A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Guest Post ~ Downed Deer Retrieval

Methods of Transporting Downed Deer In The Field

You could have potentially downed the biggest deer of your life, but instead of feeling elated, panic starts to set in. “How on earth am I going to get the thing out the woods and back home?” Most experienced hunters have developed their own methods and ways for transporting game, but some hunters who may be inexperienced or are not physically strong due to age and other factors may struggle to haul the deer catch away.

There are several pieces of equipment that can be used, some costing more than others. If you’re trying to keep your costs down and are up for a bit of D.I.Y, then you can always build something on the cheap.

Let’s have a look at the top methods hunters are using to transport their game catches out of the woods:

#1. Cart

Deer carts are an extremely popular method amongst hunters, and for good reason. Most models that you can pick up on the market are foldable and are easy to carry around with you; this is vital when hauling a lot of heavy gear around with you on your hunt. The idea is that they are simple to assemble and can be used to load your catch onto and wheeled away. The wheels are typically designed to deal with harsh terrain, however, if you’re hiking across a lot of uneven land or rocks, then inevitably you will struggle to pull your cart across it.

Another downside to this method though is that you still have to have some sort of system in place to actually lift the deer catch onto the cart in the first place. This can be problematic if you are not physically up to the job, do not have any fellow hunters with you to help, or do not have any sort of hoisting system.

On the whole, they’re a great choice for getting game catches out the woods effectively. They can even be used to transport other pieces of useful equipment such as decoys and tree stands. Generally, they’re reasonably cheap to buy, and you can usually purchase one around the $50 mark. If you don’t want to run up the cost of your hunt any further, then a great alternative option if you have the time, is to make your own deer transport cart.

#2. Drag

Ah, the good old traditional dragging method! It’s fairly straightforward and can get the job done, but physically it can be very demanding. A few popular methods of dragging are using a simple piece of rope that you attach to the game and pull with your hands or tie around yourself, this can be made much easier if you buy a special harness that attaches to your body and allows you to drag your catch while freeing up your hands. With this method, you don’t have to actually lift or hoist the downed deer, though as mentioned, if you’re not physically in the best condition then this can put a massive strain on your body. One big plus is that a piece of rope or a harness will not set you back as much as buying a cart.

Another type of dragging that can be utilized is with the use of a sled (or decoy sled if you like.) Designed to haul hunting gear around such as decoys and rifles, these plastic pieces of equipment are great for sledding your game out of the woods. They still obviously require a fair amount of physical work, but the task of moving the deer across terrain is smoother than just plain hauling it across the bare ground. Admittedly, they will cost more than a bit of rope or a harness, but you can always pinch one from someone that uses it to sled in the winter, or you could even construct your own.

#3. ATV or Buggy

A lot of experienced hunters that have access to land and have the budget to invest in their hunts, use some type of motorized vehicle to load their catch onto. If this option is available to you, then it should be something you consider as it requires very little work as well as being very effective. If you have an ATV then the task is really as simple as attaching a bit of rope around the downed game and driving out of the woods with it, no extra heavy lifting is required. There is also the option if you have a rack attachment for your ATV of storing your game compactly in it and driving away with, this ensures that your catch is not dragged along the ground or damaged in any way. A buggy, designed for golf or hunting is another type of motorized vehicle that is commonly used to transport deer and is very much used in the same way as an ATV.

This is one of the best ways of transporting hunting catches out of the woods and to your vehicle as it requires very little work. One big downside though is the price. Not every hunter has the money to splash out on one of these vehicles to aid with their transport, so this might not even be a consideration for you. Another potential drawback depending on which state in the U.S you hunt in is the legality of motorized vehicles in the field and access to land. Some states strictly prohibit the use of motorized vehicles in the field, so if you do decide to consider one, make sure you’re not violating any game rules or regulations.

Which Deer Transport Option Will You Choose?

That’s 3 viable ways of transporting your downed deer catch out of the woods for you, so which one will you decide to use? Experiment yourself and find out which option works for you and what doesn’t. You know your own body and physical strengths, so choose wisely. Remember, longevity in the field is what you should seek, so don’t put your body through the mill every hunting session. The main points to consider before choosing a method are whether you want your catch to be dragged along the ground or not, are you physically strong to drag, do you have something or someone to help lift or hoist the catch and how much are you willing to spend?

Now it’s time to eliminate those transporting fears and go catch the deer of a lifetime!

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