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Elk Quartering

Old 08-26-2006, 05:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Motor City
Posts: 23
Default Elk Quartering

Has anyone see or used this gutless quartering method? I am entertaining the DVD for $16. I hear good praise on
fdunford is offline  
Old 08-26-2006, 05:46 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Location: fort mcmurray alberta canada
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Default RE: Elk Quartering

It looks as though the rib meat is left behind.If that is the case,You would be charged for wasting meat in some jurisdictions.
stubblejumper is offline  
Old 08-26-2006, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Default RE: Elk Quartering

I work with a guy who guides for big game hunts all over the world and he swears buy this technique. I have gone over it with him several times and I plan on using it this year if I am lucky enough to have the chance. He says he hasn't gutted an elk for 6 years.
Cosmowvu is offline  
Old 08-26-2006, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
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Default RE: Elk Quartering

I like it, quite legal in Colorado.

Take one very small knife with a 1" blade for doing the tenderloins, THAT is a tight fit.

If you shoot a trophy that needs caped, then you probably need to be equipped to do the traditional method.
ELKampMaster is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 815
Default RE: Elk Quartering

sometimes guides dont DO best even when they know best. More meat means more work. Who knows.
NVMIKE is offline  
Old 09-02-2006, 07:37 AM
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Default RE: Elk Quartering


I have seen this method described and pictured in a book. You can still take the rib meat effectively with this method, thereby avoiding the charge of wanton wastage of game meat.
Alsatian is offline  
Old 09-02-2006, 07:17 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kerrville, Tx. USA
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Default RE: Elk Quartering

I agree, there should be no reason that you couldn't take as much neck/rib meat as you want with this method.

As far as caping, if you want to do that, just make your cut down thetop of the neck and extend down the backbonetoward the rump. Then skin from thebackbone down to the legs instead of the other way around. You can still do the guttless method.
txhunter58 is offline  
Old 09-02-2006, 08:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NW Wyoming
Posts: 312
Default RE: Elk Quartering

I have done it that way ever since Wyoming made it legal to only take the 4 quarters and the back straps. I also get the inner loins and hardly get a drop of blood on me.

The rib meat dries out as does most of the other trimmings by the time you get them to town. And besides that, if what is left feeds another predator, lion, coyote, bear, wolf, they don't have to kill another living animal to replace it. So it isn't going to waste.
RandyA is offline  
Old 09-02-2006, 11:40 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,516
Default RE: Elk Quartering

How does one get to the inner tender loins without gutting the animal. Do you break the ribs from the vertebra?

To me leaving the heart and liver is a sin. Good luck.
handloader1 is offline  
Old 09-03-2006, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Posts: 1,964
Default RE: Elk Quartering


If you gotta have the heart and liver, then the traditional method is the one I'd recommend.
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Regarding getting the tenderloins out,

The tenderloins are not obscured by the ribs, they are in the flank area behind the last rib and ahead of the hip. However, they are obscured by the failrly wide "wings" of the vertebrae and the paunch/gut "bag".

You will have already filleted the backstrap slabs out from just above the tenderloins, the series of vertebrae wings that makes the floor of the backstrap "tray" also makes the ceilingfor the tenderloin and seperates the two cuts of meat. With the critter on its side, work your way out to the outside edge of the now vacantbackstrap tray, locate the edge (point)of the vertebrae wing, and swing immediately right around the corner (180 degrees), down under the vertebrae wing. That is where you need to go and you'll have to cut your way in --- not hard to do, butthe tenderloins hide, they don't volunteer (as in traditional field dressing).

You will have to carefully cut some "wall" tissue layers that you may think will put you into the interior of the paunch/guts, if you are careful it will not and all will stay clean. After you have carefully sliced a layer or two away, thenpush the paunch/guts exterior "bag"aside, shape your hand like a "spear point" and push/slide your hand in against the heretofor unexplored underside of the vertebrae wing. Work back and forth along the underside of the vertebrae wings (going front to back on critter) freeing and clearing attaching tissue, sometimes withthe push of your hand, sometimes trimming a little with the knife. Work to create a12" to 14" long"slit" (longer on a bigger elk) that is about fingers length deep. Pull and hold the paunch/gut bag away from the vertaebrae wing so you can see to the bottom of the slit and you'll find the tenderloins down in there tucked up against the underside of the vertebrae wingjust off ofthe centerline of the spine.

In contrastto most aspects of hack-hack, chop-chop field dressing, this exercise rewards finesse and patience. There is room foryour hands (barely), it is tight, itcan betiring (especialy the first time). Locate the tenderloin, work over tothe back end, cut the anchoring end free, just use a series of mini slices and light tugs to free it up, once you have 1" or 2" free then it gets easier. Avoid thetemptation to just get ahold of the free end and pull hard, the meat is tender andwill seperate leaving part of it still attached to the vertebrae/spine side and part of it in your hand, be patient and continue with the mini slices --- seriously, a little dinky (as in short and skinny)folder knife with a 1" to 1 1/4" blade is just about right.

I consider this "tight quarters for the tenderloins" aspect of the "Alaskan method" to be its only downside. After you work thru it allthe first time, though,it gets easier and easier. Again, it is a finesse moment versus the usual hack and chop, it does keep your fingers warm though!
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Regarding the rib meat, if you are talking about the slab of flesh that lies on top of the ribs then the Alaskan method works fine; however, I have seen some folks that even cut the meat from between the ribs --- in this latter case I'm thinking it would be difficult not to puncture the paunch. If you want every last snippet of rib meat, then I would recommend the traditional method.

Neck meat, no problem --- extend the incision down the spine right up to behind the head and lay it open, cut and take all that you want. Slicing down the back and then folding the hide down over the side is handy for working with all cuts of meatas the flesh side of the hide makes for a "clean" surface to work over.
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