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SkintBack
Navy Fan
SoLo
Member since Nov 2015
846 posts

Western tactics/gear applied in the South
With every season that comes to a close I debate on how I should approach deer hunting next season. I hunt only public land and usually the National Forest. I look at the district I hunt in as my "mini-Colorado". It's hills, spread out animals, and some opportunities to sit up on a perch and observe or even glass.

I avoid certain areas because while I may have a shot opportunity, I dread the haul out with a cart, or drag. (Some areas I hunt do not even allow carts, nothing wheeled). I no longer hunt morning and evening hunts, I hunt all day. I used to pack in as little as possible. Now I am thinking differently.

I just ordered a frame pack with a bag. I want to walk as far as it takes to find what I'm looking for. But when/if I kill I want to debone the deer right where it lays and pack it out. I grew up where when someone killed a deer you loaded it up on the 4 wheeler and hung it up at the skinning shed and everyone gathered around and joked and inspected your deer. Now I am mostly solo and I love being in the woods more than sitting around the camp. I've even contemplated hiking in a couple of miles and tent camping, then getting up and hunting with a 3 or 4 mile headstart.

Anyone do anything similar as in use frame packs, debone deer in the woods, hike in and camp to hunt?


LoneStarTiger
LSU Fan
Lone Star State
Member since Aug 2004
15028 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

Anyone do anything similar as in use frame packs, debone deer in the woods, hike in and camp to hunt?



I have a large creek that cuts my lease in half, and usually around the middle of every season it floods, leaving a giant pile of debris and silt in the low water crossing on it, making it impassable until I can get someone in to clean it out again. When that happens, I carry my pack in and leave it in one of my box stands in case I need it. I throw a few contractor bags in it, some game meat bags, and a few gallon ziplocks for the meat, and usually have a small tarp I can drag the animal onto after field dressing it to help keep it out of the dirt and leaves because I am terrible at keeping the hide spread out to protect it. I just quarter up the animal like normal and pack it out. the only down side is I usually don't take the time to really pick all the meat off that I might at a skinning rack. Throw a short rope in the pack too, you might find a good tree limb to string one up and let it hang a while, especially if you are camping.


DownshiftAndFloorIt
US Space Force Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
57340 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
I REALLY like what you're doing. I predict great success in your future. Probably won't get much feedback here because we are mostly corn pile sentries.

A boned out big arse buck will probably dress out over 100 pounds (wouldn't know, I don't kill them), but a dressed out 80 pound doe only about 45 pounds, so it can be a big swing on pack weight depending on what you shoot. With minimalist overnight gear you could be looking at a ~125 pound pack out. Certainly doable.

Get after it. I am jealous


TigerATO
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2013
161 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

I just ordered a frame pack with a bag.


What setup did you order? I'm looking for something for a future Montana elk hunt. Sounds like you have a good plan too start with. Good luck!


jimbeam
US Army Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
69472 posts
 Online 

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
From what I can tell, southern hunters are built differently than western guys. Or vise versa.


tenfoe
Member since Jun 2011
5724 posts
 Online 

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

southern hunters are built differently than western guys.


^ He's right you know


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DownshiftAndFloorIt
US Space Force Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
57340 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
They make sure they have the most important piece of gear: dont be fat.


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257WBY
Baylor Fan
Member since Feb 2014
3028 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
In most places, a 3-4 mile hike will get you to another road. There are some good places for this style of hunting in North Alabama, Arkansas, Southern Missouri, etc. I think that once your system is perfected, you’ll be able to take the method on the road and be successful in multiple states. Good luck and keep us updated.


windshieldman
LA-Monroe Fan
Member since Nov 2012
12142 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
I hunt sorta like you do, mostly public. I don't go 3-4 miles in the woods, maybe 2 at the most. Occasionally I'll gut the deer on the spot and drag back towards truck and finish off quartering it up. If I'm tired I'll just gut it and that's it. There are times I'll even take the whole deer to processor and not do anything, just depends on the situation. Good thread and looking forward to seeing more replies. I have a deer drag, basically a harness with a rope that I tie around deer and it basically pulls the deer up my back, works pretty well. The hard part is getting that fricker in the back of my truck by myself.


Jack Daniel
LSU Fan
In the bottle
Member since Feb 2013
18946 posts
 Online 

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
If I can’t park my fully enclosed side x side with light bar directly under my box stand, I know I’m in for a grueling hunt


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150
DownshiftAndFloorIt
US Space Force Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
57340 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

most places, a 3-4 mile hike will get you to another road.


