Horses As I See Them By Ian McMurchy

Dear Ian McMurchy:
Sir, I respect you a lot, for all your hunting and shooting knowledge. I have learned a lot from what you have written here before.
But, what you just wrote about horses and hunting shows 2 things: you are afraid of them, and your knowledge about riding and hunting with horses is limited.
We as humans are afraid of what we dont know. Knowledge let us overcome our fears.
Maybe if your learn more about them, you could enjoy more your next hunt that involves horseback riding.
Horses help hunters all over the world getting in and out of great hunting places, they can carry a lot of weight, and take you many miles a day in the great outdoors.
I guess not everyone has to like them.


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I realize that you're not around here a lot and that you probably don't look at the sticky threads at the top of the General Forum but Ian passed away recently. You can read about it here, in this sticky thread, at the top of the General Forum. Link--->

Also, those of us who have read and enjoyed Ian's writings over the years knew from the beginning of the article about horses that he was not totally serious. You can find that evident in his statement of:
Although I am writing this with a bit of tongue in cheek
A lot of what Ian wrote in the post/article is true, a lot was, as he said, done "tongue in cheek" or quite simply in a manner that makes for very interesting reading for some.

I doubt that a man that could stand tall when facing brown bears was the least bit "scared" of horses. I can imagine that he was like most of us, not comfortable being around and using animals that he only had to encounter on the rare occasions when a hunt called for it.

Please read the thread about Ian's passing and try and understand that his writing skills far exceed most of our abilities to fully comprehend what we lost in his passing.

I for one will miss his serious writings, his educational writings, his informative writings and especially his "tongue in cheek" writings.
ss7mm and forum friends:
We as humans make mistakes, and gentleman know when to ask for forgiveness, I didnt know when I wrote the forum reply that Ian had passed away. And as you wrote, we all lost with his dead. I did enjoy reading this article, but did thought that he wa serious when he wrote it.
I can only say I am sorry. And will miss his writings like everybody else.
Both your posts were very respectful Armando and i am sure Ian would not have taken offense at what you said. he might even have agreed with you.

Some here may think that i do not like horses from some of the posts i have made. On the contrary, i actually love them, but have found over the yrs that most hunting situations do not require them. To me, the only time horses should even be considered is when you are going to be hunting more than a days ride from where you can drive to (10-20 miles) and will be staying more than 3 days. Horses would be a great helpin packing all the necesary camping related items, and harvested game, in and out of this situation. There are very few places left in colorado that this situation would apply. Another thing to consider is whether you have someone along whos job it is to take care of the horses. Horses can not be left to their own devises unless they are penned up in a tight corral, and even then they need feeding and watering regularly. Some of my most memorable hunts were horseback, but on a couple of them the memorable part was the horse wrecks involved!!!! I will tell a few of these tales later in this thread....AJ
Wow! As an avid horse hunter there is a large amount of humor here. From a dude's perspective I often see hellish facial expressions over silly little issues that are often taken in stride for horsemen. What I want to know is who the outfitter is? I would like to pick up a good horse like ol' Bonecrusher. Also I am not so sure that even thinking about panties is a good idea. If that shows up in any form of body language, to friends or guide....... you are going to catch H E double toothpick to a rare extreme. Just go ahead and deal with the sore butt. I might add that there is not a more humorous situation, then a running horse packing a person who claims they are a dandy of a horseman.
As far as the comment about horses only being for a 3 day or longer hunting trips, I do not agree, and I respect your opinion. Here we are talking about a case of wasted game. Not in all cases, but by time you hike into an area, hunt until dark, kill an elk, and then hike out of grizzly country with a quarter of meat on your aching back, you are spent physically and mentally. I get so sick of seeing elk with the head and some meat missing, and left for the birds and predators. Foot soldiers around here think that you can bone out a whole elk and carry the head and meat out of the hills. What a joke! Most importantly it does not hurt a horse to stand tied to a tree for a few hours while a guy hunts.
As far as out of area hunters, most are not in the condition to arrive at their hunting destination and start hike hunting 10-25 miles a day in search of the elk they have been preparing for a year or more to hunt.
What an unexpected pleasure to read another article from Ian.

