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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5703
Not what I would call

Not what I would call "intimidating" though.  Hard, yes.  Sore the next day, yes. 

But to me, "intimidating" almost has an element of fear in it.  I do not "fear" anything about packing out a 600 lb animal.  That is, except if there's a bear or lion sitting on the carcass.... lol

 

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
solo

Anymore I'm typically hunting solo even when I have others in my hunting party, unless a newbie or youngster comes along, then they pair up with myself or another experienced hunter in the group.  Otherwise if it's just us men, we generally branch out within 1 to 2 miles of each other and hunt our own areas. 

The handfull of times I've hunted elk strickly solo are the times I've drawn a cow tag, or gone after a smaller bull.  I have however hunted deer and pronghorn alone a great many times and actually prefere hunting pronghorn alone. 

When it comes to field-dressing and packing out an elk when solo, just have plenty of cordage (25ft to 50ft of #550 paracord works well) with you to help steady or hold/tie the animals legs so that you can work easier.  Bring at least 5 game bags, hunt with your pack frame on you,and have the nessesary tools with you to field dress.  A pack frame is essential for carrying out meat or full quarters.  Be prepared to make at least 4 trips with meat when packing out by yourself. Make sure you are in good physical shape and strong.  Just the activity of gutting and quartering an elk takes lots of energy.  You'll be packing out 63lbs to 100 lbs of meat per trip, so when hunting solo just be very consciencious of how far or how rough the terrain is back to the truck before you take that shot on the elk.

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 336
Adding a little

when hunting alone, i always debone everything too, that will drop about 60 pounds off what your carring out.

Kevin

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
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It's interesting that

It's interesting that basically all of us here hunt alone most of the time. My kids nearly alway hunt with me by thier side and I end up packing at least half, but whenever I head out with my own tag it's almost always alone and rarely get much help. For a cow it takes me 4 trips but if it's a bull you can plan an extra one to deal with the antlers. My best advice is to make sure you have a comfortable pack that fits you well as it will make all the diference. I have 2 eighty dollar frames that I used in the past or when I do have help but there is no comparison to my badlands 4500 that cost over 300. At the time I nearly cried when I spent the money but I don't regret it at all now.

There's no hurry once it's down so just take your time and you'll get it out eventually.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 794
I'm a cheapskate. I paid $6

I'm a cheapskate. I paid $6 for my frame pack used at a thrift store. It hasn't failed me yet. Big smile

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
pack frame

There is certainly no need to pay more than $100 for a good pack frame or a good backpack.  On elk hunts I used a pack frame for years that I paid around $20 for, it served me well all those years.  I've replaced it due to it being not so comfortable, never really was, it's just as I get older I feel it way more now, plus it's straps padding has flattened out to where it has really has no padding anymore.

To replace it I just recently bought a Kelty Cache Hauler frame for under $90 and have loaded it up to test out, seem way more comfortable than my old cheapie.  I also have a old red colored Jansport backpack that I bought almost 20 years ago for around $25 and that thing is still going strong on every whitetail and pronghorn hunt I use it on. 

Theres a lot of overpriced and really expensive gear out there. Some of it may very well be worth the extra expense.  Me personally, I just buy what works without breaking the bank.  There's a lot of really good products out there that are pretty reasonable priced that hold up and work, it's just a matter of knowing what to look for and where to look.  I'm just saying.

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Location: Bend, Oregon
Joined: 08/27/2007
Posts: 79
I often hunt alone also. Even

I often hunt alone also. Even when hunting with group the field dress and first load is alone.  I will say that if you have never killed and quarted an elk before, it may be more than you want to bite off alone.  Not saying you can't do it but it can be very intimidating for someone used to killing deer to walk up to a dead elk in the bottom of a canyon. Just trying to roll a full size bull over into a position to work on it is a chore.  Thats where the lengths of paracord are very handy.  Just remember to be patient and cut it up into chunks small enough to hall without killing yourself.  Have the game bags with you, debone, hang in shade in a tree.  They'll keep and give you the time to make all the trips needed.   

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 794
Sometimes i'll use a creek to

Sometimes i'll use a creek to keep the meat cool if it's taking me too long. Especially, during muzzleloader season which can be pretty hot sometimes.

WesternHunter's picture
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solo

There was a time not too long ago when I would advise newbies not to attempt to hunt elk alone.  I no longer discourage it.  Everyone is capable of hard work and learning from experience if they are willing to do so.  Just be prepaired to burn some calories and make sure you are in good physical and mental shape. 

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
I like to have company at

I like to have company at camp or at night but when it comes to hunting i like to be alone, that way theres only 1 person i have to worry about spooking game and thats me. Almost anyone can and should go on a solo hunt, you can truely learn a lot about yourself and your capabilities and limits.

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