Yea that was what squished this idea when I had it a few years ago. The spaces are much smaller around here. I couldn't figure out a way to get out of range of the day trip hunter.


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bobdylan
LSU Fan
Cankton
Member since Aug 2018
810 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
I more or less hunt this way.

I had been using a cabelas external frame pack before this season. Switched to a mystery ranch pop up 28. Packed out 3 deer this year where dragging out wouldn’t be feasible. It’s the size of a day pack and can expand with a shelf if needed. Also can carry my climbing sticks.

My favorite piece of gear now.


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40
rattlebucket
LSU Fan
SELA
Member since Feb 2009
9336 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

The hard part is getting that fricker in the back of my truck by myself.


Keep a piece of plywood on your bed. Longer the better. Open tailgate and lean against open tailgate as an inclined plane/ramp. Tie rope to deer and pull deer up as you are standing in bed.


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bobdylan
LSU Fan
Cankton
Member since Aug 2018
810 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

. The hard part is getting that fricker in the back of my truck by myself.


If there is a ditch or hill you could back your truck up to it can help. I had to do that once with a young buck and hog I paddled out. I was whipped and couldn’t load the deer.


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Sparty3131
Michigan State Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2019
195 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
I dig your hunting methods.

I have packed out several pigs and deer from public land. I just skin and quarter. I destroyed my Oysprey hiking bag. I just upgraded to a badass Badlands bag. Get a good knife and a bone saw. Keep in mind, Legally you need to maintain the sex organs or head (in Louisiana).


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SkintBack
Navy Fan
SoLo
Member since Nov 2015
846 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
I chose the Horn Hunter Full Curl Light G3 Combo. I couldn't justify the EXO, Stone Glacier, or Kifaru just yet. Plus I had to think about hauling the pack up in the tree with me also.

Thanks for the replies. I know if you draw a line on a map it is hard to find somewhere that is 3 miles off a road and not close to another road. What I have found after using ON X and my Garmin watch is when you start walking it, especially hills, you travel a lot farther than the crow flies. I usually have to zig zag, go around hills, up or down in elevation, get to one spot and check it out and it doesn't amount to much so you keep going. Where I am hunting there is 80-120 feet of elevation change (mountains for Louisiana). Add in the rocks, yes rocks and boulders in Louisiana, and it isn't the easiest of walking.

The main thing I want is to have the ability to pack in stand and sticks comfortably, and add deboned meat on the pack out (probably not as comfortable but will accomplish the task). I'm also wanting to hit Colorado, Wyoming, Utah etc for some hunting.

I want to do some rucking for exercise. That will allow me to be used to the weight on my back and also help me stay in shape. Year round benefits of having a frame pack.


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SkintBack
Navy Fan
SoLo
Member since Nov 2015
846 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
Also I mean 100% de-boned, not just quartered or field dressed. Main reason? Reduce weight in the pack. Added benefit is when I get back to the cooler at the truck the meat is already de-boned. There are a few days with mandatory check in's so obviously I couldn't chop up the deer on those days.

This video https De-Bone Deer is about the best I've seen. You can tell the guy does this on the regular.


DownshiftAndFloorIt
US Space Force Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
57340 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
Yea and thats what I assumed. I'm not sure what deer yield but I know in the animal world a ~65% yield of meat vs live weight is about as good as you can do. I would assume a deer is probably ~60% yield maybe?

I would just plan on having to pack 100 pounds of deer and put my gear weight limits based on that. When its hot out you may not be able to make two trips, which is common practice out west.


Spaceman Spiff
Georgia Fan
Savannah
Member since Sep 2012
12144 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

Throw a short rope in the pack too, you might find a good tree limb to string one up and let it hang a while


Why, if you aren't camping? And even if you are camping, if you can't keep it cold the meat spoils, no?


LoneStarTiger
LSU Fan
Lone Star State
Member since Aug 2004
15028 posts

re: Western tactics/gear applied in the South
quote:

Why, if you aren't camping? And even if you are camping, if you can't keep it cold the meat spoils, no?


If I’m not camping I may hang a deer I kill in the morning to hunt the rest of the day or if things go sideways in the evening and it’s going to be a late hike out, I may hang a deer overnight and come get it in the daylight. The meat cools enough it won’t spoil.


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