collapse

Advertisement


Author Topic: Toughest Elk Pack Out?  (Read 2905 times)

Online WapitiTalk1

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+8)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 4348
  • Location: NW Washington
Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« on: April 15, 2019, 07:01:46 PM »
Ya, the toughest. Recent or back in the day, what was your gnarliest (so rare we get to use this word in a sentence) pack out on an elk. Ya, dragging an elk out whole would be in the conversation if you were boneheaded enough to try that (I did it “once or twice” with some fellow bone heads). Let’s hear em  :?
Darton Archery Maverick II
"Sir, left side Sir!" "Are you sure Private Pyle?"
Elknut Field Staff

Offline 7mmfan

  • Non-Hunting Topics
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Marysville
    • https://www.facebook.com/rory.oconnor.9480
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 07:11:44 PM »
Last years was long, but mostly flat. Did have to process him in a creek and then belly crawl all the meat about 500’ up to the trail. From there it was just 5 basically flat miles to truck.

My first was probably the toughest because we didn’t know how to quarter in the field. He was only a couple hundred yards from the hill above camp so we drug him whole. 3 of us. Took as long or longer to go that couple hundred yards than to just quarter and pack him. Had to learn some how!
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline Twispriver

  • Non-Hunting Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2008
  • Posts: 882
  • Location: Granite Falls and Twisp
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 07:35:01 PM »
In 2007 I had the peaches any bull tag and killed a nice five-point about six miles in the Fifes Peak horse trail off of 410. We had horses at our disposal but we hiked up the back side of an old burn thinking we could get the horses up there if we found elk. To make a long story shorter we found the elk down in the burn about 300 vertical feet below us and I was dumb enough to shoot one. Ferrying that meat up that hill through jackstraw blowdown and burned trees was the worst couple hundred yards I've ever carried anything. Once it was all to the top it was an easy 1.5 miles downhill back to camp and we never even bothered with the horses.

Offline trophyhunt

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 11432
  • Location: Wetside
  • Groups: Wa Wild Sheep Life Member
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 07:37:13 PM »
Dang, 1/2 the elk I’ve killed have been the toughest pack out.  But 2 that come to mind are one in the backcountry of Washington. Rifle elk, 4 1/2 miles in, one buddy to help, 4 quarters and deboned meat, rag bull.  Took two trips, all up hill with full packs.  Had to go back in the morning for the second trip, it was snowing so hard we barely made it to the trail head.  The other worst pack made my knees hurt for a year, Idaho roadless area about 3 miles in, all up hill.  Killed my biggest bull at noon, by myself.  Skinned, gutted and packed out the head, back to camp around dark. My hunting partner had already packed up camp because we were leaving that night and I was only going to hunt half day.  So back up the mountain we went, the temps dropped into the teens and it started snowing.  We had to hike down hill, steep at times, and finally got the elk out and in the truck at 1:30 am.  We were soaked and froze to the bone with sweat and snow.  We drove all the way to vantage before we pulled over about 7 hours later, to sleep for 1/2 hour.  Got home and weighed our packs from the last trip out, mine was 139 lbs and his was 138 lbs!!!  Every step down hill was brutal! What we all do as hunters would amaze most the general public.
“In common with”..... not so much!!

Offline Magnum_Willys

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 3446
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 07:54:47 PM »
The Blues - 2016 - 44 mile pack (for couple guys in their 60’s.)  Buddy got a big big bodied 6x8 in the bottom of a steep canyon  ( blues steep!) on day 5.  We were 5.5 miles in.   First 1/2 mile was straight up.  Wet cape was nearly 100# (3/4” thick on the neck).

Shuttled part out of creek on evening of day one came out empty. Hiked in day two and shuttled rest of it out of creek bottom to first ridge and came out empty to meet mule packer to bring it all out.   Packer said something came up he couldn’t help.  Took two more 11 mile round trips to bring it all out.  4 trips, 44 miles.  Good hunt.


Offline Karl Blanchard

  • Trade Count: (+8)
  • Old Salt
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 6346
  • Location: Selah, WA
  • Jonathan_S hunting apparel prostaff
  • Groups: Sitka Gear Fan Boy for LIFE
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 07:59:44 PM »
Posted this on another thread but it was the worst ever hands down and ruined me from hunting elk deep ever again. 


2017 I pulled a LE bull tag in idaho.  I knew the area and was certain of an easy bull.  Drove through the night from yakima and arrived at the trail head at 0200.  Crash in the cab of the truck with my buddy Mike.  Get up at 0400 and take off.  Goal was first 6pt I could find so we could move areas and get on the mule deer.  This needed to be a one day hunt so no overnight gear and a days worth of food.  

For 7 miles we worked up the mountain.  No damn elk anywhere.  Towards evening we sit to glass and make a fire.  Just as the fire got rolling I spot a bull.  A 6pt.  I tell Mike "we can have a bullet in that bull inside an hour.  I know right where to go!" So we bomb around the rim of this drainage and ease into position.  Sure enough he is right where he should be.  Out of the blue another bull appears and they start cracking skulls! Like flat out getting after it!  As they break I seize the opportunity.  It's a crazy steep downhill and I put it right between his shoulder blades and he pancakes! Down the hill he goes sliding on the freshly falling snow! I was wrong, it took an hour and 5 min 

Anyways, we get down to him right at dark.  Snap a few pics and get to work.  By the time we get him all boned out it is dumping snow!  Like inches an hour type snow!. We assess the situation and decide straight down this drainage to the valley floor and the road.  Some eye balling of the map and it looks to be about 4 miles 

We gotta kill some deer so we decide its gotta be a one tripper.  So we load our packs with half a bull each and we start off (I'm a meat hunter first so yes we took everything including rib meat and neck).  When we reached the bottom of the drainage (midnight) we made a fire and ate the last of our food.  No sleep and a long day made for tired folks.  The going was miserable.  We got too low and kept cliffing out.  If we got high we hit deadfalls in a burn.  The snow was falling so hard that the light from your headlamp was reflecting off of it and blinding us.  At about 0200 I made the call.  One of us is gonna get hurt bad if we continue.  I was already bracing up a torn meniscus That season so pushing it was not helping. 

We gathered a huge pile of wood, scratched out some beds and settled in for a miserable sleep.  We slept in shifts so we could keep the fire hot.  Youd dry out your puffy, put it on so you could dry your shirts, just to do it all over again.  I did have a space blanket and man I'm glad I did! As morning came, we were doing ok.  

If you remember earlier in the story where I figured we were about 4 miles from the road, well I was wrong.  We'd already walked 4.5 and the next leg was the worst part.  Canyon after canyon we had to traverse.  Chest high buck brush and rock slides in every one of them.  

We finally hit the road at 3:30 that afternoon.  Did some more calculated calculations and realized that on the road we had 6 more winding miles to go to the truck.  I damn near cried.  Just then I heard the most beautiful sound.  A Cummins rattling down the road.  Was a whole family of good cowboy folks out for a Sunday drive.  They offered a ride and a cold Coors original.  Happiest I've ever been in my whole life! All in all we packed that bull 9.35 foot miles and almost 36 hours from when we had left the truck.
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

Aaron's Profile:  http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php?action=profile;u=2875
Aaron's Posts:  http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=2875
Aaron's Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/aaron.blanchard.94

Online WapitiTalk1

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+8)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 4348
  • Location: NW Washington
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 08:13:49 PM »
Geezus. I remember that one. Bone crushing epic  :o
Darton Archery Maverick II
"Sir, left side Sir!" "Are you sure Private Pyle?"
Elknut Field Staff

Offline trophyhunt

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+9)
  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 11432
  • Location: Wetside
  • Groups: Wa Wild Sheep Life Member
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 08:14:54 PM »
So that’s why you don’t like elk hunting!!  Makes total sense now!
“In common with”..... not so much!!

Offline Mr Mykiss

  • Non-Hunting Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 1593
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 09:51:55 PM »
My 2017 Idaho bull was pretty much exactly the same...except it was 0.14 miles from the truck.

Online Humptulips

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 4936
  • Location: Humptulips
    • Washington State Trappers Association
  • Groups: WSTA, NTA, FTA, OTA, WWC, WFW, NRA
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 11:22:19 PM »
Circa 1969.
What I remember as the toughest was my initiation into elk hunting. I would have been 14. I was turning out for football and game days were Saturdays so I had only Sundays to hunt. I had been deer hunting and following my Dad and the hounds around chasing cats since I was about 8 but this was the first year my Dad deemed me mature enough to hunt elk.
My Dad and his hunting partner Don were loggers and had only weekends to hunt so anything killed on a Sunday was a frantic effort to get out so they could get to work Monday morning.
This particular day we were hunting up Kalalock Cr. Don and his son who must have been about 20 had split off to the right and Dad and I continued up the creek. Several hours later we heard shooting and it turned out to be Don and his son. They had two spikes down.
After getting the pack boards we made our way up the creek about a mile I guess and then turned up the hill for a ways. It was raining hard. What else? We skinned them on the ground and whacked them each in half. Wrapped them up and tied them on pack boards. I had a front half but I believe Dad cut  that elk a little uneven to take some of the weight off me. Still it was a struggle to stand up even with help.
 I don't believe there is a stone on the Kalalock, nothing but slick clay, mud and over grown salal with a good plenty of windfalls thrown in. I seem to remember every step going down creek sinking over my ankles in sticky mud. There were good trails because there were a lot of elk in those times.
 Not far from the road we had to cross the creek on a log jam as the creek was too high to cross. Dad got ahead of me and came back and took my load across and the last 500 feet.
I think that one sticks in my mind because of my age. Wish I could go back and do it again.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Skyvalhunter

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Oct 2007
  • Posts: 12812
  • Location: The valley
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2019, 05:07:59 AM »
I say go back and make you dream come true!!

