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  1. #1
    Member #1duck's Avatar
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    Default Game Bags

    This was brought up on another thread but nobody said anything about them worth reading so I thought I'd try to find out which brand to use on my sept float hunt.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Game Bags Discussion

    Hello Duck,

    We had a lively discussion about synthetic game bags a while back, and you can read it AT THIS LINK.

    Of course that discussion was a while ago, and I know folks are still looking at this question, because they are trying to make good decisions about meat care issues as they plan coming hunts. I think it's always good to talk about this issue, because it says that we care about the proper care of game meat.

    In short, my synthetic bags did not allow moisture to evaporate through the material very well, resulting in a humid environment inside the bag. This caused the meat to remain moist to the touch, rather than glazing over ("crusting") as it should have. This has to be the fault of the bags themselves, because I had quarters from the same animal hanging on the same meat pole, which were in cotton bags. The meat in the cotton bags was dry, and the meat in the synthetic bags was damp.

    I have heard many reports from other hunters who had the same experience as mine, including a report recently posted on the manufacturer's website.

    I am sorry that some folks get upset about this, but it's a product review. It has nothing to do with the personalities involved, and I hope we can have another good discussion about it without bashing each other. You sound like someone who just wants to make an informed decision.

    For the record, I purchased another set of the bags upon my return from the field (after the hunt where I tested them against cotton bags). So I have not said that they're worthless and you should not buy them. I believe they are excellent for moving your meat from the kill site to camp, because they are incredibly light and compact. This is exactly what I intend to do with mine. They are also very large, and I didn't have any trouble at all getting a front shoulder or a hind quarter in them. But I do recommend you consider changing out for cotton bags in camp, just to make sure you get a good dry crust on your meat. This is especially important if you have damp / warm weather. In cases of extremely warm weather you might consider not shooting an animal until late in your hunt, and even then only if you can get it out of the field right away.

    In all fairness I should add that some hunters have had good success using the synthetics alone. But that's all I know- I don't know the weather they encountered, how skilled they are at observing potential problems (how many hunts they have done, etc), and other factors that would qualify them as an expert.

    Hope this helps, without fueling someone else's fire!

    -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/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    It largely depends on what you're chasin'? The game bags I use for moose are super heavy duty, whereas my sheep bags are much lighter.

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    Default game bags

    i have not tried synthetic game bags. The only bags I have ever used are whatever size I like - my wife sews pillowcase shaped cloth bags from old sheets. This way I can have them made to the size l like to use in my backpack or just tied on to a frame. By having them a little large I can tie a good knot in the end and then tie a rope around the knot to hang them.
    I have never had a problem with insects getting through them to the meat.

  5. #5
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    Default TAG bags

    I love these tag bags, but what i do is when i get back to camp, I change the bags out if they are cotton or TAG bags. The best thing about TAG bags are they are alot lighter, take up alot less room, and clean alot easier. My son shot a bou with temps in the high 50's this year and had no prob with the meat. Check the archieves for more info.

    Terry

  6. #6

    Default Bags

    [quote=Michael Strahan;212966]Hello Duck,

    We had a lively discussion about synthetic game bags a while back, and you can read it AT THIS LINK.

    Of course that discussion was a while ago, and I know folks are still looking at this question, because they are trying to make good decisions about meat care issues as they plan coming hunts. I think it's always good to talk about this issue, because it says that we care about the proper care of game meat.

    In short, my synthetic bags did not allow moisture to evaporate through the material very well, resulting in a humid environment inside the bag. This caused the meat to remain moist to the touch, rather than glazing over ("crusting") as it should have. This has to be the fault of the bags themselves, because I had quarters from the same animal hanging on the same meat pole, which were in cotton bags. The meat in the cotton bags was dry, and the meat in the synthetic bags was damp.

    For the record, I purchased another set of the bags upon my return from the field (after the hunt where I tested them against cotton bags). So I have not said that they're worthless and you should not buy them. I believe they are excellent for moving your meat from the kill site to camp, because they are incredibly light and compact. This is exactly what I intend to do with mine. They are also very large, and I didn't have any trouble at all getting a front shoulder or a hind quarter in them. But I do recommend you consider changing out for cotton bags in camp, just to make sure you get a good dry crust on your meat. This is especially important if you have damp / warm weather. In cases of extremely warm weather you might consider not shooting an animal until late in your hunt, and even then only if you can get it out of the field right away.


