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1st Elk hunt

Old 01-24-2011, 11:30 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Default 1st Elk hunt

Hello everyone.

Obviously I am new to this site, but I was hoping I could get some advice and clarity on some questions I have about elk hunting. Iíve tried to do multiple searches but I still have a few questions.

1. Do you take a frame pack with you when you do the actual hunting or just have a small pack and wait until you get your game down?
2. Once the game is down, is it best to bag the meat in to breathable sack and hang everything near by?
3. If packing the meat out with an internal frame pack, do you place the meat into a plastic bag to keep blood from getting all over the inside of your bag?
4. Is it OK to haul the meat out in plastic bags instead of cloth bags?
I am not new to hunting or backpacking but I am new to Elk hunting and hauling the meat out with a pack. I always like to have certain items with me whether I am going into the woods all day or simply just staying in the woods for an hour or two. So what is my best approach to being able to have a camera, knife, fire starter, water, first aid, GPS, map, compass, flashlight, extra socks, gloves, etc. and still be able to carry meat out?

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Old 01-24-2011, 12:10 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wright, WY
Posts: 1,281

We usually just carry the light packs and when someone gets one down one starts in on the cutting (I usually carry the game bags with me so I have them to start right away). The other guy goes back for the frame pack and I usually have a couple quarters ready for them when they get back. I have also just tied them to my pack and hauled them out. I have a blackhawk pack that I put all the loose stuff inside in a game bag and a back quarter tied to the outside (Lots of weight) got all bloody but it washes off. You want the meat to cool and breathing helps. If it is cold enough the plastic would work but it wouldn't be my first choice.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Western IND.
Posts: 39

We try and take are frame packs with us. You can waste alot of time and energy, by walking 7 or 8 extra miles. As you will find out the terrain can be tough.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8

Thanks so far! I have quite a while before next season but I am trying to gather as much info as I can.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Brookhaven, Ms.
Posts: 93

I hang the quarters in the shade and generally in plastic bags. A mild load will go out with me in my day pack. I'll be back with a packframe for the quarters and head.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:48 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 247

hunt with a day pack. 1800-2200ci then you can take a 40lb load out and go back for a internal frame for the 60lb loads. should have about 4 of them. plus head and cape if ya choose. i have used game bags for my meat and put a plastic bag in the day pack for the first load when i have a lot of other gear in there. then just a game bag-mesh type and wash my pack when im home
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:51 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 612

I use pillow cases for game bags and bone out the animal. A small tarp or piece of plastic allows you to lay the meat out to cool as you are boning out. The load in the pack goes into a plastic bag for the pack out and then out of the bag into a cool place (still in the pillow case) with good circulation. If your not too far from a road that allows motorized vehicles, then you can pack the quarters bone in and hide on if you so wish. Very far and you will find boning it out to get rid of excess weight can save a trip and some wear and tear on your body. The quality of pack counts for something. Make sure it fits you correctly and that you can cinch it up right. It makes a huge difference.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stumptown, MT
Posts: 152

I hunt with my internal frame pack. It usually has a sleeping bag and bivy in it so I can spend the night. I compress it down so that it isn't too bulky, but I usually ditch the pack in the last few hundred yards of a stalk. I want to get the biggest load out first before my legs start feeling like jello. I might use a day pack if I had a buddy to go get the frame packs, but I like the challenge of getting an elk by myself. I bone the thing out putting the meat in 4 game bags and hang em in a tree. Bags go right in my pack, put anything I don't want soaked in blood on top of the meat.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:02 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 386

I try and shoot mine next to a road.


If you're going in a ways, take the frame with you. As said above, make your first trip out the heaviest load while legs and lungs are fresh. And don't be in a hurry. It's taken us a couple days at times to get the elk out.
I had some backstraps go bad in plastic, so I never use it.
There have been times when we skinned and boned it out before hauling it to the truck. It's amazing how much "haul" is left! Much easier and lighter.
Unless you're one of those guys that has to hang a whole one at camp . . .
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:35 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8

Great info. If I am lucking and do end up getting an elk but it's late in the day I would just hang everything in some trees and come back for it the next morning right? I'll need to call the Wildlife and parks department but the tag usually stays with the head, right? I'll be hunting in Colorado.
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