Summit Treestands
Weminuche entry points
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
bow-hnt 25-Jun-18
Panther Bone 25-Jun-18
Buglmin 25-Jun-18
altitude sick 25-Jun-18
Chasewild 25-Jun-18
bow-hnt 25-Jun-18
Stick 25-Jun-18
Firsty 25-Jun-18
TreeWalker 25-Jun-18
IdyllwildArcher 25-Jun-18
KsRancher 25-Jun-18
HDE 25-Jun-18
WV Mountaineer 25-Jun-18
HDE 25-Jun-18
Beendare 25-Jun-18
Beendare 25-Jun-18
IdyllwildArcher 25-Jun-18
Franklin 25-Jun-18
HDE 26-Jun-18
bow-hnt 26-Jun-18
bow-hnt 26-Jun-18
Corn bore 26-Jun-18
Cheesehead Mike 26-Jun-18
WV Mountaineer 26-Jun-18
Ucsdryder 26-Jun-18
BigRed 26-Jun-18
HDE 26-Jun-18
MichaelArnette 26-Jun-18
llamapacker 26-Jun-18
Beendare 26-Jun-18
Bou'bound 26-Jun-18
HDE 26-Jun-18
swampokie 26-Jun-18
Panther Bone 27-Jun-18
Fauntleroy 03-Jul-18
wapiti1 03-Jul-18
From: bow-hnt
25-Jun-18
If you had your choice top enter the Weminuche wilderness for elk , which trail head would you choose?

25-Jun-18
I’d just go in above Vallecito and fly fish the upper Pine for a few days, tell my buddies I killed a nice 5x5 and left it with a CO taxidermist.

A year later I’d have to figure out my story, but that’s half the fun!

From: Buglmin
25-Jun-18
Depends on how many horses you have and how far you wanna ride. Lots of entry points, and most require more we to get game out. You can ride for two hours or 8 hours.

25-Jun-18
Is the Wilderness area open.

From: Chasewild
25-Jun-18
hahaha. These threads. Every day there is a new one.

From: bow-hnt
25-Jun-18
Going to pack in just 2-3 miles, no horses.

From: Stick
25-Jun-18
Guess I will be researching the area next spring...not likely at my age I will be able to draw anything else with 16PPs.

From: Firsty
25-Jun-18
I really like the southern trailhead myself.

From: TreeWalker
25-Jun-18
Have you packed out an elk before on uneven ground? I can hike in 3 miles almost anywhere in the West. Pack in my tent, etc, in one trip with my boil and eat meals, gun, ammo, etc.

The challenge is packing an elk out. And camp. Without meat spoiling. I can shave a few pounds by boning out the meat but I am looking at 5 trips out to get meat, antlers/cape and camp out. I could do 4 trips but is riskier for me once top 100 pounds on my back.

If you have hiked 18 miles in 24 hours with 100 pound packs then 2 miles in is a chip shot. If have a buddy then can sing songs on the pack out. If sol and are headed in 3 miles then is 27 miles in 24 hours with 100 pound packs.

Good luck and stay safe.

25-Jun-18
Don't ignore TreeWalker's post. Unless you're going to hop on the sat phone and call a packer that you already have lined up to come get your animal out, you have to treat every 1/4 deeper as 1-1.5 miles of pack out. Packing an animal 3 miles out of the wilderness is an incredible amount of work.

Some people bone out and leave the neck meat and cows weigh less, but you have to be prepared for a bull and then his antlers as well.

From: KsRancher
25-Jun-18
I have only been in the Weminuche one time. It was in an OTC unit. I think there is several units in that wilderness. Still probably won't get many to help you out. But if you have an idea of what unit, it might help out.

From: HDE
25-Jun-18
You can always save meat from spoiling by making one less trip; shoot a smaller bull (non-mountworthy) or a cow ;^)

25-Jun-18
" I could do 4 trips but is riskier for me once top 100 pounds on my back."

The advice he gave is sound. However, his weights are inflated. With the average camp weight, no elk broken down weighs what he is suggesting here. Figure 125 pounds less for a bull and camp. 150 less with cow and camp. That's with a heavy camp. If you can pack 65-80 pounds a load, that's three loads. Very doable. Hard? Yes. Unrealistic? Nope. Be prepared and, have a good time. God Bless

From: HDE
25-Jun-18
Most biggest bulls you will ever shoot and if you are very thorough on removing all "normal" meat from the bones will yield around 315 lbs, so 4 heavy trips plus parts of camp in each trip.

Doing the "gutless method" will most definately leave some meat weight behind, so at the end of the day, 4 easier trips is all it would take and less or lighter with a smaller bull/cow.