Offline zwickeyman

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2014
  • Posts: 573
  • Location: North Bend
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2019, 05:30:05 AM »
For me it was twenty five years ago in the Tatoosh Wilderness. Shot a 6 pt on Thursday at 1 PM, got him skinned and quartered and headed the 3.5 miles back to camp with the head, heart and liver. Poured all the way back and got to camp at 10 PM. Told my buddys I have good news and bad news. The good news was I shot a 6 pt, the bad news was " you know that bench you told me not to go to"
  Snowed 8 inches through the night and was snowing hard, got to the bull at 8AM. Snow and sleet all day, got the bull to the top at 9PM 3.5 miles and up 3500 vertical. If anyone knows the Cowlitz side of Tatoosh you know it wasn't easy
  Got up Saturday and headed to the truck with the buck I shot Tuesday and my bull I shot Thursday. Another 3.5 miles and down 3000 vertical to the truck
   Went back up Sunday and grabbed camp. Couldn't do it today but I'd try

Offline Pathfinder101

  • The Chosen YAR
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2009
  • Posts: 10149
  • Location: Southeast WA
  • Semper Primus
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 08:00:58 AM »
2 years ago in Idaho.  My brother in law spots a herd of elk, right before dark trucking into a steep draw that leads to a death-canyon.  He sets up for the shot as the elk come up the other side of the draw.  Just about the time they get level with him, he drills a raghorn bull.  Neck shot.  Bull drops like a rock.  He looks over at my sister and says something to the effect of "good thing he didn't fall back down into that draw".  Just about that time, the bull kicks twice, and whatever was holding him on that hillside lets go.  Down they watch him tumble.  And tumble.  And tumble.  He finally stops when he gets to the creek.  They are still staring speechless when I show up.  "Did you hit him?"  Shawn nods.  I glance around.  "Where is he?"  They both just point to the unseen bottom of the draw.
We were 4 miles from the trailhead (all downhill) to where we were standing.  I don't know how far below us the bull was, but I know that we could have rappelled to that bull safer than we could have walked.  We gutted him that night and came back to bone and pack him out the next morning.  It took 4 of us all day to get him out. 
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.  That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Offline theleo

  • Non-Hunting Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2013
  • Posts: 1016
  • Location: Kennewick
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 08:16:25 AM »
The worst that comes to mind is my first archery bull. I killed hunting a wallow and he didn't make it out of said wallow before expiring. Skinning and quartering a 5 x 5 solo 10 miles into the Idaho back country sucked. I'd rather ride for hours, unprepared, in a snow storm than deal with that mud again.       

Offline 2MANY

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 2371
  • Location: Chehalis
Re: Toughest Elk Pack Out?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2019, 08:40:13 AM »
The toughest pack out involves an empty pack.

 


* Advertisement

* Recent Topics

meateater buying first lite by dwils233
[Today at 01:49:14 PM]


Coyotes luring dogs by Bullkllr
[Today at 01:46:37 PM]


V-Max or ELDs, Which do you prefer? by b23
[Today at 01:43:25 PM]


Where did my nodes go by Bushcraft
[Today at 01:36:02 PM]


Spring bear changes on the table!!! by Bango skank
[Today at 01:36:02 PM]


Misc. arrows for sale by Dhoey07
[Today at 01:31:02 PM]


Crawdadn' - 2019 by Whitenuckles
[Today at 01:24:53 PM]


Ethics of using someone else's treestand? by Jpmiller
[Today at 01:23:21 PM]


Wts: 2016 yz450f by jakeweb
[Today at 01:22:49 PM]


Idaho Draw by chukar hunter
[Today at 01:17:42 PM]


F/S or trade: Possible tiny home by h20hunter
[Today at 01:06:20 PM]


2019 Velvet by OutHouse
[Today at 12:53:50 PM]


Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer? by headshot5
[Today at 12:35:59 PM]


Reloading tools by buckfvr
[Today at 12:24:31 PM]


Training advice/techniques Labradors by Colin
[Today at 12:19:50 PM]


Expandable broadheads? by Russ McDonald
[Today at 12:19:16 PM]


So, you think you can shoot? by Alchase
[Today at 12:13:34 PM]


STATEWIDE bear reg proposal 🤞 by jasnt
[Today at 12:04:18 PM]


Tires for sale. Free!!!!! by D-Rock425
[Today at 12:02:15 PM]


READ BEFORE PLACING ADS: Rules, Photos, 72 Hour Bump Rule, Feedback Ratings by Woodchuck
[Today at 11:21:46 AM]