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cowboy38231's picture
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Location: West TN
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How far would you go?

Just wondering how far you are willing or have gone on foot to kill an elk? This meaning you must pack him out by backpack without the use of horses or atv's. The area I hunt in Colorado has an area that has no public access except from above. It is a helluva walk down and would be even worse going back out with or without an animal. We had one guy several years ago that was in our group go down there and get a nice elk. Other than him, I don't know of anyone else in all my trips to this area to go in there. We heard some talk of a local that had private access from below, hunting with horses go in and get a 7x7, but don't know if it was true or not. No hunter in this area that I have ever talked to wanted or tried to go in this area. This area without a doubt will hold some nice bulls because of the lack of pressure. I just don't know if I am willing to go in there after one. So what's your limitations or do you have any limits?

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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The farthest I have packed

The farthest I have packed one out on my back was just over two miles and had to make two trips. I did have some help but it really wasn't that bad. That was whole quarters not even boned out so we could have made it even easier. I still wouldn't want to go much further than that unless I had enough help to get it all out in one trip.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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2 years ago I packed out a

2 years ago I packed out a cow elk 3.5 miles from the closest road(all uphill) where I could get the truck too.  If I am willing to do that for a cow I wouild go alot farther for a bull.  Me being me I would go where the elk are.  If thays were the elk are that is where I am goning to.  This past season while I did not kill an elk in 8 days of hunting and scouting I wallked over 50 miles according to the GPS.  I went to alopt of places that noone else would go just could not seal the deal on a bull.  I saw cows everyday just could not locate the man on the mountain.  All other hunters that I spoke to had not seen a thing.  Tells me they were not getting out there and going far enough.  With all that said grab your buddies and go down therer and get ya one.  Take some time getting it out but in the end it's all worth it.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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As far as it takes !

Elk are where you find them ! Huh? My furthest elk was 6 1/2 miles in and it was also my biggest ever. We even packed him out in the middle of the night. The 2nd hardest was a bull someone else had wounded that took me two days to track down at almost 3 miles and when I finished him off he flipped over backwards and litterally fell off a cliff. My only advantage is the guys I hunt with will go anywhere with me and it makes short work out of an elk. Also we debone them ! Yes

Where I plan on hunting in the next 2 years I will probably kill the bull in some very nasty country with no acccess other than horseback or foot only. My taxidermist knows a guy that uses goats to pack, I just may have to give him a call.

Packing out an elk really isn't that bad as long as you take your time and work smart.

Quinton

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
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The furthest that I have had

The furthest that I have had to pack one is a little over 3 miles and that was my fault.  I hit it in the leg and then the chase began.  My biggest bull a 6x7 I only had to pack 50 yards to a side road that I was able to get my truck to. 

Now the last several have all been under 50 yards and I have planned it that way. Dancing

cowboy38231's picture
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Location: West TN
Joined: 11/27/2011
Posts: 116
I will not have much help

If I go down in this hole, I won't have but one person in our group able to help me get it out. I  wouldn't really mind packing one out but I might be selective on what I shoot. I have already gotten some decent bulls and don't really want to pack out a barely legal one from an area like this. I would be looking for a real nice one. I have packed out some deer a mile or more, and packed the bear out about a mile, but I had plenty of help. All the elk I have killed have been very easy to get out. None had to be packed more than 150 to 200 yards. I will probably hunt this spot if I don't find any animals the first few days of hunting my normal areas.

Critter's picture
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That is one thing that you

That is one thing that you find out with elk, if they are not where you are hunting them you have to go to where you find them.  I have a canyon that I'll hike into once every couple of years and I have always seen elk in it but I refuse to shoot one in it just because of the pack back out of it that is all up hill.  I met so archery hunters a few years ago on top of the ridge just above this canyon and they told me that they couldn't find the elk.  I told them where to go and left it at that.  I saw them a few days later and asked them if they had found them yet and they said that they had, but they were not crazy enough to shoot one in that canyon.  That is the problem with a road on the top of the hill and nothing in the bottom. 

exbiologist's picture
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Joined: 09/19/2008
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long way

One of the places I hunt is about a 9 hour hike in, 4 or 5 out, about 9.5 miles by trail, 6 miles as the crow flies and 3,000 feet of gain.  Long way in, but I love it there.

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Joined: 07/13/2011
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When I was young. No limit.

When I was young. No limit. Even if it took me 3 days to get all the elk out.

Now? Not very far.

Topgun 30-06's picture
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2-3 miles most of the time

2-3 miles most of the time from our camp and we backpack everything out because we are hunting in a nonmotorized area.  It takes two of us 3 or 4 trips to get a big bull out because with a bum lower back I can't carry more than about 50#.  I was by myself when I shot my 4x4 mulie this year and it took me 2 trips to bring everything out to camp by myself from about 1 3/4 to 2 miles with a lot of uphilling.  Being 64 I just take what I can and take my time.  Normally, the meat is kept in good shape in cloth game bags hanging in the shade until it gets carried out.  That big bull in my avatar was killed right after shooting light last year and we didn't get him all out to camp until almost noon the next day.  We got the meat up in a tree and left a coat there for human scent to keep the coyotes and lions away during the night.  We have no bears where we hunt.

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Too far....

Many years ago I would go anywhere necessary to hunt and would worry about how to pack out the elk after it was down.  Now, I'm thinking about how much work it is to get the elk out, but still find myself going wherever necessary to find them.  

The furtherest I've ever packed out was 7 miles, but mostly all downhill on a reasonable pack trail.  We could have cut the distance almost in half, but there was no good trail and it was mostly uphill to the nearest forest road.  My buddy and I also did this packout in one trip.  Youthful exuberance or just plain ol' stupidity...dunno, the jury is still out on that one.