good luck and have fun.

    ditto on the pellets and cubes for wilderness travel. be sure to hobble break your ponies (mules) and consider that 3leg hobble. also keep one horse tied fast, as you might need to go looking.......

    portable electric fence is a great idea to keep your stock in, and bears out.

    happy trails.
    jh
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    If the horses or mules are use to "ranging" as apposed to being pasture fed they will do fine in many areas. We use BOC mostly for control rather than maintaining condition. The biggest "problem" is figuring out which ones can be turned loose with which others. Use of picket pins to allow feeding are just one example of different methods of trail management.
    Would the use of horses and/or mules be a good "thread" topic?
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the information, I will take down the names and numbers given to me, as the horses come up this summer, it will probably be an experience, but it is a great way of hunting and getting into the back country, but also the rodeo scene, my kid wants to Barrel race, as she has done in the past, so I'll be looking into the "Alaska Barrel Racing Association" also ......CK

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the information, I will take down the names and numbers given to me, as the horses come up this summer, it will probably be an experience, but it is a great way of hunting and getting into the back country, but also the rodeo scene, my kid wants to Barrel race, as she has done in the past, so I'll be looking into the "Alaska Barrel Racing Association" also ......CK
    Check out the 4H horse program for your kid, too. You'll have allies in horse care and training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by logman View Post
    . Horses are coming up for sale everywhere out here in Alaska , good deals to be had .

    That would be the cheapest part of owning a horse. They're worse than boats.

    I talked to a friend who just picked up some e-burg hay. Its going at over $600 per ton. Ouch. But, it should start coming down a little with fuel surcharges coming down. But still.....

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    kahahawai-

    Rodeos: there are 5 through the season between Soldotna and Ninilchik. There is one at the state fair in Palmer and a labor day rodeo in Kodiak. ABHA does not appear to be real big in the state right now, though it has been in the past.

    National Barrel Horse Assoc. (NBHA) is the major organization now. There are strong organizations here on the KP and in the valley. New assoc in the process of being formed in Fairbanks and on Kodiak.

    PM if you want more info.

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