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Thread: Game bags for sheep?

  1. #1

    Default Game bags for sheep?

    After reading all the posts on the TAG bags and cotton and then seeing sheep brought up, I was wondering how most of you use the game bags for sheep?

    I for one hunt the beginning of the season (Aug. 10) because of the job, so the temperatures while sheep hunting can be in the 80+ mark on some days. My partner and I only carry garbage bags for the meat. We bone out the sheep (leave the meat out as we bone it out so it can cool somewhat) double bag it place it in the pack and head to camp. Once at camp, we open up the bags and place next to the creek. The next day, we triple bag the meat and almost submerse the entire bag in the creek. This is how we keep our sheep. We have had it in the water for 5 days one time. Then once we get back to the river to float down, the meat is placed in a cooler for the trip home. We have NEVER had any loss of meat or spoilage. The water if by far colder than the air during this time of the year and the meat is ice cold. Just can't imagine hanging sheep in game bags. I have heard of people losing their sheep to bears and can see how that is possible if leaving hanging in trees.

  2. #2

    Default Bagging Sheep

    I've been using Kifaru Game bags for sheep hunts. They weigh 1 oz each. Two per sheep. They are made of a parachute-like material. What I like about them is that they are cylindrical shaped so they spread weight more evenly in my pack rather than a bowling ball like lump in the bottom. Like you as I'm boning a sheep I'll spread the pieces out on rocks to cool, then when done throw it all into a bag. I'll hang this bag for a time to let blood drain. I've found one bag holds the meat of one sheep. In the other bag I can fit the entire hide with the head and horns poking out the top. I line my pack with a contractor grade garbag bag and put the kifaru bags inside that. I've used all kinds of techniques to keep meat cool depending on circumstances, submersion in water like you mentioned, laying the meat out on rocks in the cool of evening or morning, building mini rock shelters to shade it, snow patches. Usually when I kill a sheep, I end the hunt and head out, so I can get the meat out of the field in a day or two, then into a cooler on ice for the drive home.

  3. #3
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    Northway,

    We have a mutual friend who taught me an even better method than what you use with garbage bags. There are few areas in the interior without permafrost, and if you dig down to permafrost and put the bagged meat on the ice and cover it at night, then wrap the bagged meat in a coat or something to insulate it and put it in your pack during the day, it really stays cold! The ice is much colder than the creek or rivers too. The submersion method works, and few know about it, so thanks for bringing it up...but the permafrost method (or if you are near a glacier) is even better. I know that many hunters associate plastic bags and meat as a no-no, but this method works very well, as Northway says.
    Best,

  4. #4

    Default permafrost

    Mark,

    Thanks for bringing that point up. I hunted caribou when I was younger out by Ketchumstuk and that is exactly what the guy did who I was with. We were hunting the early August season and the weather was constantly in the 70's and 80's. This was their annual caribou camp and they had a hole dug about 3 feet down right to the permafrost. That is where we put the caribou meat. We had one down there for 4 days in the hot weather and it was just fine when we got home. Kept the meat in coolers for the trip out. Thanks for the great idea. I was lucky enough to kill a sheep on an recent slab of snow, and that sure was nice to get the meat on. It cooled off great while I was doing the caping job.

    Northway

  5. #5

    Default sheep bags

    hey good info was wondering myself what to do. This year will be my first sheep hunt cant wait.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Nice!

    Mark, et al-

    These are a couple of really good tips. I'v never tried either method, but both make sense. The water cool method concerns me for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I have heard of folks losing the meat by leaving it in the river the entire hunt, but then others say it works for them. What gives?

    I really like the permafrost method and have never tried it either. I may do an early hunt this year just to try it out; sounds great. I trust you folks who live out there and have to do this over the judgment those of us who get to try our methods only occasionally, myself included. Thanks to you folks, I now have two more tricks in my arsenal!

    Regards,

    -Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Northway,

    We have a mutual friend who taught me an even better method than what you use with garbage bags. There are few areas in the interior without permafrost, and if you dig down to permafrost and put the bagged meat on the ice and cover it at night, then wrap the bagged meat in a coat or something to insulate it and put it in your pack during the day, it really stays cold! The ice is much colder than the creek or rivers too. The submersion method works, and few know about it, so thanks for bringing it up...but the permafrost method (or if you are near a glacier) is even better. I know that many hunters associate plastic bags and meat as a no-no, but this method works very well, as Northway says.
    Best,
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  7. #7
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    Default Submersion method

    I have used the water submersion on several hunts from caribou hunts to a black bear hunt. As long as I did not keep playing with the meat you should not get that much moisture from condensation. Works better than hanging it when its hot.

    Terry

  8. #8

    Default Water Preservation Technique

    I have a friend that hunts moose every year up a major drainage in SE. They are up there for a couple weeks. The early moose shot get stored in the river, whole with the hide on. The water being glacier runoff is " ice cold" and keeps the meat perfect.

  9. #9
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Question permafrost method

    Thanks for the tips, Couple of questions though.
    • When you expose permafrost donít you long term wind up with a pretty serious mud hole in the terrain? Its big country out there but only so many good camping spots on a given river/ hill.
    • What did you have in your sheep hunting pack that you could dig a 3 foot hole with?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  10. #10

    Default permafrost

    Dave,

    My buddies that dug the hole, kept with covered with some styrofoam that they had brought out, a piece of plywood and then the layer of vegetation that was cut off the top. Not mud at all. It was pretty slick.

    I have NEVER lost a piece of sheep meat. Here is an example of what some idiots will try. My buddy and I shot two sheep and we are always scamming about ways to get it off the mountain without packing it. Well, this year that we were hunting, my buddies dad had gotten us two top of the line army pack. Internal fram types. Well, we had the bright idea of putting all the meat in one pack (the meat was in garbage bags) and we lucked out by having a nice rock chute that went all the way to the bottom. Well we got all that meat in the pack tied it up nice and tight and we gave it a shove! Darn if that didn't work! We watch the pack rolling down and down and gave each other high fives! THEN, low and behold, pieces of meat start flying out as it is rolling and rolling! The meat was spread out for about 100yards! We stood there looking like the idiots we were! We both went down and picked up EVERY piece of meat. We leave it in as big a chunks as we can, so we didn't have a bunch of small pieces to deal with. Luckily for us, shale isn't all dirt, but we picked up every piece and when we got to camp, washed it all in the creek. We packed up this meat and kept it cool in the water. Got home 4 days later and all the meat was good. That glacier water is cold and surely keeps the bacteria from growing.

  11. #11

    Default garbage bags/game meat

    I trust everyone knows that some garbage bags have a chemical treatment on the inside to cut down odor so I was told to always turn them inside out before you put meat into them by a very experienced sheep guide.He guided me to a Stone's sheep, 6x6 elk and a very nice goat on one hunt so I trust him.

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