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Mar 25th, 2012
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back pack for Elk hunt. #7056231
01/28/18 11:10 PM
01/28/18 11:10 PM
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Ben Wheeler,Tx
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Looking for a pack with frame to carry meat out. I have looked at some, but looking for info from people who have hunted and packed out Elk. Thanks.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056236
01/28/18 11:13 PM
01/28/18 11:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
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For big hunts I donít mess around with boots or bags. I like the exo line. Mystery ranch and kirfau are also big names. Eberlestock is good but there bags are a bit on the heavy side imo.

I use both exo and eberlestock

Bobo on here is who i would talk to

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056261
01/28/18 11:27 PM
01/28/18 11:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 854
San Antonio
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I have a 3 piece unit, don't remember the maker.
The frame{plastic} can be used by itself for hauling quarters of meat. Antlers etc..
Has an upper back pack that attaches to the frame and a lower fanny pack that attaches also.
This way I use it year round whether it be carrying turkey or dove decoys in the backpack or using the fanny pack for spot and stalk hunting. Have used it in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and Alaska to name a few and has been packed with fishing gear in Canada. 15 years old and still working good!


Just like Jesus, sometimes you gotta kill some hogs.
bigtextrailerworld.com/sanantonio
Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056281
01/28/18 11:46 PM
01/28/18 11:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 587
West TX
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Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Exo, Eberlestock, Kuiu are what I would consider "great to excellent" dual purpose backpacking packs/meat haulers. They are also expensive, some more so than others. I have a Mystery Ranch Metcalf and the Kuiu Icon Pro system. So I can comment on each of those if you have specific questions.

You can get a dedicate load/meat hauler however I think the new dual puporse packs with built in load/meat hauler sling built into the system is absolutely the way to go.

As Cleric said, don't skimp on backpacks and boots (and I would add rain gear). Not worth trying to save money here by going with something cheap and poorly built.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: Cleric] #7056282
01/28/18 11:47 PM
01/28/18 11:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 287
Idaho Falls, Idaho
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We mostly use internal frame packs here for our pack outs in Idaho, Wyoming, and Arizona. Mature bulls are big! We tend to hunt a little farther from the truck and they are more comfortable for long all day hikes with our extra gear and clothes. The ones from Mystery Ranch, Eberlestock, or Badlands win hands down over most others. Almost all have life-time warranties, and we have not had to try any of the newer brands or models yet. Since we usually bone out all of the animal, there is little extra weight from bone, and the bags will fill up single compartment packs to capacity. Insert a contractor grade trash bag, and fill it up.

Until you have tried to stand and walk with an 80-100# pack, don't think its easy. My boys are 36 and 42 years old, and can still pack a front and rear quarter, but I gave that up years ago. At 67 years of age, and with a bad knee but still elk hunting, about 80# is my limit now, and I would prefer 60# !!! smile My favorite pack right now is a Badlands Sacrafice. At 3.6 pounds it is light to carry, but expands to fit an entire deer or a LOT of elk meat.

Once we get the first loads to the truck, we may switch to an external frame pack for racks with skulls, or remaining quarters. Like to just leave them in the bed of the truck til we see if they are needed.

Pictures from an AZ elk hunt last year. The glassing in the canyon we like to hunt, my youngest son and a typical pack we carry all day, and coming out of a hell hole with a couple 100# packs at the end of day.









Last edited by Blank; 01/29/18 12:00 AM.
Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056308
01/29/18 12:07 AM
01/29/18 12:07 AM
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Hill Country of Texas
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You looking for a pack just to Carry meat or a dual purpose pack? I have Eberlestock pack and it works great for dual purpose. But it comes down to how the pack fit you.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056334
01/29/18 12:33 AM
01/29/18 12:33 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,384
Smith County
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I use an eberlestock. It comfortable to me but a little heavier than its competitors. I forget which model I bought but it camel with a big game bag pack that you can attach. However, if I am just going to pack out meat I have a pack frame that I use that works great.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056407
01/29/18 01:29 AM
01/29/18 01:29 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
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Corsicana
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Literally dozens to choose from.

