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Thread: hunting from horseback

  1. #1
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Thumbs up hunting from horseback

    I would like to ask some questions to someone that hunts from horse back. I'm as green as my morgan and would like to hunt from him. I've been riding daily but would like to know a bit more before seasons here
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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  2. #2

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    Is your horse really that green? That would be my first concern- you sure don't want your horse trying to kill you where you're way back in the boonies. Horses can be a great way to hunt except for some limitations- like they are useless in the swampy areas, they're awfully slow and a pain to care for. Gotta love 'em.

  3. #3
    Member JoeJ's Avatar
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    Just be prepared to be thrown off at least once when you least expect it and a couple more times throughout the hunt. If you're lucky you won't break any bones. In my very limited experience I've learned a horse is nothing more than a 1,000+ pounds of bad attitude and a PITA when you're dead tired and have to tend to their "needs" upon arrive at camp.

  4. #4
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Default pretty green

    He's 5 now and it's time to make sence of the feed bill. He likes getting out of his paddok and finally some 1/1 attention. I try to put a couple hours on him every day. Last night he made about 5of the 8 seconds and knocked some teeth loose but I hung on and tought him I was boss when he was done. I would like to find someone close I can ride along with to give him and I more confidence. It's no different than anything else when your out there alone just gotta be a bit more careful, believe me I know about what I call ALASKAN ADVENTURES.
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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  5. #5

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    JoeJ-
    It's not the getting thrown off and breaking bones part that hurts- it's the big itchy spot under the saddle while your favorite rifle is in the scabbard. Bones heal but stocks don't. I've hunted all over the state on horseback for 19 years- anymore my best friend is my Polaris Ranger. Horses sure are nice for *****footing through the brush looking for moose though.

  6. #6
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    I have two 4 year old morgans that will be going back in with me this fall. I've worked with both A LOT doing training both from the ground and under saddle. Some things to work on them with that will help when your back in. Highlines, hobbling (if you so choose), crossing water of all kinds, brush busting, and packing. I have been putting a lot of time putting them on trails in the back country getting them used to all the things that they'll be exposed to back there so they dont react so badly, and I have a clue of how they do react. You'll also want to expose them to gunfire, blood ( hopefully not yours or theirs) and putting panniers/dead things on their back. If your dealing with horses still not completely reliable under saddle in a fairly controlled environment, you have a bit of time to put on them before taking them out on a hunt. Seen some pretty bad wrecks from people taking horses not trained or conditioned to do what they are asked to do.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ironartist View Post
    He's 5 now and it's time to make sence of the feed bill. He likes getting out of his paddok and finally some 1/1 attention. I try to put a couple hours on him every day. Last night he made about 5of the 8 seconds and knocked some teeth loose but I hung on and tought him I was boss when he was done. I would like to find someone close I can ride along with to give him and I more confidence. It's no different than anything else when your out there alone just gotta be a bit more careful, believe me I know about what I call ALASKAN ADVENTURES.
    Can be a great way to go - or - a multiple of "ten" of your worst nightmare if either to "operator" or the "operated" don't know what they are doing.
    If you're in Fairbanks there is at least on group that goes on a number of pack trips during the summer. I assume there are other groups in the Anchorage or Palmer areas that use their animals for packing.
    If you are in the Fairbanks area send me an e-mail if I can be of any help.
    Joe (Ak)

  8. #8
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Water xings would be all new to him how would one condition him for that? He is good with hobbles but how safe are they out in the woods, would I be better off tieing his lead to a high line. He is good in the brush and the trees exept he gets exited when he see's a moose, is that the norm. Should I introduce him to raw meat and blood with a package of last seasons moose regularly? any advice would surely be appreciated, and to you wantj43 thank you for the offer but I'm just outside of wasilla at the base of baldy.
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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  9. #9
    Member Double Shovel's Avatar
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    Default Blood in nose.

    I'm no expert, but I have packed many elk out of the mountains of Montana. We condition our horses to the smell of blood/dead animals with a small handfull of blood rubbed in the horse's nostrils about 15 minutes before the load is placed on them (in nylon panniers) and strapped down. This gives the horses a few minutes to adjust to the smells and re-acquaint themselves with the scary thought of hauling meat prior to actually doing so. Biggest trouble we've had was hauling through tight areas with a wide load - take an axe/saw/hatchet/small chainsaw depending on the density of the vegetation.

    Swamps are bad.

    Ice is bad.

    The smell of moose was/is very alarming to our horses in Montana. I don't have any Alaska horseback hunting experience to speak of - most of the areas I hunt now would be rough horse country.

    Best of Luck, I hope this helps.

    DS

  10. #10

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    For water crossing start small and work your way up. I start with puddles, then moving water. I like to use the pool where Palmer Fishhook crosses Wasilla Creek but you should be able to find something closer- Little Su maybe. I find my horses will cross anything if they can see the bottom- if they can't they are leery. For tying I really like a highline although they can,t graze much. I usually only hobble if I can keep an eye on them. I've had several horses that have learned to gallop with hobbles on and can cover alot of ground. I really like to picket them by a front leg- usually to something movable. Simply use half a hobble on one front leg. I usually use a stiff rope so it wont wrap another foot and give it a rope burn. I use a large log to tie it to. If they can just barely pull it they can expand their grazing range. Horses have very little strength in their front legs so don't go far. If something spooks them and they run, an anchor that moves has some "give" and is less likely to injure them. Also I carry a tiny jar of Vicks Vaporub- if they get spooky around blood or bear smells, just smear a little inside the nostrils and they can't smell a thing.

  11. #11

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    Strange how many swamps there are, even invisible swamps in sheep hunting country, a good come-a-long helps. GOD...but I "LOATH" Horses....and loath a stuck horse more than my ex-wife......

  12. #12
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    If its your first hunt do the Resurrection trail. It is maintained there is a lot of country and traffic. Nothing worse than getting all wadded up in a bunch of dead fall with a horse that doesn't know how to handle it.

    There are a lot of people on that trail but if you have a problem help is never far away.
    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

  13. #13

    Talking wet saddle blankets

    It all comes down to proper training and a lot of wet saddle blankets. This should all start long before hunting season and if properly done you will have a lot more harmonious outcome. A hunting trip is no place to train a horse...my suggestion is that if your horse is questionable from a safety (solid) standpoint then wait till next season after proper training. A good packing book (like Smoke Elsner's) will go a long way helping you, but riding with experienced riders and horses will really do it...unless you are a bronc and tougher than rawhide. Good luck. ps: hang hides on your corral rails where you feed him and ocassionally gently slide one on his back. Do this enough and you won't have trouble loading meat and you won't have to blood up his nose. Remember that safety (yours and his) is paramont...you'll lose in a fight.
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  14. #14
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    I could throw a hide right over his back and I really don't think he'd care. You don't think he's be huntable this season, I have been working with him a few hours every day and will continue. I got rid of my old mare that he was herd bound to and he has came along ways in the last few weeks. Guess most of it'll be learned through time, without knowing any others to work him with.
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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  15. #15
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default find a outfitter/guide

    Find someone that uses them and offer to go along and help with the horses and maybe even take yours to help.

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