^^^^ Wrong. If you leave the head attached, it only needs to be attached to a front quarter at a minimum
I do the gutless method and bone out in the field most of the time.
For skinning, always cut from inside to out to keep your knife blade sharp. I start my cut behind the head and run down to the tail. Then, if keeping the cape, make a cut at about the middle of the ribs down to the breast bone. Then a cut up the back of the up-facing front (tying into the cape cut out of the armpit) and back legs (tying into the cut down the back). Then skin down from the back, out the legs and cut/break the lower joints to get the lower bone and feet out of the way.
The easiest and best way that I have found for evidence of sex in states like Colorado for a male is to skin the hind quarter on the up facing side until you get to the scrotum. Then cut the middle of the scrotum, separate and skin out each testicle. Leave them attached by the vein to the leg. Remove the quarter by laying out and cutting from the inside to the hip joint ball and following the hip bone around to the top. Make sure you don't cut the connective tissue of the testicle while doing it. Lay the quarter out on a game bag or tarp and debone, leaving the testicle attached. Take off the front shoulder, then the backstrap, neck meat, the brisket, flank, tenderloin and trim between or saw out the ribs (elk ribs are really good by the way!).
Flip and repeat the process for the other side. You will have two very clean hind quarters with no hairy mess to put in your game bags.
after getting all the meat off, I skin up to the head and then cut the last vertebra at the head and the throat side. Twist it off when you have cut around the spine at the base of the skull. Cutting off the head can be difficult until you get the hang of it. You will probably need to stand on the spine or get someone else to stand on it to get the leverage. If it is a small bull and I have a saw, I will generally just cut the skull cap off right there and leave 15-20 pounds of head in the field for the critters.
I think females are harder. I will typically cut around the udder and leave it attached to one quarter and bone out leaving it attached. Take out the head for cow elk too even though I would rather just leave it in the field.
Mark which bag has the evidence so you don't have to search at the check station.
Tree line explained what I was wondering about. Thanks!
I put my tag on the nut sack ( or udder nipples) and leave it attached to the hind quarter of boned off meat. I put this game bag in last on ice in the cooler so if I get checked after packing it out, it is readily available for the Game Warden to see/verify.
Good luck, Robb
I also do like Treeline and we have the same requirement for “evidence of sex left naturally attached to one quarter”. I find it easiest to leave about half the skinned penis attached.
A Small ziplock for the nut sack solves everything.....