Boning out vs not

Marble

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
2,471
It takes me 45 minutes solo to debone an elk.
I do nothing with the bones, so they stay in the field. I've had zero issues with the meat staying where I want it on my pack.
This and...

I do not lose meat due to "trimming" from boning out anything.

I've never had any type of bacteria problem and lost meat ever.

Bones hold in heat

Bone in is easier to carry

Bone out is lighter

Bone in is faster

There are reasons for both.

If I'm solo with no horse, I bone out, hang, pack out half or as much as possible and return the next day. Even if it's in the 40s at night, getting the meat up in a tree with wind blowing across it will cool it greatly.

If I have a horse then the bone stays in.




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Firestone

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Feb 8, 2017
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333
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Northwest Montana
For me it comes down to how hard of a packout it's gonna be. If its gonna suck then the bones are staying in the woods, if it's not bad ill pack them out. It's one less trip usually if I debone
 

Ross

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Feb 24, 2012
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Liberty Lake, WA
All about distance elevation gain/loss any trails will you be walking in blow down and are you alone……and lastly temps size of elk you kill and your fitness…have fun🤙It is a lot weight to transport with many variables….this last bull was shot back in here let’s just say zero bones came out if I had bones in would still be walking years later 🤣🤙
 

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Last edited:

Medic727

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Colorado
It takes me 45 minutes solo to debone an elk.
I do nothing with the bones, so they stay in the field. I've had zero issues with the meat staying where I want it on my pack.
Agreed. Leg bones are heavy. I also debone and have never had a problem with meat spoilage of any kind even when hung for 2 days during archery in September. Also never had a problem with weight shifting.
 

TradLife406

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Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,331
Location
Great Falls MT
I always bone out.
Get them on their side of they aren't already.
Cut down the back from the neck down the spine then I start on the back quarter. Skin it out then get the meat off the bone while the leg is still attached. Repeat on the front quarter. Cut your back straps out. On elk it's a lot easier solo to go ahead and cut the straps into thirds.
Reach in and get the tender loins.
Get your neck meat then flip the animal over.
Repeat.

When your done use a heavy fixed blade knife to bust a rib or two and get your heart out.

Cut the tongue out and get the head off.

I just can't see a need to pack the bones. I'll quarter deer and antelope though. Unless it's going to be a helluva pack out and then I'll bone a deer out too.

The father inlaw pissed me off the other night. He didn't understand the gutless method or having to pack an animal out. He thought meat gets left behind. He's like it's too bad you couldn't get it all out The only thing I leave is the liver because as much as I love it it doesn't love me.
 

muddydogs

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May 3, 2017
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Location
Utah
Only reason I would bone in the field is to cool the hind quarters. Just kind of cool at night isn't enough to cool the meat along the bone in the hind quarters. Just opening up the hind quarter and leaving most of the quarter in tact is enough to speed cooling if the day time temps are mild and it's getting kind of cool at night.
 

highcountrymuley

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Oct 10, 2018
Messages
208
bone it out! i bone out deer because i am carrying it in one load more than 5 miles! trust me, shed as much weight as you can. And the hindquarter of an elk holds ALOT of heat in. Boning out lets that heat escape. As far as making your pack uneven or hard to carry? Strap it down as tight as you can and you will have no issues. If you have friends helping packout or horses your decisions will vary from mine. If you are solo and/or in the backcountry you need to lose all the weight and heat you can on packout!
 

Headhunter

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Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
171
I prefer boned in when packing out. Yes it’s additional weight, but it seems more stable in my pack.
I’ll bone out at camp or truck if close enough.
 

commandoNate

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Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Messages
276
Location
Colorado
I prefer not to debone if possible. I find that the meat hangs better with the bone in. You can always cut down to the femur on the rears to help cool that bone down. In my experience deboned meat turns into a big, heavy, and awkward blob in the bottom of a game bag.
 

Mikido

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Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
369
Dude you’re going to leave all that bone broth in the woods? My favorite part of the kill is that first crack at a nice bone broth soup with heart/liver/kidney/tongue boiled and stir fried!
 

Scoot

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Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
1,128
Dude you’re going to leave all that bone broth in the woods?
100% yes. I'm going to debone at the truck anyway, so I'll do it and skip the extra weight. There's a very noticeable difference in weight between bone in and deboned. ...and broth... not going to worry about leaving that behind.
 

WCB

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Jun 12, 2019
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2,468
Dude you’re going to leave all that bone broth in the woods? My favorite part of the kill is that first crack at a nice bone broth soup with heart/liver/kidney/tongue boiled and stir fried!
Yep along with the heart/liver/kidney/tongue.
 

Indian Summer

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Feb 17, 2013
Messages
1,830
You mean there are mountain hunters who can’t carry these out? Like I always say… it’s a mental thing. You CAN do it! B12C8D94-9122-43E4-9A67-B78C451D95EC.jpeg
 
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