By: Bears Butt


No story would be complete without the “complete” rest of the story!  Right?

So, the big boy is finally on the ground and safe to be around.  Well, as safe as the guys moving around it that is.  Think about the guy that almost died when he slipped and fell on his elk’s antlers earlier this season.  In our turn I think we each backed into this guys rack at least once.

With this guy down, we new we had to get him processed as quickly as we could in order to save the meat, after all that was why we were here.  We had discussed with Night Fisher how he and his dad and brothers processed their elk once they were down and he said that most often they would do it “the gutless method”.  That is, they would skin back the hide and take the meat off the bones without opening up the belly and removing the guts first.  So, that is how we were going to do this elk.

I had watched several videos over the last three months and saw exactly how it was done in them.  I was very confident to be able to do it for real right now.  I had also watched videos on how to cape a big bull while it was laying on the ground as well.  So, not only are we going to take off the hide, we are going to take all the meat too.  Including the tenderloins and the liver.


Here is the big animal.  How much does it weigh?  Heaven only knows, but I’m guessing 800 pounds.  That is a lot of hide, meat and bones right there.  What are we going to need to get all the meat off the bones?


I have brought four, very sharp knives for this project.  Tracker and Weasel both have knives as well.  Tracker has brought out a roll of paper towels and I have my hydration pack for drinks.  We also have several cloth bags in which we can put the meat for packing it out….or….in this case we can put the meat right into the cooler.  I mean, after all, how far do you usually shoot a big old bull elk from a road?


My first cut of the hide is from the mid point of his back, right behind the shoulder and down toward its belly.  And then from that same mid point on the back, down to its rear end.  Continuing that cut around his butt and down the inside of the up side rear leg.

Skinning the lower portion of the elk first will allow Weasel to begin taking off meat from the hind quarters, while I skin the cape.  My cape cuts will be from that same mid point on the back, up to the base of the skull and then an angle cut from a point at mid chest over to the back of the up side front leg and then down the backside of that leg to below the knee.


I was too busy cutting meat to take a picture of the front half of the animal skinned back, but you get the idea.  In the picture above, Weasel can begin taking big chunks of meat off the bones.  Our goal here is to take all the meat we can and leave very little for the crows and coyotes.


Weasel is doing a great job of removing the back straps from this animal.  Next would be a “careful” cut just behind the last rib and down toward the rear of the animal, being very careful not to puncture the insides.  And then reaching in and cutting out the tenderloins.  When this is all done and everyone is happy about the removal of all the meat from this side, the animal is flipped over and the whole process is repeated on the other side.

When we were done this is what it looked like after we re-constructed where the parts used to belong.


We ended up with a very large cooler full of meat and a smaller one full as well.


The little red lid bucket holds the liver.  In order to get to the liver, we actually ended up opening up the gut cavity and pulling the skeleton away from them.  We managed to cleanly cut away the tenderloins this way as well.  Why?  Well, because by the time we got all the meat off the bones, the animals stomach had swollen so big, it was almost scary to think about the possibility of puncturing them.  Actually, I tried to carefully do that and got a face full of ugly stinky stuff, nuff said.

It took two of us to handle each of the coolers, with the larger of the two being quite a task.




It took the three of us to get that cooler lifted and put into the back of the truck.  I figure about 200 pounds of meat in that cooler.

The other cooler was much smaller and weighed in the neighborhood of 100 pounds.

I have to commend the men and women who like to hunt 5 miles away from any road and insist on backpacking their elk meat back to camp or the vehicle.  20 yards was enough for us old guys.  Besides, the beer was very cold in the back of the truck.



On the way back to camp, Tracker had to make sure he had some special effects video’s and we did not mind at all.  We had the rest of the day to goof off and didn’t have to go to town for re-supplies….YAAAAAAA!!!!


But, Weasel and I were getting worried that maybe 42 beers would not be enough for this party that was going on!

Back at camp we unloaded all the meat and put it in the shade of a nice big cedar.  Opened up another drink and toasted “Bull Down”!!!!  And then I opened up the 30 pack of Keystone and what to my surprise…one of their special orange beer cans…the prize sought throughout the land!


That just added a little more party to the party!

Better clean off some of this dried blood.


Then we had to get some more special effects going on.  So we loaded the head and hide onto Trackers pack frame and I hauled it around the camp.




What a fun ending to a perfect hunt!  But wait it’s not over…the sun is still up!



And for supper…what better than to clean out the fridge and have whatever is in there, along with some good old fresh elk steaks!



Elk steaks, hash browns and garlic toast!  I have to say, “IT JUST DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT”!!!!

Good job guys!  And THANKS AGAIN!


Bears Butt

November 22, 2013


We came home Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, without incident.  Left camp at 7:30 a.m. and were home in Willard at 4 p.m.

The End of my Elk Dream Hunt!


Written on November 22nd, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.