Deer pack questions

Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
383
Location
Central TN
I take my Pintler for day long and just morning and evening hunts. I can’t imagine going smaller and some times wish for a little bit more in cooler or cold weather. I hike in a base layer or base and mid upper depending on temps, so the outer layer is in the bag during the hike. I don’t like to hike far in my saddle so that is typically in the pack in and out. Throw in some rain gear.when needed, water, food, kill kit, first aid kit, etc. and that pack can fill up. The saddle takes up the majority of the space so if you are not doing that then smaller could work. All depends on how you hunt and hike. But, I recommend more pack than less. It allows for more options and can always be cinched down if not full.

As for a frame, add the items I mentioned above plus a platform and sticks and you have some weight on you. Add a whitetail and you really have some weight to carry. A top of the line frame will make a lot of difference. My hikes are generally .5 to 1.5 miles but my setup can get me farther. 2000-3000 cubic inches would be good, again, depending on you. I would get that pop up 38. Well, I got a Pintler but knew I’d be doing some over nighters when I bought it.
 

Gmr777

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
200
I've been getting ready for my first deer hunt next fall and I came across the question of packing out. I figure it's best to plan for success but I see a ton of packs that are not meant for meat hauling. When or why would you use a pack without meat hauling capabilities? Are there other methods to haul out other than pack or sled back to your vehicle/atv?

I expect my first year will be only day trips in and out carrying layers and essentials so I should be able to manage with 1800 cu in or so. This might be better for another topic but while we're talking, how big of a pack should I be looking at and what goes into filling that extra space for day trips.

My current top pick is the previous season Mystery Ranch Pop up 28. They are still available on discount and occasionally I find a used one. Any thoughts on this pack or suggestions for similar bags?
I’d look at Eberlestock F-1 frame pack if not fully set on Mystery Ranch. They’re having big sale rn. IMO the most versatile pack on the market. I set mine up for day hunts ultralight or can carry your whole camp into the backcountry, drop camp and hunt ultralight again. Can haul more weight than you can physically carry. The versatility is amazing and I’ve sold all my other packs now.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
5,151
Location
oregon coast
I’m in western Washington. Not a lot of private land options so I’ll be on public. I have no idea how long the hikes will be as I’m just starting out this coming season.

The ideas from this thread and others have made me think I should start relatively close to truck access and try to limit grade I’ll have to cover.

I have time to keep researching. Thanks for the advise and feel free to keep it coming.
You’ll want bigger than a pop up 28 for a do all pack in western Washington, you would regret that… unless you are going to be a fair weather hunter
 

Shraggs

WKR
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
1,532
Location
Zeeland, MI
I’m in western Washington. Not a lot of private land options so I’ll be on public. I have no idea how long the hikes will be as I’m just starting out this coming season.

The ideas from this thread and others have made me think I should start relatively close to truck access and try to limit grade I’ll have to cover.

I have time to keep researching. Thanks for the advise and feel free to keep it coming.

Since you’re a mobile whitetail hunter and not a stationary tree stand 1/4 mile from the truck I’d also recommend something in 3000 ci range give or take. My bulky warm clothing will cube out inches real easy. Yes they compress but still it’s always full. A little room gives you options…

With most makers, the difference in weight or maneuverability going up 1000 ci is barely measurable.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
2,739
Location
West Virginia
2500 for a day trip? Think back to my backpacking days, I could carry that size pack for a week long mild weather hike. I think that’s what has me confused in size. I’m due to go gather everything again and double check the volume.

Is the general consensus 2000-3000 cu in for a day hunt?
If it’s cold, and you’ve got to carry your layers, a 2200-2500 CI pack is perfect.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
668
Location
Midwest
If you are doing day trips for Whitetails i suggest you take zero pack. My kill kit and frame pack stay in my truck.

Extra layers if needed strap to my .5. Can’t imagine what i’d shove in a 3000 cubic inch pack for a day hunt where i’m in a few miles than back out.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
19
I have a couple of packs I use frequently.

An old Game winner day pack that is about 1750 in volume and a Mystery Ranch Metcalf that is 4300 in volume.

Both have a hydration sleeve which is a must for me. The Metcalf obviously has a load shelf where the Game Winner does not.

If there is a chance I will be hauling meat I take the Metcalf. That would be anytime I can’t get an ATV to the deer.

If I am using my saddle and sticks and I am going in over a quarter mile, which is pretty much always, I use my Metcalf. I hate wearing the saddle on my waist while walking. I can fit the saddle, layers, knee pads, grub, water, kill kit, first aid kit, etc. in the Metcalf with room to spare. Sticks go on the outside. I can haul all my gear and a quartered deer out in one trip with this setup if need be. I bring the lid up with me when I climb to hold my grub, water bottle, etc. while in the tree.

I also use this pack for backpack hunts. I am seriously considering getting the beartooth bag to have more room when I want to take my saddle rig on backpack hunts.

I generally use the game winner for still hunts, small game, or when I am hunting from a permanent type stand.

Seems
 

dwhicker

FNG
Joined
Mar 28, 2023
Messages
91
Location
Utah
I've been getting ready for my first deer hunt next fall and I came across the question of packing out. I figure it's best to plan for success but I see a ton of packs that are not meant for meat hauling. When or why would you use a pack without meat hauling capabilities? Are there other methods to haul out other than pack or sled back to your vehicle/atv?

I expect my first year will be only day trips in and out carrying layers and essentials so I should be able to manage with 1800 cu in or so. This might be better for another topic but while we're talking, how big of a pack should I be looking at and what goes into filling that extra space for day trips.

My current top pick is the previous season Mystery Ranch Pop up 28. They are still available on discount and occasionally I find a used one. Any thoughts on this pack or suggestions for similar bags?
I echo what others have said, I have the Pop Up 38 and it’s phenomenal. I like to have the bigger bag because if you don’t need the space, you don’t have to use it. If you get the 28 and need a bit more space, you’re just out of luck.
 
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