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Thread: TAG Bags revisited?

  1. #1
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    Default TAG Bags revisited?

    OK all, I don't want to start another controversy.
    Back last spring these bags were a big subject, but I've heard nothing since the end of the season.
    For most of us the seasons are pretty well wrapped up, so any new insight?
    Did anyone buy & try them this year?
    I'm really not looking for new (or old) theories, just this years experience.
    I bought a set, but sadly they came home clean.
    Sure a pleasure to pack around though
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  2. #2
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    Same here. Bought the small set for sheep hunting, and no sheep. Oh well mabey next year.

  3. #3

    Default Tag Bags

    We used Tag bags on one of our moose this year. Tag bags don't seem to let a crust form. I think they would be nice for sheep hunting. But for moose when your hanging it from a meat pole I would like to see a nice crust form. The moose we bagged in the old cotton bags formed a crust hanging right next to the tag bag moose. Maybe someone on here knows why they don't let a crust form. The only thing I can think of is that the material doesn't breath as well. I'd also be interested to see if anyone else has had the same results.

  4. #4

    Default TAG Bags

    Got two 24x44 for my sheep hunt. They sent a free backstrap bag with the order. I only needed one and the backstrap bag to get all my meat in, they seem huge. They worked well for their purpose, and cleaned up very well. Super light and strong. I switched the bags a couple of times, rinsed them out and hung them to dry. They dried quickly and the blood washed out easily.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  5. #5

    Default game bags

    I did not use the TAG Bags but I did learn that in a perfect world you would have about 4-5 sets of bags per Moose on a float hunt. I only had 2 sets and I couldnt switch them out as often as I liked cause the other set was still damp.

    Sorry if this is off topic

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Okay I'll bite-

    I didn't have the opportunity to use them this fall, but my opinion has not changed. In fact, what Bear Man said reinforces my experience with them last year. For those who missed it, here's a recap:

    1. The material doesn't breathe as well as the cotton bags I use.

    2. The bags are expensive, compared to cotton bags.

    3. The bags are extremely light weight and compact.

    4. The material seems to tear more easily than cotton bags.

    I would recommend them for carrying in your pack as you hunt. This assures that you will actually carry your bags (because they're light and compact), and gives you something to keep the flies off until you get the meat back to camp. In other words, just use them for packing meat to camp. At that point you can change out for cotton bags if your meat is not developing a dry surface (crust, or glaze, as it is commonly called).

    The first time I used 'em I lost two or three of them because of rips. We did half of our moose in these bags and the other half in cotton bags. The meat in the cottons fared very well- nice glaze, no spoilage, and the bags didn't rip. Not so with the synthetic bags. My butcher (Doug Drum, the owner of Indian Valley Meats) was not complimentary of the bags, but I maintain that you can use them for packing, as I said.

    For the record, I purchased another set after last fall (that oughta get a few folks scratching their heads).

    -Mike
    Hope it makes sense. If not, too bad...
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  7. #7
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    I used them and they worked well. I agree with the crust comments but it does not bother me. They work much better than cotton bags IMO. J.

  8. #8

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    Try hanging your meat without any bags on them and they will crust over and if it's raining it's best to bring a tarp along to put over the meat. IMHO, I don't see how the TAG bags can work any differently this year as compared to last year, they weren't made any differently.

  9. #9
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    AKHunter, I don't expect them to have worked differently, I was hoping there would be a wider base of use & more people with experiential knowledge as opposed to theoretical knowledge.
    I intend to take mine on a high country hike in/packpack moose hunt a friend & I hope to do next year in the early part of the season.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  10. #10

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    Gotcha, I think you'll be pleased with the TAG bags, I used them last year on my moose and they worked great. I had 1 set of cotton game bags and 1 set of Tag bags. I put the meat in TAG bags and let them hang for a day and they eventually got soaked in blood so I swapped them out with the cotton bags just so the bugs wouldn't get to it. I washed the bags in the river and within an hour and a half they were bone dry and I put them back on the meat where they stayed for the rest of the trip. I was doing a float hunt so I was able to pull the bags back some and let the air get to it and I didn't lose any meat to spoilage. I took it to Indian Valley meats and they were pleased with the condition of the moose meat. I can't say if they breath any better than cotton but with cotton, you can't get those bags clean in the field like you can with the TAG bags and they are super long and will cover an entire moose quarter easily. 2 sets of TAG bags would be perfect so you can swap them out on a daily basis and let the meat air dry in the meantime.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up TAG bags used on two hunts

    I bought 3 sets of each size of tag bags and was lucky enough to use them all this past hunting season. I would say the caribou hunt was perfect hunting conditions. The moose hunt was perfect conditions to try how good the TAG bags worked. Not too bad for hunting either.

