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6/29/2018 10:05 AM
 

 I use the Ute or the qui-Ya as a hunting pack by leaving the pack empty and putting all my day supplies in the Connor Pocket. It gives me convenient access to whatever gear I might need. I use the Connor to compress the meat to the empty pack. I just make sure to hook the Connor to the bottom of the pack, so the meat is supported, and leave the horizontal compression straps free floating. If you need to carry extra supplies, I would put the least needed items inside the main body of the Ute or Qui-Ya. The pack should still be fairly flat at that point. Using Hydrogen Peroxide works pretty well to get the blood off the pack once the hunt is over.

 
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6/30/2018 7:42 AM
 

I didn't realize that this thread had revived so much!

I've been liking the Mule okay, it is a nice pack, and I've got it dialed in pretty well now. My complaints with it are as follows:
1. The waist belt has very little adjustability. There are no "delta" type straps, and really no adjustment besides circumfrance. The sides have kind of an alice pack frame ears sort of thing goin on that does stabalize it all quite well, but I miss being able to really cinch the pack into my lumbar.
2. There's no PALS on the waistbelt, and the strap "to hang things on" is a free-floating part of the circumferance adjustment. Meaning whatever you put there (pistol, pepperspray, water , etc) flips and flops whenever the waistbelt is unbuckled. I called the MR about this, and they said lots of guys were having this issue. They said they had left off PALS for weight savings. Which is crazy, I can't believe two rows of pals would've added much of anything! Anyway, their solution was definitely not "weight saving". Rather than just taking my belt back to fix their design error and sew some PALS on it, they proceeded to put lipstick on a platypus by sending me slide-over PALS panels for the belt. For these I was charged an additional $55, and they couldn't do them in the same sitka pattern as the pack. Anyway, they are little panels that just pull over the entire belt. After all this, when they arrived, I was a little shocked that they were only 3 PALS channels wide! Whatevs, I guess they'll hang pistol and bear spray.
3. The lumbar pad protrudes uncomfortably into the lumbar area, but this wasn't huge because I was able to remove some of the padding.

4. It isn't wearing an HPG harness, so the straps float a bit more than if it were.


Other than the speed bumps, its a pretty nice pack. The load side, especially the shelf is well designed. I'm rockin an HPG sil-nylon pack bag on it for backpacking this summer.

My problem with using a qui-ya or Ute is that I don't want to hunt with a big pack on all the time. A lot of days I'm a day hunter, and when I go on backpack hunts, I go in and set up camp, then go hunt. So I'm looking for a load hauler that can flex from daypack to heavy loads. This is why the form-factor of the Mule is perfect for me. I can pack a "camp bag" and carry an empty "meat bag" all while maintaining a daypack up front. I get that a nice internal will work, and I've done that most of my life, but the versatility of a daypack, at daypack weight and form-factor, that can almost instantly take on massive loads just by carrying lightweight stuff sacks is very appealing to me. I just wish it rode as good as a Ute or Lindi!

Hopefully this rant is useful to someone. Thanks for what you guys do HPG!

 
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6/30/2018 12:11 PM
 
If you don't want to hike with your full size pack, use a Connor as your compression panel and daypack. Drop your Ute or Qui-Ya and go. Personally I've not found a full sized pack emptied of my camping gear to be a real impediment to hunting. Just compress it tight and you're good. This particularly goes for the Ute as it does not project high above your shoulders.
 
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7/2/2018 9:44 PM
 
As stated before, I have done the large internal frame thing pretty much all my hunting life.

If I were to go day hunting with a Connor, what would I do if I killed something?

I realize that there are all kinds of lemonade solutions, and I am not saying they don't work.

But, I like the idea of having a day hunt load in terms of weight and size that is capable of packing whatever I need packed. Thats why I went with the MR Mule. So far its working pretty well.

I'm simply saying that I wish I could get something similar from HPG because I think the Hill brothers could do it better, and if they ever make something similar, they'll be getting my money!
 
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7/3/2018 11:56 AM
 
Couldn’t agree more. I literally wouldn’t be able to run the credit card fast enough if HPG developed something like that.

 
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7/3/2018 4:21 PM
 
For those that are planning on packing out meat on an external frame. How many pounds in meat do you plan on hauling? What do you hope to haul in an external that a Ute or qui-Ya will not handle? Not trying to start and argument, I am just curious.

