New for 2023!
This 12-day course pairs two skill sets that have deep roots in Montana - backcountry hunting, and horsepacking. Where we live, it can be extremely challenging to transport harvested game and hunting equipment to and from remote locations on foot. Horses provide an amazing solution to this problem, and significantly open up the number of places we can go to seek out wild game. This course is designed to introduce students to horsepacking skills needed for hunting deep in the backcountry.
The expedition team will spend the first 5 days backpacking into a remote elk summer range, learning all the fundamental skills needed to thrive at a backcountry hunting camp from their instructor team (camp craft, cooking, and map and compass navigation, among others). Students will also learn about elk behavior, habits, and needs, and how this knowledge can help us find elk and plan future hunts. Importantly - we’ll also discuss & practice strategies for staying safe while hunting in bear country
From here, students will transition to horseback for the remainder of the expedition. The team will rendezvous with an experienced horsepacking outfitter who will teach the team to saddle, bridle, and pack horses & mules for travel. Students will learn step-by-step what it takes to control and communicate with their horses and ride safely in the mountains. In addition to these core horsepacking skills, the instructors will introduce the group to elk hunting & calling strategies, tracking techniques, and best practices in hunting ethics. The team will move on horseback between several different backcountry camps, working together to plan “mock hunts” and look for herds of elk in high alpine basins. Hunting regulations and field care of game will also be covered.
For more information about MWS core curriculum and expedition progression, check out Expedition Life.
*NOTE: This course does not involve active hunting, pursuit of game, or weapon use of any kind, and is focused solely on wildlife education and theory.