    I've not yet used synthetic bags. The last bags I used were a few old pillow cases ( spur of the moment invite).
    I would however suggest the mixed reviews of the bags is however maybe due to the prior use of the bags. Materials used in the manufacture of textile products are coated with a sizing ( simular to starch only different).Think I'm crazy? Anyone whose wife sews (ask them). Laundaring removes this sizing and would allow the material to breath. I have no firsthand knowledge that this is the culprit but a field test might be in order. Just my 2 cents.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Here's the link to the "recent report on the manufacturer's website: http://www.pristineventures.com/cgi/...c,m=1201829006

    You can judge for yourself.

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    Default Another thing

    Another thing I forgot to add is grass, sticks and tundra dont stick to these TAG bags once they are dry. Also not one fly egg, unlike the cotton bags.

    Terry

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Interesting idea

    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    I've not yet used synthetic bags. The last bags I used were a few old pillow cases ( spur of the moment invite).
    I would however suggest the mixed reviews of the bags is however maybe due to the prior use of the bags. Materials used in the manufacture of textile products are coated with a sizing ( simular to starch only different).Think I'm crazy? Anyone whose wife sews (ask them). Laundaring removes this sizing and would allow the material to breath. I have no firsthand knowledge that this is the culprit but a field test might be in order. Just my 2 cents.
    Interesting idea, that I had not considered. Sizing is a spray normally used by fabric companies, in a manner similar to the way you'd use starch. It is possible that sizing is used on the synthetic material, but nothing has been said about that from the manufacturer.

    I have some synthetic bags that have been washed (from my first experiment with them) and some that are new. I will check the breathability of both and report back.

    Nice catch! I hope it works!

    -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

  10. #10
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    35 years in cotton bags have never let me down yet,pillow cases for sheep hunts and laundery bags for moose and caribou,and a few trash compacter bags for the hot aug. days,this will allow you to put your meat in a lake or creek durring day light hours,then back to cotton bags at night,this will allow meat to air out.....Maybe i'm lucky but i've never lost meat to heat or bugs,just make sure to pay attention to your meat.....

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    Default ironic

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Hello Duck,


    Of course that discussion was a while ago, and I know folks are still looking at this question, because they are trying to make good decisions about meat care issues as they plan coming hunts. I think it's always good to talk about this issue, because it says that we care about the proper care of game meat.
    Mike,

    It's ironic and amazing that you are so concerned about proper meat care and want to educate everyone about all the evils of tag bags. At the very same time on another thread you are gonna work to allow non residents to harvest 5 carbou up in Kotz... so they can sit on the airfield and rot.

    sheez man.....leave it alone, everyone understands your "position" on tag bags!!

  12. #12
    Member #1duck's Avatar
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    I fyour not gonna talk about game bags stay off this thread. Take your personal bulls*** somplace else.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Not gonna work-

    Quote Originally Posted by 340 WBY View Post
    Mike,

    It's ironic and amazing that you are so concerned about proper meat care and want to educate everyone about all the evils of tag bags. At the very same time on another thread you are gonna work to allow non residents to harvest 5 carbou up in Kotz... so they can sit on the airfield and rot.

    sheez man.....leave it alone, everyone understands your "position" on tag bags!!
    Casey,

    Your attempts to make this into a personal drama will not work. If that is your focus, please take it elsewhere.

    Your comment about my supposed endorsements of non residents letting caribou rot is, well, completely absurd. I have written literally thousands of words on this website concerning proper meat care, and I believe my stance on that is well documented both in print and in actual practice. The fact is that nonlocal folks have been harvesting multiple caribou in that unit for several decades, and only recently has this become a problem. There are some reasons for that which can be discussed in another thread, but that's not the topic at hand. Your amazement is only proof that you do not really understand what I've been saying on meat care for many years.

