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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

April 2004 Feature Article:

25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

The kid leaving his knife behind. Reminds of two two ya-whos that went hunting with me once. They too shot a deer and had no knife between them. draged the deer back to camp after about 3 hours later cleaned it out I would say it is worst than a gut shot animal. Never did hear about how it tasted.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

Another important thing to do that I didn't see in the article is.

After the elk is down and gutted. If you have to go back to camp for help make sure that you prop the cavity open so the meat can cool down and stay cool. You never know how long it will take to get back.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

If you are hunting elk alone and do not have the luxury of pack animals or machines, get yourself a good backframe and learn how to quarter. I don't hunt elk alone, but that is just good advice that others have put on this board in the past and I'm repeating it here.

Also for the go-it-alone type, pay more attention to where you shoot your elk. Dropping one in a draw where the only way out is up, probably isn't a great game plan, unless you are zeroing in on a true Thunder Bull.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

Most people would shoot first. then is when they realize where they have shot the animal.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)
sagebrush wrote:
Most people would shoot first. then is when they realize where they have shot the animal.

Yup, just trying to point out that isn't always a bright idea.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

Even better you can skin the animal from the back first, one side, then the other. After the first side is skinned, don't just quarter it, but cut the meat off, essentially deboning it. Then flip it and do it to the other side. An elk's meat will weigh maybe 120 pounds, and can be put into game bags for transport. The entire animal will "only" mean two 60 pound trips. With a plastic sled on snow, it can be done in one pul, after you carry it to flat ground, if that exists. Also, this method requires no saw at all, and no field dressing. It can all be done with a knife, Obviously, if you want to take the head with you, you'll have a slightly larger load.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

Robert not to sound disrespectful or anything but if you think that a elk deboned only weighs 120 pds are you shooting calves? Here is a pic of a 6x6 I shot and it was a lucky hunt so got it out whole. The left meat hanging is the back end. That is a side of the back quarter.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

I thought that way, too, until I talked with a nice lady who runs the custom buthering plant at a major elk location. They skin and cut up hundreds of elk every year, and they ship them all over the world, frozen and wrapped. She promised me 125 pounds of frozen, wrapped meat is all they ever paid for on air freight. She'd clearly had this conversation before, and was sort of laughing at my incredulity. But she ships 'em and pays the freight, and she had no reason to lie to me. She said cows have slightly more meat, normally, than bulls, and the only exceptions to this rule would be one of those monster elk in the very restricted units where they grow to much older age than where the majority of us hunt.i

You have to remember that combined weight of the entrails, head, skin, feet, and bones is very large relative to the meat itself..

Your picture (of a very nice elk) is of quarters, but that's not the method I espouse. You debone the meat in the field and bring out nothing but meat: no bone at all. I've done it, and it will all fit into one 48 quart cooler, but there is no room for ice. But the point is made: it's less than you'd think.. Since you cut the meat off the bone, and since you don't ever field dress the animal, no saw is required.

This method, by the way,may be better for not spreading CWD, as it leaves the animal where it was killed, and is now being recommended by state agencies. The really nice part, aside from the ease of removing the meat from the field, is that you don't bring the mess home.

thanks for the comment!

Robert.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

We deboned a bull and had 4 packs weighing in around 67 to 78 pds. Had them all in game bags and thats what the scale said. So unless the scale was wrong and we only had 30 something in each game bag then we must have been light weights when we packed it out. 2 of us even went back in for the head and the hide. Are you sure your not talking big whitetail or something? LOL
Off that bull I cut up myself I got 192 packages of meat. They where packed in packages 7" long 6" wide and 2" thick. So each pack weighed 1 to 1 1/2 pds. Average just over 1 pd. Wow that lady friend must be scamming everyone pretty good if that is all she is sending out.

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25 Things Every Elk Hunter Should Know (Feature Article)

I have to agree with you supersider34. I've deboned & cut up many elk and even though I've never weighed the meat, I always thought it was about 200+ lbs all cut up & packaged (completely deboned). Our elk have been mostly cow elk, so they most likely weigh less than a large bull. Like you, our pkgs are all around 1.5 lbs.

We've never taken our game to a butcher, however we have taken scraps & tough cuts in to grind into burger or made into sausage, and its not unusual to have at least 50 lbs.

Guess we'll have to weigh it all one of these years! I'm curious now. All I know is that its a lot of meat!

Robert, where do you hunt elk? maybe they're just a lot smaller?

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