Packing out an elk

kiddogy

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FNG here to learn and I appreciate all the experienced guys chiming in. Will definitely have trek poles and a come-along in the truck! I can’t even imagine the kind of person that would steal a rack out of a truck or hiding spot... and then what, make up some story about how you got it? Man, that is some low low crap how could you live with that???
unfortunately we live in a world where such things are all to common.
 

muddydogs

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I know what deer, antelope, elk and javelina bones left in a quarter weight. See I've been reading threads like this for years thinking that for the most part there full of bull, internet myths and speculation so I started to weight the bones, trim scrap and ready to eat meat after I processed an animal so I had real world data. Always wondered why people claimed that they got 200 to 300 lbs of meat off an elk and I was only getting around 100 pounds on average for a cow or small bull and 150 ish out of a large bull. Seems that I must clean the meat better and my scales seem to work better.

Here again your info still isn't talking about the same info, I bet the ribs, spine, and hip joints add a lot to the weight but were not talking about carrying all that were talking about bones in quarters with just the leg bone from the hip ball to the knee.
 

kiddogy

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debone it all and save a lot of trouble packing it.
It don't take to long to do it
 

RockinU

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Meat actually cools better deboned, and as was said earlier, there are some state lines that can't be crossed with bone in. Of course you can debone at the truck if you want, I've just never seen the point of carrying bones out when I'm not going to eat them, and have to debone before I process anyway, but to each their own.
 

BK Ammenwerth

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I don’t like to debone for a few reasons unless I’m worried about it cooling. 1 you loose a lot more meat by the time it’s finally processed from the crust on it. 2 imo it’s easier to handle with the bone in.
 

deerkiller

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They removed the head and lower legs below the knee joints, hide, and intestines to get the field dress weights. You can twist and turn the facts but the U of Wyo test of 25,000 elk pretty much shows that a boned elk is 1/2 the weight of a field dressed elk. They didn't mention anything about the ribs so I'm guessing they are included in the ribs in the field dress weight. If you "bone" the ribs (which you mentioned in your post the meat processors don't want you to do) you'll still be packing out a couple extra trips or hauling A LOT heavier load if you don't bone out the entire elk! The front and rear hind quarter bones weigh a lot more than what you think on an elk! I wish the U of W would have weighed all the bones for their report....it would have answered that question!

The other benefit to boning out your elk in the field is you don't have to deal with tossing smelly bones in the garbage when you get home and process your game. I'm sure a lot of guys process their own meat. My wife sure is glad I don't have smelly bones sitting in the garbage bin for a week!

The bottom line is....do you want to end up packing more trips and heavier loads with bones included? If I'm 2 to 5 miles back in steep, rough country is it worth saving several trips by boning.....heck yes...it's a no brainer!
2 comments on your post - 1) my lab LOVES sections of leg bones to chew on 2) unless you have a MEAT pack made specifically to haul "any type" of load (like a bull pac or the ebay meatpack mentioned) a wad of meat is much more difficult to stabilize on a pack, in particular on real steep environments - rear leg bones are kinda heavy but so is the hide, head AND rack, spine and structure - that's not "twisting & turning", that's taking ALL comments and facts into consideration ….. (and those "smelly" bones and such ? that's what garbage does, stink)
 

deerkiller

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I don’t like to debone for a few reasons unless I’m worried about it cooling. 1 you loose a lot more meat by the time it’s finally processed from the crust on it. 2 imo it’s easier to handle with the bone in.
what he said ^ ^ ^
 

spike camp

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I personally debone, due to weight and distance but I agree that it wastes a little more meat and makes butchering more difficult...and another reason to not debone is that it can introduce bacteria into the meat easier.
 

Jimss

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Packing deboned meat is mighty stable with a comfy frame and bag like Kifaru or Stone Glacier. In fact I find it easier and more stable with boned meat that is strategically placed tight to my back. The trick is having multiple straps to tighten down the load. where you want the weight distributed. I assure you there is no shifting with a Kifaru frame/bag, and boned meat secured tight to the frame....and an internal frame tight to your back! I've lost count of how many elk, moose, bighorn, mtn goat, deer, bear...the list goes on that I've boned and packed out of hell holes and incredibly rugged country over the years.

A framed pack like I used growing up was SUPER UNSTABLE on steep, angled slopes. An internal frame with weight of meat tight to your body works superb.

As far as meat cooling down..... Unless I'm mistaken if the weather is cooler than the meat, won't the meat cool down quicker if exposed to cool air compared to meat wrapped around bone? When a hind quarter is boned it opens up the interior of the meat that was wrapped around the bone and allows it to cool down much quicker. Also, if it takes 1 or 2 more trips to haul out an elk with bone attached it will that much longer to get all of the meat out of the hills and on ice. I TOTALLY disagree that it takes longer to cool down boned meat! Am I missing something? Those that have experience deboning an elk will likely find that it actually doesn't take much more time than not boning.

