Day pack for elk, mule deer and treestand hunting

Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
Hey guys,
I am looking for a pack that fits the bill for a couple if different things...
I'm primarily a whitetail hunter, but I got the western bug and don't see that changing. I am going back to Idaho for elk this year, have a south Dakota deer tag and am hoping my wife and I get another tag for Wyoming antelope. I'll be deer hunting Public land whitetails in MN like I always do, so ideally the pack would work for that too.

I want a daypack that can do all of those things and maybe pack out the first load if absolutely need be.

I currently have a mystery ranch Metcalf. I don't really love it. It's great for multi day hunts, but it squeaks when I have it compressed down and it's way too big for a day pack for deer and antelope.

I am looking at the kuiu venture 1800 or 2300, or something similar. What is out there that isn't 200$ plus?

I want to be able to strap a stand to it, my bow, or a tripod and sspotted. Carry the basics and not squeak.

What do you guys run, and why? I used to think I wanted a super small pack for deer, but I am rethinking a little bit.
 

eaglemountainman

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Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
1,027
Location
Florida,Dwneast Me,Catskills
I use a MR Pop Up 28 for everything you describe, except tree stand hunting. That's not my thing. But I bet it will work just fine.

I can bone out a whole deer or antelope and pack out in one trip. For elk, I take a first load to the truck and get the Sawtooth with Guidelight MT for subsequent trips.

You also might want to consider buying a bag only Pintler for the frame on your Metcalf. About $150 when Camofire or Blackovis (free shipping) run a sale.
 

98XJRC

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Messages
132
So like you I am primarily a white tail hunter. Typically my hunts are either morning or evening and always in a tree. I’ve been invited to go on some weekend back packing hunting trips in “The Big Woods” of Pa. Still not sure if I’ll make it work this year but nonetheless my day back wouldn’t fit the bill.

Currently I use a Badlands Diablo Dos. Overall it’s a great bag, however I’m not convinced it would do that well if I quartered a deer and packed it out. EXO had a sale recently on some “blemished” packs and I made the dive in. I bought the 4800 as the smaller systems had already been sold out. The 4800 compresses well and I could get away with using it for a day pack, but I’m highly considering getting an 1800 for that purpose and only using the 4800 for overnight trips. The jury is out on which route I go.

As your well aware there are an abundance of options on the market, however if your looking at going west and potentially packing out meat a framed pack is a must. If your trying to stay at a specific price point consider watching the classifieds for a deal.
 

Wapiti151

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Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
427
Location
Nevada
I have a like new Mystery Ranch Pop up 28 that I’d sell for a good price if you’re interested in going that route. It’s like new and I’ve just used for hiking. It’s a coyote brown color. Good pack, I just can’t force myself to grab it when it’s sitting next to my SG.
 

tracker12

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
782
I just ordered the venture 2300. I live in the east and primarily whitetail hunt. One hunt a year out west since the early 80s. Not interested in investing a meat hauler for as much as I would use it. I have a pack for meat that I keep in the truck when needed. I started to go the Kifaru Stryker but have reconsidered. Its just more pack that I want to carry everyday for a 7-10 day elk hunt walking thru timber and shooting. It is a great pack thou. I still have the pack but returned the frame.
 
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Btaylor

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Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
2,328
Location
Arkansas
I just ordered the venture 2300. I live in the east and primarily whitetail hunt. One hunt a year out west since the early 80s. Not interested in investing a neat hauler for as much as I would use it. I have a pack for meat that I the truck when go back to when needed. I started to go the Kifaru Stryker but have reconsidered.
Currently I have the venture 1800 that I use for whitetails and day hunting from the truck for elk. I have a SO unaweep 4800 for backpack hunting. I have been seriously considering the Kifaru duplex lite with a styker xl to replace both but that set up is nearly double what I paid for both of my current packs new combined. The current setup works pretty much flawlessly for me and the way I hunt so it is hard to justify making the change. The one kicker is I generally do not hunt very close to the truck for whitetails and having a framed pack would make a difference for bringing deer out. The venture has worked just fine but over a mile and you start to really notice the difference in comfort compared to a frame.
 

Southernhunters

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
154
Love my Venture 2300…..ordered both bc I wasn’t sure and returned the 1800….haven’t regretted that a bit! The 2300 wears comfortably and I love the extra space! I highly recommend it!


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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
I have a like new Mystery Ranch Pop up 28 that I’d sell for a good price if you’re interested in going that route. It’s like new and I’ve just used for hiking. It’s a coyote brown color. Good pack, I just can’t force myself to grab it when it’s sitting next to my SG.
Send me a message and let's talk!
 

Zgn7003

Newbie
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
7
I am in the same boat...being mainly a whitetail stand hunter so far but making my 1st trip west this fall and am trying to figure out what type of day-pack to get. Between the Sitka Mountain 2700 & the Apex pack for me....Apex pack seems like it would be a better whitetail/stand pack while the 2700 might be better for out west. Seems like it may be a bit on the bigger side though for a day pack...
 

Zgn7003

Newbie
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
7
Not meant to hijack your thread - more to say those are the two (Sitka) options that stand out to me for this so far...following along to see what suggestions come!
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
Not meant to hijack your thread - more to say those are the two (Sitka) options that stand out to me for this so far...following along to see what suggestions come
What are they?

The 2700 or the apex? I haven't seen them yet! Might have to find them around
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
I am in the same boat...being mainly a whitetail stand hunter so far but making my 1st trip west this fall and am trying to figure out what type of day-pack to get. Between the Sitka Mountain 2700 & the Apex pack for me....Apex pack seems like it would be a better whitetail/stand pack while the 2700 might be better for out west. Seems like it may be a bit on the bigger side though for a day pack...
That's the tough part. I don't need the volume for whitetail but it's nice to have for out west.

Unless it's turkey season.... then I need all the room I can get
 

Marble

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Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
2,611
@Erussell01

The backpack for an elk hunter can make or break the hunt. It needs to be comfortable, durable and able to carry significant weight. For elk, bigger is better IMO. When I had a shitty pack, there was more than one time I was out for 2 days or more because the pack screwed up my back.

If I'm elk hunting, I want to be able to carry two quarters and maybe some extra pieces on my first trip.

I do not know of a pack below $200 that fits that description. Consider it an investment. If you had an $800 pack and plan on hunting 10 more years, you would be spending $80 a year for a pack that can do everything you want it to. I'm not saying you need to spend $800.

There is not a perfect pack. Each will have its pros and cons. That is why I have couple.



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BigNate

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Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
176
Location
Athol, Id. USA
For me that's two different packs.
I use a Tenzing 2200 for day to day. Not saying it's perfect but mine was a gift a few years ago and it's held up well. I don't leave the rig without it all year unless elk hunting.
I'm wanting a different pack for elk. My current is an old Dana Design and it's been great as a backpack but it's a little dated technology, and wide for stalking. My son just got an EXO and I'm thinking it was a good choice.
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
@Erussell01

The backpack for an elk hunter can make or break the hunt. It needs to be comfortable, durable and able to carry significant weight. For elk, bigger is better IMO. When I had a shitty pack, there was more than one time I was out for 2 days or more because the pack screwed up my back.

If I'm elk hunting, I want to be able to carry two quarters and maybe some extra pieces on my first trip.

I do not know of a pack below $200 that fits that description. Consider it an investment. If you had an $800 pack and plan on hunting 10 more years, you would be spending $80 a year for a pack that can do everything you want it to. I'm not saying you need to spend $800.

There is not a perfect pack. Each will have its pros and cons. That is why I have couple.



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I already have a MR Metcalf, so this pack would be strictly a day pack and a whitetail, spot and stalk pack and a turkey pack. I just don't love the metcalf but it honestly does fine for me with a decently heavy load in it, so I'm looking for something I can use for everything but hauling out meat and multiple day trips.

Which couple packs do you have?
 

Silveroddo

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
351
I've got an EXO Gen 1 frame and a 2000 and 5500 pack I switch between. The 2000 has been a great day pack, I use it for MN white tail quite a bit, noise has never been an issue
 
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