Game bags

Romo

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Tell me about the best game bags to get for my upcoming moose hunt, i.e., Alaska Game Bags, T.A.G. bags, etc.

What should we get?
 

AKmud

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I make my own....

I make my own....

out of old style mattress covers. They are much more durable than most of the retail bags and I can make whatever size I like.
 

Bill S.

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IMO the TAG bags, if you can still get them from Wiggy's Alaska or Pristine Ventures. I have used the Alaska Game bags with great success on a number of caribou trips. Don't use the cheap bags, you will regret it.
 

blackcat

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i love mine

i love mine

Alaska Game Bags have had 5 moose a bear and several deer in mine have had them for 7 years. great bags.
 

Michael Strahan

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Alaska Mill and Feed

Alaska Mill and Feed

Romo,

I've been using regular cotton game bags for years, and have always had great results with them. They're tough, hard to tear, and last many years. On the downside, they're heavy and bulky. I get mine in Anchorage from Alaska Mill and Feed, but you can get them elsewhere too. Some time ago I used to use the so-called “elk quarter bags” and found them to be satisfactory. Here’s how many bags I use, and why:

1. Large bags, 7 each. I use one for each quarter, and two for the ribs, which I leave on the bone. The last bag is for the cape. You don’t HAVE to use a game bag for this, but it keeps it contained, and you don’t get hair all over everything that way. I don’t know the dimensions on these bags, but they just fit on a front shoulder of a moose, on the bone. Moose shoulders are the longest quarter you’ll have, and come in somewhere around 48” long. This is a major consideration with some bags, that are just too small to reach all the way up.

2. Small bags, 3 each. One for the prime cuts (backstraps and tenderloins), one for the neck (which can weigh over 40# and be quite bulky), and one for trim (brisket, etc.). If you eat any of the organs, you might want a separate bag for those. The liver on a moose is, like everything else, quite large.

ALASKA GAME BAGS

I have used the Alaska Game Bags and was not impressed. The material is porous enough that fly eggs can get through. It is also fairly fragile and can tear or snag on brush pretty easily. Furthermore, it is stretchy and clings to the meat, where I prefer a bag that hangs loosely and doesn't stick to the meat. The best thing these bags have going for them is that they come in a kit that purports to have enough bags for an entire animal. They're much less bulky than cotton bags.

TAG BAGS

I have a set of the TAG bags and may try them this fall. They're expensive though, at $65 for a set of seven bags. Here's what I see with these bags so far:

1. You get six bags that by my measurement (I measured them as I wrote this) are 27"x59", plus the "backstrap bag" that is being offered currently. This bag may accommodate a couple of moose backstraps, but it seems a bit on the small side to me. I haven't measured a moose backstrap lately, but, depending on how far up the shoulder you cut it, and how far into the hindquarter you go, it could be upwards of 4' long. Each one is about 10" around or so; they're quite large. So... with a total of seven bags, I can use one for each quarter, plus one for each slab of ribs (I leave them on the bone), plus a tight fit on that seventh bag for my backstraps. I'm out of room, and I still haven't dealt with the tenderloins (I keep them in the same sack with my backstraps), the neck (at least 40#), trim, and the cape. I’d like to see a couple of mid-sized bags in this set, of say, 27”x30” or so. I’d also like to see a bag for the cape.

2. The material is synthetic, and I don’t believe it will absorb blood. This could be a plus or a minus, depending on the situation. Being non absorbent, a case could be made that the bags will stay drier in the field. Wet game bags are a liability and can facilitate bacterial growth on the surface of the meat. I haven’t had a lot of trouble with this with cotton bags, but I’m really protective of my bags. I keep my cotton bags in a dry bag on float trips, or put them in a trash bag and carry them in my pack. I always tarp my meat pole and tarp my meat on the boat on float hunts. Still, it could be a valid point. The non-absorbency of the material could be a liability though. Cotton bags blot surface moisture as soon as you put the meat in them, which hastens the drying of the surface of the meat. Yes, the material absorbs blood (cotton bags), which is food for bacteria, but this dries and doesn’t seem to be a problem as long as you are taking precautions.

