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My favourite memories of our recent trip to the Northwest Territories are mostly of the horses that packed us and our gear for the 2 weeks through the mountains. Of the group of 32, there were horses meant for packing, hunters to ride or some in-between that the guides and myself got stuck with. The romantic notion of hunting with horses was not lost with me, even after seeing how much work it was. To experience a hunt in a traditional way, using the same method that was utilized 100 years ago was a big thrill and I’m glad I got to see it first hand. I’ve always been torn on the idea of helicopter hunts but I’m now 100% convinced of the value of the traditional horse and backpack hunts. I believe hunting was and should remain to be an experience and not a grab and go exercise.

The art and coordination of packing horses with boxes, however staggering also afforded us eggs and bacon in the morning as well as fresh lettuce and a comfortable bed at night. The horses were overall gentle and easy to ride, like us though every one of them had a personality that you soon came to know. “Duke needed to ride with Luke, George had to be behind the lead horse, don’t pack eggs on Bullseye~ he’s a chronic roller…” My one horse Woody, soon became my best friend as I started feeding him parts of my Cliff bars, and would patiently wait for me whenever I wanted to glass ~ funny enough he crow hopped on anyone else that got on him…

Gary’s favourite horse Club, sleeping right outside our tent…

We calculated we rode over 100 miles with the horses in 2 weeks

Hildago, another of my favourites

It was truly spectacular where our horses would take us and the areas they would travel.  What a great experience, those horses deserve credit for working so hard.

The day the snow started