I use Eberlestock as a dual purpose because I love the rifle scabbard.
Names you hear over and over again as the best these days are Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, and Stone Glacier.

Blank, you da man. up


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056423
01/29/18 01:42 AM
01/29/18 01:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 44,188
Metroplex
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Originally Posted By: pigplinker
Looking for a pack with frame to carry meat out. I have looked at some, but looking for info from people who have hunted and packed out Elk. Thanks.


Depends on your price point and how you hunt. Truck analogy break down...

(Old 3/4 ton- will get job done, but rough)
You can find external frame packs pretty cheap(alps, Cabelaís, Barney). Down side is big and bulky. But haul weight well

(Mid sized truck-great for mild jobs and occasional pushing the limits, you hook on to too much and you will probably get home, but it wasnít a fun ride)
You can pack out meat with a badlands or elberstock, but neither have functional load lifters, or great belts, so over 50lbs they dig into your shoulders, other that they are great for the price and tough. Elberstock came out with a new frame thatís little stouter, but I havení t used it. It does Looks to have same harness and belt as previous models.

(Good heavy half ton- way better then a mid sized truck, and will ďmost likelyĒ haul what you need)
Kuiu is a good mid priced pack. Iím personally scared of all carbon frames, but I do have a buddy that packed out 10 bears, 3 elk and two lions with his this year and he loves it. He is rough on stuff, he walked out a pair of kennetek hard scrabbles in a year. Itís a very light pack and 3500 cu in bag compresses to nothing.

(Modern 3/4-robust, comfortable, never think twice about what you are about to haul)
Kifaru, Exo mountain gear, Stone glacier and Mystery ranch are the most expensive but are modular(bags sizes interchangeable). Packing out (Weight wise) all four will comfortably carry what ever your legs can take.

If you hunt backcountry every year, day or overnight I would spend money on kuiu, or more robust kifaru, EXO,SG, and MR.

If you hunt the backcountry more from a truck camp and never get to deep, elberstock, badlands and some of the alps backs will work fine.

If you spent all of your money on tags and canít afford a high or mid dollar pack, buy a cheap frame pack from Cabelaís/bass pro. I had my dads boyscout frame pack for 10 years and think he had it for 15 years before that. Hauled many a deer and elk with it.




Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7056535
01/29/18 03:13 AM
01/29/18 03:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 587
West TX
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Theringworm Online content
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: pigplinker
Looking for a pack with frame to carry meat out. I have looked at some, but looking for info from people who have hunted and packed out Elk. Thanks.


Depends on your price point and how you hunt. Truck analogy break down...

(Old 3/4 ton- will get job done, but rough)
You can find external frame packs pretty cheap(alps, Cabelaís, Barney). Down side is big and bulky. But haul weight well

(Mid sized truck-great for mild jobs and occasional pushing the limits, you hook on to too much and you will probably get home, but it wasnít a fun ride)
You can pack out meat with a badlands or elberstock, but neither have functional load lifters, or great belts, so over 50lbs they dig into your shoulders, other that they are great for the price and tough. Elberstock came out with a new frame thatís little stouter, but I havení t used it. It does Looks to have same harness and belt as previous models.

(Good heavy half ton- way better then a mid sized truck, and will ďmost likelyĒ haul what you need)
Kuiu is a good mid priced pack. Iím personally scared of all carbon frames, but I do have a buddy that packed out 10 bears, 3 elk and two lions with his this year and he loves it. He is rough on stuff, he walked out a pair of kennetek hard scrabbles in a year. Itís a very light pack and 3500 cu in bag compresses to nothing.

(Modern 3/4-robust, comfortable, never think twice about what you are about to haul)
Kifaru, Exo mountain gear, Stone glacier and Mystery ranch are the most expensive but are modular(bags sizes interchangeable). Packing out (Weight wise) all four will comfortably carry what ever your legs can take.

