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  1. #21
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    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.
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

  2. #22
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    Being that I usually use horses and mules whether guiding or hunting for myself, I usually quarter them up with my ax that is always on my saddle. Ax is much easier than a saw when it comes to splitting them down the spine. I wish i could use a sawzall as that would be slick, but unfortunately in wilderness areas that is against the rules. I also have done plenty the gutless method. The gutless method takes a little longer with skinning them out and peeling out the backstraps, tenderloinds, etc...I am usually hunting in severe grizzly country so getting elk taken care of as fast as possible is key which is why I usually just use my ax. I always cape out the bull if it is going to be mounted before I put it on my horses so i can chop off the skull plate. No need to pack the skull unless it is going to be europeaned. . One thing that always has made me laugh is seeing guys packing out an entire leg...Hoof and all straight up and down. Seen it a few times and always wonder what makes someone not chop that thing off! Nothing better than looking back and seeing racks bobbing back and forth on a string of ponies.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #23
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    If you are going to straight bone an elk out, there is no need for an axe, hatchet, or saw, but you'd better have some good rope or a partner to help hold up the legs while boning the critter out. I've done it without either but it's a royal pain in the butt. If you want to carry quarters out bone-in, you can also do that with just a stout knife to sever the connective tissue around the hip joint. I always carry a good lock blade knife with a 3.5-4" blade and a havalon. Gotta watch the havalon though...they're sharp!!

  4. #24
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    That's a cool photo mntnguide.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntnguide View Post
    I wish i could use a sawzall as that would be slick, but unfortunately in wilderness areas that is against the rules.
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I guess I'm confused as to which rule would be broken by carrying battery operated equipment?

    Thanks in Advance.

  6. #26
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    As i have always understood it...Anything that provides a "mechanical advantage" is deemed illegal. I could be wrong i suppose about the sawzall, but I would rather just use my axe and not worry about having to have a discussion with a ranger about legality. I wish they would revise the wilderness act, It gets tiring cutting 15 cords of wood with 6 foot crosscut saws each fall and it would sure be nice to have a week or so where we could use chainsaws to clear trail and make it safe. Forest service does a terrible job of clearing trails in every area I have ever worked in, and it is always the outfitters that are first into the wilderness and last out that do most the clearing anyway.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberstalker View Post
    I believe thats is why, I have been scared to ruin a cape every since they said "let me do it". The video makes it look easy, I think I will try it next time.
    Try a cow or doe deer first...something you don't mind ruining. You WILL ruin the first one. either cut an eyelid or lip corner or a tear duct. After the first one you will figure it out. Sheep are another ball game. they have super deep tear ducts that's are like tissue paper when you get into them. If you are going to cape I suggest using a utility knife. Ive caped thousands of heads and I always go back to my Utility blade. cheap, small and when it gets dull you toss it and get a new one

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  9. #28
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    Though not a elk, I use the gutless method on deer. I really like and once you know how to take the tenderloin out it is actually a lot easier than field dressing...unless you are going to drag it out.

  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
    Personally, I tend to bone out Elk. Like Guy stated, he learned this method from family outfitters. The advantage to leaving meat on the bone is that it is easier to maneuver. It also doesn't turn into a 100lb bowling ball at the bottom of your pack.
    I developed my own meat bags for this exact reason... found a material that was breathable yet strong enough to hold the weight. Takes me about 30 minutes to sew up the bag. But it is a tube style to avoid the ball. The bag weigh 3.4 ozs and I can get about 80 lbs in it. Fits in the pack frame perfect and distributes weight perfectly too.

  11. #30
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    That tube-style bag is a pretty good idea. Anything is better than an 80 pound bowling ball dragging you backwards as you're trying to hike up out of a deep hole.

 

 

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