For the majority of my hunting I've always drug out a deer after shooting. I'm thinking about going the the quartering route and packing it out. Is it possible to get a deer out in one trip? Two? How many does it normally take you?
Unless I have camp on my back...I have never had to take more than one trip for a deer. However, I debone and dont just quarter. The last thing I want to do is pack out 4 miles (or whatever the distance) to dump 1/2 a deer and turn around and make another trip.
I also don't carry a bunch of crap in my pack and my pack has a load shelf Im not putting the deer in the pack. Again it is different if camp is also coming out with you put just day hunting or even packing a deer back to spike camp I'm only doing one trip.
Do you hunt alone, or with a buddy? With two people one trip pretty easily. Solo plan on two. I was solo this year and shot a big body deer and took 3 trips (cape/head adds some #'s). Could have probably done it in two, but there was plenty of light left in the day so took it easy
If you are a one trip kind of guy, shoot a little deer. Problem solved!
I've done deer packing about every way you can think. I've quartered them, I've halved them, and I even once tried strapping the front half of a mule deer buck to my pack to drag the rear half. That last one was stupid, never again. I can usually get a doe out myself in one trip. A buck, I plan on two.
I have done some in one trip and some in two. Depends on time, terrain and my energy level at the time.
Although I do it, packing a big buck in one trip, along with the head and cape is brutal at my age.
After reading this I won't feel like such a wimp if I make it two trips, so I may start doing more two-trip pack outs.
If you don't have camp on your back then one trip, debone and cape out the head. If you're not mounting it, just euro. Saves alot of weight. If your mounting it and need to bring out the whole cape it can get hefty
I just tried to do the backstraps, tenderloins, heart, flank meat, BIG neck (trimmed a bit from shot), boned out shoulders w/ some rib meat, and head/antlers without cape and I felt like it was barely doable and it felt dangerous in the terrain and distance I was in. I was using my kifaru woodsman packing basic day gear, 10x12 binos, and my tikka t3x lite 7mm rem mag. I dropped the shoulders and packed them out with deboned hind quarters and bare minimum day gear the next day. I felt like this was a good balance, especially since the act of butchering can wear you down for the first trip out.
I tried to pack out loose meat and bone in quarters on 2.5 year old white tail in one load on easy terrain earlier this month and it was also beyond my comfort zone so I split it.
I always do two loads, I have tried it in one trip and my body isn't built for it haha. The guys that can do it in one are beasts. Mature mule deer are big critters and can yield 100+ pounds of finished meat if you get a big one and properly take care of it in the field.
If I am close to a road or camp I drag. If its deep or hard country, I bone out or quarter. I can say that the more I can keep the game in once piece the better meat recovery when its all said and done.
I boned out a deer this year that took 1.5 hours to get to that was 225 yards away on the other side of a canyon in very choked brush.
Then I drug another deer about a half mile in a burn area down hill that wore me out.
My uncle drug a deer 4 miles this year. Then he bought a meat hauler pack for future hunts.
Short distances make sense for two trips. Why spend all that time deboning, just pack up quarters, take a short walk, dump it, and go back for round two. That's easy peasy. I love that light walk in-between, some of my best miles!
I did my boned out 4x4 mule deer buck this year in one trip. It was a bit over a mile. I decided I'm too old for that and will do two in the future. I couldn't hardly walk the next two days. I didn't have a camp to pack out either.
Ive done an entire deer plus rifle and gear, in one. Not sure how heavy the pack was, it was enough to cause a lower back injury though. Never again. Two trips for me. Maybe even 3 if it's a huge deer and I am caping him.......