I always like to hunt with another person, and we’ll switch being the caller and the shooter. One of the big advantages to hunting like this is that if you take an elk, you have someone with you to help field dress, quarter and pack the elk out. Even if we split up, we try not to be too far from one another. That’s one of the advantages of having a quality GPS – so you can see where your buddy is all the time, and he can see you too. If we’re not hunting together, we try to stay relatively close to each other.
If one of us shoots an elk late in the afternoon, and we’re 2 miles from camp, we’ll usually quarter and perhaps even bone the elk out before we return to camp. We like to get the hide off the elk and get the meat in game bags or at least laying out, so it can cool as quickly as possible. We’ll also be looking for water, but not to wash the meat. The air around water is usually cooler than the air in the meadows or in the woods. If we can hang the meat close to water where it’ll cool down quicker, that’s what we prefer to do. If we can’t cool our meat down that way, and the time is late at night, we’ll often put our meat in game bags and pull them high up in small trees. Wyoming has plenty of bears where we’ll be hunting. The parachute cord on the game bags is really strong, so we can throw it over a limb and pull it high enough to keep the bears from getting it. Then we’ll come back the next morning and get the meat.
When I’m hunting, I leave most of my gear in camp. However, I do carry some water, my LifeStraw Water Filter, game bags, parachute cord, knives and snacks with me in a backpack. If the temperatures in the mountains are cool enough, you don’t have to bone out your meat. You can just pull those elk quarters up in a tree in a game bag. We’ll take a portion of the backstrap to camp to cook for dinner that night and have a protein dinner.
Day 3: Kelly Hicks on Utah Hunting Versus Wyoming hunting
Tomorrow: Kelly Hicks on Getting the Meat Back to the Truck