Mount Vernon News
 
 
Michael Weaver trains his Morgan horse, Sterling, to drag a deer in preparation for Deer Day. Weaver trained Sterling so that he would be able to ride Sterling, who would be capable of detecting the scent of a deer.
Michael Weaver trains his Morgan horse, Sterling, to drag a deer in preparation for Deer Day. Weaver trained Sterling so that he would be able to ride Sterling, who would be capable of detecting the scent of a deer. (Photo by Emily Weaver) View Image

By Mount Vernon News
December 5, 2013 11:30 am EST

 

SAINT LOUISVILLE — For Michael Weaver western horsemanship has been second nature for as long as he can remember. Weaver is a horseshoer, trainer and an all around horse enthusiast. When deer season came around three years ago he jumped at the chance to train his horse to assist him in deer hunting.

“Three years ago the game warden was going through my 40 acres during gun hunting season. He was doing his legal check to check out the weapon and license to make sure you’re legal, and looked up across my terrain, which is excessive, and commented, ‘Why don’t you ride your horse up that?’ I didn’t know that was legal, and he said ‘Well, it’s not a motorized vehicle so therefore, you can,’” said Weaver.

Weaver had previously hunted with his Palomino horse, Toby, but the horse has since been retired due to arthritis and old age.

Weaver said the process — a series of lunges and “desensitizing” — to train a horse to “hunt” for deer can be tricky but with the right techniques, anything is possible.

“Once they trust you they use their survival instincts and it all fits together, basically the equivalence of training a dog to hunt,” said Weaver.

The avid hunter and equestrian enjoys the idea that he can merge two of his passions.

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