New horse adventure

DustinSchmidt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
17
Why doesn’t anyone ground tie there horses with a stake that lets the horse go 360 around with a 10’ish lead rope. Field trailers do this with there horses and the horses get a custom to not getting tied up in the rope. Seems like a good option why doesn’t anyone do this in the mountains???
At least for when you have them grazing?
Thats usually called a picket line. I do that around the house so I don't have to mow or trim. In most of my hunting areas the trees are too thick or a general lack of grass. Beyond that I would have a reluctance in that my stock would be exposed to some idiot on the ridge that can't tell the differance between a horse and an elk.

My learning experience was when some gents from Chicago in the 70s shot 4 leapord appaloosas tied in the middle of a clearcut. I don't even like to ride in the open and tempt fate. In that same period was a gent on a horse wearing an orange slicker on a FS trail. A NR shot him through the slicker, through his leg and saddle and killed his horse.
No Shit
yea I never thought of the idiots. Most of my hunting is in archery season. But will for sure will keep that in mind. I’m just getting set up for having horses at the house. I’ve got 1 horse short string so far
 

Nightwalker

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
14
This looks like a good place to start and look for some advice from some experienced stock owners. I am 24 and hunted my whole life and been around horses a fair amount but never did a whole lot of riding until this last year. My fiancé has a horse of her own and her brother in law owns about 20 horses and rodeos a lot with his kids. So I guess I'm marrying into a horse family lol. They are helping me find a good horse of my own to ride and I'm sure they will find me a good one. Our long term plan is to be Wyoming residents within the next year and i should have a general elk tag for up there this fall. We plan on riding a lot this spring and summer scouting and looking for shed antlers, and getting the horses in shape. My questions are mainly about packing in with horses. Maybe some of the do's and don'ts that you have learned over the years. I plan on making a base camp and then riding to where I want to hunt and tying the horses up and hunting on foot from there. Also one of my concerns is I've never dealt with grizzly bears let alone grizzly bears and stock animals. At night in grizz country do you hobble your horses and let them graze? tie them up? put hotwire around them? maybe that's personal preference and some things I'm gonna have to learn as I go. Most of my gear as of right now is pretty lightweight as I used it as backpacking gear before the horses, so mainly this year the horses are for packing me up the mountain and an elk off the mountain. I have already purchased some paneers. I'm excited to try this new style of hunting. Thanks everyone
Hey, I’m in a similar situation, and I’m in Wyoming too. I guided thirty years ago and had 70+ days in the saddle, but it’s been sporadic since.
This looks like a good place to start and look for some advice from some experienced stock owners. I am 24 and hunted my whole life and been around horses a fair amount but never did a whole lot of riding until this last year. My fiancé has a horse of her own and her brother in law owns about 20 horses and rodeos a lot with his kids. So I guess I'm marrying into a horse family lol. They are helping me find a good horse of my own to ride and I'm sure they will find me a good one. Our long term plan is to be Wyoming residents within the next year and i should have a general elk tag for up there this fall. We plan on riding a lot this spring and summer scouting and looking for shed antlers, and getting the horses in shape. My questions are mainly about packing in with horses. Maybe some of the do's and don'ts that you have learned over the years. I plan on making a base camp and then riding to where I want to hunt and tying the horses up and hunting on foot from there. Also one of my concerns is I've never dealt with grizzly bears let alone grizzly bears and stock animals. At night in grizz country do you hobble your horses and let them graze? tie them up? put hotwire around them? maybe that's personal preference and some things I'm gonna have to learn as I go. Most of my gear as of right now is pretty lightweight as I used it as backpacking gear before the horses, so mainly this year the horses are for packing me up the mountain and an elk off the mountain. I have already purchased some paneers. I'm excited to try this new style of hunting. Thanks everyone
 

Nightwalker

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
14
This looks like a good place to start and look for some advice from some experienced stock owners. I am 24 and hunted my whole life and been around horses a fair amount but never did a whole lot of riding until this last year. My fiancé has a horse of her own and her brother in law owns about 20 horses and rodeos a lot with his kids. So I guess I'm marrying into a horse family lol. They are helping me find a good horse of my own to ride and I'm sure they will find me a good one. Our long term plan is to be Wyoming residents within the next year and i should have a general elk tag for up there this fall. We plan on riding a lot this spring and summer scouting and looking for shed antlers, and getting the horses in shape. My questions are mainly about packing in with horses. Maybe some of the do's and don'ts that you have learned over the years. I plan on making a base camp and then riding to where I want to hunt and tying the horses up and hunting on foot from there. Also one of my concerns is I've never dealt with grizzly bears let alone grizzly bears and stock animals. At night in grizz country do you hobble your horses and let them graze? tie them up? put hotwire around them? maybe that's personal preference and some things I'm gonna have to learn as I go. Most of my gear as of right now is pretty lightweight as I used it as backpacking gear before the horses, so mainly this year the horses are for packing me up the mountain and an elk off the mountain. I have already purchased some paneers. I'm excited to try this new style of hunting. Thanks everyone
Bumped the darn “post reply” tab too soon. Where I’ve been hunting the last ten years is chock full of grizzlies, and I’ve literally seen seven different grizzlies in the same day. I have two horses now, and I’m working on a third. Going to pack in about 4 miles, and hunt from there. Keeping camp relatively close so I can get meat far away from camp, back to the coolers in the horse trailer. The portable electric fences that run on two D-cell batteries seem pretty sweet, as you can move them every few days to maximize feed and minimize impact. Gotta get the horses used to them first though. From what I’ve read, the over the saddle panniers are good for riding in and walking out, but they aren’t meant for long packs, and again, gotta get the horses used to them.

