ixing pain and pleasure is the recipe behind so many of our most satisfying pastimes. Countless activities are built around a period of suffering followed by a payoff of smug satisfaction that you made it through the self-imposed ordeal: running a marathon, a morning at the gym, temporarily abstaining from coffee, booze, or whatever your vice. But packing a big-game animal out of the woods or mountains stands alone. You’ve already worked and struggled and been rewarded with the terrific payoff of a successful hunt. And then, well before that glow can fade, the real suffering begins. First, let’s be clear about what constitutes a pack out. It’s not dragging the critter 100 yards or so to a spot you can get to with the truck or ATV. If you can do that, good for you. You’ll be back in camp in plenty of time to drink to your good fortune. What we’re talking about is dragging, carrying, or quartering and packing out of the bush a big-game animal using your back and legs.