Horseback Hunting Chicago IL

Local resource for horseback hunting in Chicago. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to hunting for deer, big game hunting, elk hunts, bear hunts, moose hunts, hunting outfitters, trophy hog hunts, hunting trips and information on hunting season and tips for hunting, as well as advice and content on hunting for game.

Northwestern Boys Soccer Camp
2230 Harrison St.
Evanston, IL
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(847) 779-8800
Village Crossing
Niles, IL
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(708) 675-3100
Orland Park Place
Orland Park, IL
 
Mission Bay Multisport
(312) 466-9111
738 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL
 
Perfecta-Putt- Inc.
(312) 432-9797
415 North Sangamon Street
Chicago, IL
 
Northwestern Girls Soccer Academy
(847) 467-5297
1501 Central St.
Evanston, IL
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(847) 730-7400
The Glen
Glenview, IL
 
Pro Sports Experience
(312)226-5553,(312)226-5554
213 North Morgan Street Unit 1A
Chicago, IL
 
Polaris Rj`s Recreational Vehicles
(630) 876-8423
2040 West Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL
 
Coldfire Chicago
(312) 654-9901
1030 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL
 

Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Several years ago, when ATV's were just getting popular as hunting vehicles, I remember coming out of a high-country basin on my favorite horse, leading two others loaded with a nice bull elk. I was within 300 yards of the nearest jeep road, and perched on the road were two hunters astride ATV's. Their binoculars were focused on the faraway ridges, none of which were accessible by any vehicle, and even from a distance, I could sense their frustration.

While ATV manufacturers seem to have convinced the hunting public that it just isn't possible to hunt without a machine between your legs, I beg to differ. Hunting from horseback can be extremely successful. The advantages of horseback hunting are numerous: access, stealth, load-carrying capacity, and maneuverability are all greater on horseback.

Access

In many regions of Colorado and the West, the best public-land hunting is in wilderness areas, where motorized vehicle traffic is strictly forbidden. While some of the wilderness areas are bisected by jeep roads, it is the rare occasion that a hunter gets a shot at game from a road. The animals clearly know where the roads are and stay well away from them; sometimes several miles away. Dedicated hikers can reach into the back country to hunt, but I've discovered an interesting phenomenon. From my observations, most hunters don't want to hike more than an hour and a half from a vehicle. In most wilderness settings, the hunting just starts getting good after a two-hour ride in. When you tie up your horse after riding in two hours, your legs are still fresh for a serious stalk.

Stealth

It's another interesting phenomenon that a hunter can often approach game on horseback, making more noise and with a higher profile, closer than he can approach on foot. Old-timers will tell you that the rhythm of a horse's footfalls sound much like a large big-game animal such as an elk, and we often see elk grazing together with our horses in our mountain pastures. Consequently, elk and deer are much less wary when a horse approaches. At any rate, horses are exponentially quieter than ATV's, which have been proven to produce a noise at a pitch that spooks game at long distances.

Load Carrying Capacity

When we ride far back in to stalk game, we almost always take a packhorse with us, or at least a pair of saddle panniers to drape over a riding saddle. A stout packhorse can carry up to 250 pounds of weight, which is about the field-dressed carcass weight of a small bull elk. When we bag an animal far from the trailhead, we quarter it out, strip out the backstraps and the rib meat, and load it on the horses for the ride out. Those multiple gut-busting trips of freighting elk meat out on your back are just a bad memory.

Manueverability

It's amazing how many places a horse can go-certainly far more places than any motorized vehicle. I prefer to scout out my hunting location and then ride to within half a mile, then tie up my horse and start hunting. I have...

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