Sitka Gear Turkey Tool Belt

How are you Packin' ????


New member
Feb 26, 2003
South of the Border
Not that I ever hi-jack a thread...
So I started this one off the one where 1_Pointer was seeking education.

It got me to thinking..... How many loads to get YOUR Elk out? The guy in this picture sure knows the secret, but so far in life, I have never done it....


So the question, is how many loads to get it out, and how do you do it?

I know one guy, who kills them every year, by himself, and packs them out in 3 loads.

In our camp, we rely on backpacks (external frame), and generally make 4-5 loads.
This assumes you haul out all 4 qtrs, Head and Horns plus cape. We leave the ribs, but bring the meat that has been carefully cut off. We bring the Backstraps and Tenderloins, and some neck meat.

Once in a while, we get lucky, and shoot up a front quarter....

How do you bring it out?
Well.....when I was young and poor, I'd pack a Bull Elk out in 5 loads, and a Cow Elk out in 4 loads on a cruiser board back pack. 3 to 7 miles at the most and usually 2 to 3 days......Now that I am old an feeble, I pack either one out in two loads......two pack horse loads that is.
I'm hoping to be packing my cow out in two loads using a cheap REI external frame backpack. I plan to leave all bones in the field. Moosie and Wylee seem to do it this way to spikes quite often!!! :p

Now if I could just do something about leaving parts of my feet through blisters out there!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 09-28-2003 20:42: Message edited by: 1_pointer ]</font>
last elk i did took me two trips i had 6-8 ins of snow on the ground an used a sled to haul it back to my truck

if i get one close to a road... i have build a skid to hook to my truck an hual it back to camp
So, I need more details.... What bones are you hauling out, and what bones are you throwin' in the bushes???

I think if I spent more time whittlin' I could get fewer loads.

And if you could specify Bull, Cow, or Spike...
2 loads. Boned out hind and shoulder and back straps in one load, hind shoulder and rack in next. Cape is optional but would require another load, so my cape didnt make it this year
but hey, i can buy a cape
average cow or small bull = 2 loads of boned out meat. No antlers, cape or bones hauled.

medium bull (not a wall hanger) = 3 loads of meat. Antlers hauled. no cape.

Wall Hanger = 3 loads of meat, 1 load cape and antlers.

Its never too late to shoot them in the butt.
I hauled the first elk I shot last year out in two peices. The front half, I pulled one side of rib bones off and the back half was just the way it came off the animal. I left the bottem half of the leg bones for the animals along with some of the suit that I cut off for the birds, didn't need to be packing that out I didn't think...
I have a picture of the back half of an elk on a pack board some where, but can't seem to find it..I will have to look a little more and post it later..
Cows or spikes, two loads with no bones.

I've also managed to get a few cows out in one trip by boning everything but the hind quarters. Pack all the fronts, backstraps, rib meat, etc. and (with good snow) drag the two hinds.

With no snow, 2 trips, about 70-80 pounds per load. Hauling bones, hide, extra skull, etc. out of the woods is stupid.

I'd say a mature bull would take at least 3 and more than likely 4 trips.
We haul out spikes in one load on horse. Never packed one out by hand. Deer will go right on the saddle whole, makes it easy that way.
That guy in the picture was lucky to shoot it that close to the road!

I use to just quarter the elk and carry out a quarter at a time depending on how far back. Now I bone out the elk (hopefully this year too!!!!) and leave all the bones in the field. I have 6 canvas game bags and lay them out and cut the meat off the bones and throw it right into the game bags to keep it clean. Once I cut a raghorn in half and dragged it out. Never do that again!!!!! Toooo much work!

Moosie and I packed out a spikey with one trip each. A big elk will require around 4 trips total, five with smaller loads!