Backpack Hunting

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    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    If you go to the “Long Range Hunting” website there are a few forums on the subject. It is shoulder season/winter backpacking WITH a rifle, some ammo, butchering knife, long elbow length nitrile gloves, cotton meat bags and paracord for lashing meat bags to a pack or an electric mountain bike rack.

    So yeah, your pack needs to HAVE A FRAME and be capable of carrying up to 70 lbs. And no, it ain’t for SUL backpackers because the pack itself needs to be heavy duty. As well you’ll also have a light, scoped “mountain rifle”with sling  will weight between 6 1/2 and 8 pounds with say, 4 cartridges in it OR a bow and arrows.  Plus you will be carrying heavier gear like warmer clothing and a 3 season or winter sleeping bag and warmer pad or mattress.

    But you will very likely have a great time because your backpacking experience will make it all easier and more efficient. You won’t balk at a cold breakfast for an alpine start to be in your perfect spot near a game trail, water or grazing meadow, waiting for your game. And if you get your big game like a deer, elk or antelope the fact that you backpack hunted will make your trophy all the more memorable. Remember to take photos and videos. When you’re a geezer you will love to see them again.

    Tipi Walter
    BPL Member


    I’ve seen thousands of hunters on my long backpacking trips in the Southeast mountains of TN/NC/Georgia/VA but only two or three actually backpacking while hunting.  For some reason the local boys (or whoever) can’t abide carrying a pack and staying out for a week while also humping in weapons and ammo and/or hunting dogs.  Around here hunters love staying very close to their Toyota pickup trucks.

    Here’s a rare breed—backpacking hunters—

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    The shear mass of beer that must be delivered to one’s base camp precludes (for most hunters) going beyond a four-wheeler-accessible cabin or campsite.

    I definitely appreciate my UL gear on a hunt since most of the miles are before there’s meat to haul.  A number of times, I’ve had little more than my usual UL set-up (a meat bag and 17-gram LIttle Vicky paring knife), load up a confortable amount for the first trip back and then grab a framed pack to haul more out on the next trip.  Also, at that point, you know exactly how long the meat-sherpa trips will be, so you can shed extra food, shelter, etc.

    I find the most minimal framed pack suffices – a classic Kelty with a yoke suspension system and a well-padded hip belt.  I don’t need any fancy features beyond that and then the pack is 2.5 pounds, not 6-8 pounds like so many more “tacti-cool” hunting packs.

    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member


    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    One of our ‘worst’ elk hunts was the year when we left the harbor and then were back tied up at the dock 36 hours later with 2 Roosevelt elk on board. The problem was that we got zero nights of camping and almost zero hiking in. We much prefer it when we have a couple of days of traipsing  through the alpine and some pleasant nights around the woodstove before we find the animals. This year our deer hunt required 30 miles of mountain travel for the first buck. That is sort of the other end of the spectrum and may be a little excessive. But the flowers were beautiful and the bears were in the alpine enjoying them too.

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