I’ve know Smoke Elser for many years, and he absolutely knows his craft. I like the idea of getting in touch with the local Backcountry Horseman Association. If they are anything like the BH&A, they’ll be a great resource. I’m in NW Wyoming and plan on stepping into the hills with my stock nearly every weekend. Riding them 2-3 times during the week is one thing, getting them trail experience with you is another. Don’t know how to PM on here yet, but if we are compatible, there’s safely in numbers in bear county.
 

stumpy waters

Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Messages
58
We only take the stock we are riding and the same gear as if we were walking.

There are definitely benefits to having the additional gear that dedicate pack animals can carry, but it’s just mostly just creature comforts. Nothing wrong with that. The trade off is more animals to tend to as less mobility. With just riding stock we are on the move quicker, don’t have to spend any time packing, and don’t have to go back to camp to get stock animals if we want to move.

Just for note, I’m not heavy though, 165lbs dressed and my backpack for a week trip is around 29lbs. I do move some gear out of the backpack to saddle bags. So my horse is carrying much less weight than he is capable even with my gear.

Hauling meat we carry saddle panniers and expect to walk out and lead the horses. Some might say that’s where the additional pack animals are nice but if unless you are ponying animals with no load going in the you area either packing meat on your ride or you are coming out with gear and going back for meat. We have the same option on the latter, we can always ride out, drop gear and people off and pony a couple back in to carry meat so we don’t have to walk.

Either way you go is good it’s just personal preference.
 

Wapiti66

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
140
Why doesn’t anyone ground tie there horses with a stake that lets the horse go 360 around with a 10’ish lead rope. Field trailers do this with there horses and the horses get a custom to not getting tied up in the rope. Seems like a good option why doesn’t anyone do this in the mountains??

Main reason I dont is for noise. Pounding a picket stake into a mountain side isn’t a quiet event, you will alert the whole mountain. Also cuts extra weight for the stake and hammer. I usually use trees next to a grassy opening so you don’t get 360 but it works. You really need to have your horses used to this at home, start with a short rope so they can’t hurt themselves.
I will picket my horse and hobble the mules and everyone stays where they belong that way.
 
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utahkid39

utahkid39

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
31
We only take the stock we are riding and the same gear as if we were walking.

There are definitely benefits to having the additional gear that dedicate pack animals can carry, but it’s just mostly just creature comforts. Nothing wrong with that. The trade off is more animals to tend to as less mobility. With just riding stock we are on the move quicker, don’t have to spend any time packing, and don’t have to go back to camp to get stock animals if we want to move.

Just for note, I’m not heavy though, 165lbs dressed and my backpack for a week trip is around 29lbs. I do move some gear out of the backpack to saddle bags. So my horse is carrying much less weight than he is capable even with my gear.

Hauling meat we carry saddle panniers and expect to walk out and lead the horses. Some might say that’s where the additional pack animals are nice but if unless you are ponying animals with no load going in the you area either packing meat on your ride or you are coming out with gear and going back for meat. We have the same option on the latter, we can always ride out, drop gear and people off and pony a couple back in to carry meat so we don’t have to walk.

Either way you go is good it’s just personal preference.
I did buy some over the saddle paniers at the hunt expo, and I have been thinking about just riding in with one horse and then walking them back out if need be. I'm not a real heavy guy myself about 170 and my gear is all pretty lightweight. I don't mind walking out especially if I'm not the one hauling all that heavy meat!
 

stumpy waters

Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Messages
58
I did buy some over the saddle paniers at the hunt expo, and I have been thinking about just riding in with one horse and then walking them back out if need be. I'm not a real heavy guy myself about 170 and my gear is all pretty lightweight. I don't mind walking out especially if I'm not the one hauling all that heavy meat!

Yeah it’s an option and works for us! It’s a good middle ground between being completely on foot and having to deal with all the extra pack animals.
 

Pony Soldier

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
799
Location
Montana
I have found a comfortable day hunt is about 12-14 miles. I have a number of loop circuits so I go in one drainage and out another. In some cases, I go in at the bottom and link 2-3 trails together and come out at the truck. That way I don't have a camp or do at the truck and I keep the infrastructure at a minimum.

