Author Topic: Elk's down, now what?  (Read 2850 times)

Kelly Barger

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Elk's down, now what?
« on: August 22, 2014, 11:46:27 AM »
I tried to search this but found nothing, so I'm going to start a thread.
This will be the first time I've ever packed in for elk season. It will be the middle of Oct in Colorado. I know the weather is hard to predict but how do you guys that pack in handle the meat after a kill in weather that isn't cold? The only elk I've ever killed, it was same senerio. Mid to high 70's in the day and probably mid 30's at night.. We just hung him in meat bags in a shady tree and hoped for the best. It turned out fine but a few other ideas would be helpful. It's only about 10 miles from the trail head to a little town with a general store that does butchering but that would be my last choice. Thanks in advance, Kelly

Linkback: http://www.royaltine.com/forum/general-hunting-forum/11/elks-down-now-what/2648/



mulepackin

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 03:51:34 PM »
This is what I've done in the past that has worked for me; I skinned and quartered the entire animal. Into good game bags. Hung high in the shade, north facing if possible, wetted manties and hung them around the hanging quarters sort of like flags. The breeze moving through the manties creates some evaporative cooling. I would take them down and re wet as needed. Best to not let real wet manties lie right up against the game bags, as the water can accelerate spoilage. That's until we could get back to the trailhead and then about 120 miles home.

 I know some guys keep ice and dry ice in huge coolers at their vehicles, never tried it.

I shot a moose on a Fri. It was 90 degrees at home (mid Sept). Hung the meat like this for 3 days til we packed out. Lost a bit of meat to the drying that occurs on the surface (think dry aged steak), but none to spoilage.

KILLERBEE

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 09:05:38 PM »
I think mulepackin is right on.
I will say that different situations call for different actions.
I killed a bull a few years back on a backpacking trip. IT WAS HOT! Pushing 100 degrees,I was by myself,5 miles from the truck -and no horses >:(
Other methods might have worked, but I was extremely worried I was going to lose the most cause it didn't seem to be getting cooled even hanging in the shade in quarters. I went a laid  every bit of it in a super cold creek.
I agree-that's not the first option, as moisture aids in bacteria growth, but In that situation, it was either chance the moisture and get it cold or let it spoil.
As it turns out, it worked great and was probably the best tasting elk I've ever killed( im not attributing that to the creek at all) but again different situations call for different steps.

But 90% of the time, if you get the hide off, get the animal up in the air, in the shade, it will be just fine.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 08:12:12 PM by KILLERBEE »
OLD HUNTERS NEVER DIE- THEY JUST HAVE BETTER CAMO.....

Kelly Barger

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 07:04:48 AM »
Thanks for the advise fellas. I appreciate it. It just never hurts to have a "plan B" in mind.

saddlesore

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 04:55:45 PM »
Why not call that store and ask if they would just hang it for you , assuming you have hunting partners with unfilled tags that don't want to go home.

If there is a stream nearby, you can lay some logs across the water and lay the meat on the logs and cover with a tarp. The water will aid in keeping it cold without getting it wet.

Mid October above  9000 ft ,you should be getting at least some  frost at night

I will be hunting in ML season and we can usually hang for about 3 days as you did.

Each of us take 2 big coolers and  after the three days, we go into town and buy block ice  and put the meat in the coolers with the ice.

Hanging three days will let the body heat all out so you won't be melting a lot of  ice.
I also take an old comforter  and throw that over the coolers to keep the cold in. An old sleeping bag will work although at times I had to use a good one

Kelly Barger

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 07:59:01 PM »
I've been thinking about that SS. I like the idea of a big ice chest or small freezer like MP said with dry ice or regular ice I guess. I hadn't thought about that but I have room in the front of my trailer for either one of those options. As for taking it in to town, I would do that if I had to but it would be my last choice. I think I'm going to find a small freezer somewhere to use like that I think. Thanks guys.

mulepackin

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 01:36:34 PM »
One trick I like with coolers, no matter how I use them is to precool them, just like prewarming a thermos. On my big river trips on the Missouri, I cool the coolers the day before filling them with frozen food, ice, whatever out of my freezer. Then after they are good and cold inside, I put the food, etc into them.

Kelly Barger

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 07:27:33 PM »
Will do. I was planning on putting the ice in the freezer on the way to trail head and then it will be fully cooled when (if  ;D) i need it. Thanks

Rt520

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2014, 10:03:43 PM »
One trick I like with coolers, no matter how I use them is to precool them, just like prewarming a thermos. On my big river trips on the Missouri, I cool the coolers the day before filling them with frozen food, ice, whatever out of my freezer. Then after they are good and cold inside, I put the food, etc into them.

Never thought of that. I suppose you loose a lot of your ice just cooling down a hot cooler.
Riley Tuyls

Kelly Barger

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2014, 09:07:55 AM »
Yes, you do lose alot but I used dry ice on this summer trip we took to avoid all the mess of the water when the ice melts. I put in an 11lb block when I left Oklahoma on Friday with a yeti full of stuff. I put it on the bottom with a towel on top of it then put the stuff on top. Tuesday, we put another 11lb block in. The first one was gone but the things on bottom and about 1/2 way up were still frozen. It was 43* on top with no ice in it. By the following sunday when we got home, we were out of ice but everything was still cold as heck. Not frozen but cold. I think the precool helped alot. I will use dry ice again this fall in the freezer with a towel over it to avoid freezer burn. Speaking of that, dry ice here in Oklahoma is $.89 per lb. In Colorado it was from $1.89 to $1.99!! WOW talk about a shock. haha

Steve

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 11:40:12 AM »
Getting the hide off right away will speed the cooling process up greatly.  Hopefully it will cool down at night.  Game  bags work great for keeping the flies off.  I've got a couple plastic liners for my pack boxes.  I've heard they can be set in a creek with meat in them, but I haven't tried that yet.

When I was younger, I killed a deer early in Sept.  I was about ten miles from the nearest road.  I was inexperienced and didn't have any game bags.  It was hot and I knew I was going to lose that meat if I didn't do something quick.  I skinned it out and threw the entire deer into the lake.  The  next morning some guys with horses felt sorry for me and they packed it out for me.   The meat was good.

Steve

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Re: Elk's down, now what?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 04:06:28 PM »
It shouldn't be too hot in mid Octber in the high country of Colorado.  If it cools way down at night, that will cool your meat down well if the hide is off.   Watch for flies during the heat of the day.  You might want to cover your meat with manties if you don't have game bags.  Then uncover it at night.

A friend of mine killed a moose in hot weather.  He was close to the truck when he killed it.  He winched it into the back of the truck.  He drove to town and filled the inside of the moose up with ice. He then drove several hundred miles to Eastern Montana.  He said this worked well.

I know another guy who killed a sheep in 90 degree weather.  He skinned out parts of it and packed it all in ice, then covered it with manties.  I think that would be smart to skin parts of it.  that hide really holds the heat in.

The problem is that ice is hard to come by in the back country.  The important thing is to have a plan and the equipment you need.  I heard of one guy who put his meat in a tent with mosquito netting to keep the flies off his meat.  Maybe a screen tent would work better.  One fly laying eggs in your meat can really mess things up.  I've always liked cheese cloth game bags.  YOu could also make some bags out of an old sheet if you have a sewing machine.


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