How far before going boneless?

idelkslayer

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Jan 17, 2013
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Idaho
I will always pack out bone.
Bone in shoulder blade roast is one of the best parts of an animal. I hate shooting through the shoulder blade more than damaging backstrap.
Making stock from the bones is well worth the effort. Can it and use it all year.

I started weighing everything a couple years ago and I have found that the leg bones weigh 5-6 lbs in the front and rear quarters of an elk.
 

Indian Summer

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Places bone sour happens: hips (ball and socket joint), shoulders, neck, and anywhere the animal is laying on its side touching the ground. Has to be a longer period of time, after the kill, and not just an hour or two.

A hanging quarter won't bone sour if it was taken care of promptly after the kill.
Once your meat cools properly it stays cool way better if everything is intact. And if you can’t find a way to cool a whole quarter you won’t do much better with a ball of unboned meat in a bag.
 

grossklw

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Did boneless on my first bull and hated trying to keep everything structured and it was kind of a PITA to hang up to my liking afterwards, the 80 lb amoeba is just kind of a pain in the ass. Went bone in on my other 6 packouts I've been lucky enough to be on and that's my preferred method, I'll take the extra weight for structure and ease of hanging.
 

Indian Summer

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People who go boneless read too much. When it comes to learning license systems, packing elk, and picking a gun don’t listen to the dudes who are afraid of everything. They think there are grizzer bears everywhere too. Elk hunting ain’t gonna be easy so cowboy up and listen to the guys who have no filter when the post on here!

Wyoming licensing is easy, boning out elk is for guys with a little bone, big guns kill elk better, and grizzer bears are afraid of people! 🤣
 
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Mykolaivka887

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"......don’t listen to the dudes who are afraid of everything. They think there are grizzer bears everywhere.....grizzer bears are afraid of people"


Goes hand in hand with all the "Which Handgun In Bear Country" threads.

It boggles the mind at all the nonsense revolving around "I'm going to Alaska (or wherever) and I'm packing my Glock and a rifle" (and possibly pepper spray as well).

Give me a Mauser action chambered for .30 caliber or larger, with a 1-4x non-turreted rifle scope, and I'm good to go when encountering and confronting bears.

Bunch of weenies. Probably the same reason those same people are potentially terrified of carrying a little skeletal material and keeping things in one piece so it keeps better and ages properly.
 

5MilesBack

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Yeah, with the Meat Bags being cylindrical in shape, that helps a ton since the meat then cannot just mush down into a ball at the bottom of the pack.
I hear that a lot, but if you use your pack straps or lashing it's real easy to lay the meat bag in your pack bag or on the shelf and spread it out from top to bottom and then cinch the straps or lashing down to secure it in place. It doesn't move from there.
 

tdhanses

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Sep 26, 2018
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I hear that a lot, but if you use your pack straps or lashing it's real easy to lay the meat bag in your pack bag or on the shelf and spread it out from top to bottom and then cinch the straps or lashing down to secure it in place. It doesn't move from there.
I can see where if guys have an internal frame pack that they would have more issues with deboned met balling up.
 

5MilesBack

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I've tried carrying rear hams inverted even on my frame pack, and I don't care for that at all. It's a lot more unstable and throws the balance off.
 

Scoot

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Nov 13, 2012
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I've found the same with a rear ham- upside down results in awkward weight for me (both internal and external frame packs). I put all of my deboned meat in game bags, spread that meat out from top to bottom of the bag (so it's not all in a big pile at the bottom of the gamebag), then strap it in my pack so it stays pretty cylindrical and not all bunched up at the bottom. With my pack I can lock in the meat in whatever position I want it in and it won't wiggle one bit. That really helps me distribute the weight of the meat and makes hauling heavy loads much easier for me. I prefer the most weight to be just above the middle of my back, but distributed reasonably evenly from top to bottom.

But, as cnelk's posts suggest- different strokes for different folks! No doubt there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to killin' and haulin' elk! I'm not sure I understand the "it's elk hunting so just suck it up and do it" attitude. I already do that, so I don't see a reason to make my knees and back bark any more than they arleady do! Hauling elk meat the way I do already makes me hurt. If you're young and don't care if it's tough as hell, your knees and back will thank you in 30 years for trying to minimize how much you do it the tough guy route. No doubt elk hunting will involve just sucking it up and doing it in a bunch of ways though. Enjoy the suck! It's the absolute best kind of pain I feel every time I do it!
 

mtnkid85

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Jul 31, 2012
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Beartooth Mtns, MT
It depends for me. If I have help, the terrain and of course distance, but I try pretty hard to bring out the Femurs for the marrow to make bone broth, which is one of our favorites!
 

Blockcaver

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BC
I've packed out a lot of elk....both deboned and with bone-in, close to 40 that I've arrowed and a couple I shot with a rifle. I prefer to deal with the quarters with bone-in.

If I'm packing it a long ways....say over a few hours for each round trip (times 3 or 4 for the entire elk, camp, etc) then it is debone and save the weight.

In our case the dog really likes to chew the bones too. She'd mark a huge plus for bone-in.
 
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