    Once again, in case you did not read it elsewhere: This is not a product bash. It is an attempt at a healthy dialogue about the pros and cons of a piece of cloth used mostly to keep flies off of game meat in the field.

    Back to the subject at hand, your comments about proper game bag usage are most welcome. Personal attacks are not, and will be deleted.

    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/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    340 WBY.
    I don't know you.
    I don't know Mike.
    I kow what Mike was saying a year ago.
    I want you to carefully read what Mike said regarding TAG bags in these posts in this thread.

    “For the record, I purchased another set of the bags upon my return from the field (after the hunt where I tested them against cotton bags). So I have not said that they're worthless and you should not buy them. I believe they are excellent for moving your meat from the kill site to camp, because they are incredibly light and compact. This is exactly what I intend to do with mine. They are also very large, and I didn't have any trouble at all getting a front shoulder or a hind quarter in them. But I do recommend you consider changing out for cotton bags in camp, just to make sure you get a good dry crust on your meat. This is especially important if you have damp / warm weather. In cases of extremely warm weather you might consider not shooting an animal until late in your hunt, and even then only if you can get it out of the field right away.

    In all fairness I should add that some hunters have had good success using the synthetics alone. But that's all I know- I don't know the weather they encountered, how skilled they are at observing potential problems (how many hunts they have done, etc), and other factors that would qualify them as an expert.”


    “Interesting idea, that I had not considered. Sizing is a spray normally used by fabric companies, in a manner similar to the way you'd use starch. It is possible that sizing is used on the synthetic material, but nothing has been said about that from the manufacturer.

    I have some synthetic bags that have been washed (from my first experiment with them) and some that are new. I will check the breathability of both and report back.

    Nice catch! I hope it works!”


    Now if you actually read it, you'll see that Mike is saying that he's not sure they are the end all product for all conditions, but he sure is not bashing the product!!

    By the way, I own TAG bags. Haven't got to test them yet. Next year????

    By the way 340, what was your experience with the bags? Help the original poster out here!!!
    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."

  15. #15

    Default

    I use to use cotton bags then switched to TAG bags about 3 years ago, it was the best decision I've made concerning game bags. I always take 2 sets when I float hunt since I am going to be many, many miles from the nearest butcher. I have found that the best way to use these, at least for me, is to swap them out ever other day. I wash them in the river and let them air dry, with any kind of wind they will dry in less than an hour and then you have a clean pair to swap them out. Last time I used them was in 2006 on a float hunt for moose, shot my moose on the 4th day of an 8 day hunt and had no issues with the meat spoiling. The key is to get the meat cool as quick as you can and keep it that way. One thing I am going to try and do next time is to take a thermometer with me, if you can maintain the meat between 40-48 degree's you should no spoilage. When we weren't floating the meat would either be on a meat pole or on a cache near the river where the air is usually cooler. I found that the TAG bags are plenty long enough to cover a full moose hindquarter with some extra room.

  16. #16

    Cool Here we go!