I am as avid a horseman as I am a hunter! Both pursuits are absoulute passions of mine. There are few things more enjoyable than combining these loves!

Armando, your photos are beautiful.
Your assesment lack of knowledge breeds fear is spot on. For the inexpereinced, horses are down right scary. We all start there! Fact is, fear is part of the attraction. Everybody who rides experiences fear. Being afraid does not make anyone a coward. Quite the opposite. It adds greatly to the experience. When you come around a corner of a trail and the ground falls away forever. Your pace quickens and you ride easy in the saddle as your horse gingerly picks his way across. Sure you could walk across. But you'd be missing out.

You can hunt without horses. Hell, I did once or twice. But if you choose to use them, you will always get at least a ride, at least a little fear, a little adventure, a little more zest in your life. Plus you'll go further, stay longer, see undisturbed wildlife, live on your own in the wilderness, and bring home more game! Horses will always be dangerous, beautifull, troublesome, humorous, and absolutely splendid.

I'll never knock a fellow who doesn't share my views. But, I believe, you're missing out!
I have decided I am suggesting panty hose to EVERY rookie I can from this point on! The bonus is, I now have an excuse to wear 'em!!

Long range rifle - check
ammo - check
Gold bond (Quote from amatuer horseman after hard days ride:" This stuff is a little slice of heaven"!) - check
Polyester "underarmour" - check
Pantyhose - check

Man! Hunting gets more fun by the minute! Next thing ya know there'll be a movie about gay hunters / cowboys. Can I see your gun, Bob?
This is my first posting. I am usually more content with reading other peoples opinions. I think that the previous writers were all correct. Conditioning yourself and getting as much riding and aquaintance with horses as you can, will only increase your chances of an enjoyable hunting experience. I have hunted off horse since a young lad. Most of those hunts left me wondering why you would ever want to own an ATV. Then there were the hunts where we spent more time hunting for our horses than the actual game we were looking for. Looking back now I am thankfull for having been on all of those hunts both good and not so good ones.
On a different note, my main reason for posting is not about horses and hunting but of the Passing of Mr. McMurchy. It had been almost 3 decades since I heard Ian's name. And boy was I excited when I first saw Ian's name, as an author, in a hunting magazine. Ian taught myself, and who knows how many other young people, hunter safety. If you had the good fortune of Ian teaching you, you knew that you didn't receive the standard hunter safety. Ian involved you, made you realize that hunting was a privilage, something special and made you realize how great the outdoors were. You could say that he was the full meal deal when it came to the teachings of wildlife, the outdoors and all it had to offer. The man had an infinite amount of patience with young people and truely enjoyed spend time and teaching us in the outdoors.
On a lighter note, I have know idea how Ian's theory on wearing panty hose comes into the picture. There is not a big enough saddle sore in history that would drive me to wearing panty hose, but knowing Mr. McMurchy, it did give me a pretty good chuckle. Thanks for everything Ian.
Well spoken. There is a link to a tribute to Ian at the top of the page. I believe the tribute is intended to be presented to Ians family. You may wish to make a comment there also.

PS. I will be testing the panty hose trick today...Yeehaw
Alright fellas this is getting out of hand! This panty hose thing is what I am talking about. I was seriously doubting any mans manliness, now there have been confirmed sightings. This is drastic; Ian has had such an influence on the world that fund raisers in all their aggressiveness have begun wearing panty hose. City folk can really get things twisted around, let me explain. As I was watching the television last night this funny talking dude strolls into a Circle K and starts shouting that he needs money! The ironic thing is he is wearing panty hose on his head! If this panty hose ordeal is going to become a world wide epidemic I feel that some well educated person doing their best to portray Ian, needs to explain this technique is for extreme equine sports and to be worn on the lower extremities.
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