Packing with burros/donkeys

eastmont

Member
Feb 28, 2014
105
26
Thought some of you all might enjoy this.

Bought two donkeys this year and I am getting them setup to pack with this year. Headed out in a week for a trip into the Gila Wilderness for archery elk, then to MT for archery elk.

If anyone has any packing tips, they are greatly appreciated, I really have no idea what I am doing.

Below are pictures of a training trip week did last weekend 90lbs/animal, 10miles, 2k feet gain.


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mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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Interesting!

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing and seeing more pictures.
Seems like they will work out well for you.
 

nv-hunter

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Feb 28, 2011
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Reno
Remember to check each rock you pick up to throw at them as one will be pure d gold. LOL looks like your all set to start packing game now
 

eastmont

Member
Feb 28, 2014
105
26
They are pretty fun, lead well and enjoy the work. Easy and cheap to keep, but still not free. All well and good except for one who despises trailering- But patience is a virtue right?

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Joe Bontrager

New Member
May 30, 2018
10
0
Westcliffe Co
Pretty cool !! I am a backpack hunter myself , and i enjoy walking , hiking. But it sure would be nice to have a little burro or two to pack camp in and pack meat out.
I have used horses in the past , but on a week or 2 week hunt ,it is almost more of a bother to feed and care for the horses every morning and night. So was wondering if you had to take much feed along? as i understand they are browsers ,more like a goat.
Also curious how they will respond to having wild game on their backs. Thanks for the pic. and keep us updated
 

eastmont

Member
Feb 28, 2014
105
26
Pretty cool !! I am a backpack hunter myself , and i enjoy walking , hiking. But it sure would be nice to have a little burro or two to pack camp in and pack meat out.
I have used horses in the past , but on a week or 2 week hunt ,it is almost more of a bother to feed and care for the horses every morning and night. So was wondering if you had to take much feed along? as i understand they are browsers ,more like a goat.
Also curious how they will respond to having wild game on their backs. Thanks for the pic. and keep us updated
I'll let you know in 14 days. haha. After a couple brutal packouts and a few years backpacking I pulled the trigger on them. Its different type of hunting, not "easy backpacking".

I'm not planning on bringing to much feed on the archery hunts. A few pounds of alfalfa cubes/grain per pack in. As all animals are, they are work in the backcountry. But honestly they are weird and cool, and I enjoy being around them 90% of the time.

Kinda of like llamas/goats, you quickly become a improptu trail spokesman about hunting/pack animals. Which sometimes is fun, other times annoying.
 
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HighPlainsHunter

Active Member
Mar 1, 2018
419
3
Laramie
Very cool. Don't people ride those things as well?

They auction them off from Custer State park and I've always wanted to get a couple. Let us know how they work out.
 

fackelberry

Active Member
Aug 27, 2013
276
4
Wyoming
This is pretty cool. I have been kicking around the same idea. But i weighed it out, no pun intended, but i think i am gonna go the pack goat route. I don't have the room for donkeys or burros but i have enough for 2 goats i think. Been reading and studying up on them all summer. Let us know how the hunting and packing goes. And if anyone has leads or info on a reputable pack goat person to rent or buy some from, let me know. Thanks
 

JD88

New Member
Aug 29, 2018
22
0
Southwest Colorado
When I was in high school a buddy and I had the bright idea to buy two donkeys at the local sale barn I think we gave like $15 for both. I have always used horses rode and packed. So we packed the donkeys and rode our good saddle horse biggest disaster I have ever been around probably would have been better if we knew anything about donkeys and worked with them before 15 mile pack in (young and dumb) anyway from what I seen donkeys are to smart for there own good and hard headed when they make up there mind no man is gonna change it for them. Just my experience
 

eastmont

Member
Feb 28, 2014
105
26
As with any animal you get what you put into them. These guys did great and even did a parade the other weekend. Off to Montana next week.

6 miles in to the wilderness in NM, 2k feet of gain. Also did a 12mile out and back resupply about half into our 11 day trip.

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RICMIC

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Feb 21, 2012
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Two Harbors, Minnesota
I had to laugh eastmont when I looked at the first set of photos. In the 2nd pic, the guy standing behind the donkeys looked like he had a huge gut and I wondered, "How did that lard-ass ever make it up the mountain?" Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was just the bow making a new outline. Now it's obvious what it is. Hah!!
 
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eastmont

Member
Feb 28, 2014
105
26
Montana's Lee Metcalf Wilderness. 11 days and 8 miles in, lots of snow. Got the mountain goat through. Elk were scarce, lots o grizzlies and saw one wolf. Donkeys are awesome. 120lbs out.
 

joens

Member
Nov 30, 2015
92
3
Miles City, Montana
We had donkeys and mules for packing when I was younger. If they are trained well and like you they will be the best pack animal you could have. if not than your experience may not be so pleasant. I have a scar on the back of my head where one pitched me off and kicked me in the back of the head on the way down. I love mules/donkeys, I hate mules /donkeys often at the same time. You will NEVER make a mule/donkey do something they don't want to do. more than once one took me off going under a low limb. they knew to the fraction of an inch how high they were in relation to a limb and would run full speed toward the tree. nothing you could do than they would stop and see if you would get back on. on the good side of the equation they will never get lost . when its time to head back they know the quickest way back to the barn or trailer. let them go and they will get there. Even unattended . Back in the day we would shoot a deer and strap it on the mule and turn it loose then keep hunting . When we got back the mule would be in the barn with the deer. One time my dad had a big horse that would not halter train for anything. he tied it to the halter on a donkey with about a 10 foot rope. For 2 days that horse drug that donkey all over the field. The donkey had legs planted and was plowing furrows with his hoofs. then the horse got tired and sat there the horse and donkey just sat there for about 2 more days then the horse started following the donkey another 2 more days and that horse was following the donkey like a little puppy. If you ever decide you need to put horse shoes on them make sure you get someone who knows what they doing and has experience in mules/donkeys. I used to be a farrier and had several customers with pack mules that wanted shoes with carbide on them for extra traction on ice and slick rock. a horses hoof from top to bottom tapers out at the heel so a horseshoe nail driven straight in will come out at the proper point on the hoof. a donkey/mules hoof top to bottom is either straight or even tapers in so it is very easy to stick them with the nail and shoeing them will never be pleasant again , good luck with your donkeys.
 
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