-By Zach Bowhay-
In 2010 I went to the Western Hunting Convention hoping to win another Utah elk tag like I had in 2009. Although I didn’t come home with a tag, I did come across one of the best pieces of hunting gear to hit the market in a long time. When I first saw Caribou Gear Game Bags I knew I had found what I was looking for. The bags are light-weight, durable, re-usable, and come in many different sizes to meet the needs of specific hunts.
The Caribou Gear Game Bags come as singles or in packs. For this review I will be talking about the packs. Over the last couple years, I have personally used both the medium and small “Big game bag packs”. The medium pack comes with 4-48X28 quarter bags,1-30×23 parts bag,1-20×12 camp meat bag, and 6- ID tags. The small pack comes with 4-38×21 quarter bags, 1-30×23 parts bag, 1-20×12 camp meat bag, and 6 –ID tags.
As far as the elk hunter is concerned, either of these packs will work depending on your hunting style. If you leave the bone in your elk quarters then you will need to go with the medium pack, if you always de-bone your elk quarters then the small will be more than sufficient. Personally I have kind of customized my system. More often than not I leave the bone in the quarters, so I need the bigger 48×28 bags for hind quarters on a bull elk. However, this year I had no trouble at all getting the front quarters from a nice bull into the smaller 38×21 bags. So I have mixed and matched mine to meet my needs. Currently I am packing 2-48×28 for hind quarters, 2-38×21 for front quarters, 1 30×23 parts bag for extra meat like back straps, neck meat and tenderloins, and 1-20×12 for things like heart and liver if you pack them out (I also use mine for grouse if the season is open during my elk hunts.)
Now thats a beautiful sight, precious elk meat protected from the elements and a great big elk rack.
As far as the use of the game bags in the field they are a very well thought-out product. The bags are big enough that they completely cover the quarters and you can pull the draw strings tight and keep everything out. They are made of a very tightly woven fabric that keeps insects from touching the meat, but it breathes extremely well and allows the meat to cool down quickly. They also have reflective tabs on them that are nice when you are retrieving your quarters in the dark. My favorite thing about the bags is that they are a long term investment that can be used over and over. With old game bags I would use them once and then throw them out and buy more. With these bags I just get all the meat out of them, toss them in the washing machine with detergent and some bleach and they are just like new and ready to go again. Just this year alone I had 3 different bulls in one set of game bags, and they are ready to go again in 2013. On top of all this they pack smaller and are lighter than the old style game bags.
Getting ready to put the bags to work on an Idaho bull.
I know it may be silly to get excited about such a silly thing as game bags, but with as much as we invest into gear and our hunt, we need a quality product to preserve our meat when we are successful on our hunts. If you are in the market for a great product then check out Caribou Gear game bags, they surely have a set up to match your personal hunting needs. You can find them on the web at www.biggamebags.com.