    Man, these forums have become quite lively as of late!(WhooooWee!) Long Cold Winter or what? Almost as if "Break Up" can't come soon enough! Ha Ha Ha... Seems guys are laying it on the line and speaking out towards some of the politics that unfortunately take place on here now and then...... Interesting isn't it?..... anyway, I just wanted to share some info I have on "Meat Bags". Some facts/Some opinion's, so here goes.... (Hope my post isn't in danger of being deleted???).........
    Cotton vs Polyester(Please Keep the Topic of Meat Bag's in mind as we sort through the following information)....... I will try to make a long story short. I look at it this way..... Our Armed Forces during approximately the last 15 years or so(???) have spent million's of $'s conducting different studies with many different companies to include "NADIC LABS" in attempts to come up with a fabric that would replace cotton. It was determined some time ago that clothing made with cotton lack the ability to wick moisture from the surface of the body, resulting in the retention of moisture, ultimately resulting in many negative effects. Some important ones being the lack of the bodies ability to remain cool in hot climates, warm in cold climates, and the promotion of excessive amounts of surface bacteria on ones body due to this excess moisture being present.(perfect environment for many different bacteria's to grow! and this negative aspect was only compounded by the lack of ones ability to conduct the proper level of personal hygiene brought on by extreme field conditions!). These studies with the facts of they're finding's obviously brought on a whole new way of thinking, resulting in the services going almost completely away from cotton garments all together, and adopting the current field garment's made of polyester and gortex! This change obviously wasn't immediately embraced by everyone, based soley on the fact that everyone "Hates" change, and are naturally prone to fall back on the old cliche of "That isn't the way we used to do it" or "back when it was it was hard we did it this way with no problem" But eventually common sence prevailed, and the facts spoke for themselves, and people adapted over time. As a matter of fact, a phrase adopted by and often said at the Army's Cold Weather Training Center at Black Rapids is "Cotton Kills"!
    Case and point....... For those of you that have purchased and worn shirts made of polyester such as Under Armor etc..., I'm sure you have noticed the difference in the performance, I.E..... the lack of moisture retention during periods of physical exertion and body odor build up? Simply due to this fact alone, It has allowed me to wear a shirt of this nature for 7 days straight before changing out in extreme field conditions. This alone is something I wouldn't have been able to do with a cotton shirt (unless I wanted to risk being aggressively ripped from my tent in the middle of the night by my hunting partner's and tossed in the nearest creek, forced to bath!)
    Now, if we take these same facts and technology, and apply them to poly meat bags, and test them against cotton bags in identical situations,(I told you I would eventually get back to the main topic)......... then in theory, our out come would be a meat bag, superior to those made of cotton, that simply has an enhanced wicking ability, which will facilitate in the removal of the moisture needed to cause the desired crusting effect on our meat(more rapidly), while at the same time our meat would experience a higher degree of the cooling effect(a Bi-product) naturally caused by evaporation, thus making it an obvious bag of choice, right????????? Wrong!!!!!! What?????????? Why????????
    Because, in all honesty, before everyone runs out and buy's a set of Tag Bags based soley on theory, I admit we still need to address other points of importance such as durability and the knit of fabric, sizeability of the bags in general, and the cleanability of the bags. I will finish up with this as I need to get back to work!<GRIN>! Note:The following comments are based soley on my experiences, and the experiences of those in which I interact with frequently who own poly bags. I have determined that when it comes to durability, when compared to a high quality cotton bag, both bags probably run neck and neck. However, I have experienced less holes in my poly bags caused by snags from brush etc.., less friction holes from rubbing the racks on the quad, and holes due to sharp bone shards.(Could be with cost in mind, I am more aware of hole causing scenario's these days!) I prefer the fabric chosen in which to make Tag Bags for the simple fact that it defeats bugs hands down. Yes, there are cotton bags out there that say they do the same thing, but In my opinion, with my experiences, the poly almost intimidates bugs in a way..... The only fly eggs for instance that we experienced on our bags this last year after 4 days of hanging, were layed at the very top where the bags get tightly sinched closed by the draw string, forming a small bowl in which the flies could lay some eggs, but with still no chance of penetrating the bag. The neat thing is the eggs can't stick to poly like they do cotton, so I was able to blow them off, and sprinkle a little black powder on the tops, and that was the end of our flies! As far as breathability, we got our bags back to camp around 0430 in the morning, we ate and racked out, then got up about 0900, and those bags were well on they're way to crusting. The fabric in fact almost seemed as part of the crust on the meat because of it's nature, but did not adhere to the bag when removed 4 days later back in the shop. The bags used on float hunts acted in the same nature, and provided the same positive results with the meat, however I admit a serious conscious effort had to be made to keep them dry, and protect the crust on the meat after getting it established(removed from the vessel every night to allow continuous opportunites to dry). I can see here how someone can easily mistake there own wrong doing as an equipment failure. Last thing you want to do each night after being dog tired from hunting all day is to establish a meat pole, and hump and hang those heavy meat bags all over again! Gotta do it! consider it non-negotiable!
    As for the manufactured size of the bags, I have heard folks say that they wish they were bigger because they had problems fitting some big moose quarters in the bags. I (we) haven't experienced that problem, nor did the guys on those float hunting video's seen quartering up and bagging their huge bulls. What might have happened was they got they're bags mixed up(in the dark), and possibly tried to fit a hind quarter in a bag that was actually made for a front. Who know's (as there are two different sizes in a Tag Bag Kit along with a small bag designed for the choice cuts).
    Lastly, In my opinion, you can get almost any bag clean, and white again. However, I have found with the poly bags, that just do to the nature of the fabric, and the fact that it is made of polyester(which doesn't stain easily), my bags come out of the washer nice and clean everytime, on the normal wash cycle setting.(Ofcourse I do this when my wife isn't home!)
    Anyway, not everyone is going to agree all the time no matter what the facts! That is a Fact in it's own right. I remember somone saying that the Tag bag's have changed the fabric they were originally made of when they first came out...... If so, I am unaware of that, and can only speak of the bags I have currently. In the end, I think it all comes down to great products, no matter if they are planes, trains, automobiles, or meat bags, having a certain amount of speculation due to good and bad success stories based soley on circumstance. Example, I can't see how saying the whole line of Kimber Fire Arms sucks just because I dont like the feel of the one my buddy owns now can I? That would be a rediculous statement based soley on the reputation of the company....... agreed? Anyway, Good luck to all, and thanks for the opportunity to post...........
    Be safe, and enjoy your time outdoors!
    Mountain Man

