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Derek Hauling in Elk Camp - November 2012

Hunting with a Pack Wheel game cart.
Rifle on Pack Wheel game cart elk hunting.
Fanny pack with Pack Wheel panniers and emergency kit.
Pictured above. We really like how Derek placed a fanny pack filled with his Pack Wheel panniers and emergency kit on the Pack Wheel. In this position it  also helps support the Cabelas Expedition Outfitter pack he placed on top of the Pack Wheel... very nice!
Elk hunting with Cabelas Expedition Outfitter pack.
Pack Wheel creating a shooting rest elk hunting.
Pack Wheel game cart collapsed inside tent.
Derek hunting for elk in colorado with a Pack wheel game cart.

Nov. 10, 2012

Well, my elk hunt 2012 didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I didn't have good shots at the bulls I wanted.

Although I didn't get to test the Pack Wheel by hauling out meat, I did get to use it quite a bit to haul my backpack and rifle. I was very impressed and figured a few things out rather quickly.

1. When I came to rock slides or steep uphill sections, I did not break the Pack Wheel down and pack it on my back. It's just as easy, perhaps easier to push it along empty. Once the rockslide or hill was climbed, I could quickly strap my pack on and keep on rolling. It definitely saves your back to push the Pack Wheel. I'm using a lightweight Cabelas Expedition Outfitter pack and it fit the large version of the Pack Wheel nicely. I found that I could keep the rifle in the scabbard or strap it cross ways near the handlebars which allowed me super quick access to the rifle by releasing 2 quick connect straps. By resting the Pack Wheel on the handlebars, I instantly had a 3 point dead rest If I laid my rifle across the pack to look at game I encountered on the trail.

2. I put my (Pack Wheel) panniers and tire repair kit in a small fanny pack and strapped it to the Pack Wheel where it stayed all hunt. That way I know where the kit is and it doesn't take up any space in my pack.

3. The Pack Wheel is hard to use going uphill unless it's really smooth. Even on level ground, the bumps and mole holes, etc, can trip up and stop the wheel. As long as the trail or road are fairly smooth, it works great. I found myself on horse trails remaining very vigilant as to where the tire was going- constantly scanning for rocks etc. With that said, pushing the Pack Wheel down these trails was definitely preferable to packing my 70 pound pack on my back.

4. You have mentioned that you have considered producing a 24 inch wheel. I would say without reservation I wished my wheel was 24 inches ( the larger the better). I think that the larger wheel is worth the added weight (as per #3). With a larger wheel, you might be able to shorten the handle bar stem and be the same height as the larger version with the 20 inch wheel. Like I mentioned earlier, rarely would I need to actually pack the wheel, as I could hand carry or push it over the rough stuff or up the steep trails. If a 24 inch version ended up being a little heavier, these things are light enough that I wouldn't mind being slightly heavier as they would roll better with the bigger wheels.
[24 inch wheels are now available. All Pack Wheels are capable of swapping out 20 or 24 inch wheels.]

5. Downhill was fun!!!! I hunted uphill for several miles before I made camp. When I decide to hike out, this is where the Pack Wheel really shines! I think I must have set some sort of record hiking out. It was near effortless to haul out my pack. Once I hit the good trail, I could walk at what ever speed I chose. If I was getting to fast, the disc brake worked flawlessly. I was giddy with not only how quickly I got off the mountain, but with how little effort I used doing so. Having the wheel to pack the weight instead of my back made all the difference. I have no doubt that I could have hauled an elk out in one or two trips with the wheel rather effortlessly from where I turned around on the mountain. I have no doubt the Pack Wheel is going to work out great when I do get the chance to pack one down a mountain.

6. Having tried both the medium and larger, I can say that the larger one is the best choice for the hunter. We tend to pack a lot and the added size felt like I was able to accommodate more gear. I also think that once you start loading down the Pack Wheel, you have more power pushing with bent arms rather than straight at your sides which is how the two Pack Wheels tend to come up to a guy.

7. This jewel is definitely made with high quality components and I really like that about it.

It was so easy coming off that mountain with my backpack on the Pack Wheel, it's a shame I didn't get an elk up there as well. I have no doubt that I could roll a boned out elk off that mountain very easily with a Pack Wheel. It is a huge comfort knowing that in the future I'll be able to solo hunt much further in to the woods without worry or needing to ask others for help hauling out my meat.

Also, one other thing I like about it is how easily the Pack Wheel is stowed in my camper. In the past, I have hauled around a regular side by side two wheel game cart in my camper, and it took up an entire bunk bed. The bulk usually had me choosing to leave it home. Now, the Pack Wheel makes it easy to bring a game cart along on any hunt as it's so easily packed away. It will be nice to know I have the option to hunt with it when I choose to change up my hunting method while out in the field.

I do have one more hunt, I'll be going after Muley's next week. It's a new area for me, so I have no idea what the terrain or weather will be like, but I'll bring the Pack Wheel along just in case I find a good trail to use it on. I'll keep you posted...

Derek
www.elkmagic.com


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