backpack for horseback hunt

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by luke5678, May 8, 2011.

  1. luke5678

    luke5678 Well-Known Member

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    So I am going to Wyoming (hopefully) this fall on a mule deer hunt. It's a horseback hunt and trying to figure out the best way to pack around my rifle. Gun is about 11 lbs. with a large nightforce scope.

    My idea is to buy the eberlestock gunslinger II that has the scabbard on the back pack opposed to strapping my rifle to a horse (if I can even fit in outfitters saddle scabbard).

    My question is this possible? I was hoping to be able to cant the angle of the gun in the backpack while riding to fit on one side of the horse or the other and then straighten on our lengthy hikes each day.

    Dumb idea or any other suggestions?

    Thanks

    Brian
     
  2. jrw1976

    jrw1976 Well-Known Member

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    If it was me I would either buy or have a scabbard made that will fit your rifle. Because trying to carry a rifle on your back while you are on the back of a horse is not only awkward but unsafe for you and the horse. You will be paying more attention to trying to stay balanced than paying attention to the horse under you. You can try it but first I would try swinging a leg over and sit on top of a 6 rail corral fence for a while with your pack loaded like you plan to have it rifle and all and see how difficult it is with the fence not moving.

    Good luck, Jason
     

  3. DanMan

    DanMan Well-Known Member

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    I dont think the backpack carrying idea will work. I have an eberliestock and know
    that it wont work with mine anyway even on a modest size rifle and scope. Best idea is to get a saddle scabbard that hold your gun. Have you talked about this with your outfitter yet?
     
  4. BuckSnort

    BuckSnort Well-Known Member

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  5. gcamp54

    gcamp54 Well-Known Member

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    I bought an Eberlestock scabbard to fit my rifle. My plan is to strap it to the horse on the way in. Then when I start hiking to hunt it will be strapped to my backpack. I've used it on my backpack and it worked well there. Haven't had a chance to try it on the horse yet. That's my plan anyway.

    Gordon
     
  6. jhibbard24

    jhibbard24 Well-Known Member

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    i've tried my eberlestock while riding mules and it just doesn't work real well. you can't offset or angle the rifle enough. i'd check out the websites that the guys prior had listed.
     
  7. gcamp54

    gcamp54 Well-Known Member

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    That's good to know. Thanks.

    Gordon
     
  8. luke5678

    luke5678 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information. I will contact my outfitter and make sure they have a big enough scabbord or supply my own I guess.
     
  9. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. Don Ward

    Don Ward Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  12. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    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:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. RH300UM

    RH300UM Well-Known Member

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    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.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited by RH300UM; 10-29-2009 at 05:08 PM..
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011