Packing out an elk

txhunter581

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Jul 21, 2019
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Texas
Didn't have time to read all the replies. I am assuming you are familiar with the "gutless method"?

If not, you should google it and do it. I will never gut another elk.
 
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Smithb9841

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May 26, 2019
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Didn't have time to read all the replies. I am assuming you are familiar with the "gutless method"?

If not, you should google it and do it. I will never gut another elk.
I’ve been reading all the replies since I started this thread and have come to the conclusion it’ll prob take me 4 trips unless it’s a spike.
I’ve never done the gutless method but after watching a bunch of YouTube videos on it I’m pretty comfortable that I’d be able to.
For my first time I don’t think I’ll debone in the field I’d rather do that at camp the first time or when I get home until I get more practice.

Hopefully I’ll get to report back in a couple
Months on a succeful hunt but with this being my first elk hunt in a general unit I don’t have high hopes but I’ll still hunt my butt off and maybe I’ll get lucky!
 

deerkiller

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Feb 3, 2019
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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.
done MANY both ways, no difference in finished meat quality BUT WAY CLEANER when hide is left on
 

deerhunt1988

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MS
Been a great thread, very informative for an elk newbie.

Confident I'll be packing out my first elk this fall. I'm in well above average shape but definitely going to plan on at least 4 trips, leaving bones in hams. Debone at camp.
 

cnelk

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N Colorado
done MANY both ways, no difference in finished meat quality BUT WAY CLEANER when hide is left on

Its the small details that seem to escape the big picture in these threads.
Handling elk quarters and getting them into game bags by yourself or even with a buddy is a PITA. And its easy to get the meat dirty

First roll down the game bag like a condom, lay on ground with opening up.

Then get the elk quarter that you've put somewhere [ layed on a log, hang in tree, or taken directly from the elk, etc] a place the large part on the elk meat condom, with leg up, hug the quarter and roll up the meat condom around the quarter and tie off.

Or have your buddy hold the condom and you grab the quarter and lift and hold it there while roll buddy rolls up the bag while you stand there holding the elk quarter off the ground - Telling your buddy to hurry the hell up.

Now what are you going to do with it? Lay it back on a log or hang it in a tree? Put it in your pack?
If in grizz country, you're lugging it away from the carcass.

Do this 4-5 times.

Thats why I dont mind keep some hide and bone on elk quarters. You're handling them A LOT

Remember - this is AFTER you've hunted all morning/day - AFTER youve shot and waited a certain amount of time - AFTER you completed your blood trail...... and on and on.

In the pic below, you can see the game bags in the background, and we have another one ready laying right on the elk. And my son is holding the backstrap from touching the ground while I am cutting it out

Good luck to all this fall



 
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kiddogy

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Jul 14, 2019
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idaho
done MANY both ways, no difference in finished meat quality BUT WAY CLEANER when hide is left on
can be but isn't always. that's where game bags come in.

if one is really worried about keeping it clean , I sometimes will pack a sqaure of plastic in my pack to lay meat on ,when I bag it . not always but sometimes I do. mostly I just bag em on top of the skinned hide. really not that difficult.
 
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5MilesBack

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Colorado Springs
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.
Number 1 is the opposite from my experience. Every single quarter I've ever packed has that "crust" on it. Whereas when I debone it all, there is no crust......not a bit of it. When I start processing it at home, I give it a look over for any hair and then grind it up mostly. It's already clean because that's the way it went into the bags.
 

JordanH

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Sep 9, 2012
Messages
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Location
CO
I always have my silnylon tarp with me. It serves many purposes. Rain protection for me in a bad downpour on a seconds notice, pack cover for a drizzly day with persistent rain, gear storage protection at camp at night, and a place to put my game bags and cut meat waiting to be put into a bag if I am breaking down an animal solo. You can also use the peeled back hide of the elk to help protect meat from dirt when doing gutless.
 

deerkiller

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Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
762
Its the small details that seem to escape the big picture in these threads.
Handling elk quarters and getting them into game bags by yourself or even with a buddy is a PITA. And its easy to get the meat dirty

First roll down the game bag like a condom, lay on ground with opening up.

Then get the elk quarter that you've put somewhere [ layed on a log, hang in tree, or taken directly from the elk, etc] a place the large part on the elk meat condom, with leg up, hug the quarter and roll up the meat condom around the quarter and tie off.

Or have your buddy hold the condom and you grab the quarter and lift and hold it there while roll buddy rolls up the bag while you stand there holding the elk quarter off the ground - Telling your buddy to hurry the hell up.

Now what are you going to do with it? Lay it back on a log or hang it in a tree? Put it in your pack?
If in grizz country, you're lugging it away from the carcass.

Do this 4-5 times.

Thats why I dont mind keep some hide and bone on elk quarters. You're handling them A LOT

Remember - this is AFTER you've hunted all morning/day - AFTER youve shot and waited a certain amount of time - AFTER you completed your blood trail...... and on and on.

In the pic below, you can see the game bags in the background, and we have another one ready laying right on the elk. And my son is holding the backstrap from touching the ground while I am cutting it out

Good luck to all this fall



GREAT picture !
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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N Colorado
Here's a pic from 2008.

Those blobs of meat are deboned and skinned hind quarters. With a small tarp to do the work on.
For some reason, I like to have that leg bone in to handle quarters.

I would suggest new elk hunters trying it both ways to see what works best for yourself


DSCF1719.jpg
 

Savage99

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Jan 26, 2017
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CO
cnelk, what knife is that orange handle?


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deerkiller

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Feb 3, 2019
Messages
762
Here's a pic from 2008.

Those blobs of meat are deboned and skinned hind quarters. With a small tarp to do the work on.
For some reason, I like to have that leg bone in to handle quarters.

