As I grow into this newfound, bowsite influenced hunter, I will probably venture more and more to quench the thirst that seems to be building. For some reason the thought of breaking down and "packing" a deer out of the woods just seems cool to me. And, now that PA has the crock of shit rule that a deer brought in from ANY part of ANY state that is on the CWD list (even if not killed within a designated CWD area) must be less the high risk parts before hitting the state line, to continue hunting Maryland I have to break the deer down anyhows. So if I gotta do that, may as well save a bunch of dragging just to break them down at the truck.
So i have begun looking at packs with frame options and not knowing jack about em, i am trying to think how it will work with hunting out of a treestand. I do hunt out of a climber most of the time, but am going to do more of the lock on with sticks route for a couple different reasons. I try not to have too much in my bag now because when i'm up in the stand, that thing has to hang somewhere. I am assuming that a pack with a frame is going to be a good bit bulkier and is gonna be awkward to hang with me up in the stand. A pack frame may not be completely necessary, especially if im using my climber because it could work as a frame. But i am about due for a new bag anyway, so getting one that i can detach when i dont need a frame and re-attach when i do doesn't seem like a super bad idea. So anybody that does this kinda thing, what do you do? What should i be looking for in what i want to do? Or am a complete idiot about all of this?
Any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
I use my pack frame from elk hunting, a mystery ranch. For just dedicated meat hauling, a simple batwing and frame like the Kelty cache hauler is the way to go.
I am also trying a saddle setup this year with the new MR popup pack. With that I can do it all in one trip for when I am way back, which for me the most I ever go is about 2 miles in.
It's 1,000x better than dragging when solo. When you have help, depends how steep it is. I did drag my buck last year because it was 200 yards downhill but I rarely do anymore.
I have often thought about making my treestand the pack frame and rigging up a bag system the I could carry a deer out in that I could stow in one of those little accessory bags you can put on the tree stand arms. I have never done that though because I pre plant several climbing stands in these big areas I hunt so I can move with the deer. So, a pack frame suits me better.
I use a Kifaru. I have a 22 mag bag and, had a custom bag made for it by Rugged stitching, I use for whitetail tree stand hunting. I have and do carry my climber between the bag and the frame. That is kinda of a pain though to do often. So I started strapping it on the bag. That works pretty good. I have zero problems with a framed pack in the tree. These newer frames are stream lined and much more compact then the older version. So, it takes no more room then a big frame less pack. just make sure you have enough organization in the bag you use. If you do you'll love having the ability to pack the things out versus dragging the dang things.
I will never go back to dragging and carting game out. Way to many wasted trips. When you are 2.5 to 3 miles in and, have to go back out and get the cart, then come back, then cart it out, that is a 10-12 mile if you have a trail system to even use. That sucks doing a couple times in a week or two. Dragging them on the first time out, that far, sucks even worse. Figure out your needs and plan on doing it this way. You'll be glad you did.
Kifaru packs and whitetails are about as over blown as FOC and arrows and single bevel broadheads.
Here is reality. A good deer, gear, and stand is going to push you to your limits on one trip. Like 100 pounds or better. So, it can be called over blown by some but, I’ll take it and be happy to have a good pack frame designed for that.
What brand you buy is really upto you. It isn’t over kill if you choose Kifaru. Like many eastern hunters here, you’ll likely put it to work out west one day too.
Anyways, you can buy another frame and use it with just as much success if you desire. It really doesn’t matter. What you said you needed was a pack frame. So, The choice is yours. Choose wisely based on what you need. Or, just call caxador.
I have since bought a Kuiu Icon Pro and have the 1800, and 5200 bags. I find it to be an outstanding pack. It hauls a stand very effectively, quietly, and almost as important is quick to load and unload. The stand goes into the "meat hauler" area between the frame and the bag keeping the weight close to your back where you want it. The pack has load lifters and handles a large load comfortably. Or at least it handles all the weight that I can handle comfortably. I've carried 80-100lbs for sure for distances, but too be honest my legs are not strong enough to be doing 120-150lb loads any distance like some other animals of people on here. By listening to what some people carry they are either animals, or misjudging weight. But I hunt with a couple guys that are pure animal so I know it happens. I have also heard people claim to carry 120lb elk quarters which is hilarious.
Anyways, I think the Kuiu Icon Pro pack is a great decision or another similar pack where you can carry your load up against the frame between the bag and the frame. That will serve you well, and then you the horizontal straps to carry climbing sticks etc. This leaves the bag free for whatever you need. For a purely whitetail guy, a 3200 bag would be optimal that would have enough space for all day sits in cold weather - extra clothing, lunches etc.
Good luck in your quest.
When I hunt N Wis, this would be above Hwy 8 or the western UP, by my house, I pack deer out. No way would I drag a deer........ I do hunt solo and am pushing 70, and just had heart surgery last fall, but still am in pretty good shape.........
I use a "pack mule", which is made by sandpiper out of southern California. You can u tube it, or go one line, but it is the best frame I have used for in all of my years. It is light, solid, and if you have to pack out, it does a nice job.
I just field dress and remove legs at the joints, and cut my deer in half. Now I am easily handling it. I do a number of things. easy to put on my cart, if I have one along. easy to put on my black folder style sled, if there is snow, or its in the swamp. If I have to pack out, can get the section on the "mule" and hang the other up, to come back for, but that is rare.......
If I bone it out, which I have done for a deer shot mid day, I always have game bags with me. I get cheap bags from Wal Mart at the end of season, they are good enough for what I do with them, made by allen, they are one and done
Here is another tip, since you mentioned you use a climber. Look into the Tree stand transportation system made by XOP, with that attached to your climber, you will not notice it on your back, and can get rid of the uncomfortable shoulder straps
as for knives and tools, little as possible. I used a bobcat hatchet from Knives of Alaska, small and a great do it all tool, and a havalon.....
as with everything, make your rigs as easy as possible, test them out, and get yourself a system down
Since the above pic of the Kelty I now have the Icon Pro 1850. It works just like it should for packing WT out of the woods.
Just like Apauls mentioned above it will also work for packing a tree stand / meat
It just costs a bit more than the Kelty
Pack with "possibles pouch" and "kill kit" minus my 70% FOC arrows.