I realize the use of non-motorized game carts in the fields of hunting big game has come under scrutiny. I checked with Idaho F&G on this very subject. Their reply was, "If the pull along game cart is non-motorized, it is perfectly legal to use in the field!" So, if y'all are considering purchasing a game cart for hunting in restricted areas, avoid the electric motorized game carts. My favorite is the Hawk Crawler game cart!
I caught aomenguys from Minnesota hauling elk quarters out of a designated CO wilderness area with a game cart. I told them it was illegal, and an argument ensued. They insisted only "motorized" carts were prohibited. No cell service within an hour so I couldn't call them in, and they left later that afternoon.
It's kinda silly that non-motorized game carts are not be allowed in wilderness areas because they are claimed to be too destructive to the environment, yet horses and mules are fine. I own horses and know how destructive they are to the landscape. I'm pretty sure a non-motorized game cart pales in comparison.
The difference between carts/wheels and hooves, though….
Hooves leave Indentations; wheels leave Ruts. Ruts channel water and cause erosion issues.
Yes, a string of horses (or s herd of Elk) can do the same thing, but I recall one time when I rode my MTB across a pine flat in a bit of National Forest, and I was able to spot that track for weeks afterward, just as a continuous depression in the otherwise undisturbed pine duff. Yes, I had to know where to look for it - not like I had driven a DitchWitch through there or anything - but I could see how something like that could collect rainwater and end up carving a trench over time.
There’s a little state park near me which has just been savaged by too many wheels. Opposite end of the spectrum from one lightweight cyclist rolling quietly across a flat, but jarring just the same…
And of course the other thing….
Horses/llamas are like single-string bows - they are a lot of work and a year-round obligation that not many are willing to take on, so the amount of damage they can do is somewhat self-limiting….
It would take hundreds of trips over the exact same path with a non-motorized game cart to create the same destruction that a few trips with a string of pack horses creates. It's not even debatable. A game cart doesn't eat native graze or crap everywhere, either. Horses are often rented, or owned by a hunter's outfitter, so they don't necessary require a "year-round obligation".
Of course, if they banned horses and mules, all the guys who whine about e-bikes would throw a fit.
Why on earth would game carts be under scrutiny? I've heard dumber things in politics, but damn that should get a pretty high ranking. I've never used one, but could see where they could be really helpful, especially for the older hunter.
Wilderness restrictions don't really have anything to do with game cart scrutiny. Typically, "machines" just aren't allowed, and game carts just happen to fall in that category.
So, AZ, when you come across a large camp in a wilderness area that is full of modern conveniences like wall tents, stoves, cots with air mattresses, solar shower, fold up chairs and tables, solar chargers etc... all packed in on horses, along with 4-6 out-of-shape hunters, does that appeal to your "pre-Columbian natural environment experience?"
Don’t forget - in “Pre-Columbian” times on this continent, there WERE no steenking horses. Those were a Spanish import. All of the native horses had been eaten a long, long time ago.
I wouldn’t oppose some reasonable limits on horses in WAs, though I’d be lying if I said I don’t still daydream a bit about taking a ride across the sky someday…. I do agree that the type of camp that you described has no place in Wilderness. They leave far too big a footprint.
I may have misinterpreted Paul’s earlier post on the “push” to allow E bikes in the wilderness areas “along with other mountain bikes”…
My initial take was that he was saying that human powered bicycles were already permitted, which I think we all can agree is erroneous information. But if Paul was saying that there was a push for allowing all types of bikes which was prompted by E bike enthusiasts (and manufacturers), I guess that’s not shocking. Those trails were always very quiet above 7,000-8’000 feet, with occasional exceptions on routes like Breckenridge to Frisco, where 99% of the riders would down-hill the single-track and take the bike-path along the highway to get back up. There wasn’t sufficient interest in biking those areas when it was so physically demanding that (practically speaking) nobody really wanted to do it…
JMO…. When “advances” in the equipment make the resource so “accessible” that people start wanting to open up more areas to reduce the user density… it’s time to impose some/more restrictions on the equipment.
If your using your own muscles to pull a cart , personally I really think it should be allowed anywhere . What kind of world are we getting into when the use of human strength is prohibited . So without a cart you might need 2 to 3 trips , risk wasting meat that might spoil or risk an encounter with an apex predators who finds your meat before you return on the next trip in . I certain understand the restriction of motorized devices in pretine sensitive areas .. but pull cart ????
I grew up with horses both work and draft. Owned horses donkies and mules for 39 years. They can be useful but they are hard on frequently traveled trails . There are sections of the AT near me where horse riders sometimes illegally cut through. Even those occasional trips do real damage. Mountain bikers also sneak onto parts of the AT but I see less damage
There is no push to allow ebikes into wilderness areas. Never has been. There is no organized eMTB group. The push is from conventional MTB organizations who want access to non-mechanized areas, especially designated wilderness areas.