    The first hunt was in the Brooks Range for caribou. details of the hunt follow; The temperature range was from 75-90 degrees during the daytime and 30 to 45 degrees at night.
    Dates were 24-30 August 2007
    No rain for the entire trip.
    Breeze was constant most days at 5-10 knots and 20 knots in the morning.
    Meat was kept in tag bags for a maximum of 6 days.
    All of the meat was kept at 30-50 degrees throughout the trip.
    The meat was elevated by branches/trees and rocks one foot off the gravel bar. I then loosely layered branches to get the tarp one foot above the meat for adequate ventilation.

    Result:
    No meat was lost. Every quarter crusted quickly by the end of the day or the next morning.
    We deboned the meat for air transportation the night prior to departure. By the morning all the meat crusted back up.
    No game bags were ripped or torn. Not one fly or egg was on or in the tag bags.
    We did not use citric acid.
    Each set was for one caribou. We ended up with four extra bags total. We put each head with antlers in a bag and all of the hides in one bag. So actually we ended up with no extra bags.

    Moose trip will be another post, so I can include meat cache pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Moose hunt with TAG bags

    Moose hunt details; The second hunt for moose was in the interior. Not giving up this spot.
    3-13 September 2007
    The meat was kept in TAG bags for nine days maximum
    Weather was a wide range from sunny 50 degree to rainy 35 degree days. Night time temps were 15-35 degrees. We had four days of rain. Two of the days of rain were while packing the 59 1/2 inch moose 3 miles to camp. We had hail/snow on one day also.

    First moose, 39 inches, was shot 200 yards from camp on day 3 of the hunt and on the meat pole in whole quarters within 3 hours of trigger pull. The moose dropped off a bank and in the water the bull went. Luckily another party member had brought a come-a-long and the moose was dressed in ankle deep water instead of chest deep.
    This meat was crusted by the next morning. We covered the meat pole with branches and a tarp. You can never have enough tarps!

    Bull 2 was shot on day four of the trip three miles from camp. This bull was deboned into carryable portions (100-150lb size chunks) and placed in the TAG bags on a temporary ground cache with branches and a tarp with-in three hours of trigger pull. The moose set of TAG bags was not enough for one very large moose deboned to carryable portions. I had packed two sets of moose TAG bags up the mountain due to the light weight. We used a total of 10 moose TAG bags for this moose. A total of three days and nine round trips were used to take the meat and antlers from the kill site to a meat cache by the water. Day two and three of the hauling process was overcast with mist/rain the entire time. This meat did not crust for obvious reasons. Camp was moved the day after the meat haul was completed.

    Once we arrived and hung all of the meat on the pole at our last camp the meat started to crust, but never truely crusted on the large bull. Due largely in part to the meat being deboned and moved often.

    We did tear two TAG bags on this trip. Two--one inch tears. Sweepers on the river were the blame for this. We hung meat weighing in excess of 150 lbs. by the strings of the TAG bags. Not one tear or malfunction of the strings or bags resulted from the hanging.
    Not one fly or egg on or in the TAG bags resulted.

    All of the meat was in an edible condition with no outside contamination.
    I will be able to reuse every bag again for more hunts.
    My wife cleaned the TAG bags in the washing machine and no stains or smells are evident. A couple stitches and the holes were fixed.

    The one time I used cotton bags all of the cotton bags ripped apart just carrying and moving the meat around in the yard. I will not use the cotton bags again for the durability issues.

    Vance,

    I hope this unbiased test will help you out in your desision.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Default

    Thanks for the input all.

    AFhunter.
    Appreciate the info & the stories.
    My decision is made I guess. As stated, I bought & packed them this year, just no chance to get them bloody.
    I will be taking them on this falls trip. It will be a pack in (backpack) of about 4 miles in fairly steep country & I want LIGHT!!!!
    I have some good cotton bags that you sure wouldn't tear around the yard but those buggers are bulky & HEAVY!
    I guess I'm just hoping the experience of others will confirm my choice.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  14. #14

    Thumbs up I Love Em!!!