Last year I hauled two boned out Coues bucks at the same time in my Ute with a Conner pocket. I am pretty picky about leaving anything but slivers of meat behind. I'm not sure what the pack weighted total but I couldn't shoulder it by myself. I'd guess between 75-85lb of meat total being conservatively in some pretty gnarly country.

From a meat packing standpoint I plan on sticking with the Ute for the time being. I could probably pack a little looser with a qui-Ya or haul more "bone-in" with an external, but for now I see no need to switch from the Ute and I pack out a fair bit of meat. I have absolutely no interest in horns or trophy racks so can't comment on how that would work.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
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7/4/2018 9:14 AM
 
Can't speak for anyone else, but my reference point would be a minimum of two bone in mule deer quarters, or 1 bone in elk quarter plus additional cuts like backstrap, neck meat, rib meat, etc... On some occasions up to a full mule deer or two elk quarters plus extra cuts. So my personal aiming point for weight range is 50-120 pounds depending on the situation.
I don't think it's about hauling anything in an external that you can't haul in a Ute/Qui-ya, because I know both packs will haul that weight range with no problem. I think it's just about hauling it differently. You mentioned that you had the boned out deer IN your Ute. That's a different style than some of us have done in the past, or prefer to do. For example, my preference has always been to keep meat outside the main bag that has my gear, for various reasons. I normally take bone in quarters, as I keep many of the large bones for other uses...mainly cooking. Some of us aren't thrilled about the idea of all the extra strap management and loose/excessive bag space to deal with on a Ute/Connor combo setup for a day hunt. None of those are show stoppers, but just small things that I think people consider when trying to decide how to spend hundreds of dollars for a pack that they want to hunt with.

I don't think anyone is doubting the ability of the HPG system in regards to weight bearing. In fact I think it's just the opposite, we all know how great the system is and are just saying we wish there was a configuration that leant itself a bit more to the way we prefer to pack meat. Many configurations and setups have been mentioned as ways to pack meat, but they all have their own small faults in my opinion, based on the way that some of us like to pack meat. I think the same could be said about all other configs from other companies too, as I haven't found what I consider to be the "perfect" hunting pack yet. In my mind, the best I can envision would be the HPG system (harness, belt, and compression system) with a single 2000 cu in bag on a 24 inch platform, with adjustable stays, and a load shelf between the bag and the stays/frame. So essentially taking what other companies have done (Exo, Kifaru, MR) and improving components and compression with HPG quality. That may not fit the HPG roadmap, but selfishly I think it would be a home run.

I'm currently planning on running the Ute with a pocket this year for hunting, and I'm sure it will work quite nicely. But it still won't be perfect in my mind, because I'll essentially have two bags when I only want one, and i'll have a heck of a lot more strap material to contain and deal with than what I need, due to the Ute being mostly (or completely) empty. Again, these are small gripes and certainly nothing that can't be easily dealt with. But if you talk about someone's idea of a "perfect pack", I think even the small gripes get considered.

 
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7/4/2018 10:52 AM
 
Zacht, thank you for the detailed reply! You make a good point about not leaving the bones. In the past we have always left the deer bones but packed out the elk.

I understand and completely agree about the strap management. I have cussed and fussed more than a few times trying to reconfigure or get the pack back to it original configuration. No doubt my low-frustration-tolerance doesn't help.

I think a good goal to work backward off from would be the ability to pack a single elk rear quarter out. I don't think I have seen a pack that would haul one internally. Even if you cut it off at the knee you still have a ~80lb / +36" chunk of bone and meat to contend with. If you can get a single elk hind quarter out...I think anything else would be pretty simple.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
 
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7/16/2018 1:40 PM
 

All I can say is my hiking pack is a Kifaru KU 3700. It carries like a Kifaru or an HPG because it has an ergonomic load harness.  I sold a Kelty Tioga that I bought at Clems in Fairbanks in 1978 years ago when rumors of an HPG frame pack appeared.  After several months of no-show I aqcuired a Dana Flatbed and put an HPG harness and belt on it.  I will never NOT have a proper frame pack. You COULD get by with one handgun, or chainsaw, or pack, but WHY?  A frame pack has no substitute when the load gets heavy, or bulky, or awkward......

 
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Yesterday @ 7:19 PM
 
If anyone HAS to have an external frame, I have a near-mint condition Dana Designs external frame like Take-A-Knee is talking about above that I'm willing to let go.
 
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