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Thread: Packing out an elk

  1. #1
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    Default Packing out an elk

    Yeah Im strong like a bull... but packing out a 400lb dead elk up a hill may kill me.
    looking for a good vid on where to cut and what to take when packing out the meat. This will be a first for me. Anyone know a good vid?
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  2. #2
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    Processing an elk is the same as processing a deer. Just in a larger scale.

    Be prepared to hang up your elk, you will need to gut and skin it. Bring gloves, a good filet knife, sharpening stone, big game bags, big garbage bags, and paper towels.

    Skinning is an option. I would do it. But you don't necessarily have to.

    Cut off the feet, up to where the meat is.

    The front legs come out easy, as they are attached by tendons and muscles. No bone joints.

    The rear legs, you will need to cut the tendons and pull it out of the joint of the pelvis.

    These are your quarters.

    The back strap is the long muscle that runs down each side of the spine. Good meat, here!

    Along the outside of the ribs, there is meat you can filet out. It may not be worth it, depending on where your bullet impacted elk.

    If you have time to bone the meat, do it. It will save you extra weight. It will be cold enough so you have time.

    Here's a 4 part video:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAZR-q6CGqc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rbrc09J3jY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUWRNkXfMLM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9L1P-6iaY0
    2009 4-door JK - 85% daily driver, 15% hunting vehicle, 100% fun!

    It's better to be prepared, than scared.
    Mailman by day, Gun Nut by night.
    NRA Certified Instructor - 5 disciplines.

  3. #3
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpFi3S3ynYQ

    How to "pack" out your heavy elk.
    2009 4-door JK - 85% daily driver, 15% hunting vehicle, 100% fun!

    It's better to be prepared, than scared.
    Mailman by day, Gun Nut by night.
    NRA Certified Instructor - 5 disciplines.

  4. #4
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    Thank you!!!
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  5. #5
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    Have fun! Get a big one!
    2009 4-door JK - 85% daily driver, 15% hunting vehicle, 100% fun!

    It's better to be prepared, than scared.
    Mailman by day, Gun Nut by night.
    NRA Certified Instructor - 5 disciplines.

  6. #6
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    Whew! After spending a few days on my hunt and having to help pack out 3 elks, I have a new found appreciation for my hunting buds. They know their stuff! Bob started the post about how to quarter and pack out an elk. Here's the two methods we did. Some of this info may be useful to the next reader.

    First off, if you don't have a Havalon Piranta Knife... you're going to hate yourself. This is the darn BEST skinning/field dressing knife out there. It's a foldable pocket knife and uses replaceable scalpels for the blade. Genius! Check out their Baracuta Filet Knife, too! I haven't used this one yet, but it's just a matter of time!

    I picked up mine at Sportsman's Guide for a great price. The blades were cheaper, too! Avoid the imitations! Get the real deal!


    Ok, We tagged 3 elks. First was a 400lb beast. It flopped 200 yards from where we parked and around 5pm. It was a fairly flat meadow and the temperature was around 45 degrees. Other than weight, it was an easy pack out. By 7pm the temperature dropped to the high 30's so the meat was safe. It took two trips to get all the meat back to camp. We did not gut the animal. Instead, we skinned the sucker to cool it off, and cut out each quarter, back straps, tenderloins, neck meat, and filet the ribs to get the flanks. We were very careful to not burst the gut sack or the poop/pee areas.

    The second elk flopped in the worst spot ever. 1,000 yards from the road plus 300 yards up the side of a steep mountain. It flopped onto it's back and got stuck on some fallen trees. This took the work of all 7 of us to get this 450lb monster cow down. Luckily we were able to find a trail and was able to drive a truck closer. Still, it was a 300 yard climb up/down the mountain to pack the sucker out. The process was the same. Except this was downed at 6:45am and the temperature was climbing from 40 degrees to 65 degrees rapidly. Luckily we were on the shaded side of the mountain. We were able to get all of it down and back to camp by 1pm. Hardest part was coming down hill, as we all were carrying 80+ lbs of meat on our backs. 2nd hardest was turning over the animal to get to the back straps.

    Since both animals were monster size, doing this form of "no gut" saved some valuable time and we still walked away with a LOT of meat.

    The third and final elk was mine. We were already exhausted from the last one. Still, we went out the same afternoon to look for mine. I was so tired that I just about prayed for a 100-lb anorexic cow elk that would be standing on the road. My prayers were answered. We moved up on a trail, dropped off the truck and walked 50 yard out towards a trail. Standing there staring at me was a 250-lb calf... standing on the trail. A quick 300 win mag shot to the neck and it was over. We drove the truck up to it and prepared to load it out.

    In this instance, we decided to gut it. It would reduce the weight considerably and would be easier to lift it into the truck. Got it back to camp, hung it up on a tree with some chains, skinned it with the golfball and winch technique and went to town on the quarterings. Since this was a smaller elk we decided to take as much as we could. Along with the back straps and tenderloins, I also took the meat from between the ribs, too.

    To make it easier, once we golfball skinned it, I winched it back up so it was floating in the air. It allowed it to cool faster and made it easy for us to walk around and slice meat off it.

    By the time I was finished there was not much left for the crows.

    I intentionally left out most of the photos since there were videos available. Some may have been disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised...



    2009 4-door JK - 85% daily driver, 15% hunting vehicle, 100% fun!

    It's better to be prepared, than scared.
    Mailman by day, Gun Nut by night.
    NRA Certified Instructor - 5 disciplines.

  7. #7
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    nice job!
    Zombie Caving
    Siblings are like sausages. Itís better not to see them being made.

  8. #8
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    Thats awesome. I need a winch and more people.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbob309 View Post
    Thats awesome. I need a winch and more people.
    Next year sir... It is my goal

  10. #10
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    ::: sweetly ::: um, WHY do you need a winch and more people, Bob? :-) :-) :-)
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
    Follow @thedustygnome on Twitter and at www.thedustygnome.com or White Collar Publishing on FB

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