Packing Out Elk Quarters

Put a quarter in each pannier pointing in the same direction. I use Utah panniers and tighten my Utah pannier straps tight together after the elk quarters are loaded to bring in the quarters close to my horse.

I also suggest you use rope to tie to the top of each quarter to keep quarters close to the horse. Horse packing out loose dangling quarters increases the probability of a wreck.

I pack the 2 hind quarters on 1 horse.

On my second pack horse I have a front quarter, back strap and an equal amount of rib and neck meat in each Utah pannier.

When horse packing out quarters it is best to go slow and take as much time as necessary. I am normally dismounted in the rough wilderness areas I hunt. I go slow so I don't get too tired. But more importantly, I am observing my horses to insure they are not breathing too hard or sweating too much. On long steep packs, I take about a half hour break and unload the horses to rest them as much as possible. And the break is good for me also.

There is no direct route out of the canyons I hunt. I have to pick a route that is the least dangerous to my pack horses. A direct route up the hog backs is not possible either. Much zig zagging back and forth between hogbacks is required and very strenuous on my horses.

The first elk I packed out on Rosie in 1985 was in very steep terrain and quite an experience. I led Rosie past the carcass, when she finally saw the carcass she jumped sideways 5 feet. I tried to load Rosie by myself for 2 hours with no success.

Rosie just wouldn't stand still as I tried to put the elk quarter in the pannier. Rosie didn't try to kick me but was still somewhat dangerous. It was getting almost dark so I returned to camp. The next morning Rosie and I went back and I learned how to pack an elk on a problem horse. I was going to pack out my 6 point if it took me all day just to load 1 trip.

It should be noted that when I purchased Rosie in1985 from an old horse trader. I was told she was a good pack horse and had packed out many elk - WHAT A LIE. Wild Rosie almost killed me later that hunting season.

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