Well Known Rokslider
- Sep 20, 2018
- In someone's favorite spot
I spent years as a "mobile tree-stand, public land bow-hunter" as well, and I am trying to figure out what it is you're wanting your pack to do.First time poster, long-time reader on here!
I've been researching seriously for a new hunting pack and I'm just not finding what I'm looking for in my budget. I think it must exist and I'm just missing it somehow. I'd like to spend less than $200. I'm a mobile tree-stand, public land bow-hunter and I'm searching out a pack for that application specifically. I only plan to hunt in TN with this pack; so it doesn't need to scale up for western elk hunts.
Currently I use a Molle II system on my XOP Air Raid and I strap extra clothes and a fanny pack to the stand. This works and is comfy, but it is inefficient. I haven't packed a deer out with this yet. I know I could, but I don't think it would be comfortable or easy to get everything out in one trip. I'm looking for a better way that will allow me to also pack out de-boned deer without having to go to truck to dump gear first and return for deer.
Based on research:
1. I am leaning toward a pack with an expandable load-shelf to pack my stand in and meat/stand out
2. I don't carry much gear or extra clothes; don't really need or want a big pack in the tree, but need the ability to get stand/deer meat out when I'm successful. It just seems like I have to go full frame pack and get a bigger pack than I need or, go with a great small hunting pack that is right-sized but won't pack the stand/deer meat in/out well.
3. I don't care if it is Camo.
4. I don't care if it is waterproof really.
5. I'm open to used packs but don't know where to look really
Does this unicorn pack exist? Hit me with what you have found that fits the bill please!
Are you wanting to strap your stand to it and then also have meat-hauling capabilities if you're successful?
Here's the approach I came up with, and it's worked very well for me.
I hike in with my stand on my back (backpack straps on my stand) and a small day pack slung over the stand. Total weight with steps is less than 20 lbs. so I can really cover ground without getting sweated up, which is a big consideration down here in SE Texas.
IF (and it's a big IF) I'm successful, once the critter has run off after the shot, I quietly take down my stand and steps and quietly go back to my truck for a frame pack with my kill kit. I drop my stand and day pack, hike in with the kill kit, find the deer, quarter it, load it up and hike back out.
This system has by FAR been the best I've come up with in over 30 years of bowhunting public lands.
Sure, it involves two trips from the truck to the stand location, but how often will you do that? Maybe once or twice a season if you're lucky? And believe me, if you just shot a deer, you won't feel those extra miles at all.
Most of my stand locations are about 1/2 mile to 1 mile in, usually through pretty thick cover. If you're going farther, I can see the appeal to having the ability to pack out the meat and your stand. But for me it's just simpler to hike out my stand and go get my pack frame. That also keeps me from following the deer and looking for blood too soon, which has screwed me a few times. So it gives the deer plenty of time to die while I'm out of the area.
Anyway, YMMV as they say, but that's what's worked for me and I have no plans to change it.
If I go in further than a mile, then I use small pop-up ground blinds and I stay on the ground.