View Poll Results: How far would you be willing to pack a moose?

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  • If I can't drive my ATV to it, I'm not shooting it.

    12 4.94%
  • Less than a mile

    82 33.74%
  • 1-3 miles

    105 43.21%
  • 3-5 miles

    28 11.52%
  • More than 5 miles

    16 6.58%
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Thread: Packing a moose - how far would you go?

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default Packing a moose - how far would you go?

    My wife and I were out hiking today when we came across what will be a legal bull moose. He wasn't huge - about 40-45" with 3 brow tines on one side - but he certainly caught our attention. This got us into a discussion on how far is too far to pack a moose. I've packed a large caribou 6-7 miles out of the mountains solo, and I've done my fair share of sheep packing, but I've never had to pack a moose very far. I've heard the horror stories, but I've also heard of folks going quite a ways. As it was today, the moose was about 4 miles in, but the non-motorized trail was really good and there was little elevation gain. At first I dismissed the idea, but when she got to talking about inviting two friends along and splitting the packing 4 ways, maybe 2-3 trips each, it started to sound not so crazy. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    By the way, for the sake of the poll let's assume this is a meat bull - no record size antlers to provide extra incentive - and that the walking is fairly easy without miles of bogs or thick brush involved.

  3. #3

    Default

    Moose are heavy and a lot of us hunters are in crappy shape. Figure out how many loads it takes to pack out a moose, divide that by the number of packers, and multiply that by the number of miles one way. This is the number of miles you will have to hike with 60 to 100 #s on your back. Don't forget the miles you have to hike with no meat on your back. I'm in decent shape, but wouldn't want to go over 2 miles solo or 3 miles with a friend. This would be downhill or level. If it was uphill with any type of grade 1 mile is it.

  4. #4
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    Default great question

    I have packed a large meat bull (35-40") a lil over 3 miles on one occasion myself and another in the 5 mile range with a friend. In each instance it was worth it. I got away from the people and got meat for the winter. At the time however I said I wouldnt do that so far in again and by the next year the hard part was forgotten and the joy of the hunt was remembered. I plan on doing it again this year given the oppertunity. Just my thoughts

  5. #5

    Default Pack

    Happiness is a heavy pack.......for a couple miles or so.

  6. #6

    Default heavy pack

    1 mile alone / 2 with help give or take a 1/2 mile depending on location and the amount of time I have to finish the job.

  7. #7
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    Default Travios...

    Packing out moose is so much easier if you have a good travios...

  8. #8
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Disatnce

    My partner told me if I shoot a moose more than 1 mile from camp, I'm in BIG trouble.

  9. #9
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default I would say

    less than a mile, but only because I am disabled, and it would take me paying off several friends with beer and BBQ to get the moose out. I miss doing pack hikes. There was a time I liked walking in 5 or 6 miles and being alone to pack out my kill. Now I have trouble going less than 1 mile with just a gun

  10. #10
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Default

    I like mine right on the riverbank if possible.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    My wife and I were out hiking today when we came across what will be a legal bull moose. He wasn't huge - about 40-45" with 3 brow tines on one side - but he certainly caught our attention. This got us into a discussion on how far is too far to pack a moose. I've packed a large caribou 6-7 miles out of the mountains solo, and I've done my fair share of sheep packing, but I've never had to pack a moose very far. I've heard the horror stories, but I've also heard of folks going quite a ways. As it was today, the moose was about 4 miles in, but the non-motorized trail was really good and there was little elevation gain. At first I dismissed the idea, but when she got to talking about inviting two friends along and splitting the packing 4 ways, maybe 2-3 trips each, it started to sound not so crazy. What do you think?
    With your experience, good health and already having relative knowledge of what to expect if you were to go back and knock him down, I'd`say go for it. Especially with more folks helping.
    If it were swampy and you were wearing hip waders and you were in a different sort of scenario, then I'd regroup and re-think before pulling the trigger at 4 miles in. My very first moose was just that but only a 2 1/2mile pack. I told myself, nope, ain't doing that again. And I haven't! If it were better ground and not much in elevation change, then I'd do it again, even now.

