Re: Elk toting pack frame recommendations
I had a Mystery Ranch NICE/Crewcab I bought from Mystery Ranch in Bozeman, where they make them. Don't know how Cabela's can get these and sell them for $200, because they cost Dana that much or more to make them. Just dont think its an real Bozeman Mystery Ranch made pack if it costs $200. Most likely an overseas knock-off artifact.
I'll put another plug in for the Kelty Cache Hauler (external frame). This pack frame is $99 at Sportsman's Whorehouse and for hauling big loads with minimal investment little else comes close.
As others said look in pawn shops and perhaps thrift stores and all nature of second hand store.
If you want an Kifaru, I have an Kirafu EMR that is for sale, but it's most likely out of your intended budget.
If you can find one buy one of those K2/Dana TerraFrame or Flatbed packs. These are a Dana Design external frame pack that's no longer made. I have all manner of packs, from MR, Kifaru, North Face, Osprey, Camptrails, and others. These old external Danas are the stuff for hauling out heavy loads. If you can locate a good one, buy it.