Semi-fillet Elk Quarters?

Joined
Sep 2, 2015
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449
I know guys that always bone out quarters, but a big ball of meat has challenges cooling and lacks structure for pack out. Less bones does mean less weight to pack. Boning also means extra time before getting it on ice.

I know guys that rarely, if ever bone out, but they will cut down the meat to the bone to help cooling. They like the structure the bones provide for packout.

Recently I wondered, if a fella semi-filleted the quarter, basically leaving bone in, but pealing part of the meat back near large joints, sockets, and off bone, is that the best of both worlds to cool the meat, but save some time?

Granted it doesn't reduce weight, but I'd think it would cool much quicker, but still provide some structure for packout.

But like my pa would tell me, "You just keep thinking Butch, that's what you're good at." LOL


Anyone tried this semi-fillet idea have any input?
 

Trial153

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Oct 28, 2014
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I wouldn’t, before I did that I would separate the inside from the outside rounds. I am not going to split solid rounds in half and then clean that mess up on my cutting block. That would drive me crazy looking at that shit show.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
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Not the same, but... I thought I had a good idea this year.

I kept the entire neck, chuck, and back strap attached to the front quarter. I thought it would be easier or something. It was a bear to deal with.
 

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Legend

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Jun 13, 2017
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I know guys that always bone out quarters, but a big ball of meat has challenges cooling and lacks structure for pack out. Less bones does mean less weight to pack. Boning also means extra time before getting it on ice.

I know guys that rarely, if ever bone out, but they will cut down the meat to the bone to help cooling. They like the structure the bones provide for packout.

Recently I wondered, if a fella semi-filleted the quarter, basically leaving bone in, but pealing part of the meat back near large joints, sockets, and off bone, is that the best of both worlds to cool the meat, but save some time?

Granted it doesn't reduce weight, but I'd think it would cool much quicker, but still provide some structure for packout.

But like my pa would tell me, "You just keep thinking Butch, that's what you're good at." LOL


Anyone tried this semi-fillet idea have any input?
Keep thinking Butch...
 

TaperPin

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Jul 12, 2023
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The problem might be the choice of game bag rather than the need for a bone to support it. It’s the difference between a 5 lb tube of hamburger, vs 5 lbs loose in an oversized plastic bag. King size pillow cases have worked out well for me - I see the overly large commercially available game bags and feel sorry for the guys trying to use them.
 

Jethro

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Mar 2, 2014
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Pennsylvania
Probably overthinking. If I'm going to start a "semi fillet", I'm not stopping till all the meat is off bone. The amount of time it takes to get the bone out isn't enough to negatively impact how long till meat's on ice.

Have done both. I prefer meat on bone packout.
 

HiMtnHntr

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May 13, 2016
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Wyoming
If I’m cutting quarters off bone it’s all coming off. I’ve never boned a quarter in the field to cool the meat specifically, always to save weight.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
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Central Oregon
Every cut you make is more dried out meat and trimming, more waste once you get to the butcher block.

Getting the hide off and some air circulation is the key.
Hang from a limb or build a little cooling rack out of available sticks/poles..

Even a single slice to the bone. That's not staying open as you get it into a game bag one handed.
 

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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To me the front shoulders are what takes some time. If it's warm, I'll leave them whole, with hide off, to speed up how fast I can roll to start on the opposite. Once rear quarters are deboned and cooling, I go back to Debone the fronts. Anything over a mile, I completely debone.
 
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Dec 4, 2018
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i like to bone out the hind quarter completely, if deboning is needed. You definitely lose more meat unfortunately. Front quarter I will leave the actual shoulder blade but remove/disarticulate the leg bones and debone.

Reason being shoulder blade weighs hardly anything and some of my favorite cuts are in there!
 
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Jul 20, 2014
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Kirtland, NM
I hang everything on a game pole I make away from the carcass and gut pile. Let it cool out overnight then come back the next day and bone the quarters. I leave them whole including the shoulders instead of individual muscles. Much easier to debone a quarter that is hanging up and let gravity help the process.
 

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Joined
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VA
You could lay out the meat and do a partial bone out. Cut a big flap to expose the meat to enough air to cool down but don't detach from the bone. Just "roll it back up" and drop it in a quarter bag
 
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Oct 25, 2013
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Truckee Meadows
On a solo pack out last year, I left the femurs in the hinds and the scapulas in the fronts. It seemed like a good compromise in attempting to lighten quarters and still have some structure to avoid the ball in the bottom of the pack.
 
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