The list of options for retrieving game out of areas that are inaccessible by vehicle is pretty short. An old mountain man from Arkansas explained to me how his grandmother, back in the 1950s, taught him to carry a deer rather than drag it. She called it “shock pouching.”

This method, which involves using the lower leg portions to make “backpack straps,” allowed the man to carry bucks over 5 miles on his back. With practice you’ll be able to make the straps in less than 15 minutes, and a man of average strength will be able to carry a 145- to 185-pound animal.

Shock PouchingHere are your “shock” steps:

1.      Making the straps: Using a sharp knife, remove the lower leg bone from all four legs. Be sure to leave the hide and dew claws attached. Bending the knee and wrist joints tightly, you can cut the tendons in these joints by slicing into the topside of the joint. You'll be able to remove the bone without the use of a saw; however, sawing the bone is an option. Just remember to leave the dewclaws and hide, but remove the leg bone and cut off the hoof.

2.      Tying the straps: You’ve now got four flaps of hide, along with the dewclaws, hanging from all four legs. Now, simply tie the front right and the back left legs together in a knot. Repeat the same process by tying the front left and back right legs together. The dewclaws keep the knot from pulling through.

3.      Getting the animal on your back: Prop the animal up on a log, rock or embankment so that you are seated slightly below the animal. Slip your arms through the straps of skin and walk to your truck.