New gadget helps answer old question
EAGLE COUNTY – Since humans first hunted, virtually all of them have asked the same question: “How am I going to get this thing home?”A local hunter and entrepreneur thinks he has a good answer.Karm Trygg of Minturn has applied for a patent on a device he calls the “Colorado Big Game Slide Bag.” The concept is simple: It’s easier to drag game out of the back country than it is to pack it out.”I packed an animal out on my back once. I was in severe pain for a week,” Trygg said.Searching for a better way, Trygg looked into his car and found part of an answer. An avid kayaker and former owner of Mountain Quest Sports, he thought the nylon straps he strapped boats to his car with might be able to help him pack an animal out of the backcountry.
A couple of hunting seasons’ worth of experiments later, Trygg’s bag was ready.The idea is a combination of a river bag, boat straps and an old-fashioned Indian travois.Using the straps to attach either to game bags or to plastic ties that have been run through an animal’s hind or front quarter, a hunter pulls the meat into the bag – a specially designed plastic tarp – fastens the strap around his waist, and starts pulling.Last season, Trygg, his brother and a friend were hunting together, and all three were able to bag a cow elk each. “I pulled three cows out in three days with it,” he said. While the bag is designed for elk quarters, Jim Gonzales got a little more into his bag.
Out hunting in northwest Colorado, Gonzales bagged a trophy antelope. He wanted to keep the carcass intact, so he figured out a way to stuff the whole antelope into his bag and haul it out to his truck. Once there, he used the hand-hold attached to the main strap to drag it up into the vehicle.”It worked like a dream,” Gonzales said. “I was going through sage that was really tall and heavy, and I was able to just go around it.”While Gonzales pulled his animal out through pretty rough country, Trygg said that’s where the bag actually doesn’t work as well as it can. The bag was designed mainly for pulling meat out over snow or grass, he said.Even under the best of conditions, the bag is “going to get shredded,” Trygg said. But the main strap can be used with replacement bags.”We plan to go to a heavier, non-disposable bag,” Trygg said. “But it would be more expensive.”For now, Trygg’s bags are all hand-made. The supply is limited, as is production, which mostly involves the inventor in his shop. That could change if Trygg is awarded a patent. When and if that happens, he said he’ll start shopping around for manufacturers.
Gonzales, for one, is eager to see more of Trygg’s bags.”You can have it with you, so it’ll save one trip out,” Gonzales said. “I just wish I’d thought of it.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado