Day pack for elk, mule deer and treestand hunting

Marble

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
2,611
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?
I have some of the badlands packs, I think it's the super day and a 2200 size also. Forget the name.

I use a kifaru straight jacket now for day use. Then I have a Cavern and 44 mag for other multi day hunts.

The badlands packs are pretty good. Just not nearly supported enough. Quality is decent. Several of the guys I hunt with have them.

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dtrkyman

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
2,002
I always just removed the lid from my Icon pro 5200, decided to buy a 2300 bag, nice and streamlined with good capacity.
 

crewcsc

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
11
I am wanting to buy a Mystery Ranch Metcalf or Sawtooth Size M. I am going back and forth on which one I want. Spendy too but buy once, cry once.
 

md126

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 16, 2013
Messages
619
Good luck carrying meat or strapping a stand/bow/tripod to a Tenzing or Badlands daypack.

A quality external frame pack with a 2000-4000ci or so capacity will be your best bet for a do it all option. Not perfect for any one thing but good at everything.

For me it’s the Exo K3 with either the K2 2000 bag or 4800. If I had to choose just one it would be the 4800. Super versatile and well designed

Also get the less the $200 thing out of your head. Not possible
 

Lowg08

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
1,874
I have been trying accomplish this also. I’ve tried the avail on an x curve. Then I tried just using the 5900 and an x curve. Frame. Now I’m on too a 3300 bag, lid and access bag. I can do several configurations. Even just the access bag and lid or blah blah. Just practice packing. I can see it’s going to Work. I plan on keeping camp in a dry back either on the shelf or between the access and bag if needing to haul meat.
 

Venom One

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
307
Location
PNW
The Kuiu Venture series is great for day pack use, but I wouldn't use it for hauling meat or a tree stand.

A MR Pop-up 3800, Pintler, Kuiu Pro 2300/3600, etc, would be over $200, but would be better options while keeping the price reasonable.
 

ddd-shooter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
275
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.
Dumb question, but with that many tags and effort, why such a cheap pack?
I run a Stryker xl, and it sounds like that or the hellbender would meet your needs perfectly and you’d never need another pack, ever.
 

hunterjmj

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
629
Location
Montana
I picked up the Kifaru Minikeg and it is so comfortable, super light and is the perfect size for long day hunts with plenty of room for extra clothes in cold weather. Maybe not what you're looking for but worth a look. BDCD6731-BCD6-4444-AF9E-EE5ECF1C0123.jpeg
 

76CLE76

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
22
I use a Kifaru 22 Mag and I use the meat shelf. It can carry a field dressed pronghorn, or two mule deer quarters plus some, or an elk quarter plus some. It MIGHT handle two elk quarters but their is no way I can so not about to try.
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
Dumb question, but with that many tags and effort, why such a cheap pack?
I run a Stryker xl, and it sounds like that or the hellbender would meet your needs perfectly and you’d never need another pack, ever.
Totally agree, but my budget is geared towards multiple sports with my wife so sometimes I have to settle for a little less. I wish I loved my metcalf, but I just don't. My dream setup is a hellbender and a hoodlum.
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
I picked up the Kifaru Minikeg and it is so comfortable, super light and is the perfect size for long day hunts with plenty of room for extra clothes in cold weather. Maybe not what you're looking for but worth a look. View attachment 423641
Had never considered it, but dang that looks perfect! I will take a look!!
 

Desk Jockey

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
5,153
If the MR frame works, I would look at a sawtooth or similar size bag for it. 45 liters will get you a couple of nights and be plenty for day hunting too. The meat shelf can handle stands and quarters easily.

I use a pop up for most of my whitetail hunting. After overfilling the 28 with winter layers I went 38. It is a great, compact pack that can haul, but I wouldn’t want to put a bone in elk quarter in it. The heavier loads I have had in mine (like an entire quartered whitetail) have been less than ideal And made me want more frame/suspension for anything but a short walk.
 

LCsmith

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
95
I was in the same boat except I was mainly looking for a pack that I could use for whitetail hunting with the option to take out west for day hunts. I also have a metcalf that I use for multi day trips.

I bought a venture 2300 and its a really nice pack if you're a minimalist but it is pretty small and did not pack my climbing sticks and saddle platform nicely. I picked up a MR pop up 28 for around $200 used and its an awesome pack. I didn't think that I would want all the features/size that it offers but the meat shelf is perfect for carrying extra clothes when hiking in during cold weather hunts and it carries a platform and sticks perfectly. I never had to use the meat shelf to pack out an animal but if I did, I think it would carry the weight well.
 

ddd-shooter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
275
Totally agree, but my budget is geared towards multiple sports with my wife so sometimes I have to settle for a little less. I wish I loved my metcalf, but I just don't. My dream setup is a hellbender and a hoodlum.
MR is widely considered the best "non expensive" pack.
If you don't like it currently, I doubt another "non expensive"pack will satisfy. I'd limp along with what you have until you can afford a used frame and pack from one of the high end manufacturers.
 

LostArra

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
2,952
Location
Oklahoma
For me day packs are in two categories: haulers (meat or stand, sticks) or non-hauler.

For my hauler I use an Exo 2000 with a lid and it has performed well for both elk quarters and Lone Wolf stand and sticks. If you anticipate hauling stuff get a good pack like the Exo, Kifaru, Stone Glacier, Seek Outside. When things get heavy you will forget the pack price.

For my non-hauler I use either a Kuiu Venture 1800 bought on sale ( Kuiu pack sales come up frequently) or an old Camelbak Commander I bought used for $35. I wish I could find another Commander. It's well designed for just a trip out to the local treestand but definitely not a meat hauler. The Exo is really overkill for my local day hunts where I've preset some stands and just drag deer out to the truck.
 

Spud4747

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
14
I live out west and use the Sitka 2700 pack and love it. If you keep your eyes open you can find cheap on used market.
 
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Erussell01

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
518
I've never handled a sitka pack before... I don't know why as I am rapidly becoming a sitka fanboy..fan boy...
 

ForrestGuy82

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
66
I am looking for something similar too. I live in West Virginia and some places are deep and steep and full of thick brush. All which makes it suck to drag a deer 🦌 out of, especially a buck with a heavier body and antlers to get hung up on brush and lay down. I also want to travel some and hunt public land in West Virginia, PA and Ohio. Then hopefully out west mostly for mule deer and pronghorn then eventually elk.
I can’t currently afford the SGs, Initial Ascent, EXO and Kifarus of the world 🌎 (well I could budget and save up for a year or two for one).
I also got a Tethrd tree saddle system with Hawk Helium 20 inch sticks and the Predator XL platform, that I need to carry quietly and tightly.
I was looking at the MR Pop 28 or 38, and also the Eberlestock M1 Mainframe with the Batwings or the F7 Kite (I got for $150 during a spring cleaning 🧹 sale), then for out west I I can get the Vapor 5000 or 7500 since they go on sale often. I am sure that there’s plenty other options that could fit what I need.
 
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