GameKeepers Emag

Gamekeepers Winter 2015

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108 www.GamekeepersClub.com make up as much as 30 percent of an animal's body weight. A big northern whitetail might weigh well over 300 pounds on the hoof. That could mean as much as 100 pounds of extra weight you don't need to remove from the field. For larger game like moose and elk you often have no choice. That's where quartering becomes a more viable method. Laws vary from state to state on what you must take, but most require you to retrieve all edible portions. You can further reduce weight by cutting off lower legs and even boning out the hind quarters. You'll also want to remove the backstraps and tenderloins, and possibly the neck. Obviously, if it's a trophy animal, you'll want to take the cape and head too. You may be able to haul individual portions on a pack frame. But a moose or a big elk quarter can weigh as much as a deer, and is more easily hauled on an ATV or horse. Field Dressing Speaking of field dressing, there are a few steps you can take to do that more safely as well. One is to take your time. No matter what the conditions, there's no need to hurry, especially when wielding a sharp knife. And never, ever cut toward yourself. Make sure you have adequate Big buck down, now the fun is over and the work begins. Make sure you take the proper steps to get your game safely out of the field. It's also important to do things right to preserve the beauty of a trophy like this velvet-rack buck. © Bob Humphrey Options for Safely Hauling Home your Big Game continued lighting as well if field dressing after dark. Be particularly careful when bowhunting if you haven't recovered the entire arrow as the broadhead could still be inside the carcass. Rubber gloves are also a good idea. Though rare, it is possible to get an infection, particularly if you have any open wounds on your hands. Conclusion So much goes into reducing your game to possession. You put a lot of time and effort into making it all come together. When it does, take the extra time and effort to ensure you get that hard-won prize safely back to camp or home as well.X Hauling Game with an ATV Hauling game with an ATV certainly makes the job easier, but does not come without certain risks if not done proper- ly. When using a four-wheeler, try to distribute weight evenly on the front and back or on the front only. Weight distribution is especially important in steep terrain. I once witnessed a near tragic rollover of a four-wheeler improp- erly loaded with a beautiful mule deer buck. The driver escaped unscathed and the machine suffered minor cosmetic dam- age and we spent considerable time pick- ing up splintered pieces of the buck's broken rack. With a side-by-side you can simply load the animal in the bed. In any case, avoid side-hilling. In most cases it's better to go straight up or down, in low gear. If it's too steep, seek an alternate route. Also, don't overload. It's better and safer if you adhere to the manufac- turer's weight recommendations and make multiple trips.

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