I would suggest new elk hunters trying it both ways to see what works best for yourself


View attachment 111097
I've packed elk meat from so many different spots ("I" = WE about 1/2 the times) I can't imagine packing a HIND QUARTER with no bone in it, fronts YA, of course BS and freed meat but those hinds NEED the structure for packing - as far as "clean" goes it depends where you might be … sometimes you lose control of what is happening to your meat - packed into Snake R unit by an outfitter (drop camps), routine was get the meat to "the top" where the packer would fetch with mules & take back to base camp WITHOUT us so you'd lose control of how the meat was stored (sometimes not the best if outfitter was really busy but never ever had spoiled or fouled meat), once in a while you'd kill one at or close to the top, most of the time "bottom" or other side was the rule - In the "old" days I've packed hinds out like "Ali Oop" (no fun at all), then came the external frame packs (still no fun but a little less painfull), that ad nauseum mentioned ebay meat pack took the pain completely away, sure we "trained" most all year long for it (and general health and our firefighting duties too I might add)- without hind bones ?, FORGET IT ! (20+ seasons in "the Snake")
Now, in WY for late cow hunts it's quite a bit different terrain (mostly) and higher elevations, bone in for the pack to the machines or animals, get 'em to the shop at the ranch to clean up, bag and hang, haven't had any LE pitch a fit about leg bones traveling thus far, butcher and saw bones into 6"-8" sections for dog, break out the drift boat for steelhead ……..
 

Bradolf pittler

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Jul 23, 2019
Messages
29
Hey guys will be doing my First elk hunt this year in Idaho will Be Going solo, my cousin might be able to join me for a day or 2 but not sure if he will be able to take time off yet. Anyway I’ve been training with a 50lb bag of sand in my pack and am going to Be moving up to an 80lbs bag next week. I’m 28 and I’m in pretty good shape. I plan on hiking in from
Camp a few miles for the hunt.

So my question is if I am Lucky enough to get a bull down how many trips do you guys usually take to pack out an elk? And in
What order do you take the quarters out. I’m comfortable with quartering an elk out and getting it hung up just curious how many trips you guys take to pack your elk out?
I debone all the meat, no sense hauling extra weight around. Its different every time but usually 2 or 3. Dont do that 80lb thing man, you're gonna **** yourself up lol. People over prepare for Idaho like its cag selection and then injure themselves training. I'm fortunate enough to be able to train in the idaho mountains several days a week year round and I can tell you from experience that kind of weight is not useful. Best of luck this year
 

RockinU

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Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
112
A 3 X 3 piece of Tyvek will fold up small enough to put in your pocket, and doesn't weight hardly anything, and is a real handy thing to have when quartering an animal on the ground, or deboning it. Can do a lot to help you keep stuff clean.
 

FIGJAM

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Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
2
Hey guys will be doing my First elk hunt this year in Idaho will Be Going solo, my cousin might be able to join me for a day or 2 but not sure if he will be able to take time off yet. Anyway I’ve been training with a 50lb bag of sand in my pack and am going to Be moving up to an 80lbs bag next week. I’m 28 and I’m in pretty good shape. I plan on hiking in from
Camp a few miles for the hunt.

So my question is if I am Lucky enough to get a bull down how many trips do you guys usually take to pack out an elk? And in
What order do you take the quarters out. I’m comfortable with quartering an elk out and getting it hung up just curious how many trips you guys take to pack your elk out?
Bone that sucker out and you can do it in 2 or 3 if you are in great shape.
 

reaperukon

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Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
107
Someone mentioned it earlier and I would echo how priceless this is........inReach and a pack out via horse. Ive wrecked myself a couple times getting meat out and it just sucks. It might not be too bad if you are splitting the load amongst a few guys, but to come in and out for all of it is brutal. Props to the young guns who can still kill themselves.


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deerkiller

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Feb 3, 2019
Messages
762
Someone mentioned it earlier and I would echo how priceless this is........inReach and a pack out via horse. Ive wrecked myself a couple times getting meat out and it just sucks. It might not be too bad if you are splitting the load amongst a few guys, but to come in and out for all of it is brutal. Props to the young guns who can still kill themselves.


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"priceless" ? having somebody else do the work for you ? why not just go golfing ?
 

nphunter

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Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
307
Location
Oregon
Hey guys will be doing my First elk hunt this year in Idaho will Be Going solo, my cousin might be able to join me for a day or 2 but not sure if he will be able to take time off yet. Anyway I’ve been training with a 50lb bag of sand in my pack and am going to Be moving up to an 80lbs bag next week. I’m 28 and I’m in pretty good shape. I plan on hiking in from
Camp a few miles for the hunt.

So my question is if I am Lucky enough to get a bull down how many trips do you guys usually take to pack out an elk? And in
What order do you take the quarters out. I’m comfortable with quartering an elk out and getting it hung up just curious how many trips you guys take to pack your elk out?
Definitely bone it out, get all the meat off the ground and hanging in good meat bags. I really like the black ovis bags, they have reflective material and are super easy to find in the dark. Doesn't seem like an issue but when you're exhausted you don't want to waste any energy searching. Also, the better quality bags hold meat better, Alaskan type bags ball up and you end up with a short wide meat bag, good meat bags hold there shape when full.

As far as trips I think four trips are doable if you cape out a bull for sure 5 trips. Terrain and distance also matter, if it's steep, deadfall filled or slick do more lighter loads, flat trail type you can do heavier loads. Last years bull me and a buddy did my 6 point bull in one trip, we loaded our packs super heavy, would drop them and go back to grab one more meat bag, the rack and my bow without packs and leap frog out it out.

I would always leave the rack for very last, that gives you the motivation to go back for the last load. Honestly, it takes more mental toughness than physical to make it back for that many loads.

Good Luck
 
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