I have been thinking about taking my dog hunting with me the last few years I just never do because I dont want the hastle, But I am thinking about buying one of these. Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack | Backcountry.com
then he will be pulling his own weight. Plus I have read their a lot of advantages to hunting with a well behaved dog (non deer, elk etc chaser) I have heard a non agressive dog has a sort of calming effect on animals. My dad used to hunt with our family dog years ago and he said if he ever accidentally walked into a herd of elk or something he would just freeze and the elk would see it was just a dog and that it wasnt a threat via his body language and go back to feeding or whatever. So I am thinking about buying this pack so he can carry our water and food maybe a few other odds and ends. They saf a dog should carry 25% of its own body weight no problem and he is an 80+lb lab depending on the season. so putting 10,15 or even 20 lbs on him would take a huge load off me and also hopefully benefit from the 4 legged hunting partner. Anyone else ever do this? or have any thoughts on it? he stays right by my side and if he strays all I have to do is grunt a little and he is back at my side instantly. All thoughts and comments welcomed.
" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
I had one hound that I could take with me everywhere and I had a pack for her and it worked well for the most part, I always like hunting with a dog along but I always had hounds and as you know there are times that a hound, no mater how well behaved, goes deaf and lets their nose over ride their pea brain resulting in some epic chase when your not wanting one. The packs are a good deal though, I always just had them pack their gear more or less, dog food, booties and supplies to treat their feet or injuries that happen when hunting hard every day.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
I say go for it. I had Ruffwear packs for each of my two dogs most of their lives. They worked great and I recommend them. It makes it so you don't have to carry anything for them, so you might as well bring them. My dogs were a 110 lb. lab and a 75 lb. German Shorthair. Both very well trained and mannered. Only thing I'd say is my Lab loved water and he didn't care if he had a 20 lb. pack on, he'd still going swimming with it on. So if that's the case with your dog, just waterproof the contents. But those packs were put to good use and it was kind of funny how the dogs just kind of felt like they were working and they took it really seriously. Every time the packs came on they got their work faces on and got it done, but that's a good thing with sporting dogs because they love to please. Good luck!
My wife and I have two greater Swiss mountain dogs that we take on back packing trips and cart pulls. Just the hike alone is fun. I never used them for hunting but I assume it would be possible. We use little 50 dollar satchels we got at pets mart and it can hold up to 30lbs of stuff. Dogs are pretty damn strong. We had a swissy pull 2,500 pounds at a cart pull about a month ago, so I think they would be a benefit. But tikkamike, I would give it a try. My only other experience with dogs are beagles on a rabbit hunt and black mouth currs on squirrel hunts.