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Best big game transport

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by mpol777, May 29, 2003.

  1. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Although I haven't been drawn yet, I'm crossing my fingers for this year. I'm submitting for elk and black bear. Taking a look at me gear I think I'm pretty much set except for one piece of equiptment.

    Currently all I have to transport my quarry is an old frame pack. So I need to get something better.

    The area is public land, both National Forest and Wilderness. Since I may be in Wilderness that means no mechanical device (ie anything with a motor, bicycle, etc). I could be fairly far away from my truck. 1 mile is pretty darn far when you have to haul out an elk and I can't see myself wanting to go any farther than that. I know it would take many trips to get either all the way out in pieces. Even if I can get my truck close, there's still some hauling that needs to be done.

    I've seen some nice frame packs at Cabelas that you can take off the pack and it leaves a nice shelf for strapping parts to. Or maybe some kind of sled is the answer.

    So what method do you deep woods hunters use to pack out your big game?
     
  2. tjpet

    tjpet

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    Before I had access to horses I'd bone out the meat, fill up the backpack, and haul until done. Boning is the key as you carry out only meat and leave all the extraneous parts at the kill site.

    Most states don't make you pack out bear meat so unless you have a hankering for something greasy and stringy you can leave it in the hills.

    Elk are another matter but even then the only choice cuts worth hiking your guts out for are the hindquarters and backstraps plus the rack if a big enough bull.

    Remember that if you do bone out the meat you'll have to keep either the animal's head or genitalia as proof of sex in the event a Fish Cop checks you.
     

  3. JohnDog

    JohnDog Millennium Member

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    When my old frame pack gave up the ghost awhile back I got a CampTrails Freighter Frame - same concept in that it has a shelf to provide support for whatever you are lashing on. The location of the shelf is higher than the Cabelas frame - if you are tying on a hindquarter you want the weight up higher on your back - not down around you hips. Whatever you get make sure you have at least 100 feet of parachute cord to lash stuff to the frame.

    My hunting buddies and me got together and got a two wheel game cart. Where we hunt there are old logging and cattle trails that are off limits to vehicles. So we will take the cart to as close as possible to the carcass, and then use the frames to get the chunks to the cart. But like you said, you can't have one in a wilderness area. We've also hung a quarter under a pole, and made a two person carry that way.

    Some other stuff you might want to get it you don't have it. Some sort of a pack saw - good for cutting through the breastbone, backbone, ribs and (carefully) the pelvis. A stouter piece of rope - to be used in moving the carcass or keep it from rolling downhill - dead elk fall in the damnest places! A FRS radio - to call your buds to get their asses over to where your elk is.

    And then there is that old elk hunting saying about essential equipment that goes something like this - "If you're going shoot an elk back in that country, make sure you have a knive and fork and a lighter, because you're gonna have to eat him right there!"

    JohnDog
     
  4. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    So about how much can I expect to lug out?

    Let's say I get about an average elk at 800lbs. I'd be taking the hind quarters, backstrap, hide, antlers, and a few bones. Would I be safe in assuming that would total about 1/2 the total weight?

    The average black bear would come in probably around 300 average. I'd like to take a fair amount of meat off him. Bear stew and jerky is good stuff. As well as the hide, skull, and a few other bones. Again, about 1/2 the total weight?

    I found an old trapping book that has diagrams for a great sled. It's like the modern wheelie carts but made entirely out of natural material. The main piece is a carved ski. The rest is made from saplings that you pfind at the kill site.

    Maybe I should take my chihuahuas with me. I could just lash all the meat to them and they could pack it out. ;f
     
  5. tjpet

    tjpet

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    Your average weights are a bit high for normal sized animals. An 800 lb. on-the-hoof elk would be pretty good-sized where I hunt. Most bulls run around 600 with cows in the 400-450 range. Black bears are in the 175-200lb. category.

    The sled idea is good on paper but doesn't work too well in a mountain envionment. Two men with a pole works well but is tough for a long haul up and down hillsides. And if both men don't have the same stamina it's pissing in the wind. Dragging in the snow is OK but only in an open, treeless zone. Barring the use of a horse I like hauling meat out in a backpack. You're in total control and can work as slow or fast as you have the strength and endurance to.

    If you have a tasty recipe for bear email me. I've never eaten a good one yet. Just make sure what you ate was bear before you pass it along.
     
  6. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    tjpet,

    I'll get the recipe from my boss. It was definately different, but in a good way.

    Even if I get dramn I put my chances at actually getting a bear or elk at about 20% and even that may be high. I've never hunted for either, and my encounters with both species have been few. But if it was garaunteed then it wouldn't be any fun. Thanks for the tips.
     
  7. JohnDog

    JohnDog Millennium Member

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    Mpol,

    Not a lot of hunters I know bring out the elk hide. A elk in the fall is putting on it's winter coat, doing all sorts of elk things during the rut (mud wallows, peeing in it's bed, thrashing rubs, etc), that make the hide kinda low on the scale of desirablity. Not too mention that it is damned heavy. But if you get the important stuff out, and taken care of quickly, then maybe you can go get the hide also.

    On the other hand, if you get a good bull then you might want to get a full shoulder mount done. So you'll need to leave a lot of the hide on the neck and shoulders. Basically you want to start a cut between the shoulder blades and run it up to the back of the head behind the antlers. Then cut down the shoulders, peeling the hide up toward the head. Just think of the mounted head - the cut you are making the taxidermist will sew up along the back of the neck. Once you have the high neck skinned, then you can cut the head off. Now to continue to skin the skull, i.e. caping, is a whole 'nother level of skill. I've seen it done a couple of times, but I wouldn't try it unless I couldn't get head out to a taxidermist within a day or two.

    No help on bear - I've seen a bunch - just never hunted one.

    If I were to take my malamute back to an downed elk, for pack out help, he would probably think he was in heaven! Abandon me and go native - or at least never eat his kibble again!!

    Hope this help - JohnDog
     
  8. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I don't know what size elk are here. I have shot my share of them but I have never felt the need to weigh one. What I will say though is that if you are planning on packing out hindquarters, backstrap, hide and head in one trip, you will not have any problems getting traction.

    Last year I got lucky on my elk and could haul him out in a Chevy S-10. When I don't have horses though, generally one quarter at a time comes out, unless I have good snow to slide 'em on. Then you can bring out lighter stuff like horns and hide with the lighter quarters like the front quarters. Maybe I am a wimp or maybe we have extremely large elk but a quarter of an elk on a pack frame is nothing to sneeze at for any amount of distance.
     
  9. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I also have a good video about field boning. I wish I knew of a place where you could buy one. It is well worth the cost. The guy on the video field bones a cow elk in 7 minutes. Of course he is a butcher and knows what he is doing. I am not even close enough to that to compare when it comes to field boning but I can hold my own with most people. One thing that he mentions on the video is that you can field bone an elk with the hide on and wrap the meat in it to keep it from getting dirty on the haul out.

    I could find out how much these videos are and if you wanted to send me some money I would buy them and ship them out to you or find out if he ships vidoes out. I am sure he does. He has a local meat shop here.

    I might even start a new thread and see if there is enough interest for me to buy a case of them.