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Backpack hunting question

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Unread 10-08-2010, 09:07 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 3
Backpack hunting question

I'm looking for information on backpack hunting. I do a lot of backpacking and a lot of hunting but I've never combined the two activities together. If you backpack into the wilderness and you're hunting for 2-3 days, how do you have room to pack out your game when your backpack is full of eqpt? And, how do you clean off the blood and gore from the backpack after the hunt? I'd appreciate any info or suggestions of books or dvd's. Thanks in advance
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Unread 10-08-2010, 09:21 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,087
Re: Backpack hunting question

Pack in your gear in the weeks before your season and do some scouting. Leave your gear set up for the season.
If you shoot an animal then leave most of your gear at the camp and only take out your rifle and the animal once it has been cut up into smaller bits.
Hunt with a mate and share the load. Make more than one trip if needed.

Don't worry about the blood, if you quarter it and let it hang in a tree overnight most of the blood will drain away and once the meat has set, it will not bleed very much. Use a cotton meat bag to keep it clean. Blood will wash off your gear with cold water.

You can go back and get the rest of your gear another time.
scientia est potentia
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Unread 10-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,400
Re: Backpack hunting question

your a 9 year member and this is your first post? Welcome
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
If you want to shoot Bergers start here!
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Unread 10-08-2010, 09:45 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 172
Re: Backpack hunting question

The careful examination of your equipment and physical condition is the key to success. Only on a few occasions have I been able to pack an entire animal out with my camp and everytime it was a matter of mental stamina over physical. I have done 30mile hikes to get to where the animals are and doing multiple trips really were not a good option for me.

The proper pack is the only way that made it possible. Limiting yourself to only the key essential equipment was far more important than weight. Much of my equipment finds its way strapped to the outside of the pack which leaves the main compartment of my pack dedicated to packing out the animal itself.

You really have to teach yourself that it is ok to be a little tired, hungry, and cold. Of course that comes with limits. The distance you hike in has to be planned according to how much "survival gear" you pack in. Never extend yourself so far that you cannot make it safely back to your vehicle that has additional supplies.

All of the areas I hunt have no cellular reception but a detailed travel itinerary is always left with people I know can come assist if I don't return on the day I am expected. Basically don't leave anything to chance. If I say I will be back on "x" day. I ensure I at least have some communication with my buddies on that day.

I would recommend doing buddy hunts and share equipment until you really figure out what equipment you can do without.

Last edited by partisan1911; 10-08-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 10:36 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,726
Re: Backpack hunting question

Your first post after nine years as a member...wow...how did you remember your login? I wouldn't have had a chance to do that!

Len, that has got to be some kind of record!?

partisan1911 has good info there regarding gear and physical shape. Sounds like you should know a bit about both from your description. I think combining a background in multinight backpacking or climbing with hunting can produce some great results. If you've backpacked or climbed quite a bit, you'll be familiar with availabe gear and be able to hygrade the best stuff and leave the rest at home as an anchor traveling light and fast with just what you need. LRH bring enough heavy gear of it's own with optics (rangefinder, binocs, spotting scope and tripod) and typically a heavier than usual rifle, such that it is even more important to use the best gear. Gear that is rarely purchased from the likes of Cabelas, for instance...not to knock Cabelas, but it's name is not synonomous with light and/or fast when it comes to backpack hunting, for the most part. JMHO

Just make sure you have an appropriate shelter than can take a beating and keep you dry and never let your sleeping bag get wet--two among several of my mantras and probably two of yours.

Many here like the Eberlestock packs. This is the pack I use: LongHunter Hauler Has a nice packbag that attaches to it or, make a packbag yourself. Custom made to you and you can haul stuff around and immediately be ready to haul all or part of an animal out with it. I've hauled out all of a nice 4pt Mule deer and bear this year with it already. Hauled several elk and another deer out over the years. Had if for 7 years I want to say and hauled a few critters with it. Hauls your firearm very nicely with the 'Gun Bearer'. From the sounds of your backpacking experience, you may know of the 'Mountainsmith' brand. Patrick Smith started Kifaru after he sold Mountainsmith, so he knows a thing or two about lightweight and functional--something many brands do not.

Patrick's shelters are also something else. Check out shelters on his website.

I ended up building my own tipi and used one of his stoves with a custom lenght stovepipe.

Tents for backpacking...

I built in some venting, an attached floor and bugproofing that his tipis don't have. I like nature, just not the 6 or 8 legged kind crawling into my sleeping back with me at night. My 10' dia. by 7' tall shelter weighs 6.5 lbs and the stove (which drives us out of the tent at full roar), another 3 lbs. I use this setup for November elk hunting.

Anyway, better stop rambling here...but there's some ideas perhpas for you to consider.

Edit: You mentioned backpacking into the wilderness. If by 'wilderness' you mean a desginated 'Wilderness Area', it's not legal to leave stuff (like a camp) setup for any length of time you may not be there. Designated wilderness areas are the most highly protected recreational lands. Absolutely nothing mechanized allowed--the wheel on a game cart--mechanized--not allowed. So setting stuff up a few days before hunt won't cut it. Wilderness rangers have very little compassion for bending the rules at all in designated wilderness and they will throw the proverbial book at you. Just a note re a post above...
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

www.wildsidesystems.com - Shelter for Your WildSide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYwgo...&feature=g-upl

Last edited by jmden; 10-08-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:01 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 172
Re: Backpack hunting question

Most of my equipment is not even meant for hunting ie. stoves, tents, clothing. For shelter I bring a two man three season tent that weighs 3lbs. I only use it to sleep in. When I go by myself I can drag the top of my pack in and zip around it. Otherwise the pack stays outside.

I have used the eberlestock dragonfly for a couple of hunts and it worked well. The smaller pack forced me to take a critical look at all the junk I bring. Most of my hunts I use the Cabela's guide pack because it can hold alot of animal. I am not a big fan of cabelas either but my packs take alot of abuse as I climb through alders etc. and flop my butt down with all that weight it is holding. The pack itself is torn up pretty good but gets the job done. The frame is bent in a few spots and beat up pretty good but I can make them last about five years before I have to buy a new one for around $100 or so.

One more quick note. "nothing is waterproof". I don't care what the ads or warranty say.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 09:50 AM
ATH ATH is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lizton, IN
Posts: 819
Re: Backpack hunting question

Put some real thought into how much gear you really need to take in. I have an Eberlestock J107 and used to use a Cabelas Gun+Bow, and I have had no problem, with either pack, getting out an average mule deer along with the remaining 2 days of a 3 day camp.

After a very mentally challenging hunt through deep snow last year, I went a little weight crazy this year and cut about 8lbs off my load. Lighter stove, lighter fuel for it, lighter tent.

If you are going to stay long enough, multiple trips will be the norm. For elk, unless you have 3 guys and two don't shoot an elk you will NOT bring a bull and antlers out in a single trip. So don't hike in further than you can get the meat out (in as many trips necessary) before you risk it going bad in whatever weather you have.
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