Originally Posted by OneLunG
I find that I can handle the weight of a heavier rifle as long as I have a good carry system.
I've been using the Kifaru gunbearer system which is worlds better than slinged. My only gripe would be that the side you have it on still gets strained as the weight distrubution is uneven.
I've used the Kifaru gunbearer system for the past three hunting seasons. Three different sheep or Mt. goat hunts last season alone. Two of the hunts involved round trip mileage of 19-20 miles. The third involved about 12 miles round trip, up and down a mountain two different times. My rifle weighed about 9 1/2 lbs. My partner's rifle weighed about 8 lbs decked out. Every time I lifted his rifle compared to mine I was disheartened.
I find that I can only use the Kifaru system in fairly open, brush-free terrain. I often have to carry the gun in the brushy angled terrain. But the Kifiru is a definite improvement when walking the glacial river beds or other brush free areas.
If I knew I could ride a horse up to the location where I'd shoot from, rifle weight would only be an issue for the horse. When I expect to have to cover a lot of ground to engage the game I'm after, the thoughts of packing anything more than 11-11 1/2 lbs about makes me puke. But again - to each his own.