Originally Posted by jmelear
I've been stalking the threads here for years, figured I'd contribute for once. Hunted hard this year and had my share of ups and downs. Had a close encounter and messed up an opportunity at a good bull on Labor Day weekend and didn't get another opportunity until the 2nd to last day. Was sitting down for lunch and to reevaluate my next moves when I let out a couple cow calls. I was about to get up and head back to the truck when this bull caught my eye from 120 yards up the hill. He meandered through the thinned unit down toward me, wind in my face. When he hit 80 yards and slowed down to feed, I hit him with one more mew. He picked up his head and made a bee line to me. He stepped out on the old logging road at 54 yards. I had time to range him, dial to 55, draw back, stand and shoot. Once I saw the impact I knew this was a dead bull. He ran back up the hill where he came from, stumbled and fell. Double lung, clean pass through, no tracking required.
This was my first time breaking down an elk by myself. The hardest thing I've ever had to do while hunting...5x harder than the pack out. If anyone has any tips on how to navigate the rear quarters, please chime in.
Very nice job! Congratulations!
Rear hams are tough. I always tip them forward and then back while running the knife keeping the quarter on top of the cavity until cut loose. Then I Open the game bag and lay it along side the elk and with two hands set the quarter on the game bag and pull up around the hock. It get really difficult when you put a ham and a should on your pack board and try and stand. It would make a great video I'm sure. I think my days are done with that but the last bunch I have gotten solo or with one other partner have been brought out half at a time.
My favorite is to take two back boards and put half each. Then hop scotch them to the truck going just a couple hundred yards at a time. Going back to get the one you dropped empty makes you feel like your walking on air with out the pack on. I always try to find a stump, log or rock to set it on to avoid getting it off the ground again. I have always just pushed to get them out and hanging in camp for some reason. It is a job I like behind me.