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View Full Version : Options for packin meat 10 miles deep



TooFarEast
06-04-2012, 11:39 AM
Ok I have a muzzleloader elk tag for Wilderness Area in Colorado. I have researched this area extensively and one of our locations (probabally best quality & least pressure) is approximately 10 miles from the trailhead. We are backpack/bivy hunting so being optimistic lets say we are faced with the problem of having to pack meat +/- 10 miles to the truck. I have a couple options I am in the process of considering and would appreciate your comments and advice.

Option #1, to rent pack Llamas for the week. Pro's would be they would lighten our load during the trip in, would be less mantainence than horses, and could travel more difficult terrain than horses. Con's is they could be a hassle and more expensive

Option #2 to hire the only licenced outfitter for the area to pack me out. Pro's don't have to hassle with llamas, don't have to hire him if I do not get an elk on the ground, and possibly less expensive. Con's he has several other clients during this time and may not be able to get to me in a timely manner. Also, I would be traveling 1800 miles to count on some guy that I have never met (other than phone) to pack me out. If he doesn't show or cant make it to me, I am screwed.

Let me know what you guys think? Does anyone have any experience with Llamas? Also, what questions should I be asking the outfitter when I discuss my options with him this week? (for a DIY hunt/unguided)

Bitterroot Bulls
06-04-2012, 11:48 AM
Option #2.

Llamas are sweet critters and nice for packing lighter loads, but horses and mules are going to make quick work out of an elk pack out.

Try to set up something with a packer, if you can. You also won't have to worry about caring for the llamas while you are out there stalking bulls.

BKC
06-04-2012, 12:45 PM
If you get an elk down 10 miles from the truck and have neither, horse or llamas, at camp. You may loose your meat. A couple of warm days during the muzzleload season and your meat will start to go bad, even if you do your best to skin it quickly and cool it down at night.

If the outfitter in the area has full paid hunters in his camps, he will take care of them first, you may never get taken care of. Even if he says he will be there don't count on it, especially since your in "his " area and competing with his hunters. Outfitters like to deal in volumn and if you have 1 elk down and need 1 horse then that won't even get him exicted.

If you wind up bringing it out by yourself, leave your camp and get your meat taken care of first. You will then have to go back for the rest of your gear. Wish I had a good answere for you but I don't! Good Luck!

jay
06-04-2012, 12:59 PM
Horses are definitely the answer to pack out elk. You don't need to hire an outfitter to pack your meat out, any cowboy in the area wanting to make some extra $ may be up for the job. Would probably be cheaper and more dependable than the outfitter you mention with his schedule...

Ikeepitcold
06-04-2012, 01:01 PM
I agree with BB I've never used either but I would go for the packer first.

Ikeepitcold
06-04-2012, 01:05 PM
Horses are definitely the answer to pack out elk. You don't need to hire an outfitter to pack your meat out, any cowboy in the area wanting to make some extra $ may be up for the job. Would probably be cheaper and more dependable than the outfitter you mention with his schedule...

That's a great idea! Maybe you can locate a couple local guys to do the packing for you. Maybe a call to a local meat cutter or storage locker can help.

RUTTIN
06-04-2012, 01:29 PM
I agree with the local packer idea, and horses make quick work of an elk. Something else you may have thought of already is: How are you going to contact whomever it is that is going to pack your elk? Do you have cell service there? Or are you going to hike out and recruit your help? Just a few other things to think of. Good luck and I hope you get your elk.

trkytrack2
06-04-2012, 02:32 PM
#1....rent or purchase a satellite phone. #2....don't worry, you won't be alone in a wilderness area in Colorado during a muzzleloading season. Lot's of other smokepolers and lot's of bowhunters will be nearby. Some of them may have horses and a greenback goes a long way to sway someone to help pack an elk out. Good luck.

TooFarEast
06-04-2012, 07:50 PM
Horses are definitely the answer to pack out elk. You don't need to hire an outfitter to pack your meat out, any cowboy in the area wanting to make some extra $ may be up for the job. Would probably be cheaper and more dependable than the outfitter you mention with his schedule...

Thanks for the advice. I could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that you cannot "hire" someone unless they are a "licensed" outfitter. This could be a rule just for Colorado, or maybe I don't know what I am talking about. I will research this a little more.

I have already talked to the local outfitter about horse packing and need to call him again tomorrow. I think I may see if he can pack me in that way I will get to meet him and he will have more of a responsibility to pack me out. It will be kind of like a drop camp except I will provide my own camp and I will choose the location. It will be more expensive, but I will save my legs and back for the hunt and be able to pack a little heavier.

Also, I am planning on renting a satelitte phone for emergencies and communication with Outfitter. Let me know if you guys have any suggestions of the best place to rent one from?

BKC
06-04-2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the advice. I could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that you cannot "hire" someone unless they are a "licensed" outfitter. This could be a rule just for Colorado, or maybe I don't know what I am talking about. I will research this a little more.

I have already talked to the local outfitter about horse packing and need to call him again tomorrow. I think I may see if he can pack me in that way I will get to meet him and he will have more of a responsibility to pack me out. It will be kind of like a drop camp except I will provide my own camp and I will choose the location. It will be more expensive, but I will save my legs and back for the hunt and be able to pack a little heavier.

Also, I am planning on renting a satelitte phone for emergencies and communication with Outfitter. Let me know if you guys have any suggestions of the best place to rent one from? Not just anyone can conduct business on natinal forest. Do not exchange money on national forest and keep it on the down low and you will be fine.

NDHunter
06-04-2012, 08:48 PM
I'm certainly no expert and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but have you given serious thought to your initial 10 mile pack in? It depends on how tough of a trail it is and also your altitude, but it seems like you might set yourself up for altitude sickness. If you are coming from an elevation of 500 feet and then start a 10 mile hike at 12,000 feet, there might be some problems. I don't know the details of your situation though so maybe that's not the case. It is just something to think about...

Elkoholic307
06-05-2012, 09:26 AM
Forget the llamas and find some horses.

jay
06-05-2012, 11:45 AM
I don't see anything wrong with having someone with horses pack your meat out without a license. They are not outfitting or guiding you, they're simply providing transportation for you and your camp. I'm always looking for a deal too though, I guess it depends on how much you want to spend. Either way, good luck!

TooFarEast
06-06-2012, 06:22 AM
I'm certainly no expert and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but have you given serious thought to your initial 10 mile pack in? It depends on how tough of a trail it is and also your altitude, but it seems like you might set yourself up for altitude sickness. If you are coming from an elevation of 500 feet and then start a 10 mile hike at 12,000 feet, there might be some problems. I don't know the details of your situation though so maybe that's not the case. It is just something to think about...

I have given serious thought and have not made a decision on location yet, but 10 miles in is the worst case scenario. So I am planning for the worst and hoping for the best. However, I am working on being in top physical condition and will make arrangements to get some medication to prevent Altitude Sickness so I don't have to worry about it. Also, I plan on spending a few days before the hunting trip getting acclimated to the elevation by camping and fishing with my brothers at different elevations in Colorado.

DPETERSEN
06-06-2012, 11:16 AM
If you've been around horses I would rent some and use them the entire trip. If not I would go the lama route.
The elevation will kick ur a$$ if your not used to it, I do not consider myself in good mountain shape, But the last time I was at sea level I could run 4 miles at 6 to 7 MPH and not get winded.
I would not count on an outfitter like others have said. They are usally not bad guys, But they will take care of there stuff first and I would bet that you will lose your meat.
You do need to be a licensed outfitter to charge for any kind of packing.