Though obvious, the first thing to remember is that an elk is a huge critter, three or four times bigger than the last deer you shot. A big bull may weigh 800 pounds on the hoof; a cow 450 pounds. We're talking serious weight here. When your elk is on the ground, you have to be able to deal with it. If you haven't given thought as to how to handle an animal this huge once it's down, then you've got equally huge problems--because, somehow, you have to field-dress it, quarter it and then carry, drag, pull, push, pack and otherwise get that carcass to a cool environment where it will be out of the sun and rain, and safely away from bears, coyotes, ravens, blowflies and other creatures with a mind to share your elk with you.