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zukrider's picture
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Joined: 01/14/2012
Posts: 17
Opinions of packs?!

diaclaimer- im a hunting newb!

 

i was curious what you all carry while hunting?  what you carry it in?  and how you pack out meat if the truck cant get there directly?  obviously there will be some survival essentials, and as a backpacker, im familar with that concept.  additionally i see the need for a skin/gut knife, bone saw, gloves, bags, wet wipes, the rifle, ammo, food, water.  anything you would add or delete?

 

also, if you do use a pack, do you have suggestions?  things you prefer things you hate?  

 

if you are not a pack wearer, why?  what do you do to compensate?  

 

thanx for the help.  ive been eyeballing a Badlands pack.  but as i looked at it, i just could not see 4 quarters of a 6x7 on it.  let alone the rack.  i have a samurai to get here and there with, but i dont know if its allowed to just cross the valley to get to your kill or not?  

SGM
SGM's picture
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 929
Welcome to the site, always

Welcome to the site, always glad to see new hunters. You will get many answers to your questions. I really doubt anyone will give you bad info so you need to take the answers that will best fit you and your hunting style. Also your budget will play a part in what you can or cannot afford to buy and use. That being said, I did not get all my stuff at one time and paid the price for buying low quality/cheap crap in the past. Just because a product costs the most does not make it the best. Here are my opinions and what I use. I have been hunting over 30 years and found that the fancy gagets just cost money and add weight.

I do not use a back pack when I hunt big game. Instead I use a hip pack that has 2 or 3 large chambers to carry my gear. The reason is in 3 parts. First a back pack holds in a lot of heat and folks tend to sweat while using them. Sweat equals wet which can equal cold and smell. Second I do not like the strain on my shoulders (3 shoulder surgeries) so the butt/waste pack works much better for me. Third, I do not need to take it off if I need to get to something. All I do is unzip and get out what I need.

Here is a list of what I carry for my normal day of hunting. It is not much and I am sure other hunters will add to this list. Some is preference or comfort so you need to select what is best for you.

Pen to sign license, licenses/ID, twist ties to attach tag to animal, compass, 4 game bags (buy good ones, not the cheap crap), toilet paper inside 2 zip lock bags (no good if it is wet), 6 10-12 foot lengths of rope, water proof matches, bone saw, fire starter (either a gel pack or one of the logs that will light even if wet), Wyoming Knife and extra blade, space blanket, extra ammo for rifle and pistol, some small candy bars/munchies, 2 of the Capri Sun fruit drinks, marking tape, latex gloves, rain suit or poncho (if wet weather is possile), flat signal mirror, a few band-aids, and game calls if applicable. Other possible things would be a camera, map and larger zip lock bags if you plan to take the liver or other organs.  My bino's and range finder are on my bino harnes so they are not in the pack.      

As for packing out an animal, in most cases you cannot drive right up to it. I pack out in one of three ways or a combo of them. First is the old way of taking a quarter out over the shoulder (hard and not recommended), next and much better is using a pack frame with a good waste belt and last is a game cart. I like to use the game cart and pack frame together if possible and legal. If hunting in a wilderness area you cannot use the game cart. If you get an elk down most hunters can only take out one quarter at a time. Elk are big and it is some serious work getting them out. Remember that in addition to the 4 leg quarters you have the head/rack, for me an extra bag of loose meat such as the loins, neck meat and rib cage meat etc (some add to a front shoulder), and the hide if you plan to take the hide. So using the term "quarters" you are looking at 6 or 7 of them to pack out an elk. Not as much of a deal with a deer or an antelope but still not a simple task. On a game cart you can take out 1/2 or more of an elk depending on the cart and size of the elk. Also how far are you packing the critter and what kind of terrain. Some places a cart is worthless if the terrain is real steep or deep snow so the pack frame is the best way to go if you can only get one. 

I hope this answers your questions but if not let me know or send me a PM. As I said, other hunters will give you other ideas and info that may fit your hunting needs too. Good luck.

zukrider's picture
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Joined: 01/14/2012
Posts: 17
thats good info, right on

thats good info, right on point.  honestly what i expected as well.  i see your point for the non backpack.  im a backpack type of guy though.  i also forgot to add, that my father will be going on this trip too.  and he is a healthy stubborn some bitch.  but recent health issues are making me want to pack all that he and i will need.  this way he can focus on just the hiking thats necessary.  id even like the pack to be able to carry both rifles.  