For some of you buying gear, learn the old ways. Instead of saddle panniers I have 25 ft of 3/8 inch hemp rope tied on the saddle (hind quarters), and 15 ft of 1/4 inch rope for front quarters. I set the quarters shown in the photo and walked out. This was an afternoon hunt from the house about three miles in. We were home for dinner. Afterward we went out, finished skinning, washed them down, wrapped them in sheets and hung them up to freeze elk.jpg
 
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utahkid39

utahkid39

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
31
I have found a comfortable day hunt is about 12-14 miles. I have a number of loop circuits so I go in one drainage and out another. In some cases, I go in at the bottom and link 2-3 trails together and come out at the truck. That way I don't have a camp or do at the truck and I keep the infrastructure at a minimum.

For some of you buying gear, learn the old ways. Instead of saddle panniers I have 25 ft of 3/8 inch hemp rope tied on the saddle (hind quarters), and 15 ft of 1/4 inch rope for front quarters. I set the quarters shown in the photo and walked out. This was an afternoon hunt from the house about three miles in. We were home for dinner. Afterward we went out, finished skinning, washed them down, wrapped them in sheets and hung them up to freeze
very good advice! I will be sure to bring some rope with me! I think there is a chance i will be doing more day hunts or short trips for a minute until I get more time for long trips.
 

Pony Soldier

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
799
Location
Montana
Here is one that I got a number of years ago. We tied up in the drainage bottom and tracked a herd for about 5 miles on foot until we caught them bedded in a rock pile. We started hot on their tracks and finally caught up about about 5 hrs later. This was one that we came back the next day, got it quartered and loaded. The hoarfrost was about 4 inches deep. I have it down that I can take an elk from on the ground to on the horses in about 1.5 hours. The fastest one we ever did was 45 minutes with two of us. I use a dandy saw (18 inch) for splitting the elk and made a scabbard for it on the saddle. If you have to use a saw for wood, I prefer an arber saw (pull saw) or electric chainsaw for cutting my way in and out for stock.

Note the tree density in the picture. This is the open ground and where it flattened out some. We gained about 1200 ft in the last 1.5 miles to get there. To Camp Bull.jpg get stock to that point we had to travel about 8 miles on closed roads and trails. This is the only place I have ever lit a fire in the woods. My kids were cold.
 
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utahkid39

utahkid39

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
31
Here is one that I got a number of years ago. We tied up in the drainage bottom and tracked a herd for about 5 miles on foot until we caught them bedded in a rock pile. We started hot on their tracks and finally caught up about about 5 hrs later. This was one that we came back the next day, got it quartered and loaded. The hoarfrost was about 4 inches deep. I have it down that I can take an elk from on the ground to on the horses in about 1.5 hours. The fastest one we ever did was 45 minutes with two of us. I use a dandy saw (18 inch) for splitting the elk and made a scabbard for it on the saddle. If you have to use a saw for wood, I prefer an arber saw (pull saw) or electric chainsaw for cutting my way in and out for stock.

Note the tree density in the picture. This is the open ground and where it flattened out some. We gained about 1200 ft in the last 1.5 miles to get there. To View attachment 398750 get stock to that point we had to travel about 8 miles on closed roads and trails. This is the only place I have ever lit a fire in the woods. My kids were cold.
awesome picture!
 
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utahkid39

utahkid39

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
31
Update for you guys, I ended up with 3 horses, a five year old mare of my fiancé and two 4 year olds, gelding and a mare. I did a lot of weekend pack in trips and quite a few solo, I learned a ton and so did the horses. I ended up killing a rag horn bull after missing a very nice bull opening morning. I enjoyed hunting off the horses a lot and they made the pack out a lot easier for me. I was able to ride to my elk bone him out and pack him out in one trip, was very nice to have a ride out and I didn’t have to carry any meat. These animals are awesome E0E8F051-6519-4747-8D52-E1CAA4482DD0.jpeg
 

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mntnguide

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
375
Location
WY
Good choice with the Mountain Ridge Gear panniers. He makes some great stuff. I have his lightweight ones for just tying on my riding saddle on quick trips, but will probably pick up that same set you have next year as well. Once you get addicted to horse hunting, it changes how you look at hunting. I have just as much enjoyment being in the mountains with my stock, as I do punching a tag. Congrats on getting a good start. I will suggest, if you are still wanting to learn more In depth packing knots, ropes, techniques and backcountry horsemanship without going to a weekend type class, Royaltine does have a packing info DVD that would be a pretty good thing to check out during the winter. Purely made for people who know horses but want to be more comfortable and proficient in the backcountry with them with everything from packing to stock care etc.
 

Pony Soldier

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
799
Location
Montana
You are on your way. However you will have 40 years of adventures ahead of you that only other horse people will understand. With that will come the recognician of nightmares before they happen and how to prevent them. You will start to think like a wrangler. Welcome to packers are us.
 
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