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    Brian, with the situation you described, and getting the help of others (including your wife), I'd say it's definitely doable. In areas where you aren't required to leave meat on the bone, it makes it a lot easier to split loads into more manageable weights.

    Most cases though, I'm of the same opinion as Marv; I try to get them as close to the river as possible! Some of those on-the-bone quarters are 150 lbs! Even when using a pole and two people to try to move them, they are awkward and heavy. A moose the size of the one you described shouldn't be much over 500lbs of boned-out meat, and on a good trail with everyone carrying 50lb loads it wouldn't be too bad getting it out. That's a lot of good healthy meat to last the winter.



  13. #13
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    Default packing a moose....

    I've decided that - for me - packing a moose is waste of my energy and my aging joints. I hunt off a small river that is surrounded by lakes and ponds. This year, I'm including a 16' Royalex(plastic) canoe in my outfit....they make dandy sleds for pulling moose quarters across the muskeg. I can safely and comfortably(?) pull more weight than I can or care to carry. Aluminum canoes don't slide worth a hoot. Think of a canoe as a specialized hunting toboggan. And I can use it on all the ponds and lakes I hunt around. And my sentry dog(s) can help with the load. It may not work in all terrain/situations, but it should be helpful in almost any semi-swampy area.

  14. #14
    Member trapperrick's Avatar
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    Talking

    Whenever possible I'd use a willow switch and run him back close to the road before shooting him. Seriously, If it's over a mile I'd be looking for a friend with an ATV and a meat trailer!! Break out the beer and barbeque for him cause you're looking at maybe 800 lbs of meat plus new boot soles. Hiking any distance with a 100 lb sack-o-meat is hard enough; getting back to the moose to find Yogi and Boo Boo having a feast is even worse; the longer it takes, the more likely you'll have a critter feasting on your tenderloins.

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    - and that the walking is fairly easy without miles of bogs or thick brush involved.
    I would not use my back to pack out this moose. I would use a very light weight 2-wheel cart, I made. It can carry a ¼ of moose with no trouble at all. I would also shuttle the quarter’s part of the way, and go back for another load. This will help in two ways. One it will get the meat away from the guts, and two, shorten the distance.
    Another trick I have learned is tell the guys, I will give then a map of where the cold beer is hidden. Would you like to barrow my cart?

  16. #16
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default

    So here is a question. Why is it that I am "not allowed to vote in this poll". Do I have to prove that I am over the age of 18 or that I own a rifle and hunt or what? Is this intended to keep the Sierra Club from influencing our important votes?

  17. #17

    Default Did it Last Year...

    Hunting out of Tok, drop camp on a ridge, shot a 56 incher about 1/2 mile down the ridge in some light timber and tundra. We were able to bone out the meat, which helped a lot - still took us 10 total packloads, 5 apiece, about 1/2 mile uphill. Took us 4 hours the first evening to field dress the moose and get all the quarters and meat away from the carcass; then about 5 hours the next day to bone the quarters, and pack the last 8 meat loads to camp (took 1 load of meat apiece when we left the kill site the night before). We took our time and didn't try to kill ourselves, I shot the moose on the 2nd day of my 10 day hunt, so we had time on our side.

    Based on how that felt, I would pack a boned out moose up to 1-1.5 miles if the ground was reasonable (wouldn't shoot one that far away in a swamp), but am not sure I could go more than 1/4 mile carrying a quarter with the bone in - those are hard to lift, left alone carry out on your back!

    Michael

  18. #18
    Member chrisWillh's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd say one or two miles solo, that's a lot of weight, especially on the bone. I never hunt solo though and that helps.
    Chris Willhoite

  19. #19
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default Oakman

    I believe you need to make a certain amount of posts before you can participate in polls. It may be a certain amount of time since your initial registration as well.

  20. #20

    Default

    I was a packer for a guide one year and had to pack the moose from creek bottom to hill top (500ft elevation gain) in about 1.75 miles so that he could land his cub and load the moose in there. I had to do this with 2 moose (63" and 61") over the course of 5 days. The key is to pack it in stages that way you get the meat away from the gut pile. It was brutal but I made it. With a smaller moose and a good trail, you shouldn't have a problem.

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