- Aug 6, 2019
I agree with Mulyhuntr. I exclusively backpack hunt and often solo. Even if you are in your 20s it is grueling and a 2 or 3 day affair...going over blow down, up and down the smallest inclines and crossing creeks become huge obstacles with a loaded pack. As other suggested, 80 lbs is tough on level ground much less the back country.Packed out my first elk last year with my 58 year old dad. We were 5 miles deep and it took two trips. We weren’t staying the night so didn’t have a ton of gear with us. Shot elk at 530pm and got back to truck at 130am. Took the next day off and went back in to get the rest of the meat the following day. What a grueling experience.
Don't kid yourself, training and youth help but there is nothing like the actual experience. There is good reason for staying 60 lbs or less - saftey being the #1. A twisted ankle, blown knee, twisted back or broken leg is not going to help you to get that meat out so be reasonable. More trips are better than heavier trips.
On the day of the kill, I take out back straps and tender loin, maybe some neck or brisket. Then the next day I go back and take the quarters for 4 trips and this is completely boned out. I take the rack last with a front quarter - as my Dad said, you cannot eat the horn or hide, so getting the meat out is the priority.