Use a sled and friends for easy elk retrieval! The two best things to have on hand when you need to get an elk out of a non-motorized area are friends with backpacks and an Otter sled (though not necessary, a little snow helps). The elk was three miles in as the crow flies. Luckily we had an old snow covered road for 80% of the pack job. We only “packed” meat on our backs for about 15 minutes; the rest was all downhill in the sled.
On top of elk steaks, my friends were rewarded with magnificent views for helping me retrieve my bull.
We use the Otter Sport sled in the small size. At 6 pounds, it’s a breeze to get uphill. We’ve added a few holes and enlarged a couple others for our contact points.
Here we are only packing 3 quarters and the antlers, but I think the sled would have tracked better if we had loaded the 4th quarter as well. Four quarters would also fill more space, snugging up the load for less shifting. We did not lash the load, but I will have a strap dedicated for that next time. A lightweight tarp would be good to have along for covering the load as well; keeping the meat cleaner.
It is important to have a rope connected to the rear; on the way down the brake-man is working harder than the lead.
We eventually ran out of snow, but the Otter sled still slid along nicely on the grass, leaves and dirt, but started to lose glide on the gravel.
Thanks again boys! (Don’t forget to have cold beer waiting at the truck to ensure your friends show up for your next pack job.)