    I purchased a set of "T"-Bags from Larry "B" when I purchased my Pro-"P's". I used them twice this year on caribou and moose and Love Em! All 7 bags pack up smaller than any I have ever seen, They're super light, and and dont absorb the blood, so the bags cool, breath, and crust quickly. As we all know, it was warm during this past fall, plenty of blow flies around, and they can crawl all over the bags as much as they want, lay eggs and what not, but can not penetrate the bags no matter how hard they try. Sprinkle alittle black pepper on the outside, and that immediately takes care of them even attempting to land. In closing, another good point to mention is how well they clean up after use. I soak them over night in dish soap, rinse them with the hose (which instantly removes almost all blood and meat particles) then throw them in the washing machine with some Oxy-clean, and they come out brand new!(the polyester doesn't stain) with they're durability, they will last a long long time.... for $65.00 bucks, it's my opinion that it is a smart investment!
    Be safe, and enjoy your time outdoors!
    Mountain Man

    "I'm not here for a long time! I'm here for a good time!!!!!!!!!!!"

  15. #15
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    Default tags

    I love this product so compact and light. Tuffer than I would have ever thought. I showed a set to my grandfather 82 years young an outfitter for over 50 years with more packing miles under his belt than most super cubs. After looking the bags over loaded with meat said this is the best thing to come around since the 30-06. Now you don't need an extra pack horse just to carry the meat sacks. In the past I would take my bags to camp and it would look like I was packing a dog bed now I can take all the bags I need for a month long hunt with 4 hunters in my saddle bags.

  16. #16
    Member Jason in Anchorage's Avatar
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    Default Lots of experience with both...

    alright...I have done about 10 fly in hunts in AK over the last 4 years. I have used both types of bags...in all kinds of weather. TAG bags are great and lightweight...BUT, I don't get the heavy crust on the meat that I get with the cotton bags. I hate the heavy cotton bags but if weight will allow for them, I will take them every time. They allow the meat to crust easier and quicker.
    While sheep hunting...I carry 1-2 TAG bags to lighten the pack.
    That's my story and I am stickin to it.
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  17. #17

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    Kind of of topic but I have a few questions.

    1. Roughly what does it cost to get a moose butchered, assuming some sausage etc?

    2. Please explain the "crust" I have taken, and butchered many deer and several elk but this "crust" talk is new. Is this simply a dried layer on top of the meat that keeps the meat clean and pest free?

    3. Do you think tag bags are good for an elk hunt in the lower 48? I have been using Alaskan Game bags, strong light and cheap but might get some so I can test them myself and get used to them fo my future moose and bou hunts in AK.

    Thanks DonV Ohio

  18. #18
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    Depending on who you use, 45 to 50 cents a pound for butchering and wrapping. Sausage can be $2.00 to 2.50 a pound.
    The "crust" is a hard layer on the outside of the meat.
    I have used the Alaska game bags with good success over the years. I did notice that the ones I bought up here and the ones a friend bought from Cabela's were different. I have a set of TAG bags but haven't had the oppurtunity to test them side by side yet.

  19. #19
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Default Game Bags

    I utilize T.A.G. Bags exclusively.

    In order to get a crust, the meat must remain unmoved for a period of time, and have (some) airflow over it in all but the dry conditions. You will never get a crust if constantly rolling the meat around within the bags or if the bags remain exposed to precipitation, but that's the same with all bags, right?

    My 2007 moose hung for 5 days, unmoved, and I had to PEEL the bags away from the meat.

    My 2007 goat did not crust up until I quit moving it around. As soon as I hung it with a fan blowin indirectly in the garage, it crusted.

    This year I had ZERO spoilage and ZERO infestation. All my meat hunts took place in September.

    If you're having trouble keeping meat from spoiling year after year on your float hunts, or extended hunts, then you must plan shorter floats or meat pick-up's along the route.

    Remember, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEAT once it's on the ground. The duration or completion of the float comes second to getting the meat back in processable condition.

    Taylor

    Taylor

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Alaskan Game Bags

    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    ...I have been using Alaskan Game bags, strong light and cheap ...
    Don,

    I tried those bags as well and discovered that fly eggs can pass right through the material. Additionally, the bag material clings too closely to the meat for my liking. I prefer a bag that hangs LOOSELY around the quarter, without sticking to the meat. This ensures that the meat itself glazes over properly.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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