Note the term, "nonmechanized". That means no wheels. The only "mechanized", wheeled devices allowed in wilderness areas are compound bows.
Meanwhile, horses and mule pack strings tear the living hell out of wilderness area trails, leaving fly-swarming, stinky piles of crap everywhere, creating serious erosion, especially on switchbacks, and allowing the use of modern conveniences in the supposedly "rugged" backcountry. Cases of beer, warm tents with stoves, cots, solar power, barbecue grills, propane devices including propane hot showers, for those willing to pay for the opportunity to "go deep" with little effort.
I used to own a string of riding and pack horses. A couple horses going up a trail, ok. Multiply that times hundreds all summer and fall, and the damage is staggering. Anyone who doesn't understand that has never hiked up a popular wilderness area trail on foot, dodging horseshit, riders, packers, and trying to stay on one side of the path or the other because the center is rutted out. Some dude ranches near wilderness areas offer trail rides nearly every day all summer.
There was actually a Republican sponsored bill (H.R. 1349) introduced to the House in 2017-2018 that would have allowed bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts in wilderness areas. It's not clear to me what happened to it.
Where I live mountain bikes are fine but we can't transport our stands into the woods with a wheelbarrow on some public land. They have even constructed bridges and jumps. It doesn't seem right. If they want to ban wheeled vehicles I am ok as long as it is all wheeled vehicles.
GG, I guess you're right. I did not know that. "As long as they are suitable for indoor use". So presumably one of those Tred Barta tank-track "wheelchairs" wouldn't be allowed. I've never hiked into a wilderness area where a wheelchair could navigate unless being carried, mostly due to rutting from horse traffic
We bought a chainsaw capstan winch that we were going to use to pull elk out. People we talked to in Idaho said they were the way to go. One guy took an old canoe cut in half and would pull the whole elk out. Since this is not wheeled, would this be legal in wilderness areas?
A one wheeled cart is all about a low profile to maintain balance. One wheeled carts are great on a narrow horse trail. I witnessed a hunter with a two wheeled cart trying to pull it up a narrow horse trail and one wheel was always snagging in the trailside brush. ONe wheel cart are for boned out bagged meat and not for the hole animal, or quartered bone- in sections. I have had success with a one wheel cart traveling across country, but that was before all of the downed pine bark dead trees in Colorado.
“ The idea of not allowing wheels in wilderness areas is probably less about destruction of terrain, and more about drawing a very clear line in the sand. Keep things simple and draw a distinct line. No wheels. No room for lobbyists to argue that we should accept some new technology.”
Sounds about right. Every Genuinely Stupid Law I have ever heard of was enacted in response to some jack-wagon exploiting a loophole and evading prosecution because no specific law had been broken.
Most states enacted Archery seasons with a prohibition on crossbows because they were objectively NOT the type of weapon that the season was supposed to be for. It’s not that there was no historical precedent for them, but they were weighed and rejected as Not Consistent With the Point of the Exercise. Had compounds arrived on the scene in their current form, most likely they would have been rejected on the same basis, because NOT equivalent technology.
A lot of compound shooters hold that crossbow use should be restricted to those with a “real” physical handicap, but if I recall correctly, the compound itself was originally developed as adaptive equipment for the handicapped…
So whether you agree with allowing horse/mule/llama pack animals or not, they’re kind of hard to prohibit because they move on feet. They’re not at all mechanized, so the logical extension of banning them invites a ban on anything else that travels on feet….
“ [mountain bikers] have even constructed bridges and jumps.”
That’s what has happened in the drainage we used to hunt. Now the recreational traffic is completely out of hand, all summer long. And it doesn’t take too many skid-marks to trash a trail and turn it into a creek. You can say that a pack-string can do worse damage and more quickly, but the potential for MTB use to multiply is quite a bit higher; probably not a much larger number of potential horseback riders just waiting to be unleashed, but bicycles are remarkably low maintenance in the off season and opening up WA to them would no doubt result in a big spike in usage….
Apparently all it takes is a few Social Media influencers to talk it up…
Paul, I'm curious about the cart in your pictures. I thought it might be of your own making, but this article seems to indicate it may have been manufactured. https://gametote.com/game-cart-review Any info on that cart is appreciated.
I came across this in my search for a one wheel game cart. Lots of videos out there. https://monowalker.com/product-categoy/hiking-trailer/?lang=en&v=7516fd43adaa Probably out of my price range, but it seems like it would work for my need. I like how it can be taken apart for storing when not in use.