Efficiency is the name of the game with the gutless method of breaking down an elk. Here’s how to pull those tasty backstraps out right away.
Breaking down and deboning an elk, or any cervid, in the field can save a lot of extra weight in hauling out your trophy.
Brandon Mason of Eastman’s Hunting Journals demonstrates how to remove backstraps from a bull elk just harvested in the Wyoming backcountry.
Mason says that they are about five miles from a road. Deboning some of that meat before hauling it out would of course make the job a whole lot easier.
This method is not an approach you want to take if you’re interested in keeping the entire hide intact, at least with the initial cut in opening the hide from the spine as Mason does.
Other hunters who use a gutless method and want to keep the hide whole, skin half the animal, flip it to its other side, and finish skinning that half. They then go on to deboning and removing meat with the gutless method.
If you are deep in the backcountry when you shoot an animal, and have a lengthy hike to bring meat out, this is a field processing method worth becoming familiar with.