Another thing that can be done with boned meat is place it in bags and place it in a cool creek. It is pretty tough to do this with entire elk hind or front quarters.

For those in favor of not boning elk.....how far do you guys pack out your elk and what type of terrain? It blows me away that hunters even consider not deboning when packing mature bulls out of nasty places for many miles?
 

cnelk

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There really is no right or wrong if you debone or not. No matter how far the pack is or anything.


Ive done both.
But I do prefer to leave the bone in, get it back to camp.
Its much nicer to take your time rather than fight flies and bees, sometimes darkness and rain.

I can get the meat hung up, keep it dry and cooling.
Then if I want to debone, I do it in camp, under much better, selective conditions - i.e. early in the morning when everything is cool, no bugs or bees.






 

muddydogs

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I TOTALLY disagree that it takes longer to cool down boned meat! Am I missing something?
I think this is a general reference to boned meat ending up in a big wad at the bottom of most any bag. If you can keep the boned meat spread out it will cool faster but its hard to do when stuffing a hind quarters worth of meat in a meat bag and hanging it from a tree. If its really hot I'll split the meat on one side of the quarter down to the bone to help with internal cooling but leave it attached to the bone so I don't have just a big wad of meat in the bottom of a bag.
 

Jknowlden

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There really is no right or wrong if you debone or not. No matter how far the pack is or anything.


Ive done both.
But I do prefer to leave the bone in, get it back to camp.
Its much nicer to take your time rather than fight flies and bees, sometimes darkness and rain.

I can get the meat hung up, keep it dry and cooling.
Then if I want to debone, I do it in camp, under much better, selective conditions - i.e. early in the morning when everything is cool, no bugs or bees.






Do you always keep the hide on the quarters when you pack them out?
 
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kiddogy

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Do you always keep the skin on the quarters when you pack them out?
personally ,I never keep the skin on. even when cold out I skin as quick as I can. meat cools faster , plus it's just easier when the kill is fresh.
 

spike camp

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I think this is a general reference to boned meat ending up in a big wad at the bottom of most any bag. If you can keep the boned meat spread out it will cool faster but its hard to do when stuffing a hind quarters worth of meat in a meat bag and hanging it from a tree. If its really hot I'll split the meat on one side of the quarter down to the bone to help with internal cooling but leave it attached to the bone so I don't have just a big wad of meat in the bottom of a bag.

Depending on the brand/style of game bags, makes a big difference on how that bag keeps its shape.

For instance, Tag Bags BOMB Bags will not allow the meat to ball up, and they keep their cylindrical shape.
 

Scrappy

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I have read through this whole thread and have determined we have two groups here. One group takes more trips because they get every ounce of meat they can off an elk. The other group can pack an elk off the mountain with less trips because they only take the minimum amount of meat off an elk.

When I got home last year we weighed each game bag of deboned meat. It totaled 272 pound. I got all the meat plus the head out in four trips. No way in the world could I have done it in three with that much meat. So the only conclusion we can come up with here is some are bringing all the meat out and some ain't.

I don't mean this post to sound like an a$$ but the fact is ain't none of us superman.
 

spike camp

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I have read through this whole thread and have determined we have two groups here. One group takes more trips because they get every ounce of meat they can off an elk. The other group can pack an elk off the mountain with less trips because they only take the minimum amount of meat off an elk.

When I got home last year we weighed each game bag of deboned meat. It totaled 272 pound. I got all the meat plus the head out in four trips. No way in the world could I have done it in three with that much meat. So the only conclusion we can come up with here is some are bringing all the meat out and some ain't.

I don't mean this post to sound like an a$$ but the fact is ain't none of us superman.

Exactly what I was thinking when I read —— two guys packing out a branch antlered bull in one trip....

Sure it can happen, but guaranteed there is a full bag on meat, left on the animal.
 
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kiddogy

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I have read through this whole thread and have determined we have two groups here. One group takes more trips because they get every ounce of meat they can off an elk. The other group can pack an elk off the mountain with less trips because they only take the minimum amount of meat off an elk.

When I got home last year we weighed each game bag of deboned meat. It totaled 272 pound. I got all the meat plus the head out in four trips. No way in the world could I have done it in three with that much meat. So the only conclusion we can come up with here is some are bringing all the meat out and some ain't.

I don't mean this post to sound like an a$$ but the fact is ain't none of us superman.
supermans a wimp!
😀

that is probly true of some . I doubt it is true of most. most hunters I know value the meat above all else.
much like humans ,not all elk weigh the same . there is a heap of difference between a mature bull and a young cow elk or a spike bull. I gutted a spike two years ago an drug it off the mtn myself as I posted above . didn waste a scrap and loaded into the truck whole save the guts.

it weren't easy but I done it!


one needs to also look at terrain elk is being packed out of. believe it or not ,not all elk live in the mtns . they are flatland creatures also.

would I pack a 150lb load five miles uphill (both ways😁)?? not a chance ! but I would do it for a half mile across flat ground without a second thought
 
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