From: Beendare
25-Jun-18
Turkey creek TH just out of Pagosa springs towards WC pass.....a little known secret....or maybe not?

From: Beendare
25-Jun-18
double post

25-Jun-18
What we think the bulls weigh is irrelevant to how it feels on our backs. Packing a bull elk with antlers (what about camp?) out in 4 trips is a tall order if you're taking the neck and full head. I've needed as many as 7 trips, but I won't even get close to 100 lbs because I want my knees and back to last another 50 years.

If you're really getting all the meat off the animal, just the neck, briscuit, heart, rib meat, and the rest of the trim is a HUGE load - I'm talking 80 lbs. A bone in ham off of a mature bull elk is it's own trip unless you're a huge guy/want to risk injury. You can take both the shoulders bone in or bone out with the straps and TLs. You're not going to take the head/antlers with cape out with much more than the straps.

It can be done in 4 trips. Camp is another. I've never done it in less than 5. Three miles in, three miles out is 6 miles. Times 5 trips, is 30 miles. Then there's camp. You have to do the math.

Better to hike in 3/4 of a mile to 1 mile and turn 90 degrees from the trail to the right or left (whichever is nastier terrain) and go a mile. Then you're away from where everyone else is walking. You hunt from there and then it's 1-2 miles to get your elk out.

From: Franklin
25-Jun-18
I prefer to leapfrog the meat when packing out and then when all is close make a final haul with each load. You never know who you might bump into that might give you a hand for meat or cash.

This is why I am extremely choosey what I shoot. Some of my worst adventures and memories is hauling meat.

From: HDE
26-Jun-18
I hauled one load downhill that weighed 90 lbs one time for 1-1/2 miles. Dumb idea.

Two years ago, I leap frogged. Jury still out whether I like that or not.

From: bow-hnt
26-Jun-18
I appreciate all the advice, i have packed out three elk out the wilderness with the help of one hunting buddy, average distance about 4 miles. it does take some time, usually three trips , then camp usually two - three trips as well. Normally it takes 5-6 days, i normally go in for 16 day hunts. so i do plan for it. I just train hard and mentally prepare for it. That's why i am passionate about bow-hunting! But i do welcome any and all advice!

From: bow-hnt
26-Jun-18
Oh by the way, i am 55 years old and blessed with good health! Don't let your age stop you! work out, watch what you eat, no one is promised tomorrow, Make today count, you will never get it back! God Bless

From: Corn bore
26-Jun-18
235 lbs. meat with leg bones weighed at locker from last elk in Montana. 260ish 6 by 6. 4 trips for meat 1 for head. Pack out goes way faster with help. Once meat is out you can take your time with camp and head unless you are mounting it. You will be fine. Hope you get a big one.

26-Jun-18
I think there are a lot of variables in meat poundage based on body size and how diligent you are at removing as much meat as possible. I always try to remove all of the edible meat, including neck meat, brisket, flank, etc.

Last year I shot a large bodied 270's 6x6 that yielded 285 lbs. of boneless meat prior to trimming fat, etc.

A few years ago I shot a very large, 360" 6x7 that yielded over 350 lbs. of boneless meat.

I've also shot smaller bodied bulls that yielded closer to 200 lbs. of boneless meat.

It has taken me up to 5 days to pack out elk solo...

*Edit: In regard to the boned out meat weight on my bulls. I have no reason to lie or exaggerate. While I may not have as much experience with elk as some guys, I do have experience with cutting up, packing out and processing about 15 elk and I have been processing my own deer for about 40 years. I personally weighed all of the boned out meat from my bull last year and wrote down the weights of each bag of meat. The weight totaled up to 285 pounds. Two buddies were with me when I shot that bull and they helped with breaking him down and packing him out. They both commented on how big the body was and how big and heavy the hind quarters were. Both of them also killed bulls on that hunt after I left. Later when discussing meat weights with one of my buddies, he said that he also weighed the meat from his bull and it was about 10% less than mine so he had about 256 lbs. of meat. He felt that made sense since according to him, the body on my bull looked considerably bigger than his.

On the 360" bull I killed a few years ago, the body on that bull dwarfed any other bull I've ever seen in person, including last year's bull. My taxidermist used the biggest form available and he said it really wasn't big enough to fit the cape. To me it makes total sense that I got well over 300 lbs. of meat off of that bull considering that last years bull with a rack about 85 inches smaller and a smaller body yielded 285 lbs. meat.

I'm not trying to criticize or second guess anybody, but I'm wondering if I/we are more diligent at removing all edible meat (such as all leg shank meat, neck meat, flank, brisket, rib, etc.) from the elk carcass than some guys do...?

