Horse and Mule Packing

The Morris Boys Know Elk.

Since 2011 my family and I have been honored to know the Morris Family. These folks have become an integral part of our Fall Hunting Trips to Western Wyoming.

This was the first year that all four Morris men had Wyoming General tags for Elk.

Wes was up with the first opportunity. On opening day they had a great deal of competition from other hunters. At one point they could hear someone talking not 100 yards from their setup. On Day Two, brother Jase was able to sweet talk this five by five bull into range, with brother Matt assisting.

Dee narrates:
Wes , Matt and Jase followed the bull and about 15 cows calling them along the way for about half a mile. Jase did the calling and the bull was very responsive turning back several times but not close enough to shoot. Finally at the dark timber line, the bull had enough and turned back to face the pesky young bull. Wes took him with one shot at 40 yards.

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If that kind of Elk Hunting action is your cup of tea, I’d recommend you talk to my friends at the Big Sandy Lodge.

After packing the Bull back to civilization, It was a first come-first serve for the remaining elk tags amongst the clan. A couple days after Wes scored, Father Dee called this heavy, wide 5 point bull into rifle range and downed him on a bench on a ridgetop.

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I was honored to be able to assist, with Mokie, my uncle’s 24 year old gelding who packed the hind quarters , and hide, while I packed the boned out loins, tenderloins, and trim meat in my Badlands 4500 internal frame pack. I joked that I “wouldn’t ask Mokie to do anything I wouldn’t do” as he jogged back to the ranch with a vigor that belied his age. Jase and Wes each carried a front quarter while Dee packed out the head and rack.  Mama Kay even came out and packed rifles back up the treacherous trail.  It was a true family affair

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My family and I hit the road the next day , but I soon received notice from Matt that he had connected.

The message said:

5×5 at 401 yards

and then the picture loaded.

IMG_8623Matt continued the story…

Awesome hunt. Not the bull we were after but he had about 40 cows with him.  Jase is going back after the stud in the a.m. The two herds merged and put on a HELL of a screaming match. 

Even 500 miles away I could feel the excitement that must have been felt in that household.

The next night I got the Update…

I asked:

Any Action for Jase yet?

The Reply almost immediately was :

“Ohhhh YEAH”

And I knew it was going to be good.

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And the final Morris man to connect gets a heavy, symmetrical 6×6 bull.  Earlier in the bowhunting season  he had called in a 5×5 bull but passed.  That discerning nature seems to have paid off.

All in all, the Morris Family has proven that the elk hunting gene runs strong.  I know it has been my pleasure to be in the woods with them and that we share a kinship, that I have felt with few others.

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Categories: Horse and Mule Packing, My Hunting Stories | Leave a comment

How to: The Box Hitch

One of the biggest improvements to my packing has come from incorporating the Box Hitch into my packing arsenal. Basically this is a hitch that is designed to lift the panniers up and slightly away from the sides of your pack horse.

I was taught by my uncle, Colby Martin, but he is kinda camera shy. So the next best thing is a video by Todd Jones from Casper College. Todd is also an outfitter operating Paintrock adventures in Wyoming.

Watch and learn folks!

Now a note on what I do differently.

first, I have the hook on the Left side.  Todd shows it on the right side.  I like the idea of putting the lash cinch under the cinch connector on a two cinch sawbuck.

Second by having the hook on the left, my tie off is on the left as well.  That much easier to get to if I have to bail off and untie the lash rope in a hurry.

The box hitch in use:

Categories: Horse and Mule Packing | Leave a comment

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