How much time to Debone an ELK ?


Grand poopa
Dec 9, 2000
Boise, Idaho
Just wondering... It takes 2 of us usually an Hour to Gut and Debone and Elk takeing all the meat north of the Knees , All the Rib meat and the Neck meat... We can then make out 1 trip with 2 guys.

A BIOG elk on the other hand is usually 5 trips.. 2.5 trips per guy and takes only a little longer to Debone... About 1.5 hours..

LAst year I Deboned my 6 point (SOLO) in Montana and It took FORfriggin'ever (If thats a word)
I think I spent 3+ hours maybe ? And W.W. came back and did the caping for me. MAN was I bushed !!

Just wonding what it takes for you to Debone and Elk....
An hour sounds about right. I know there is always the chance of it takin longer or shorter depending on how sharp your knives are, how big the bull is and how many guys are there but an hour is about the average time.
I've only ever done it by myself, but it took me two hours to get it ready to pack. I don't gut 'em if I'm going to debone them.

HAHA.. thats why I started this topic Burke... BUT, You said THE WHOLE thing, implying packed t othe freezer I think ?!?!.. or somethnig to that effect, which they called BS on.. I'm jsut talking about taking the meat off the bone in the field...
Moosie, Here's what I said, "You make it sound like a lot of work to shoot, gut, skin and butcher a deer. I can do the whole job in less than 1 hour, total time."

I never said I'd wrap it and place it in the freezer, I meant I'd have it all cut up (butchered).

I kinda continued the discussion in Survival.

I gotta stay out of this topic. If I say how long it takes to debone an elk Schmalts might have a heart attack!
i have only done 2 elk in my life 2 of us shot ours at 10:30 am was hanging in camp at 3. never timed it out though and packing was done with the polaris the one before it in 2000 was shot at 11:15 on the meat pole by 2 but 6 guys packing to nothing boned just quartered

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 02-15-2003 16:19: Message edited by: twolfd3 ]</font>
It takes me four day's cause I hand cut each muscle and am cleaning off the fat, silver skin and Guck as I go...
....I guess it would all depend on "variable X" much cold beer was on hand!
Another thing that makes a huge difference is where the thing falls.
Flat, open ground is one thing, but on a steep hill side entangled in a bunch of trees or brush can triple the time. Also, on snow, dry grass, or mud/dirt can make a difference.
THe last two we did, took about 1.5 hours, three knives, and 1/2 gallon of water each. We got very lucky. We could get the truck within about 100 yards of the carcass.

With two or more guys, I would say an hour. By myself, more like 2-3 hours. The bull I shot last year fell at 2pm. We didn't get back to camp until 2am and had to return for more meat the following day. A lot of work but well worth it! Most of us only get to shoot one elk per year!

Working conditions can totally wreck your schedule. We boned out an elk on some stuff that was so steep we had to tie it off to keep it from slidding down hill. It took two of us about 4 hours.

I have had another one broken down and ready to go in about an hour, but it was on relatively flat ground with no brush to deal with.
We generally cut out its entrails first. Then drag it ways and skin out one half. The quarters are removed with bones mostly intact. Next roll the carass over and skin the other side and repeat removing the quarters and back loins.

A wheelbarrow is a great invention. Combination of two amazing engineering principals: the wheel and the lever. One guy lifts and pushes while the other pulls with a rope attached to the center point at the front. Even rough country can be negotiated fairly easily. Unless it's snowing, sleeting, etc.

But Cheyenne Indians really had the right idea. They simply moved their camp to the kill site and dined on the carcass until time to get another! Pass the A-1 please.

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