Like this is about the easiest for hiking that I've tried. If going over 2 miles, I like to fully cape and get rid of as much weight as possible. If you tie the nose down tight to the frame, the antlers will kind of stick more out rather than down making it easier to navigate brush, downed timber, etc.
I agree that the best way, if you don't have horses, is leave the backpack in camp until the game is down. Leave the bones behind.
I am going to used TAG Bags BOMB bags this year. That stands for Boned Out Meat Bags. They are cylindrical shaped to better fit on a pack frame. The kit has four 14" X 34" bags and two 14" x 20" bags.
Here are a couple good videos for boning out using the gutless method.
If you have over about 10 to 12 total miles involved in packing meat, it starts getting brutal. By total I mean adding up your in and out trips, My worst on an elk was 18 miles total (in and out) and I was paying for it for a couple days. If you are three miles in, that is 6 miles round trip, about two cycles of that is about all you are going to want to mess with.
One technique I have often used on longer pack outs on my back is to stage meat along the way. By that I mean, don't try to pack a piece all the way to the truck in one shot. Maybe pack one load 1/2 mile, hang it in a tree, then go get the next piece and repeat until all pieces are at this new spot. On the final piece, pack it 1/2 mile past that staging point and then repeat with the rest of the pieces. This doesn't require any more hiking, yet these "shorter" packs give your body and muscles time to recover between loads.
Last edited by Umpqua Hunter; 08-24-2014 at 10:12 PM.
Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)
The problem with staging is loading and unloading meat constantly which takes time and effort.
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if I have a extra big body sized deer im packing out ill use the staging method, but with elk it just turns into a long nightmare if you don't have exactly what you are going to do planed out. like scott said, it does take a lot of extra time and effort. this year ill have access to a horse if needed but there is something epically awesome about packing a beast out on your back! I have some pretty good buddies that are always willing to help me out if they get the call, and they ask for nothing but some fresh meat over the fire and some cold beer.
Great info from everyone, i was just thinking about asking this same question this morning!
Thank you to the OP for getting this out there.
I can agree with the staging idea. Get the meat to the top of the ridge and you take away the brutal beginning. This also gets you away from the carcass before the wolves get there.
If I can tag a cow this weekend I will see if I can get a video put together of deboning an animal for transport. Significantly cut down the weight and it is possible to get way more meat in one trip when you aren't hauling bone out.