Backpack: Minimum Size for Boned Out Deer?

emrah1028

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Aug 31, 2011
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So I always hunt with a backpack, but more to carry "stuff" and gear, not entire animals. This year I'd like to head deeper than before in hopes of seeing more deer than the rest of the people who won't trek far. In your opinion, what would be the smallest capacity backpack to carry out a boned out whitetail? I guess I'm looking for size rather than brand.

Emrah
 

MT_Wyatt

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Jan 6, 2013
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Great Falls, MT
I'm assuming you mean carrying everything out in the bag, no "load sling?" Either way I'd look for something around 3000 cu in, carrying more bag and compressing it down isn't a huge deal. Lots of.options out there around this size.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Id agree with the 3000 mark for a boned out whitetail. Depending on the size of the deer, it's surprising how little room is needed. I've got a buddy who swears by two feed sacks tied together and slung over his shoulder. May not be fancy but it works for him in CO.
 

rjlefty3

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Maine
I've hauled out a decent sized deer (I estimate ~170 lbs dressed) in my badlands 2200. With that said, I didn't have a lot of gear on me. I used the 'meat shelf' for about 75% of it and put the remaining portion in the pack. I didn't really need to bone it out in the field, so I ended up just quartering it. I think it would have all fit on that 'shelf' had I boned it out.

I think something along this size would be your minimum, but like the others have said 3000 would be better. Especially if you have other gear involved.
 

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mtmiller

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3,000 will be plenty. I have use a Longbow in the past and it is doable, but nothing but meat in the bag and it was very tight (2,300).
 
M

MN Public Hunter

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I'm not sure if you are talking about doing this in MN, but I suggest you verify you can bone out and leave the carcass and the bones on the public land. The way I read the regs is you cannot dump or abandon a carcass on public land.

That being said, I would go with one you not only would use in MN, but get a little bigger "just in case" you go out of state for other critters.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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White Bear Lake, Minnesota
I'm not sure if you are talking about doing this in MN, but I suggest you verify you can bone out and leave the carcass and the bones on the public land. The way I read the regs is you cannot dump or abandon a carcass on public land.

That being said, I would go with one you not only would use in MN, but get a little bigger "just in case" you go out of state for other critters.

This is an interesting one. Quartering a deer is allowed in MN, but if not yet registered, you need to keep the head connected to one quarter. This is important to know in an area like the BWCA, or other public land where you can deeper in.

I believe the intent of the paragraph referring to the dumping of carcasses on public land is intended to prevent hunter who bring their whole deer home and then go to dispose of the carcass after butchering. This is a problem as it tends to litter the parking areas of public land most of the fall.

That being said it seem to leave a hunter open to getting a ticket if they used the gutless method on public land. Personally, I would want to call the local warden to get their interpretation of the reg before you head out.

As for the original question. If you don't already have a pack you intend to use, try and find one with a load shelf. It is much easier that stuffing bloody meat in with all your other stuff.
 

TimeOnTarget

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I carried out 1/2 quartered bone in elk plus its head all either in or lashed on to a 1900ci pack last year. While it wasn't exactly what I'd say was easy or comfortable, I managed.
 
M

MN Public Hunter

Guest
This is an interesting one. Quartering a deer is allowed in MN, but if not yet registered, you need to keep the head connected to one quarter. This is important to know in an area like the BWCA, or other public land where you can deeper in.

I believe the intent of the paragraph referring to the dumping of carcasses on public land is intended to prevent hunter who bring their whole deer home and then go to dispose of the carcass after butchering. This is a problem as it tends to litter the parking areas of public land most of the fall.

That being said it seem to leave a hunter open to getting a ticket if they used the gutless method on public land. Personally, I would want to call the local warden to get their interpretation of the reg before you head out.

As for the original question. If you don't already have a pack you intend to use, try and find one with a load shelf. It is much easier that stuffing bloody meat in with all your other stuff.

yeah, I saw the head thing too, crazy. I agree with how you read it too, hence me saying, call someone to find out. Better safe than sorry on these public lands in the metro area.
 

RobG

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Bozeman, MT
Id agree with the 3000 mark for a boned out whitetail. Depending on the size of the deer, it's surprising how little room is needed. I've got a buddy who swears by two feed sacks tied together and slung over his shoulder. May not be fancy but it works for him in CO.
You can drape a bag full of boned meat around your neck and over your shoulders and it is actually comfortable when balanced correctly. The weight is distributed across your neck and shoulders. I'm not sure if it would work with a whole deer, but you could carry the hind legs in a pack and drape the rest over your neck/shoulders.
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
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Wyoming
its all how you pack meat out, if de-boned 2500 would be my shopping minimum but you have to truly look at a pack to see if its capable of carrying a full animal worth of meat. with quality of packs nowadays go just a little more than your minimum and i bet your happy in long run, better to have little extra flexibility. to me a simple frame pack is still the best for just meat carrying.

C
 

emrah1028

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Aug 31, 2011
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Victoria, MN
Thanks for the info. I'm wondering if I can use some of the packs I have if I whittle down the extra junk I carry. Realistically, I'll hump around a pack all season just for the fleeting, minute, highly improbable chance I might see a deer during the season, much less get a shot at one. I'm thinking meat bags and extra lashing straps might serve me better than a bigger pack.

Emrah
 

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