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.
One of the most important components of deciphering a new hunting area is distinguishing between the summer and winter ranges for the game that you plan to pursue. Without knowing this you cannot make reliable assumptions about where the game will be come opening day. Knowing these areas will allow you to take the current weather (as well as the past couple weeks) and apply that to the landscape and make an educated guess as to where you might find that big buck or bull.
There are a couple ways...