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Joined: 11/23/2003
Posts: 8
Elk packs

Allrightythen,
Equipment that you take elk hunting? In particular, what backpacks do you use to pack out your elk. Do you bone out your elk to save on the load or pack out quarters? (excuse me if I appear ignorant at any time, it may be because I are ignorant, just trying to learn sumpin'!)

Thanks,
Tom B.

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
Elk packs

Hello TomBow,

If you have not already done so, you may want to read these articles. They have helpful info in preparing for a western elk hunt.

A Field Dressing Guide for Elk and Deer

A Western Hunt - Get Ready For A Whole New World

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Joined: 11/23/2003
Posts: 8
Elk packs

They are already in the file along with another article about field dressing an elk without gutting it from another website "Colorado Elk Camp". Thanks for the tips!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Elk packs

I use a medium size army surplus "alice" pack with external frame when I'm hunting. It's bigger than it really needs to be, but it allows me to comfortably carry everything I need for hunting and quartering an elk, as well as having the frame for packing out after I tag one. Here's a link to a place I've done business with before, that has a pretty good price on them:

http://store.yahoo.com/campingsurvival/brannewgiodm.html

The comments in the article about carrying water and chapstick are absolutely true. A saying you'll hear among Coloradoans who spend time in the mountains is "hydrate or die." You need to carry plenty of water! And you WILL be willing to pay $20 for a tube of chapstick if you don't bring your own! I carry one battery-powered headlight, which is my main light, some spare batteries, and a couple of the chemical light-sticks as backups (they're much lighter than extra flashlights).

For signalling, in case of emergency, I highly recommend carrying a smoke canister. As a private pilot I can tell you that, when flying over an area, a small amount of smoke can be seen from a remarkable distance and the source of the smoke is easy to pinpoint. In case search and rescue has to come after you, a smoke signal will be your best bet for them to find you once they get into the general area.

When it comes time to dress out an elk I use the "no gut" approach. That is, I don't use a saw and I don't open up the elk's innards. Instead I skin it and remove the quarters without ever opening up the belly. Once that is finished I carefully open it up along the spine in order to get to the tenderloins (whatever you do, do NOT leave the tenderloins behind!!!!).

For the quartering chores I use a 4" blade knife for most of the skinning and cutting, but I have an old 7" blade Buck knife that I use to separate the quarters from the carcass. I find that it works much better and easier for that than the smaller knife.

Good luck and have fun! Elk hunting is a great experience.

[ This Message was edited by: donmillion on 2003-12-02 08:46 ]

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Elk packs

May want to check out this thread, Elk hunting day pack, from awhile back.

Don is dead on about the water and chapstick. You may want to bring some sun screen as well, since you will be at high elevation and if your running around in a t-shirt you get burned pretty quick. You'll go through water quickly because the air humidity is low. I knew a guy who lived on the TX Gulf Coast all his life. He and his wife took a CO ski trip. Well the minute they stepped off the plane and hit the cold, dry air he unfortunately got a nose bleed. He never came back to CO, didn't like the dry air. Anyway the point is, you'll go through the water.

You will want to take layers of clothes too. The one thing you can count on with high country weather is that it will change. I think you said you were doing archery so the chance of snow is not as great, but you do get some freak storm fronts rolling through even in September, depending on where your at and the elevation. Even if you don't get a freak storm, a clear morning on the hills can be below freezing then by noon your burning up from the hike and the sun.

I've never quartered one, so I can't help you there. We (I don't hunt by myself) gut it in the field and drag it in. If I was doing it alone, I would take a tarp and rope, bone out and quarter and throw it in a pack like Don suggests.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-12-03 21:53 ]

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