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backpack for horseback hunt

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Unread 05-09-2011, 07:34 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Re: backpack for horseback hunt

Thanks for the information. I will contact my outfitter and make sure they have a big enough scabbord or supply my own I guess.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 07:39 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: backpack for horseback hunt

The other guys have it right on trying to ride with the rifle in your Eberlestock pack. It will be uncomfortable, snag on trees and the such and if you are going with an outfitter, they may not allow it.

The Trailmax rifle scabbard Bucksnort mentioned will do the job for you. I have one and have used it on several horseback hunting trips. It is a cordura, full containment scabbard and will hold your rifle securely. I have used mine with my 338khan which has a 30" barrel + a brake, A5 stock and a 8-32X56 NF scope, all weighing in at about 17lbs. That rifle fits, although not with a lot of room to spare. The scabbard also makes a pretty good soft sided rifle case for just carrying the rifle even when horses are not going to be involved. A problem you will have with a large heavy rifle in a scabbard is the saddle will keep slipping toward the side with the rifle because of the extra weight, and it will be uncomfortable under your leg if you mount the scabbard horizontal. No real fix for the saddle slipping, you will just have to stand on the opposing stirrup to rotate the saddle back around every little bit, and may have to dismount and let off the cinch and reposition the saddle every now and then. Large heavy rifles and horsepacking create some challenges, but it can be done.

As for carrying the rifle I prefer the Kifaru "gun bearer" system. It can be put on about any pack and gives you much faster access to your rifle than the Eberlestock. I know fast access is not normally an issue with long range hunting but the real advantage for me is for those "take a breather" moments going up a mountain. It is real easy to get the rifle in and out of the gun bearer so I can get that 17lbs of weight off my hips for a couple of min. If you try it, with the large NF scope you will need to carry the rifle "backward" as to their instructions. In other words the scope will face forward. Large scopes such as the NF do not fit well under your arm where they normally would go. It will take some experimenting to get everything positioned right, but for me anyway it is comfortable way to carry my big rifles.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 10:36 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 120
Re: backpack for horseback hunt

Its also a good idea to minimize anything strapped on to your body while riding. A stray branch sneaking under a bino or backpack strap can result in a wreck or keep you from getting free of your ride during an unplanned exit.
Don Ward
GreyBull Precision LLC
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Unread 05-09-2011, 12:37 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 3,042
Re: backpack for horseback hunt

I do as mentioned, and full contain rifle. My pack is modular nimrod,can break down straps and bladder,pack seperate, I load any weight opposite rifle,your looking for balance on horse, less stirrup hopping,my axe is opposite also
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Unread 05-09-2011, 12:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,080
Re: backpack for horseback hunt

You have had excellent comments on this topic.
I ride horses on the way in for all my hunts, and when I start hunting, I take my J107 from the horse and strap it on, and start the backpack hunting part of the trip. What I do is all the load on a horse and just me and the rifle on another horse.
Riding with the rifle is not that comfortable on long rides specially, and worst of with a heavy rifle. The scabbard previously recommended looks very good, just put some weight on the other side of the saddle and you should do just fine.
Please keep us updated on your results and experience, maybe we all can learn something from this.
Some pics:

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Unread 05-09-2011, 01:46 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Southeast Idaho
Posts: 822
Re: backpack for horseback hunt

As was stated above I would NOT ride with a backpack on at all. This is very dangerous. The rifle needs to be carried in a scabbarb on the horse. I have tried many a scabbard inclunding the above mentioned. They all fell short of my needs. We ended up having custom ones made to suit us. I do alot of the type of hunting you are planning on and have found through time that this scabbard system works great. Balancing the scabbard and a LR rifle can be a pain at times. We had custom saddle bags made also to help with the balancing. The oppisite side of the scabbard is loaded with heavy items such as water bottles or a couple cans of soup and snacks. This has worked out good.

When I get to camp or to the place where I am going to start hiking I then put on the Eberlestock J107. This pack gives me many options for what is needed in the pack for the trip at hand. I always carry my pack on another pack animal and the rifle is on my saddle horse.
I know all this will be more than you probally wanted to know but I though it might be helpful.
Make sure you talk with your outfitter and tell them your needs and concerns.

Any questions just PM me.

This picture shows how I carry the Edge on my horse.

Last edited by RH300UM; 10-29-2009 at 05:08 PM..
Proud owner of 4 RBROS rifles!
Mule Deer Foundation Life Member
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Last edited by RH300UM; 05-09-2011 at 02:11 PM. Reason: add pic
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