Bob, You are correct, sir. These cowboys own a ranch in the area and they run their cattle on the Uncompahgre National Forest. They told me they pack out on average 15 to 20 elk per year; they post a sign on the main dirt road in the area.
Packing elk out on horseback is my favorite thing to do with my horses other than hunting with them. (see my avatar) My horses were left at home for this trip.