How the heck do I carry a 100+ lb moose quarter?

ChrisC

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Problems with wasted meat in some units. Hunter's either doing a purposefully sloppy job so they don't have to pack out as much meat, or hunters not being diligent about meat care and and leaving it in a giant meat ball in a game bag where the meat in the center of the ball sours.
Thanks for the explanation.
 

rideold

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150+ lbs is crazy. I know it can be done but why. I'd be sawing that bone in half as well. I'm not that old but I'm old enough to know that what was possible in my 20's and 30's is being paid for now!
 

npaden

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This is all I could find in the regulations:
Meat taken in Unit 24 prior to Oct 1 must remain on the bones of the front quarters, hindquarters, and ribs until removed from the field or processed for human consumption.
In all hunts limited to one sex, evidence of sex must remain naturally attached to the meat.
I wonder what they consider to be "bones of the front quarters, hindquarters, and ribs"? Is the femur and scapula the bones? If so you could take the bones and meat from the knee down on both the front and rear quarters and discard those bones and keep the meat. If you are just dealing with the meat around the femur you could get that down to probably 100 pounds with the femur in it.

Not sure they would allow that or not but it might be worth a call. To me that would be way better than cutting the best steaks on the animal into pieces so you can saw the femur and make a bit mess of the whole thing. If you have to keep the bones from the knee to the next joint you could try to cut some of the muscle groups so that they stayed with that piece. That way you could lighten up the individual loads without cutting the individual muscle groups into pieces.
 

Gary

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Alaska is pretty cs about that stuff. It makes it difficult and they are dicks about it from what I have heard.
As in lots of places, politics have a lot to do with game laws here. That said, there are sound (scientific) reasons for this particular law.
Hauling moose quarters is done every year, by countless individuals - many of a much smaller stature than the OP. A few things to consider: carry JUST the quarter; make sure it is SECURELY tied to the pack (having the weight shift while walking won't be a good thing); use hiking sticks (cut one from a sapling if needed); try to find an elevation to rest the pack on to stand; rest when you need to (if you can find something tall enough to rest the pack against, rest standing).
 
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I've done this before; by myself. I will not tell you what to do, but this is what I did:

1. Leave the hide on and cut the bull into seven pieces: 1. Two Front Quarters 2. Two Rear Quarters 3. Split the Mid-Section 4. Head

2. Pack out each piece, one at a time.

3. Budget a minimum of 48 hours for this. You will need LOTS of breaks. Just go slow and keep the end in mind.

I would leave any carts or other related equipment behind. The terrain will most likely be very unforgiving at at least one point or another. Just make sure that your comfortable with with your pack and it has a very solid frame.
 

COEngineer

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I've done this before; by myself. I will not tell you what to do, but this is what I did:

1. Leave the hide on
I imagine leaving the hide on an Alaskan moose quarter would increase the weight by another 20-40 lbs. I thought you were going to say something about dragging it out - why else would you leave the hide on?
 
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Some units used to require it. But, you won't have to pick dirt, pine needles and other debris out. This gets to be a problem when you put the pack down a few times for breaks. Also, skinning takes time and energy. You'll need every bit of both. The extra weight is minimal, and drive the point home to Mr. Game Warden that you took every step to salvage meat.
 

brownbear932008

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A cart is useless in the moose country I've hunted up there. You can't imagine how big a bull moose is until he is laying on the ground. Hopefully dry ground and not in water. I packed mine about 100 yards and it was brutal honestly. Didn't use a pack however since I was so close to the boat. If you are legally allowed to cut the quarter in half that would be the ticket. Call G&F and ask the warden in the unit you intend to hunt their thoughts on that. They are very strict on meat salvage cut every ounce off the bone. You will want to anyway it's the best wild game out there hands down I think.
 

BrentD

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Some units used to require it. But, you won't have to pick dirt, pine needles and other debris out. This gets to be a problem when you put the pack down a few times for breaks. Also, skinning takes time and energy. You'll need every bit of both. The extra weight is minimal, and drive the point home to Mr. Game Warden that you took every step to salvage meat.
Having packed two moose and not very far, I can say that the extra weight of the hide is anything but minimal! Moose skin is thick and heavy! The fur is dense, long and often wet. We skinned and bagged ours. Worked perfectly.
 

