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Backpack hunting
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Backpack hunting on 07/31/2012 13:39:39 MDT Print View

How many of you have ever backpacked while hunting?

Did your firearm choice reflect lightweight thinking? ex. 6 lb. mountain rifle)

What hunting-specific gear did you carry besuides your firearm? (i.e. larger knife, roll-up plastic deer sled, etc.)


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Backpack hunting on 07/31/2012 15:33:45 MDT Print View

You might head over to the backpack hunting forum at 24hour campfire:

Lots of info there, and it runs the gamut from ultralight to heavyweight.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Uh-oh... on 08/01/2012 09:35:03 MDT Print View

Accusations of psychopathy are sure to come. Then the whole gun issue will be brought up and you will be solemnly informed that you are a sad little man who is living in fear, and who also happens to have small genitals. This is very predictable- it is almost impossible to have a reasonable and civil discourse about anything involving a firearm on BPL forums. But unless this thread dies before *certain people* notice it you will learn that shortly...

(Backing away slowly.)

Edited by acrosome on 08/01/2012 09:44:42 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Backpack hunting on 08/01/2012 09:41:15 MDT Print View

Ah, your subject line threw me off. I've hunted for backpacks before, thought that was what the thread was about. They're not all that hard to get, but you have to be vewy, vewy quiet.....

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Backpack hunting on 08/01/2012 09:45:59 MDT Print View

Do our current gun laws allow the unsuspecting animals to arm and defend themselves ?

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
And it starts... on 08/01/2012 10:41:58 MDT Print View

at 20:06:20 from the OP...

Thanks, Art, for being as predictable as I... er... predicted.

He will now try to justify it as a "valid question" rather than the flame-bait that it actually is.

But, to address the OP- I haven't hunted in, wow, decades. Mostly for lack of time than any other reason- it isn't particularly high on my list of chosen avocations. The last time I carried a rifle backpacking it was for bear defense in particularly dangerous parts of BC and Alaska and it was decidedly non-UL: a Marlin .45-70. Some day- whatever that means- if I get back into it my rifle is unlikely to be a place where I skimp on weight. Mind you I wouldn't buy a 12-lb benchrest monstrosity either, but if I'm out hunting then the hunting is the priority and I'd get what I thought was the best rifle for the job. Yes, weight factors into what I'd consider "best" but it is not the most highly-weighted factor. Those lightweight Remington 700s come to mind as a decent choice, if the game is appropriate to the calibers offered. Back when I small-game hunted (long before going UL) I carried a 20g Remington 1100- as shotguns go that's pretty light. If I were to do it again I might get a lightweight single-shot or bouble-barrel 20g of some sort since if I ever hunted again it would be more for the experience and the esthetics of the endeavor, rather than making the bag limit every day. I used to shoot trap competitively and won some trophies, so I can manage just fine with a 20g.

Clearly, if you are gutting large game you don't want to be doing so with your Leatherman Squirt. I would think that a real knife would be mandatory, but a perfectly adequate dressing knife can be pretty small. This is less clear with small game but I think I'd still want a better knife- if nothing else cleaning a Leatherman afterward would be a PITA.

Edited by acrosome on 08/01/2012 11:05:59 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Frame packs still popular on 08/01/2012 10:53:24 MDT Print View

From what I have seen, frame packs are still popular, tarps and bivy sacks used instead
of tents, bows weigh less than other options, you can do anything with a small pocket
knife you need to. Soft shells are making inroads for clothing.

James McIntosh

Locale: Near Bass Strait
Try NZ on 08/03/2012 06:28:44 MDT Print View

Try posting to New Zealand hunting site.

"Pack hunting" for feral deer etc is well established there.

These guys a pretty hard core walkers, not the yobs one associates with hunting in Australia and (presumably) the US. No dogs, no horses, no SUVs, and no drunkenness. Given that they only hunt introduced animals, they are actually doing a good deed for the environment.


Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
carrying the kill on 08/04/2012 23:42:22 MDT Print View

I too thought this was going to be a thread on hunting for the right backpack ;)

I'm not a hunter, neither would I ever want to be (I save animals' lives for a living)... but I don't have any particular objection to those that hunt, as long as they're eating what they kill and not using poisonous lead ammo.

I am kinda curious though... why would you want to hunt on foot? I'm assuming we're taking deer hunting here and not rabbits or pheasants... so how would you carry your kill on foot? The average deer is pretty big and heavy, so you couldn't eat it all in such a short space of time unless you brought a lot of friends. Also I can't imagine that it would last very well if you tried to pack it out and take it home... at least I wouldn't want to eat meat that had been in a backpack for a couple of days without refrigeration. Anyway, like I said, I'm just curious as to the reason and the practicality of hunting on foot...

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Backpack hunting on 08/04/2012 23:54:11 MDT Print View

"Do our current gun laws allow the unsuspecting animals to arm and defend themselves ?"

Our Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms, or is it to arm bears?


Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: carrying the kill on 08/05/2012 09:53:28 MDT Print View

A lot of people hunt large game on foot. They carry it by using a sled- it's a sheet of thick high-strength plastic that rolls up sort of like a foam pad for packing. You strap/wrap the deer in it and it has ropes attached so you can drag it. The plastic is made to be low-fraction.

One of my uncles was an old-style postman and that man could WALK. He'd bag deer way back in places the rest of us considered inaccessible, then drag them back.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
backpack hunting on 08/05/2012 10:42:42 MDT Print View

backpack hunting is a lot of work, especially if you get something :) a boned out elk weighs ~ 150-ish#, a boned out deer 60-ish#

that usually means at least one extra trip, also means you want a framed pack to handle that kind of weight

there are several hunting specific packs out there by Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Eberlestock, others- Kifaru has a newer line of lightweight packs (lightweight for a hunting pack anyways) that are pretty popular

a lighter rifle is plus for obvious reasons, it's not unusual to get a rifle/scope/mount in the 7#-ish range

backpacking allows one to get into country that most hunters wouldn't dream of going, but you're going to earn it!

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Backpack hunting on 08/05/2012 12:25:23 MDT Print View

I have carried a .22 rifle around when I wanted to do some small game hunting. I just held it in my hand the whole time, even after putting in the miles my arm was never sore.
For obvious reasons, big game hunting usually involves driving into the woods on old logging roads. You can get to some really remote places and still have access to your vehicle.

Matthew mcgurk
(phatpacker) - F

Locale: Central coast California
hunting on 08/14/2012 20:03:37 MDT Print View

things to consider or just good practice
#1 small game is good you can eat and enjoy
#2 Large game weighs alot and I think it would be tough for me to down a large animal and not be able to use it all it would be a waste
#3 do your best to pick up empty cases please
#4 meet from large game can spoil if you too far out there that would be a shame for you and the animal
#5 Sounds like fun. Be carefull of remains left are not neaar your camp because of predators
#6 end your hunt if you do go for big game that night, nothing smells better to predators than fresh meat would you really want to sleep next to it.

You dont need to arm bears they are not the dangerous ones it us that we have to worry about. Secondly Usualy Deer hunting is good management practice that saves populations from disease that overpopulation brings. What is more humane hunting or alowing the population of deer to overpopulate compete for food and starve just saying.

Edited by phatpacker on 08/14/2012 20:10:49 MDT.

Jason Williams
(whiskey) - F

Locale: Middle Tennessee
Alaska on 08/15/2012 20:35:32 MDT Print View

I did a little while I was stationed in Alaska. We used frame packs and made multiple trips if we killed something. We also hunted in groups so we could help each other. One of the most scared I have ever been was packing out a mountain goat through thick alders, in the middle of Grizzly country. We saw lots of bears on that trip and we smelled like dead mountain goat. Not being able to see more than foot or so in front of you while busting brush was unnerving to say the least.

I have been thinking about giving it a go again. I think I want to have a wheeled cart if I do decide to do it.