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  1. #11
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    You would be risking ruining a bunch of elk meat for sure without horses, which is not fair to the game we hunt. To give you a little more perspective from someone who uses horses exclusively... We kill bulls anywhere from 12 up to 25 miles from the trailhead. We are in the wilderness. No matter what, in early season, the bulls we kill go out the next day. Luckily we have 2 wranglers and a camp jack that can do these runs. There would be no possible way someone could get an elk out in time from that deep on foot without spoiling meat, unless it was late season and it was freezing at night and staying frozen, Which is not your case. Just a thought. Also, need to take in effect of the predators if you were to leave it long. I personally get to deal heavily with grizzlies which is why we get elk back to camp the day of kill unless it is right at last light, we go in immediately the next morning. Even then those bastards get on them sometimes. . Just depends on where you are hunting

  2. #12
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    I go by hours now days, not miles. I've had a 1 1/2 day pack and it was only 2 air miles from the truck. If you haven't been there, you don't really know.

  3. #13
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    Yeah like everybody has said, 12 miles is too far without horses. My bull that I killed in the Gila two years ago with my dad took 12 hours to gut, hang, skin, quarter and pack out and we were only 2 air miles from our truck and we had two horses! A bull elk is a big animal and a lot of meat to deal with.

  4. #14
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    Do any of you guys use the gutless method? That is all we used this past year, on one bull, two cows, one deer buck and one antelope buck. It seemed to speed up the process considerably. The antelope was my first time, so needless to say it took the longest, maybe a hour and a half. But, by the time I got to the last cow elk, I was able to do it in exactly one hour and 10 minutes with minimal help from my buddy who had never seen it done. Luckily for us, that last cow we were able to drive the truck to it so we were all done within 1 1/2 hours of shooting in. Pretty sure that is the only method we will use. We never needed to bone anything out, so obviously that would add time.

    I figure with 2 folks, the farthest from the truck/camp we would want to shoot an elk is roughly 3-4 miles and that's on the high end. I would definitely be planning on 2 trips. Anything farther than that and I would go with what most here are saying, a string of animals or pay a rancher, outfitter, etc.... to help get it out.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdub24 View Post
    Do any of you guys use the gutless method? That is all we used this past year, on one bull, two cows, one deer buck and one antelope buck. It seemed to speed up the process considerably. The antelope was my first time, so needless to say it took the longest, maybe a hour and a half. But, by the time I got to the last cow elk, I was able to do it in exactly one hour and 10 minutes with minimal help from my buddy who had never seen it done. Luckily for us, that last cow we were able to drive the truck to it so we were all done within 1 1/2 hours of shooting in. Pretty sure that is the only method we will use. We never needed to bone anything out, so obviously that would add time.

    I figure with 2 folks, the farthest from the truck/camp we would want to shoot an elk is roughly 3-4 miles and that's on the high end. I would definitely be planning on 2 trips. Anything farther than that and I would go with what most here are saying, a string of animals or pay a rancher, outfitter, etc.... to help get it out.
    Dang thats fast! What pieces did you take off the elk? I watched a video of jay scott doing the gutless method on youtube and it doesnt seem hard at all. We usually take the ribs and you cant do that with the gutless method. Also the tenderloins are harder to get too. I would like to try that method sometime soon and see how it cuts down on the time.

  6. #16
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    Packing Elk out on human foot, sounds like a bit of a chore to me. For all you folks that do it on human foot my hat is off to you. I like backpacking miles into the backcountry but for me an Elk is over the top very far in the backcountry alone. Unless I have a party of folks willing to help me hoof it out or a horse packer lined up or a friend with horses I'll forgo that one for smaller animals like deer or a pronghorn.

    The gutless method mentioned though is awesome. It's not an Elk but Tim Burnett with Solo Hunters did a quick video clip on it pretty well on a pronghorn.

    Last edited by Kevin Root; 05-01-2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: typo

  7. #17
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    I did the gutless method on a buck antlope I shot last year. I liked the experience enough that I will probably do that from now on if the animal requires breakdown in the field. If I can get it back to camp, that has running water, meat pole, etc I probably will just gut them there.

  8. #18
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    Gutless is the only way to go when solo, I did my ram that way, it worked good.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhershberger View Post
    Dang thats fast! What pieces did you take off the elk? I watched a video of jay scott doing the gutless method on youtube and it doesnt seem hard at all. We usually take the ribs and you cant do that with the gutless method. Also the tenderloins are harder to get too. I would like to try that method sometime soon and see how it cuts down on the time.
    We pretty much took everything edible. Fronts, backs, rib meat, neck meat, tenderloins, back strap, anything we could eat or ground. Especially on the last cow since we were able to get the vehicle right next to the animal. She died only 40 yards from the road. Getting the tenderloins can be interesting if too much bloating has settled in, but so far I have been able to get them out without butchering it to pieces. Sometimes one end will look sloppy but overall it looks like a perfect in one piece tenderloin. I learned by watching Fred Eichler's video on YouTube. I would attach the link, but my work computer doesn't allow YouTube. Something about we would watch videos instead of work, who does that???

  10. #20
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    In addition to using the gutless method you can debone the meat and save yourself precious pounds of extra weight. You can detach the meat from the quarters systematically by muscle group, or you can run your knife down the inside seam of the bone and then basically fillet the meat away. It doesn't take much extra time and when you get back to the truck you will be glad you did!

 

 

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