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Looking for a Meat Packer...
What's the best way to find a guide or outfitter willing to help with elk extraction? The area I'll be hunting this fall is nasty nasty nasty and had I killed last year I think it would've taken 2-3 days to get all the meat out.
Just gotta ask around for the Outfitters/guides in your area and contact them.
Just be aware though that it’s never a guarantee with any of them. Most will be hard to get a hold of and/or busy with clients during the season.
See link for The Colorado Outfitters Assn - select 'Find your Outfitter' and then select your unit.
Nasty nasty? Any trails for an outfitter to get to where you pack your elk to make his job a little easier? If not.... good luck with that.
What do you hope to pay?
Their are trails that offer horse access - probably around 8 miles in. Guessing I'll just pack it to the trail.
That time of year you may be leaving a message on their phone and it could take a day or two for them to get back to you. And you have to stay in cell range waiting for the call-back. I had that happen in WY two years ago when I was hunting solo and found some big bulls in a place where I couldn't get one out myself. I decided to call the packer I'd talked with before the season to check his availability over the next 3-4 days. I ended up not hunting those bulls (killed me to sit back and glass them).
Have you considered leasing horses? You don’t have to keep them all week but you can have a pair delivered saddled up with panniers ready to walk in, load up, and walk out. That will cost you $800 plus delivery but it’s a solid plan and probably less than an outfitter will want judging by your description of the area and the distance.
I would venture to guess that if you hire an outfitter to haul out an elk this year, you MAY find a spike camp from that outfitter there the following year. I would think finding a way out yourself some way is best. Has anyone that has gone this route found out the hard way the following year? Not intending to hijack the thread but it may help the OP from some hardship next year... TODDY
If you’re going to lease horses you better know what you’re doing!
Toddy.... outfitters can’t just plunk a drop camp anywhere they want. For starters their user permit gives them an operating area. Beyond that it specifies camp location down to coordinates for several reasons including safety. In Montana they even have a site layout specifying how tents are placed. Besides outfitters know plenty of places where elk are that they aren’t currently guiding or camping near. That wouldn’t concern me at all. I’ve packed out bulls for strangers never thinking of coming bay. Sometimes I’d say to myself huh.... that was luck there are hardly ever elk there.
Good to know MP, thanks! TODDY
I have had great luck with "day ride" horse concession outfits....the ones that do trail rides and serve you breakfast...lunch etc.
They take me and my gear in and out and if I score they bring an additional horse or two. Usually costs me about $500- $600 plus a tip for the hand.
You could rent llamas. You can't ride em but they could pack out your gear. If I remember correctly one can carry 60-100 lbs. And then your secret spot is safe with them
cohoythunter beat me to it rent pack stock and they tell no tales, and llamas are way more first timer friendly than others. 3 good llamas can pack out anything you are likely to get from about anywhere you are likely to get it, (depending on beetle killed down timber)
I have never had any luck finding a packer. Ask local hunters and anyone you see in the area
Used llamas in 2013. Easy and fun. That's me on the left!!
Only luck we've ever had was being acquaintances with the outfitter in our area. We were well familiarized with their camp location and travel routes. We went to their camp and they picked up our meat on their next trip past our camp. $300 per elk. We even had our own horses, but we wanted to get all the gear/camp/elk out in one trip due to timing/weather/distance.
I've been quoted $400-600 per elk from other outfitters in other areas, but utilizing them sounded like it was going to be a trick.
Many times I've had to start hunting nearer to the pickup as the hunt winded down knowing I'd never get a bull out with the number of days remaining. A tough pill to swallow when you're covered up in critters.
All what a relief end of the trail.
All what a relief end of the trail.
First time to use a packer after 20 some DIY hunts . Was able to contact him before the season and was not a sure thing because he was going be busy guiding clients . The stars were in alignment the day I killed. He was in between moving his camps from finishing archery elk and getting ready for Mt goats all in different areas than I was but realativly near by, $500 for pack out . the horse ride up and down the mountain was worth a good part of that . The pack horse went nuts and turned into a bucking bronco after a rough creek crossing caused the moose rack to poke the horse, eventually during the extreme bucking the moose rack came loose and the horse kicked the moose head a good 25-30 times before it finally was loose enough and dragging to far behind for it to kick anymore.
I thought the rack was going be all busted up . Suprisingly the rack was untouched after doing euro mount was revealed some of the nose bones were broken . The horse rear end took some hits from the rack that came falling back down from the sky in some earlier kicks, one of the puncture wounds would not stop bleeding for the longest time . There was a hole I could stick my finger into, the blood was pouring out, at first I thought the horse was going to bleed out. He packed it with grass / weeds and whatever eventually it stopped. wow it was pretty exciting to watch how high that moose rack would fly and how the horse would kick it back up repeatedly, all the while the two mules tied behind in the pack string are wanting nothing to do with this castatrphe and are trying to stay out of the way. Along with a blue healer dog adding to the circus. Finally everything settled down and we got repacked for the rest of the trip out , which was gladly uneventful . I tipped him. Do tip packers? I felt bad for horse.
Side note one outfitter I called chewed me a new one for wanting just a pack out and not signing up for a full hunt. Just went on and on. Wow! Stop! If don’t want to do it, fine, bye have a good day.
There was that one guy dressed in a rainbow outfit on the other thread.
Is the "taking a Ilama" thing the same as maybe taking a sheep....you know how lonely those hunts can get.
Tried the "contact an outfitter" trick one time when I was planning a solo hunt in Colorado. The nearest outfitter I spoke with sounded quite condescending saying "sure, contact me and we'll haul out your monster bull". I decided if I broke one down, I could haul it out in 3 or 4 trips. I got a chuckle when one day after hiking in 4 miles before first light, I came upon the same outfit setting up a drop camp for a group. The hunters looked at me, the outfitter, and looked at each other as if to say "Huh", how did he get here....Just sayin.
Calling an outfitter to haul out your animal is the same as asking a carpenter contractor to borrow all his equipment so you can build your own house.....and then asking if he had any tips and advice he could give you.
You really can`t blame them.
The licensed outfitter that permitted were I hunt will gladly pack out an animal for me. They will charge me but it is worth it. They have horses on the Mt. every day checking camps anyway. Scott