ATV made mud bog proved deadly for pack horse

ATV-made mud bog proved deadly for pack horse It was the end of the hunt and we were trailing our packhorses out of the bush. The trail had been used exclusively by horses for many decades, until people with offroad vehicles discovered it and began using

It was the end of the hunt and we were trailing our packhorses out of the bush. The trail had been used exclusively by horses for many decades, until people with offroad vehicles discovered it and began using their machines to bash their way along it.

Our trail systems have been pillaged and chewed up by off-road vehicles, each year showing more and more wear and tear.

On this trail out, we have to cross one particular bog, which has no other way around it. It is muddy and slow going, but for years, we’ve never had a serious problem getting our animals across it. Until recently.

The bog, now a mud pit, is much deeper and is surrounded by trees bearing chains and ratchet systems for pulling out offroad vehicles which had bogged down. Dozens of trees have been cut in their attempt to make a corduroy platform that has been chewed to bits. It is an unsightly mess which I dread crossing.

On this trip, each horse had problems being stuck in the mud and required help getting through it. Some had to be unpacked in order to traverse the mess, then were tied to a tree, as the rest were led through.

When we had all the horses across I made a point of inspecting each animal and noticed a 12-inch laceration on Curly, our strongest packer. His abdomen had been penetrated by one of the chewed up pieces of wood now in the mud pit, and he was bleeding profusely.

We quickly tore off his pack and used a shirt to cover the wound, then fastened it with a rope around his body in an attempt to stem the blood flow. Curly was led to the road and, by that time, was in a weakened state. I put him on the horse trailer after exchanging the shirt for another one and hoped we could make it to the corral.

He made it, but was shaking in an uncontrollable manner. I stayed with him throughout the night, checking the wound, adding pressure to the dressing and changing it every few hours. Despite the care, Curly died the next day.

Upon reflecting what happened, it angers me that our government had nothing in place to regulate the irresponsible use of machines which seem to be able to go anywhere in this territory. It would certainly do us well to set in place some rules to prevent what happened to us. Curly would have appreciated it.

Karla Charlton

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read