Packing out an elk

Kerrbow

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Nov 22, 2018
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What we have decided to do is get the concrete mixing tubs from a national building material store and add some 1" thick runners to the bottom for reinforcement and add rope harnesses front and back. Might not work real well in heavy down timber however. Guy in front and one in back to keep the sled stable.
 

sneaky

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If you're going to bone out the meat before packing it out you would be better off hanging it until the rigor leaves the meat then take it off the bone. You can tell a huge difference in the meat from one that has tightened and then relaxed, and one that was immediately deboned and put in a meat bag. Quarters on the bone are much easier to handle, to me, than boned out meat. Easier to keep clean. You vent the meat around the bone by slicing it and letting that heat around the leg bone and socket dissipate.

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spike camp

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If you're going to bone out the meat before packing it out you would be better off hanging it until the rigor leaves the meat then take it off the bone. You can tell a huge difference in the meat from one that has tightened and then relaxed, and one that was immediately deboned and put in a meat bag. Quarters on the bone are much easier to handle, to me, than boned out meat. Easier to keep clean. You vent the meat around the bone by slicing it and letting that heat around the leg bone and socket dissipate.

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How long before the meat relaxes on the bone?

Does meat not relax if boned and then left in coolers for a few days on ice?

I shot an above average size bull last year, had it boned out in 3 hours, and it was the toughest I can recall...but I’ve quickly boned out the last 4-5 Elk and none were as tough.
 

sneaky

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How long before the meat relaxes on the bone?

Does meat not relax if boned and then left in coolers for a few days on ice?

I shot an above average size bull last year, had it boned out in 3 hours, and it was the toughest I can recall...but I’ve quickly boned out the last 4-5 Elk and none were as tough.
There's a thread on here from last year I think where this was discussed, and I've talked to quite a few chefs and butchers as well. If you can let it hang overnight on the bone in your game bags, then bone it out you will notice the difference in the tenderness of the meat. When you bone it out before the meat has a chance to draw up then relax through the rigor mortis process you can get tougher cuts. At the low end I would say 6 hrs, but overnight would be ideal if you can make that work.

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DenverCountryBoy

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The university of Wyoming meat lab has published studies on aging meat. If I remember correctly, most of the improvement in tenderness happens in the first 48 hours. The best way to hang a whole carcass is by the pelvis, not the hocks. Hanging by the pelvis stretches the rear legs under their own weight instead of being in contraction and the rounds become more tender. Elk and deer are improved by aging 48 hours but pronghorn has the possibility to become too tender, almost mushy.
 

5MilesBack

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The only meat I don't grind is the tenderloin and back strap, so tenderness has never been an issue regardless how big the bull was, and when I deboned it.
 

5MilesBack

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Missing out on that round cut then. Most underrated imo.
Of course not........it's just "ground" round cut. The only steaks I like are fatty ribeyes, so that excludes elk. And the only roasts I like are fatty Prime Rib, so that excludes elk as well. I've even been known to grind the backstraps. We use burger a lot. Making elk meat loaf tonight.
 

Poser

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Of course not........it's just "ground" round cut. The only steaks I like are fatty ribeyes, so that excludes elk. And the only roasts I like are fatty Prime Rib, so that excludes elk as well. I've even been known to grind the backstraps. We use burger a lot. Making elk meat loaf tonight.
Forget the round, the shanks might be the best eating on an elk.
 

deerkiller

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Does anybody have experience with using the pack wheel or a similar cart for return trips?
that would depend totally on where you had the elk down - In places like Snake R. OR it might be feasible to leave the cart at the top and simply "shuttle" elk pieces to the top from whatever canyon or "hole" it died in
 

widnert

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I've gone through all 8 pages on here and discovered there are some seriously tough guys out there slaying elk and carrying them out on their backs. Props to all of you.

I'm always looking for easier ways to do this task, since putting that much weight on my back is never really "fun". If the terrain dictates it, I will carry it all out. But, since no one else has made any mention of it here, I'll add this option. If I can, after the first load is back to the truck/camp, I will use essentially an ice-fishing sled with straps on it, attached to my pack belt, to haul the remainder of the bags/head out. I always have this tool in my truck during hunting season. Even on dry, rocky ground, if the slope isn't too steep, this has proven effective time and again. Heavy-duty sled that doesn't bend, has runners molded into the bottom and will slide nicely over uneven ground and dried grass without issue. On snow, it is cake. Obviously, in steep stuff, this is a non-starter but, when packing out the first load, I'm looking for the easiest way back in so that I can use this tool to reduce the pain. Just something for folks to consider.
 

deerkiller

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I've gone through all 8 pages on here and discovered there are some seriously tough guys out there slaying elk and carrying them out on their backs. Props to all of you.

I'm always looking for easier ways to do this task, since putting that much weight on my back is never really "fun". If the terrain dictates it, I will carry it all out. But, since no one else has made any mention of it here, I'll add this option. If I can, after the first load is back to the truck/camp, I will use essentially an ice-fishing sled with straps on it, attached to my pack belt, to haul the remainder of the bags/head out. I always have this tool in my truck during hunting season. Even on dry, rocky ground, if the slope isn't too steep, this has proven effective time and again. Heavy-duty sled that doesn't bend, has runners molded into the bottom and will slide nicely over uneven ground and dried grass without issue. On snow, it is cake. Obviously, in steep stuff, this is a non-starter but, when packing out the first load, I'm looking for the easiest way back in so that I can use this tool to reduce the pain. Just something for folks to consider.
I was a "young guy" once upon a time, Now ? It's "work smarter, not harder" for me in ALL things
 

cnelk

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Over the past 30 years and packing out 100+ elk with buddies, we've packed out elk every way you can imagine - Horses, mules, dragging, game carts, sleds, packframes, atvs - - you name it - every single one has been in pieces.

Hell, one time two of us even used a pole and hung the meat on it and walked out
NOTE: ^^^ Dont try it. The meat gets to swinging and then you have to stop and regroup

But, after you get several elk under your belt, you'l do what's best for the current conditions -


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