I didnt want to thread jack sslingers thread so here goes. Bitterroot and Kevin both have suggested a SPOT or satellite phone to contact a packer to get an elk out of the woods. Only problem is i'm in college and am broke and the 2 ranchers ive talked to want money and not labor, and outfitters want even more money. So most likely I will be packing it on my back. I will "probably" get some help from my brother and room mate in packing it out but theres always a chance of that falling through and I like to hope for the best and plan for the worst.
So what are your guys' suggestions for packing an elk out of the back country during archery season? How much does an average sized boned out elk weigh? How many trips does it take you?
I hike with a pack every evening and have upped the weight in it from 40 lbs in january to 60 now and hope to be at 80-85 by hunting season with longer distances. I do various other strength and conditioning exercises as well. Im not new to breaking down and boning out game so thats not an issue. I have a pretty good idea as to what Im going to do but would like to hear your guys' suggestions.
I would plan 5 trips on your own. You are pretty fit so you can get it down to 4. Also depends on how much gear you've packed in too. Also on how far in you killed your elk will also be a factor. Drink a ton of water and don't try and pack out the entire thing the first trip you will burn yourself out. With 2 guys you can make it in one trip again depending on how much gear you have. Good luck and defiantly bone out you elk.
JonBoy, It depends what your hunt area is like. I built this cart because i knew if i shot the elk, where they had been when i scouted them, then it was all down hill to the truck. It was kind of crude but worked quite well. It keep the heaviest part of the load within 12" to 18" of the ground so it made it very manuverable. It was just a bmx tire with hand brake and aluminum sides. I looked at a few on the web and just decided that they wouldn't work ( most were two man or had two wheels) so I made my own.
I thought about a cart as well. Most of the areas I hunt arent designated wilderness so it would be legal to do so. I hunt pretty far off the trail but it would definitely be nice once I got to the trail. I would still have to make the first trip to the truck to get the cart though. Thanks for the suggestion ill look into it.
Elk are big, even the little ones.
Plan on a minimum of 200 pounds of boned out meat. Truly huge bulls will bone out over 300. then you add the head (and cape?). It is heavy. It will pay big dividends to find some friends. Beer is a great bribe, just make sure you get to the beer AFTER the pack.
I you do it on your own, it will be a monster chore, but you will just need to keep plodding along, and you won't get as gassed if you keep the loads around 60 pounds.
It gets exponentially easier with each additional packmule ... err ... friend.
I hear yuh Bitterroot. Im sure I will get at least 2 guys to help out I just want to be as prepared for the worst as I can. I dont want the thought of it to limit my hunting style. If I do end up having to do it myself the antlers and camp are going to end up being last and probably staying in there for another week until I get back to them because there going to take whole nother trip.
So far my plan is to get the meat boned out, wiped down with citric acid, in meat bags, and hung up hopefully over a creek or at least in shaded/windy/north facing slope as fast as possible. Doing this I think will give me 48 hours to get the meat out and in a cooler in above average temps.
Terrain, distance and weather are the main factors to consider I think. I consider these factors and limit myself to them, it is easy to get in over your head. I carry everthing needed to quarter, hang and wrap in game bags with me on a pack frame when I hunt when solo. That way I can take a load out with me if successfull and get the rest the next day. I always have friends on stand-by to help and have extra pack frames ( and cold beer in a cooler) in my truck just in case anyone else wants to help out. I've been lucky on elk and haven't had to do it all by myself yet. I prefer to leave the leg bone in the quarters to keep the meat rigid, and get the weight as high on the frame as I can.
I prefer not to carry extra weight myself. The only bone I back out on my back is the skull (well ... and antlers).
Originally Posted by Timberstalker
BB im not as experianced as you, my theory is if its over 75lbs whats another 10? I havent had to pack elk more than 2 miles though.
I packed out my elks cape,skull and horns for 7 hrs. He was a 350" bull. I killed him rite at dark and it was -10. I had 4 guys with me thank god to pack out the meat. If I were to do it again I would have left the cape, but it was my first bull and I wanted to take everything. We were at 11k when I shot him and we dropped 4k in elevation to get to the valley floor. Talk about biting off more then you can chew. We should have taken our time and packed a small camp and stayed the nite then packed out in the morning. Pretty much stupid looking back on it now. Two of my buddys were injured on the pack out. One twisted his knee and the other his ankle. To sum this up before you pull the trigger think about what it's gonna take to get him out.