Hunting Horses

Talk about Horses and Mules.
broncobilly
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby broncobilly » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:12 pm

I have found it very handy to be able to shoot off a horse many times, both when I am hunting hogs with dogs and when I am riding along elk hunting and see an elk 50 or 60 yards over there and the brush is so tall and thick that I would not be able to see him when on the ground. Fortunately it is very easy to teach a horse to stand for a gunshot. I begin cracking a whip as soon as I get a horse leading a little bit, if he reacts I give him a correction, if he doesn't react I give him a treat. In very little time, usually 5 minutes or less, he will not react to the whip at all. And by the end of the first 5 minutes I am not just giving little pops, I am popping it as loud as I can(very close to as loud as a .22) right over his back. Of course you start out with smaller pops a little way off from the horse. I continue popping the whip while sacking out and teaching to lunge.

As soon as the horse is lunging well under saddle, but without a rider(usually within 2 or 3 days), I will get someone to fire a .22 pistol about every 8 to 10 seconds. I start off with the horse about 100 yards from the shooter. After every shot, if the horse reacts I correct him and if he doesn't react I give him a treat. If the horse reacts to the shot, then after the correction I stay the same distance and wait for the next shot, if he doesn't react I give him a treat and move about 5 to 10 yards closer. In about 5 minutes the horse will be 3 or 4 feet from the shooter, I then have the shooter come stand beside the horse and shoot over his back, generally by this time he will not react so I give him a treat and we are done with the .22. I then move the horse back from the shooter about 75 yard and we repeat the process with a 12 guage shotgun. As soon as I have the horse behaving pretty well with a rider in the saddle(usually a week or less) then I repeat the process with a rider in the saddle with the last shot with both the .22 and the shotgun being taken by the rider. From that time on the horse can pretty much be shot off of whenever it is needed, although I do try to give them a little refresher a couple of times a year. I do continue popping the whip whenever I am ground working the horse, or when I am saddling up after the horse has reached the point where he no longer needs ground work.

I very strongly agree with those who have said not to fire the gun directly over the horses head, their hearing is many times more sensitive than ours and even a relatively small gun will hurt their ears if fired directly over their head. If they are properly trained they will stand for it once or twice, but I strongly advise against it except in cases of emergency.

As long as you are shooting away from the horses head(at right angles or behind), then you can shoot fairly large guns with no ill effects. My sons routinely shoot .35 remingtons and .270's off of the horses we train with no problems.

Hope this helps

Bill A. Brockman
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Bill A. Brockman
PaulJames1
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby PaulJames1 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:23 am

Thanks Brockman. I'll try out that and see if it works. I saw some youtube videos about doing just what you said. I have fired a .22 around 50 yards away from them while they were grazing. The first time they reacted to it and then as I began to keep on firing they began to get de-spooked from 50 yards. So, I guess I'll just gradually work my way up until I can fire of his back. Thanks for the feedback!
Paul
broncobilly
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby broncobilly » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:15 pm

Paul,

It is important to remember to bring the horse to the gun, NOT the gun to the horse. A horse is a prey species and if the gun is brought closer to the horse he is more likely to feel threatened or chased and will react accordingly, whereas if he is brought closer to the gun, he feels he is doing the chasing and therefore responds with confidence.

Bill
"The Republic can survive a President Obama, who is after all, only a fool, the Republic is less like to survive the multitude of fools who made him their president"
Author Unknown

"Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth,
Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty"
Winston Churchhill

"Never in the history of the world has there been a
situation so bad that the government couldn't make it worse.”
Henry Morganthau (1891-1967)



Bill A. Brockman
PaulJames1
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby PaulJames1 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:39 pm

okay. Then I'll do that. Thanks for the advice Bill.
Paul
lmorgan
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby lmorgan » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:18 pm

I've never had a need to shoot a gun off of a horse or a mule while hunting, but all of my horses and mules are gun broke. I do know a couple of old Mississippi squirrel hunters who hunt with terriers and ride mules. They never get off their mules except to pick up dead squirrels. I've found that the easiest way to gun break a horse is to try it while mounted next to another horse or mule that's already gun broke. When the seasoned horse doesn't spook, the herd mentality usually kicks in and the unbroken mount usually takes to it a little easier.

I've actually had more trouble whip breaking one than gun breaking him. Mostly because I end up taking inches off his ears or removing tail hairs when I'm swinging my whip. LOL

I wonder where Mike Leonard found a good whip out in NW NM? :wink:
Larry Morgan
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PaulJames1
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby PaulJames1 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:32 pm

Sounds good Imorgan. Thanks for the advice
Paul
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby Spencer » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:31 pm

I have a 5 month old Black Mouth Cur I am introducing to the horse and horse to him. Be nice to hunt squirrel up in the hardwoods from the horse. Now I just have to get y mare used to the gunshots near her just like you are talking about. I plan on starting at feeding time with a cap gun, then a goose gun(more like a shotgun prime, used to scare geese), then work up from there.
PaulJames1
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby PaulJames1 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:04 pm

Well here is where you would get advice.Lol
Paul
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby Joe Lane » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:55 am

You can shoot off any horse... once :lol: My mule is broke to popping a whip off her, but still isn't a fan of the gun. Good thing is she doesn't buck or freak out too bad, just starts walking off. Down here in Florida hunting deer with dogs off horses is/was pretty common. Most of the old timers already had their horses whip broke and just started off shooting .22 near them/on them. Hopefully this year I'll run some deer with the mule, I feel like she'll gun break better on the run.
PaulJames1
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Re: Hunting Horses

Postby PaulJames1 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:19 pm

Now that is cool! I hope to do the same one day!
Paul

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