If you hunt backcountry every year, day or overnight I would spend money on kuiu, or more robust kifaru, EXO,SG, and MR.

If you hunt the backcountry more from a truck camp and never get to deep, elberstock, badlands and some of the alps backs will work fine.

If you spent all of your money on tags and canít afford a high or mid dollar pack, buy a cheap frame pack from Cabelaís/bass pro. I had my days boyscout frame pack for 10 years and think he had it for 15 years before that. Hauled many a deer and elk with it.





Exactly the reason I got mine. The Mystery Ranch Metcalf that I have is no doubt bombproof. With that though comes added weight though. In addition to that some of the luxuries are missing which I found myself really missing. The Kuiu pack is super light weight and honestly in my opinion just as indestructible. Converting the pack to load haul meat takes nearly 1/3 of the time it does with the Mystery Ranch. Just a lot of more practical functional designs from Kuiu that impressed me. No doubt I was a huge skeptic for the longest time. However, after having purchased it I use it more than my Mystery Ranch, which I am almost convinced I am going to sell. There are pros and cons to both and all really. Just find what works for you and go for it. It's nearly impossible to find any of these packs in Texas at the same retailer, except maybe Eberlestock and Badlands which makes it difficult. If you don't mind blowing some money on shipping, I would order all the ones you want to try out and then return the ones you don't like. Better yet, hit a major convention/gun show like SHOT where they are all at. Another thought would be to see what, if any, you can order through Amazon Prime. They have free return on shipping. Good luck.

Last edited by Theringworm; 01/29/18 03:19 AM.
Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056557
01/29/18 03:48 AM
01/29/18 03:48 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 427
DFW
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Kuiu fan here. I run the Ultra frame/harness with an Icon Pro 3200 bag-- perfect size for carrying all the necessities or a 2-3 day camp. It gives me the capability to pack out an entire whitetail in one load (plus everything else I carried in).

I've packed 2 deer and 2 elk with mine and not a single structural issue.

Had an Eberlestock X2 and it was heavy for the size and wasn't nearly as easy to pack an animal on. A pack that converts easily into a meat shelf plus pack frame is the way to go.

If not Kuiu I would go with Exo. I hear nothing but great things about Kifaru, only drawback is cost and weight.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056583
01/29/18 04:12 AM
01/29/18 04:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,267
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Pack mules or horses

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: bp3] #7056735
01/29/18 01:25 PM
01/29/18 01:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 25,246
Corsicana
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Originally Posted By: bp3
Pack mules or horses


Probably the best answer. Even in the Yukon they trail horses in most places to use. They do it for a reason. The farthest pack is to the the horses.

But there are some places where horses canít go. And sometimes youíre a long way from the horses. Thatís where stout hearts, legs, and a good pack are a necessity.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: duckhunter175] #7056782
01/29/18 02:03 PM
01/29/18 02:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 44,188
Metroplex
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Originally Posted By: duckhunter175
Kuiu fan here. I run the Ultra frame/harness with an Icon Pro 3200 bag-- perfect size for carrying all the necessities or a 2-3 day camp. It gives me the capability to pack out an entire whitetail in one load (plus everything else I carried in).

I've packed 2 deer and 2 elk with mine and not a single structural issue.

Had an Eberlestock X2 and it was heavy for the size and wasn't nearly as easy to pack an animal on. A pack that converts easily into a meat shelf plus pack frame is the way to go.

If not Kuiu I would go with Exo. I hear nothing but great things about Kifaru, only drawback is cost and weight.


Concur on meat self, can also expand pack capacity or if you are slim on funds you could just buy an a frame and run a big dry bag.

Iím a fan of the Exo, but I donít think there is a clear winner of the top brands.





Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: bp3] #7056809
01/29/18 02:20 PM
01/29/18 02:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 44,188
Metroplex
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Originally Posted By: bp3
Pack mules or horses


They are like bird dogs, doesnít matter how trained or high bred they are if they sit idle for 51 weeks a year, you are about to have a lot of train wreck stories, from experience.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056810
01/29/18 02:21 PM
01/29/18 02:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 9,209
60 Mi North of DFW
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Don't have anything to add about backpacks but this post has used up all my energy for the next couple of days... back


The Greatest Enemy of knowledge is not ignorance,
it is the illusion of knowledge.--Stephen Hawking
Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7056834
01/29/18 02:35 PM
01/29/18 02:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,668
Keller, TX
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: pigplinker
Looking for a pack with frame to carry meat out. I have looked at some, but looking for info from people who have hunted and packed out Elk. Thanks.


Depends on your price point and how you hunt. Truck analogy break down...

(Old 3/4 ton- will get job done, but rough)
You can find external frame packs pretty cheap(alps, Cabelaís, Barney). Down side is big and bulky. But haul weight well

(Mid sized truck-great for mild jobs and occasional pushing the limits, you hook on to too much and you will probably get home, but it wasnít a fun ride)
You can pack out meat with a badlands or elberstock, but neither have functional load lifters, or great belts, so over 50lbs they dig into your shoulders, other that they are great for the price and tough. Elberstock came out with a new frame thatís little stouter, but I havení t used it. It does Looks to have same harness and belt as previous models.

(Good heavy half ton- way better then a mid sized truck, and will ďmost likelyĒ haul what you need)
Kuiu is a good mid priced pack. Iím personally scared of all carbon frames, but I do have a buddy that packed out 10 bears, 3 elk and two lions with his this year and he loves it. He is rough on stuff, he walked out a pair of kennetek hard scrabbles in a year. Itís a very light pack and 3500 cu in bag compresses to nothing.

(Modern 3/4-robust, comfortable, never think twice about what you are about to haul)
Kifaru, Exo mountain gear, Stone glacier and Mystery ranch are the most expensive but are modular(bags sizes interchangeable). Packing out (Weight wise) all four will comfortably carry what ever your legs can take.

If you hunt backcountry every year, day or overnight I would spend money on kuiu, or more robust kifaru, EXO,SG, and MR.

If you hunt the backcountry more from a truck camp and never get to deep, elberstock, badlands and some of the alps backs will work fine.

If you spent all of your money on tags and canít afford a high or mid dollar pack, buy a cheap frame pack from Cabelaís/bass pro. I had my dads boyscout frame pack for 10 years and think he had it for 15 years before that. Hauled many a deer and elk with it.





Great write up! Nailed the comparisons.

Iíve been using Eberlestock...X1 and X2 for many years. It has served great as a multi use pack, but I finally found its limits. Prior to my hunt this last year, I was hiking with 20lbs of weights and an 80 pound sack of play sand in my pack. After a half mile, 8 was really feeling it. The shoulder straps, and more importantly, the waist belt, left a lot to be desired. I made the 3.5 mile training hike with this set up several times, but I paid for it for a couple days afterwards. I will say the training paid off when I had to pack out a pretty good sized bull in September. Really wished I had a better pack at that moment.

Iím now shopping for an Exo. 😂



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Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056845
01/29/18 02:39 PM
01/29/18 02:39 PM
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Local cowboys will pack game out, if you can't afford that might be best stay home. Old folks could die fighting to get game out of rough country, but each to their own. Thirty and forty year old people die of heart attacks and at high altitude that could bring it own.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: bp3] #7056860
01/29/18 02:46 PM
01/29/18 02:46 PM
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Posts: 44,188
Metroplex
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Originally Posted By: bp3
Local cowboys will pack game out, if you can't afford that might be best stay home. Old folks could die fighting to get game out of rough country, but each to their own. Thirty and forty year old people die of heart attacks and at high altitude that could bring it own.