 

thank you for the reply.  

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Joined: 01/18/2012
Posts: 1
I agree alot with SGM.  Easy

I agree alot with SGM.  Easy to take more than you need with a big hot pack. I like the Coyote from Rocky Mountain Packs, it is a fanny pack, cool and carries a ton of gear and can handle alot because of the shoulderstraps. But doesnt feel like you have much of anything on when hiking and shooting.  Made in usa to and good prices compared to alot of others with easily the same quality.

Then invest in a decent pack frame for getting out meet.  They are worth the money.

a couple things I never go without.  Matches/survival gear etc. and baby wipes.  They work wonders on several things, not just the obvious.

Great to see new hunters, glad you are here. 

COMeatHunter's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 612
Welcome to the site and

Welcome to the site and congrats on getting the new gun.  Just got a flyer today from BassPro with the very gun you decided to buy...pretty good price at $525.  Hope the heavy barrel works out for you too.

As far as packs go, the Badlands packs are pretty sweet.  One of my hunting buddies has a 2400 (I think that's what it is anyway) and it is really useful with lots of great features like a rifle/bow harness and a zip out shelf for carrying out meat.  In fact, BGH.net has a great review in the gear section that you should read before buying a Badlands pack.  There are only 2 things I don't like about the Badlands packs.  First, they are very expensive packs.  Second, they are kind of heavy for the size packs that they are.  Other than those two things, these packs are second to none.

The pack I use is a simple rucksack.  It's made of camo fleece and holds about 1800ci.  It doesn't have any pockets or zippers--it's just a sack with a flap to cover the top.  It's easy to wash in the laundry and easy to repair with needle and thread.  It's also very quiet in the brush because it's covered completely in fleece.  Sometimes simple is better, and until I ruin this daypack, I won't buy anything else.

Like SGM, I like to pack pretty light when hunting the early seasons in September and early October.  Limited survival gear, flashlight/headlamp, first aid kit, simple lunch and snacks.  The heaviest thing I carry is the day's worth of water.  Overall, I like my hunting pack to be around 12 lbs. total weight.  

As for packing out meat, I use a good solid frame pack.  I simply strap 2 quarters on the pack frame and go.  If I have to travel uphill too much or a long distance (say, over 2 miles one-way) I'll bone out the elk and limit the amount of weight on the pack to 70-80 lbs. per load.  I'm getting older, but I can still pack out half an elk at a time on my frame pack without too much trouble.  My pack is an older Camptrails aluminum external frame pack with a heavily padded waist belt, padded shoulder straps with an adjustable sternum strap.  I have carried well over 100 lbs. many times on this pack frame and never had it fail or had the load roll off my back.

Here's a couple of tips for packing out meat.  First, never pack out in the dark.  Period.  This is an accident waiting to happen.  I have known many others who have hurt themselves (mostly sprained ankles and such) while trying to pack out in the dark by flashlight.  It only takes one small snag or hole and you're going to fall with all that weight.  And as soon as you hurt yourself after dark, just getting back to the truck can turn into an epic death march, even without the pack on your back.  Just don't do it.  Hang the meat and come back in the morning.  Second, meat care is critical and should be done well in the field to prepare it for packing it out.  Lastly, use your group to make quick work of the packing job.  I prefer to hunt with a group for lots of reasons and helping out with the hard work of packing out meat is definitely on the list.  I like to get the meat out within 24 hours of the kill, generally the sooner the better.

 

BuckBuster26's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 10/19/2011
Posts: 48
as far as

as far as packs go i use a military style digital camo backpack with padded sholder straps, waiste straps, and sternum straps like this one.

it comes with TONS of puches to put your stuff including a pocket for a water bladder. Im my pack a carry water in the bladder, headlamp, license, pen, zip ties, small cleaning kit for my rifle incase something happens and the gets dirty(ive seen that alot when someone slips and falls and dirt gets into the barrel), ill keep my sacked lunch, ammo, knifes, knife sharpener, small first aid kit, survival kit with waterproof matches and fire starter, baby wipes, gloves, latex gloves for field dressing, and i think thats about it.... as far as packing out i have never had to quarter out a deer yet usually just drag it to the vehicle.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 880
Keep in mind in Colorado you

Keep in mind in Colorado you need to show 500 sq in of blaze orange at all times. Packing out meat is still part of the hunt. The pack will cover over your vest. The easiest cure is to get a cheap blaze orange vest, and wrap it over the frame pack.

