I'm researching game bags, tired of buying new cloth bags every year. Kuiu, Tag bags, Caribou bags, are what I am reading get good reviews. I'm concerned that the synthetics won't breath as well in hot weather? Any experience w/ any of these?
I went with these this year based on reviews and price. I am excited to fill them up this fall. :) They come with 4 quarter bags and a meat parts bag, flagging tape, ground cloth, gloves and I was able to stuff my Havalon, more gloves, zip ties and a modified short pen to sign my tag, inside the included stuff sack. Weight comes in at 20 ounces with everything I mentioned.
BTW, I used the Alaskan game bags and the cheapos from walmart before.
I used Alaskan game bags last yr and I liked the results. Meat stayed cooled, formed a good crust on outside and really dried the meat out very well, just like you had dry aged it for a few days. SO what are the advantages of using synthetic over these type woven more beatable cotton bags?
I've used the Black Ovis bags to pack out 3 mule deer and an elk. They are awesome. The kit they come in is pretty handy. I swap out some of the stuff for my preferred kill kit items but it's a handy little bag to toss them in. The bags ventilate well and keep the meat clean and well protected. Just wait until the lady of the house is gone and throw them in the washing machine and dryer and they are good to go again! They are Half Pint approved!
2 years I killed a bull and the bags were back at the truck. I hung the quarters naked. The bull was killed in the evening. The crust the next morning was awesome. I could barely cut the fat with my havalon it got so hard. Last year I put the quarters in cheap cotton bags immediately. Same scenario, over night. Hardly any crust. Both ways worked.
Meat breaths on the outside, not inside. Getting the quarter away from the most hot part of the body cavity is most crucial: hip and ribcage around the shoulder neck area. If It's going to spoil, it will spoil there.
Hanging overnight and/or shade where air can circulate around the entire outside will keep it from spoiling. The skin formed on the outside is the best natural barrier you can get. It's the moist areas that flies go to such as folds and wound channels.
Caribou, BO, etc. are just fine for pack out and hanging at camp afterword. The daylight sun will never heat it up enough to spoil once it has already cooled, and you pay attention to what you're doing.
Synthetics are lighter, tougher, stronger, wash out easier and last longer. They breath.... well enough. They aren't as good in warmer weather, the cotton bags work better for the same reason "cotton kills" in the mountains. If you want a bit cooler meat just moisten the bag a bit. Cotton absorbs the moisture more. Synthetics really don't much. A synthetic will bleed though and "leak" a lot more to prove it too....
I like the Caribou bags, got them at the time because the sizes worked better for me. Tags are great bags too from what I hear and now have more sizes that they did at the time. Got tired of the limited life of cotton, they give out exactly the wrong time...... the synthetics light weight and compactness were a great benefit as well. Had them for years now and still look great.
I am a fan of TAG bags. They breathe well enough, never had a problem with spoilage. All are reusable, plenty strong, and provided you choose correctly, are sized well for most anything. The owner is a pretty stand up guy.
The only issues I have with the Caribou bags, is the tight weave restricts air flow some, and the main issue is that meat will stick to the material. It sticks to the point I've pulled chunks of muscle off. I use them anyway because of the weight, but mostly because they vacuum seal down to a cpl really small pieces.
It depends what the game bag purpose is...is it for clean transport or hanging. I would use a bag for transport but not hanging. We used to smear blood on the meat and pepper. That formed a rock hard glaze and was bug free.
You could spritz or rub lime juice and pepper. This will keep the pH down and keep bugs away. I wouldn`t hang meat in a synthetic bag on a fresh kill until the meat has cooled and glazed.
Use them a fair amount in warm weather in HI. Hang em out all the time, never really had any issues, just make sure it's in the shade and hopefully some breeze.
We debone. The KEY to saving meat in warm weather is get the hide off and the meat off the animal ASAP. Like to at least open major muscles to the bone if not fully deboned. Important to get the hinds off the hips/hip socket ASAP. Most important is fast recovery and quickly breaking it down than what kind of bag it's in. Once hanging let it cool, if the bag is pretty full you might shuffle the meat in the bag from time to time so the center gets a chance to cool as well. before you stuff it in a plastic bag (I personally don't like plastic bags) and/or stuffing it in your pack to haul out.
Once cooled down and in a shady spot the meat stays fine a surprisingly long time. Still on the animal it sours surprisingly fast....
I'll add to what TD said. (And it's a little off topic) but If you are going to mount him, taxi told me that the most common mistake he sees is guys not getting the hide off the neck fast enough. Says neck meat spoils quickly.
As to what Matt wrote, I've had the same issues with the AK bags. Flies can lay eggs right through them. Those real loose weave "gauze" type bags only work when they are draped around a bone in quarter (or larger) with space between the bag and the meat.... the weight hanging by the bone and no weight on the bag. Hang it by the bag and they don't work.
I've also had flies lay eggs right through AK bags. I've used Jeff's Pantyhose on a few animals and it works. If you don't have far to go, the panty hose is great. I've also put panty hose'd meat into old AK bags for more security while transporting. I love my Ovis bags and that's what's going with me on my sheep hunt, but I need something more durable for that. You have to debone to use the Ovis bags.
I agree with TD on the way you bag meat. That`s why I DON`T debone meat prior to cooling. A "puddle" of deboned meat in a bag is NFG. Quarters are so much easier to haul, hang and cool than deboned meat. If you choose to debone on the way out after the meat has cooled and drained that`s fine. Debone the meat and then hold up the few lbs. of bone you cut out vs. handling 100 lbs. of "red Jello".....lol
FYI...I'm not sure there is much, if any, difference between the Black Ovis bags and the TAG bags. They seem almost identical, could be a manufactured under a different name situation or a copy cat. The little bag they come in even looks the same.
Hang the quarters overnight and let the meat set. Debone as one solid piece into one bag and haul out with a pack that secures the load at multiple points and supports it with a load shelf - load will not shift and the jellylivity is minimal.
As I said in another thread, ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain. Less pounds is less pain. Shuck the bone, it matters...
I bone all my animals if I'm packing more than a mile. If you properly bone there actually aren't many loose chunks of meat! If hauling out elk sized game you will save 1 or more trips and it will be a lot easier on your back and legs! A mature bull's non-boned hind quarter is a heck of a load while a boned hind quarter on the same mature bull is not bad.
I buy the cheapest game bags I can find at Walmart or Sportsmans (usually around $2 each). They are smaller/lighter for hauling and do a great job. If I'm super concerned about flies I can always double bag the meat or capes. I usually get the boned meat back to the truck and in a cooler on ice ASAP.