When former Elk Hunter Magazine editor, Ryan Hatfield, called me and asked if I would write for Elk Hunter Magazine, I asked what subject he wanted me to write about. He said, “Something to do with horses, packing, and hunting.” I had been packing in the backcountry of Idaho and Montana for decades and watched other unguided hunters with limited stock struggling with everything from their stock to their pack outfits at the trailhead as well as along the trail.
Over the years I have witnessed just about every wreck that can happen with inexperienced individuals who are too bold for their own good and end up injuring or killing their stock with the attitude that “It’s just a horse and can be replaced.” One individual has killed three horses and mules by forcing them, loaded, through deep snow on very dangerous trails. Others leave their horses in the pasture all year long, shoe them a few days before hunting season, and end up getting bucked off and hurting themselves. Others bring stock out west from the south and east and don’t understand why the animals cholic. I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
The Hunting Horseman book is a collection of my articles since the first issue of Elk Hunter Magazine/Western Hunter over a dozen years. If you are interested in how to lay a mantie on the ground and pile it with gear, then wad it up in the mantie with various hitches and knots and then load it on a mule and pack it to an outfitter camp, Forest Service work center, etc, Joe Back and Smoke Elser wrote the book on these packing techniques.
If you are a hunter who wants to hunt the backcountry of the West with limited stock and a hunting partner or two, you will find this book full of information in one place that you will not find anywhere else. Everything in The Hunting Horseman is based upon my personal experiences with stock, pack equipment, camp gear, hunting techniques, and related issues over decades of hunting the backcountry of the majority of our western states.
It has been a great ride for me, and I hope The Hunting Horseman helps you find successful hunts wherever you choose to go!
See you down the trail!