After carrying it all day it will really start to get heavy and it seems to make my hands sore as the trup goes on. I use a sling to carry the bow in and out in the dark, gives my hands and arms a rest. I have also used the sling if I need to climb a steep hill or something. I too have a pack you can strap it to and it works grteat for getting your hands free.
I have a badlands 2800 which has the Bow holder incorporated. Hands free is great for hiking and climbing but not so great if there is an elk that surprises you on the trail. I guess I will carry it as much as possible. Use the pack for night hikes or steep climbs.
The odds are if a elk surprises you on the trail and you are not ready with a arrow out of the quiver and ready to shoot it isn't going to matter. Once he or she sees that you are not a part of the surrounding area they are going to be gone.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...