This backcountry kill kit is one piece of gear that all hunters hope to get to use. If you are pulling this out of your pack, it has been a successful hunt and you are starting the most rewarding part of the process. The meat care process. I think the process of breaking the animal down into quarters and loose meat is one of the most rewarding and fun hunting experiences there is.
What exactly do you need to properly care for your meat in the field? Read on below and we will outline what the 1st Rut Family carries in our kill kit.
Bugle, Bark, and Chuckle this to your buddies!
1. Knife / Knives – Having sharp knives that are capable of the task is essential to breaking the animal down. If you haven’t, read our breakdown of the perfect backcountry knife combo.
2. Game Bags – I prefer nylon and use the TAG brand. They offer kit’s based on what animal you are chasing. They will last a long time if you take care of them. If you want to know how to clean them after a successful harvest click here.
3. Paracord – This can serve a couple of purposes in your kill kit. The first is to hang the quarters up to aid in cooling the meat. The second is tying back the legs of the animal to allow you to work with both hands. We have utilized in this way when it is warm, and we are working on different quarters. I try to carry around 15 feet and that should be more than enough. Also, I prefer a nylon color that is reflective. It is easier to see in the daylight and if you are heading back after dark to pick up a load the reflective aids in locating your prized meat.
4. Trash bags / Poncho – A poncho serves double duty in a kill kit in the event you don’t have rain gear. You can dig this out in a pinch to stay dry. The main reason to carry a poncho or trash bags is to have a place to lay meat to cool as you are working. I do this a often with loose meat. If you continually dump it in the meat bag, you can end up with a mass of meat. That mass of meat doesn’t cool easily. You may want to carry a few trash bags if you intend to haul meat inside of your pack. I utilize a meat shelf and am not overly concerned about blood stains.
5. Small sharpener – I carry a really small knife sharpener in my kill kit, just in case I need to touch up a blade while we are working. This is normally not a problem cleaning and quartering an elk, but if you and your partner double it might come in handy. I also carry an extra blade for my Outdoor Edge Razor Blaze.
6. Marking Ribbon – This should be fairly self-explanatory, but we use marking ribbon for following the blood trail. Just remember to mark the spot of the shot first. It is always good to have that has a point of reference when you are looking for blood.
7. Latex Gloves – Again, we should all understand this. This keeps your hands somewhat clean during this process.
My whole kit weighs only 1 lb 14.8 oz including the bag I store it all in. It is always in my pack on hunts and I can attest that this kit will do exactly what you need to.
If you are hunting from a basecamp, a saw similar to the Wyoming saw would be useful, but I am not interested in packing that around each day. It will expediate the process of removing the lower legs on an elk, but it is a task you can manage with a fixed blade knife. This time savings is offset by the weight tax if you have to pack it around.
Hopefully this helps all of you that are beginning your hunting journey.