Some states you are at the mercy of the outfitters that has all paid extraction rights to that particular area, so plan a head. If you canít pack out multiple loads of 50-60 pounds, donít do a DIY trip, hirer an outfitter.....but thatís not what the OP asked

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7056978
01/29/18 04:01 PM
01/29/18 04:01 PM
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Posts: 712
Wyoming
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We use these for packing our quarters:http://wildernesspacks.com/index.php/products/product/32-bighorn-frame-with-handipak
A lumbar pack attached to the bottom if needed for extras.
A day pack is all we wear during a hunt, but don't do much if any backpack type hunts. A daypack carries everything I need for the day plus emergency supplies. I can haul out the first load of boned meat in my daypack then get the pack frame form the truck for the heavy hauls.
I find a larger pack is not quiet enough for elk hunting. If it hangs out wider or taller than your back it will catch on everything and make noise, elk hear it all. Can you shoot with that big pack on, lots of variables for elk hunting with a pack on.

Packers must be licensed in most states so just hiring locals with horses can be iffy. Check the regs to make sure for the state you're hiring that packer in.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: Wytex] #7057173
01/29/18 06:31 PM
01/29/18 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: Wytex
We use these for packing our quarters:http://wildernesspacks.com/index.php/products/product/32-bighorn-frame-with-handipak
A lumbar pack attached to the bottom if needed for extras.
A day pack is all we wear during a hunt, but don't do much if any backpack type hunts. A daypack carries everything I need for the day plus emergency supplies. I can haul out the first load of boned meat in my daypack then get the pack frame form the truck for the heavy hauls.
I find a larger pack is not quiet enough for elk hunting. If it hangs out wider or taller than your back it will catch on everything and make noise, elk hear it all. Can you shoot with that big pack on, lots of variables for elk hunting with a pack on.

Packers must be licensed in most states so just hiring locals with horses can be iffy. Check the regs to make sure for the state you're hiring that packer in.


I had to google that one, looks like they make the outdoorsmans pack. Learn something new every day. Aka western hunter and Steven Rinella

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7057181
01/29/18 06:37 PM
01/29/18 06:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 399
Ector County
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Ector County
Elk are that western trophy that is measured in distance and terrain...grins. As in "Is he big enough to pack out of this hell hole?".

Hard to go wrong with a Mystery Ranch, just remember the romance of a pack out is soon replaced by the reality of a pack out.


You did what?
Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7057227
01/29/18 07:12 PM
01/29/18 07:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 712
Wyoming
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Don't know if that pack is a copy of the molle military version, they can be had for cheap online. The bag and harness they pair with it is what makes it haul very nicely. Very lightweight frame . I know from experience it will haul 100 lbs, I didn't haul that weight but hunting partner did.

Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: Texasteach] #7057465
01/29/18 09:50 PM
01/29/18 09:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 90,891
Abilene or on the road...
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Abilene or on the road...
Originally Posted By: Texasteach
Elk are that western trophy that is measured in distance and terrain...grins. As in "Is he big enough to pack out of this hell hole?".

Hard to go wrong with a Mystery Ranch, just remember the romance of a pack out is soon replaced by the reality of a pack out.


Most of the packs can handle a lot more than the person using it. When you throw in the higher elevation with the lack of oxygen, a grade school backpack full of air is more than enough pack. My first pack was an Army surplus pack, my second was a Kletterwerks, the same people that now make the Mystery Ranch packs. I was young and in good shape back then, but the people I was with were locals, they could go all day at that altitude with a full pack, I had to take a lot of breaks.


Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
_____________"Illegitimus non carborundum est"_______________



Re: back pack for Elk hunt. [Re: pigplinker] #7058856
01/30/18 08:18 PM
01/30/18 08:18 PM
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Posts: 2,176
Ben Wheeler,Tx
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Thanks THF. I appreciate the frank input. This is what I wanted. I have some thinking to do. I appreciate the different opinions. up

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