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

  17. #17

    Default Paper OR Plastic?

    Sounds like the grocery store, 82 moose and the bags at chemo guns, not the cheap ones, have never failed! Pay attention though, the bugs never rest! I spray the bags down with lemon juice and tabasco when the meat is in em!
    You can go cheap if the bugs are asleep!= COLD

    Louie

  18. #18
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    Wow!!! mtnman- you're either retired or the fastest lunchtime typer I've even seen! Great info, at least the parts that I read!

  19. #19
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default interesting points

    Sounds like alot of good points and there is pros and cons at both spectrums. I went on my first float last year and used the tag bags. I thought that they made good sense and wanted to do the right thing. My wife and I harvested 2 bou's on the first legal day so we had our work cut out for us. We were up in the tundra of gmu 25a on the 5th of sept and the weather was up and down. I think the warmest it got was 45 but averaged 39 during the day and 28 at night. We had one night that it rained all night and one day that it sprinkled for a couple of hours. I was very careful with our meat and anal about proper care. I knew that I was a rookie that did alot of research about proper handling and care. A lot of info came from the members of this forum, THANKS!! Our meat was constinatly turned on the raft and kept dry. Most of our trip was in the tundra area ending in the tree line. At night we would make out meat cache 50 to 100 yrds from our tent up river. Normally there wasn't much of an opportunity to hang the meat so we constucted ground caches placing the meat on top of logs and or bushes and then covered that with a elevated tarp to protect it and still allow venting. Here in a pic from the last day. We had just changed a couple of the bags that were holding moisture because we had extras and they were the worst ones, getting to my next point. In thinking back, I'll say about half of the meat had a good crust on them like what everyone discribes as the ideal status. We also used citric acid every other day on the meat. Some of the bags would stick to the meat and I would have to peal it off. I would say that some dried real well while others did not. I will say that we lost no meat to spoilage after 7 days. I was very proud of my wife and myself having accomplish what we did as Alaskan greenhorns. or is sourdough the right term. When we got back to the processor I ask them what they thought of the status of the meat. I wanted an unbias opinion for learning purposes and made the decission to donate one of the bou to the Fairbanks food bank. They said that it was in good shape, that they had seen better but also alot worse and that we fell right in the middle of the pack. I felt proud...As a final note, I think that we need someone on the forum that is respected, experienced and knowlegdable to run an independant test on the bags and report their findings to all and put an end to all of the speculations. I will say that I'm tired of all of the bashing that goes on and the people making comments that do not stick with the original question or topic. If your post doesn't have something meaningful to add to the topic at hand, then shut the hell up and start your own thread Sorry but it needed to be said!!

  20. #20
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    Default sorry

    Sorry about the size of the picture. This is the first attempt at photobucket.

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