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Thread: Boneing out your game

  1. #1
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    Default Boneing out your game

    I been reading a lot and yalls info is a great help. I live in mt and have been wanting to hunt moose up alaska way. My questions is i notice most info i see when it comes to packing your game out yall quarter it up.why not bone all the meat so its less weight or do yall.when we kill elk we always bone it for less weight carrying and loading on the horse to pack out but we also dont have to get the rib cage out but you could still bone that out also. Thanks for your info

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Most areas now require you to leave the meat on the bone.
    what happened over the years, is that wanton waste of meat often happened when people boned out meat.
    The Fish and Game decided that it had become such a problem with hunters not being careful enough to bring back all the meat, so they just made it the law to leave the meat on the bone.
    Its a good rule.. one of the best rules in my opinion.
    Wanton waste is and was a big problem up here with trophy hunters, and those that lack good meat handling skills. this eliminates that variable.
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  3. #3

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    Leaving the meat on the bone allows for less chance of contamination. As Alaskacanoe mentioned above, it is also required in a number of places due to past problems with waste. It's hard for someone to claim they got it all when a front shoulder (bone and all) is missing.

    Personally, I prefer to leave it on the bone as long as possible. Makes it easier to carry and hang when you have a fairly solid chunk to hang onto. Also, less meat surface area exposed to contamination. If I have a long haul, I will consider boning it out to lighten the load, but then again, I typically choose to not hunt that far from my main mode of transportation (bike, boat, etc...).

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The only time I will bone out is if I am going to get home within 48 hours of killing the animal or if weight restrictions on an aircraft require it. I wouldn't dream of doing it on a float trip.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    thanks for answers.i never thught about but when we get our elk which is usualy pretty warm we ride out and that takes about 10 to12 hours once we are loaded up on horse.we elk hunt for the meat so we take all the meat including boning the ribs out.its kinda of tough to load packs with rib cages and legs sticking out everywhere u really have to make sure packs are even otherwise u get a pretty major wreck if a pack slides under a horse.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Steamfitter,
    You would not believe how many folks come here and shoot a moose 2 or 3 miles from camp and find out they are way in over there head.
    Down in the states usually 2 miles is not really that far, but here its different in so many ways. walking is oft times extremely difficult thru sedges and swamps and tussock, Alder thickets, down timber burns etc . No trails ...
    You would not believe how many have given up on hauling the whole critter back to camp, so they try to stomp it into the swamp or hide it in brush etc, pretend to have bears steal it, let it get dirty and rot,, try to tell the game officer they ate a lot of it...
    and when officer asks if they really ate 50 lbs or more of meat in three days,, they are toast..
    If you can dream up a scenario, its propably been tried ..
    When someone shoots for the first time a 1500 lb animal like a moose or big bear, or a buffalo , Its a real wake up call... the biggest animal most ever handled was maybe an elk,, and most folks have never even harvested one of those... usually a deer is biggest most ever get..
    Once we got a Moose about a mile and a half from the river, and the two guys with me from the lower 48 were just overcome by the size and work required.
    they vowed to get the next critter next to the river..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  7. #7

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    i second the bone-in method. expect about 10 sack of heavy meat, lots of blood and numerous round trips with solid packframes. Much easier to handle and preserve on the bone, though. And travel isn't as easy as MT packouts. This landscape is soft under your feet and unforgiving in every way imaginable...even unimaginable until you do it.

    larry

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Hardest pack I ever had was in Montana. Large cow elk. .5 gps miles from the truck. Took 3 of us 2 full long days. It was brutal steep and thick.

    I shot a 54" avg size younger moose in gmu 20 3.1 gps miles from the lake that we had to haul it back to. That was my first hunt here in alaska. Camp rule was 1 mile limit or the shooter had to haul it to the 1 mile line by hisself and then help with the remaining mile. Uncle said to pull the trigger so i did. Uncle and I boned it and hauled it. I shot him at noon. 3 round trips and a final trip for the horns and it was all back on the meat rack the following morning in time to break camp and fly out. Weather was cold in the teens and no flies.

    That moose was shot on the second to last day of the hunt. Uncle shot his on the first day .5 gps miles from camp. We got it out in 3 trips plus the horns in about 12 hours. His moose was much larger than mine in body size - I would guess 15-20% bigger. We hauled the hinds out with bone in because we were so close to camp (so we thought). The fronts came out boned. Weather was rainey and in the 20's-40's. It was muskeg and wasn't easy. The loads were very heavy.

    While using horses for elk in Wyoming and Montana it is better lo leave all of the bone in - including the ribs. It takes 2 guys for a bull but - Sling the load over a sawbuck or a decker. Take the carcass in half at the 7th rib, completely. Then split the spine with a hatchet and a rock - don't cut the hide. These perfectly weighted halves will sling a whole lot better than any boned out meat - try it and you will see. You just have to throw a basket hitch to sling them. Most of the new packers don't know how to sling a load. I have also boned them out and put them in saddle panniers on my ridin horse and walked out...works good but the meat is harder to take care of like Larry and the others mention above.

    Here in Alaska, unless required by regulation, I will never carry another single bone if I have to backpack the loads out. Same with Montana, Wyoming, Colorado - the bones stay for the yotes to eat...cept for the horns and they can stay too unless I have to pack em out by law or he's a good shooter.

    All this elk talk got my blood flowing. I haven't found anything more exciting to hunt than a big bull in rut with my bow...and I drew a Unit 45 type 9 Wyoming elk permit this morning!!!!!!!!!! Hello Bighorns!

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    In the first half of my first century I made a 3 mile pack out.. not only of one big bull moose, but on the 2nd day of the pack job I shot a d&mn caribou ... as did my partner, and the pilot/transporter almost went crazy flying meat out... Now as I approach the 4th qtr of my 1st century, I carry a good GPS... I won't shoot at anything more than a 1/4 mile from the river/lake/camp... Unless I happen to have at least one son and a teenage grandson with me... We have always left all the bone in as it makes it easier to handle, less meat exposed until we got it home.. We used to pack the whole back out in one piece, which wasn't any big thing as long as I had a strong young son or two along for the job.. now we take the ribs off and bone out the back... Again with age comes a little wisdom... We never really were trophy hunters... our definition of trophy is If it fits in the wife's skillet or crock pot it's a trophy.. so we really prefer a spike or fork over a 50" or bigger... But we don't pass up any chances for "winter meat" either.../John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    All this elk talk got my blood flowing. I haven't found anything more exciting to hunt than a big bull in rut with my bow...and I drew a Unit 45 type 9 Wyoming elk permit this morning!!!!!!!!!! Hello Bighorns!
    Good luck with you hunt - the horns (and particular 45) are a nice little hunting area.

    Didn't realize people came that far for our elk.

  11. #11
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    How much space in a boat does a moose require? Do people put moose in those little 10' pack rafts?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Granted, I don't live far enough out that boning the meat is a need (for deer). But I personally like to leave the bone in to let it hang and age. Have found that meat cut off the bone almost immediately has alittle tougher texture than one hung for a time (weather permitting)- say 3-5 days.
    Considering the size differance between your animals and mine, I would probably leave the four quarters bone in and bone out the rest (law permitting).

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