■ Don’t assume the old nag named Eeyore can’t kill you. Riding horses is the most dangerous part of a horseback elk hunt. You’ll be doing much of it in the dark, and some of it across narrow trails where if you or the horse falls, you’ll die. “It’s an outfitter’s job to pair you with a horse that you can handle, but we’re not here to give you horseback lessons,” says Miles Fedinec, owner of FMF Outdoors in Craig, Colo. (970-629-9894). “You don’t have to be a cowboy, but this isn’t the place to sit on a horse for the first time in your life, either. If you’re spending four grand on an elk hunt, spend an extra $40 on a riding lesson so you at least know the basics of stop, go, left, and right.” —W.B.