I've done both. A few elk I've packed out on quarters and the one I kill with Guy and Nate we deboned and packed out. It was a pain with no bone to keep the meat from rolling out one side of our packs and keeping the weight centered. 4200' pack down the mountain there was no way we where going to pack the extra weight. Since then I haven't gutted or packed bone out on any animals we've taken. The weight of the bones are enough for me to deal with the meat moving around.