3. The material is very light and compact; it feels like silk parachute material. On the plus side, they take up little room. Cotton bags take up at least four or five times the space. This is perhaps the greatest asset these bags offer, and is especially important on pack-out hunts. The material looks flimsy, but that might be a false impression. I don’t know how tough they are. Are they snag-resistant, or will they rip apart in the brush? I don’t know.

So, in summary, I haven’t made my mind up about TAG bags yet. As I said, I may try them this fall. These are just my first impressions of them. It would be hard to switch from cotton, though, which has served me so well for so many years. I have bags in the shed that I've used for more than fifteen years, with no problems. Would I be able to provide a better assessment after only one season of use? I don't know. Do I want to abandon my cotton bags for several seasons to experiment with TAG bags? I'm not sure yet. I'll probably bring both.

Hopefully this helps!

Best Regards,

-Mike
 

yhc

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TAG bags

TAG bags

Good morning Romo.

Check out Larry Bartlett's test results about TAG bags at: http://www.pristineventures.com/big-game-bags.html

You can also see the bags in action if you watch Larry's latest float hunt DVD.

After reading Larry's test result, I purchased a set to try out. As with Mike, I will be trying out the bag for the first time this fall. The most attractive attribute for me is the weight difference.

Regards,

yhc
 

Romo

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Mike -- Am I correct in presuming that your position on Alaska Game Bags have changed? See link http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/akforum/akhunting/6077.htm

I'm not trying to stir the pot, I'm just looking to get the best game bags to preserve my trophy, which, for me, is not only the horns but the meat. That being the case, are the bags at Alaska Mill & Feed the heavy duty cotton bags?
 

Michael Strahan

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Changed my mind

Changed my mind

Romo said:
Mike -- Am I correct in presuming that your position on Alaska Game Bags have changed? See link http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/akforum/akhunting/6077.htm

I'm not trying to stir the pot, I'm just looking to get the best game bags to preserve my trophy, which, for me, is not only the horns but the meat. That being the case, are the bags at Alaska Mill & Feed the heavy duty cotton bags?

Romo,

No offense taken at all. Yes, I have re-considered my position. While the Alaska Game Bags are certainly less bulky than regular game bags, the possibility of fly eggs getting through, combined with the fact that they cling to the meat puts them in at least second place behind traditional cotton bags, in my opinion. I prefer a loose bag that doesn't adhere to the meat.

Having said that, I realize that chunks of meat without bone inside, such as the backstraps, tenderloins, neck and trim, will sit in the bottom of a game bag and probably stick to it. You're going to get that with any bag, and there's not a lot you can do about it (besides some tricks in suspending the backstraps).

I guess this shows that even strong opinions can change!

Regards,

-Mike
 

Bill S.

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One thing I noticed about the Alaska Game Bags. I bought mine at Mountain View Sports here in Anchorage. My hunt buddy bought his from Cabela's. The packaging was the same, the bags were not. His seemed to have a wider weave then the ones I bought. The difference was pretty obvious to the eye and touch. I don't know why there would have been a difference. I usually treat mine with citrus mix and have only had a minor problem with flies that was more my fault then the bags.
 

Romo

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Mike --

Is there only one brand of game bag at Alaska Mill & Feed or is there a specific brand to request?
 

Michael Strahan

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I'm not sure

I'm not sure

Romo said:
Mike --

Is there only one brand of game bag at Alaska Mill & Feed or is there a specific brand to request?

Romo,

The bags at Mill and Feed come in bulk, without a name on them. All you have to do is call them and ask for their heavy cotton game bags; they'll know what you're talking about. I don't think they carry any others (at least they didn't last time I checked). They're available in two sizes. For a moose, go with the counts I mentioned earlier.

Hope this helps.

-Mike
 

Indiana Bowman

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Military Mattress Covers

Military Mattress Covers

I have to agree that the cotton military mattress covers have worked great on two moose I've taken.
 

Snowwolfe

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Your old discarded pillow case covers. Have your wifey sew a draw string into the top. Either that or have someone pick you up the laundry bags they sell on the base.
 

Romo

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Wildone -- have her sew my game bags too!
 

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