BrentD

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We bagged our meat, hung it, and for one of the moose, tarped over it to keep rain off. The weather was warmish but the meat was excellent and Alaskan moose is easily the best big game meat I've ever eaten (including African).

To the left, you can see our willow and plastic tarp stretcher. This worked perfectly for short hauls from camp to the float plane or from the marsh to the boat. Longer hauls with the first moose (still pretty short), were done with a pack.

I do not think we could have moved an intact bull moose hide from either of these animals. Maybe on the stretcher, but it would be questionable. That's how heavy the hide is.

 

dexnrex

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This is what it looks like. Cant tell you what it feels like, other than heavy. I didn’t have poles. Poles would have made it suck less. Try not to kill a bull more than a half mile from camp.3E74A4A1-B462-4F9D-81A6-033AEA8EDFAF.jpeg
 

COEngineer

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I really like the stretcher idea (and of course hunting close to the road/camp). I am working on modifying an aluminum-framed (military) cot to be used as a stretcher - if it works, it will be lighter than using trees. If it doesn't work, I might use the cot fabric so I don't have to worry about tying a tarp onto the willow trunks.
 

BrentD

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COE, your idea may be a good one. Ours was made using what we had at hand and which we could use in double duty (tarp).

One thing we learned is that your hands and forearms will give out eventually. We found that our pack belts would help hold the sticks if the distance between them was just right and the sticks were a bit long. A better rig would incorporate an upper body harness, but sill carry the bulk of the weight on the hips. Experiment.
 

brendog84cj8

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Another option to consider, especially if one dies in a terrible spot like water and you need it to get it to dry ground for processing, look up Simpson Capstan winch. I drew a Moose tag here in Montana and have been told I could easily find one where it is swampy and lots of water. To be honest I have no desire to crack the hide open and expose the meat to swamp water if I didn't have to. I am seriously considering buying one of these winches for a worst case scenario situation. There are a few videos on youtube of guys using these things to move moose and elk. I even heard of a story recently of some guys pulling a bull elk out of a hell hole with one and almost a mile back to the truck. Got to have the rope and something to anchor to.
 

BrentD

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Another option to consider, especially if one dies in a terrible spot like water and you need it to get it to dry ground for processing, look up Simpson Capstan winch. I drew a Moose tag here in Montana and have been told I could easily find one where it is swampy and lots of water. To be honest I have no desire to crack the hide open and expose the meat to swamp water if I didn't have to. I am seriously considering buying one of these winches for a worst case scenario situation. There are a few videos on youtube of guys using these things to move moose and elk. I even heard of a story recently of some guys pulling a bull elk out of a hell hole with one and almost a mile back to the truck. Got to have the rope and something to anchor to.
You know there is an easily made alternative to a capstan winch using two logs. There is a video somewhere.

Here we go.
 

Gary

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Depending on how much room you have (with the rest of your gear) some sort of small plastic sled may be an option. Just ne careful going downhill with one.
 

Art Vandelay

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The unit I will be hunting in AK requires the meat on the quarters to remain naturally attached to the bone until removed from the field. I should have done this sooner, but last night I strapped 100 lbs (5 gallons of water and two 30-lb dumbbells) on my pack. Just walking down the driveway (maybe 100 yds) and back was painful. Google says adult bull moose (our tags are for 50+" bulls) hindquarters are usually 125-150 lbs.

I'm starting to think we need something more like a stretcher to carry the quarters instead of backpacks.

I am 6' 0" and 175 lbs for reference.

I know we'll get 'er done no matter what happens, but if anyone has any advice that might reduce my anxiety, I would appreciate it.

Of course, one option is to only hunt within 50 yds of the road, but what's the point of going to AK if we're going to shoot from the road?!
Easy. You don’t. Alaska bull moose quarters don’t weigh 150 lbs and not even close to it. I’ve only been on 15 moose kills up here and the mythical 150 quarter doesn’t exist. All are easily packed out on the backs of common man with a decent pack. You would be very lucky to find a hind quarter weigh 100 lbs. Sorry to all the non believers out there but the truth is the truth. Good luck! Shoot a big one!
 
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