Backpack or game cart ?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by Richard Owl Mirror, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    :D Hello Everyone,

    If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know that I live in Southwestern Montana near the Beartooth Mountain Range & Custer National Forest. I am also 55 years old, Perm. Disabled and this year will be the first time I will have ever hunted. So far I have taken the Montana Hunters course, Completed the Hunter/Landowner program and received my certificate as well as purchased a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 .270 Win with a Vortex Diamondback 3-9x40 scope.
    I have been practicing at the local range and at the point where i am able to place 3-shot groupings around the bullseye at 200 yds.
    I recently purchased a combo set of Buck knives but, of course I still have no experience actually removing meat from a game animal.
    I have many friends who each have said they are willing to go with me hunting and both show me good locations as well as assist me in retrieving the meat & packing it out.
    Unfortunately, I am certain that my friends might be busy either working or hunting themselves so, I may be going out alone more often than being accompanied by another person.
    This brings me to my question.
    While I am still unsure of the actual location & terrain I will be hunting in, what are your thought's for someone in my position/condition for retrieving the meat from the field.
    It is possible that I may find that I can simply drive to the animal and load the entire animal in to the truck. Most likely I will find that I must pack out the animal/meat.

    I understand the LRH online store carries both Badlands Packs & Eberlestock Backpacks. I assume these two products are offered because they are deemed to be the best quality.
    I have both an A & B tag for both Deer & Elk. I am just unsure how much of a pack I need for enough of a meat compartment.
    I won't be going out so far that I will be staying overnight so, the amount of equipment I will be carrying shouldn't be much more than what is needed for a daytime hunt.

    The nature of my Perm. Disability is that I have a wire cage which surrounds my neck, holding my head on as well as some lower back problems. I am able to walk, although not far between rests but, I have been exercising to strengthen my legs and endurance.

    If I could ask for your opinions on what would be the better method (Backpack or game cart) and which product would be best suited to use as a retrieval system of the game meat?

    BTW, another question I have is: If I need to pack out the meat in more than one trip. Is there any advice I should know to secure the downed animal from predators while I am making these trips?
    Should I remove all the meat, move it far enough away from the carcass so if a Wolf or Bear came by they might go after the carcass instead of the meat?

    Most all of the information I have gotten on Hunting is by reading this forum as well as watching youtube videos on the various topics.
    I never found any information regarding this particular question.

    Oh one last issue regarding "Backpack or game cart" is the cost.
    I understand you get what you pay for but, since this is my first time hunting and I don't know what the future holds as far as my health.
    And living on SSDI, unless necessary I don't know that spending $329.00 for the Eberlestock J34 Just One Hunting Pack or $399.00 for the Eberlestock J107 Dragonfly Hunting Pack would be my best investment.

    If it is, please say so but, if there is a better choice or less expensive brand which would suffice please let me know. At this time, I am unsure how much weight I can carry on my back. That actually might depend on the quality and construction of the Backpack. Or maybe one of these game carts might be better for me.

    Thank-you for reading this post and in advance for your expert opinions.
  2. HuntnID

    HuntnID Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    The choice between Backpack vs Gamecart is going to depend on the terrain you're hunting. If there are any steep hills, rocks, trees, brush, etc., the cart is gonna be tough to use. I had a friend bring a gamecart to pack out an elk up here one time. I was about ready to send it over the cliff by the end of that pack trip. The thing was always tipping over and every rock was a huge obstacle.

    As you can tell, I'm kinda anti-gamecart but if you believe that it would be useful in the terrain you hunt, I say try it.
  3. NomadPilot

    NomadPilot Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    I used a cart for antelope in Wyoming. The terrain was about as flat and featureless as any in the west, and the cart was still an enormous pain. Would have much rather had a pack.
  4. one crazy kid

    one crazy kid Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    If you want to use a game cart good luck I personally like packs. I would get a badlands 2200 or 2800 I have never used eberlestock packs.
  5. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    If you are packing that giant moose "that you saw" and posted pics of I'd say you need a dump truck
  6. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    Not trying to insult or demean you in any way but if I had a cage holding my head on (and that sounds serious in the least), I'd go hunting with a friend that has no disabilities, not alone at anytime or anywhere when the premise is bringing an animal out or the terrain is remote and rugged....

    Besides, if anything happened (and it does, believe me), even a small mishap could be serious for you possibly fatal.

    I realize you are proud and determined but someone along to help would be immeasurably beneficial.

    Many years ago, when I was an Eagle Scout, I camperd alone often but I wasn't hunting (fishing yes) and I was young and even then I had a few close calls. Being young allows you more latitude. I don't have the lattitude now....

    I'm no youngster and I've always hunted with a partner, always. Poop happens. You don't want to become poop.

    Finally, get yourself (and your friend) a Havalon knife. Len sells them on this site, Cabelas has them and you can buy direct from Havalon (I think). It's a surgical scapel in a folding handle, it's stupid sharp and when it gets dull, you toss one blade and replace it with another.

    The only drawback I've found (other than severing a finger if you aren't careful) is the blade are somewhat brittle, probably due to the fact they are micro honed Japanese steel and they work super for removing meat but you need a knife with rigidity but still ductile for cutting around bones. I carry my trusty Old Timer folder for that. It's 40 years old and still does the job.

    If it's good enough for a surgeon, it's good enough for me and they aren't that expensive.

    Just my opinion. Again, I admire yo ur determination, it's just much easier and safer with someone other than yourself, you trust.

    Additionally, Optics Planet (and I suspect others) sell books dedicated to field dressing game and preservation. I have one for deer and iot's invaluable in the field. It's a pocket book with plastic encased pages so it's impervious to the weather (and bodily fluids like blood) so you can have it close at hand when dressing out an animal.
  7. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    I talked with one of my friends last night (professional guide, multi-generational Montana) and he told me not to worry about getting either one. He said where he is taking me, all I need do is call him and they will drive a vehicle and retrieve the animal. I guess I should have waited to talk more with them. I am just trying to do most of the learning on my own.
    He is going to start taking me to a few places and teach me how to pattern the elk & deer movements with a scope. I guess I can consider myself very lucky as he is going to get me permission on some of the most prime private lands in this area. One of the largest landowners around doesn't allow hunting so, the herds of Elk all end up on his property. My friend said he will get me permission to hunt on the land and set me up so I don't have to be walking. Just sit and wait.
    Hopefully I'll have a good first season and gain much experience.
    Thanks for your opinion though
  8. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    I appreciate your concern. I may not have anyone to go with me at times.
    Believe me, I am used to being alone and having to deal with my medical condition vs having to do what is neccessary.
  9. moombaskier

    moombaskier Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    well allow me to say good luck this up comming season and please keep us posted.
  10. longrangehuntr

    longrangehuntr Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    great packs, I have been looking at the idea of those hard shell sleds, find them in the waterfowl section of most outfitter stores. I was going to get one for the snow for sure but also thought it would slide over rocks and what not rather easy.