26-Jun-18
Mike. I think you are right. And, while My experience is limited in elk yields in comparison to many here, I just bought a 990 lb weighed steer live weight. After getting the meat, the liver, the heart, and the tongue, I had 356 lbs of it.

I just have a hard time believing a lot of elk are yielding as much meat as a 1000 pound steer. But, according to guys here, they are packing out that much weight every year. I reckon.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Jun-18
Like most things everyone is different. It’s like saying I can throw a baseball 70mph so that’s how fast they go. Whether you’re talking about animal weight or number of trips. This has been argued so many times on bowsite and I’ve yet to see anyone say “yep, you’re right...I’m wrong.”

From: BigRed
26-Jun-18
"U"... You're 100% right! I'm wrong...

If your intent is to hunt 76, and not necessarily the Wiminuche... Then I'd prefer the areas outside the wilderness to the NW (Pole Crk and Lost Crk). But there are elk up pretty much every TH in the wilderness. Just pick one and go... It might be a mile before you're into them, it may take 4... But you'll find'm.

From: HDE
26-Jun-18
About the only ones that carry any salt in meat yield estimates are the guys that cut it up for a living.

26-Jun-18
I’ve hunted several of the trial heads in the wiemanuche didn’t see any difference in one or the other. I’d just pick one and hike

From: llamapacker
26-Jun-18
There is no doubt a pile of elk meat feels like it weighs 500+ pounds when you start packing it, but I have never seen a properly boned out elk yield even close to 300 pounds, and I have been either alone or assisted on 100+ elk kills.

There is nothing wrong with leaving the bones in, packing out the entire head instead of a caped skull plate, etc., as long as you don't mind the extra weight. But if you are prepared and do a thorough job, you will be much closer to 250 pounds for even a good bull, and under 200 for most cows. Which is still a daunting task for most people, but manageable with the right mindset.

I agree that most people should stay close to the truck and the roads. Many really can't handle the drudgery of packing meat. Besides, I like to be a lone in the back country...

Bill

From: Beendare
26-Jun-18
Leapfrogging meat? Not usually. I typically hang or construct a setup that cools the meat and will keep it cool. I want it to stay there until I pack it. There are plenty of clever ways to do this.

Find solid shade preferably with a breeze. Bridging over a stream or a large cool boulder as in my picture helps. Make sure the meat isn't in a big ball where the center cannot cool.

A long meat pack on your back heats it up so I like to do it in one shot and get on ice. Horse packing meat heats it up pretty good too.

If its in a bad spot initially and you need to leapfrog it to a better location ...then that makes some sense. Keeping it cool of course is top priority.

I've backpacked meat as much as 9 miles into the Wieminuche on foot...its no fun. We've done 8- 12 miles many times walking in mules.....even that is a pretty good workout.

From: Bou'bound
26-Jun-18
hunted in 1998 and got an elk up flint creek. we entered just off of valicito lake, but it was a horseback hunt and we went in 22 miles or so.

From: HDE
26-Jun-18

HDE's embedded Photo
By "clever" you mean like this...
HDE's embedded Photo
By "clever" you mean like this...
"I typically hang or construct a setup that cools the meat and will keep it cool. I want it to stay there until I pack it. There are plenty of clever ways to do this."

By "leapfrogging" it means to take it part way each time leaving what you carry out in the shade and likely propped up to keep air flow around it. At the end of the day, you still carry it just as far. The one hanging in the pic was done this way mostly because a bear was on the carcass the next morning and did not want to leave it alone that long between trips.

Once it is cool from the night before, it takes a lot to spoil it as all the body heat is gone and it can only heat up to what ambient air is.

From: swampokie
26-Jun-18
Turkey creek trailhead seemed very popular last September. It seemed as though every one had beendare...

27-Jun-18
The trailhead above Vallecito is bordered by private land for the first 3.5-4 miles, if I remember correctly. From what I saw, I'd think you'd need to go much deeper to get into country you could traverse and hunt. I was just in there fishing in Sept. though.

From: Fauntleroy
03-Jul-18
If you're not hunting 76 and just have an OTC tag or a rifle/muzzy tag for something like 75/751, than you've got a bunch of options. Missionary Ridge and Lemon Reservoir are great options. Missionary has more options to get around though.

From: wapiti1
03-Jul-18
My one Weminuche Wilderness hunt was a drop camp. The outfitter came through every other day to check on his camps. I arrowed my bull on the third day, the outfitter took it out the next day and I picked it up at the meat processor at the end of my hunting partners hunt. Good memories.

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