I also wear a waist pack hunting. Among all the reasons mentioned. Another is it doesn't cover your BO vest. A warden will give you a ticket for covering your vest. It's easy for them to spot it from far away.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
blaze

Still Hunter wrote:

Keep in mind in Colorado you need to show 500 sq in of blaze orange at all times. Packing out meat is still part of the hunt. The pack will cover over your vest. The easiest cure is to get a cheap blaze orange vest, and wrap it over the frame pack.

I also wear a waist pack hunting. Among all the reasons mentioned. Another is it doesn't cover your BO vest. A warden will give you a ticket for covering your vest. It's easy for them to spot it from far away.

A very important consideration.  Yes, packs will often cover up much of the back portion of your required blaze orange.  I have always used a blaze orange rain cover for covering up my pack frame when carrying out meat.  I bought a Kelty Cache Hauler pack frame last year and luckily it came with a sizeable blaze orange rain cover, so that's a nice convenience. 

Generally while actually hunting I simply wear an ordinary light colored olive-drab daypack.  In it are just the essentials for the hunt, along with some extra food just in case.  Don't like to carry a whole lot on me while actually hunting.  I usually don't venture more that 2 to 3 miles from my truck and I hunt a specified area in general, so once game is down I make the extra trip back to the truck to retrieve my pack frame. I should get into the habit of wearing the pack frame on the actual hunt,  but I hate to have so much junk on me.

One tip I've found to be a lifesaver when packing out meat - keep a couple of gallon water jugs in your truck, maybe even a 4 gallon jug.  depending on how rough/steep the terrain is I generally run out of water in the two 1 liter nalgene bottles I carry while packing out meat.  Nothing like having extra water to replenish yourself on arrivals back to the truck. 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 880
Good idea about the water.

Good idea about the water. Better to have too much than run out at high altitude. I have a hard time drinking water, but force myself to keep drinking. There's always a lot of cold streams where I hunt. I carry a bottle with a filter so I don't have to carry too much water. I try to keep everything as light as possible.

Except when I have to carry out all that meat.  frown

zukrider's picture
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Joined: 01/14/2012
Posts: 17
great examples.  i plan to

great examples.  i plan to keep a 5 gallon water jug in my Zuk.  my original thoughts were to get an external frame for the meat haul, and a smaller pack for the hunt.  i may just make a pack i have now work for this season to see what i do use, and what i dont.  A blaze orange rain fly for a pack is an excellent idea.  i have some shopping to do yet.  my boots are the next purchase.

 

I think my biggest reason for this pack question leans toward my general self sufficient attitude.  in four wheeling, im alwyas the guy with tools, parts, extra water, extra food.  and i tend to wheel alone, so its important to be prepared.  I see myself eventually doing solo hunts, so this thread will play into that quite well.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
prepared

zukrider wrote:

great examples.  i plan to keep a 5 gallon water jug in my Zuk.  my original thoughts were to get an external frame for the meat haul, and a smaller pack for the hunt.  i may just make a pack i have now work for this season to see what i do use, and what i dont.  A blaze orange rain fly for a pack is an excellent idea.  i have some shopping to do yet.  my boots are the next purchase.

 

I think my biggest reason for this pack question leans toward my general self sufficient attitude.  in four wheeling, im alwyas the guy with tools, parts, extra water, extra food.  and i tend to wheel alone, so its important to be prepared.  I see myself eventually doing solo hunts, so this thread will play into that quite well.

You sound a lot like me.  I'm generally the guy with all the tools, extra fuel, extra batteries, shackles, and recovery straps when someone needs something fixed or something breaks down or when someone gets stuck when we camp, fish, boat, or hunt.  I hate going anywhere ill prepared, but unfortunatley too many people do go out without any consideration of self-suffiency or without any forethought that they may run into trouble.  I just have way too much pride to not be prepared, don't want to be that guy who always needs something from others when situations go south, if you know what I mean.  I know way too many people like that. 

But yes generally while hunting it's better to go lite and agile.  But it all depens on you, as only you know what you want to bring on your hunt and how far away from camp or vehicle you'll be.  Unless you are backpacking in then I see no need for carrying a large pack.  A good pack frame with straps or lashing is something every hunter should have, not only for packing out meat, but I find it useful for carrying many other items in when setting up camp or such. 

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