Quick and Easy DIY Project: The Boot Puller

Problem: Removing rubber boots that fit tight around your ankle. Solution: The boot puller.

Quick and Easy DIY Project: The Boot Puller

During spring turkey outings and fall whitetail pursuits, I live in rubber boots. My favorite footwear fits rather snug around the ankles because it keeps my foot anchored in place while hiking in mud, swamps, etc.

The problem with these rubber boots is taking them off at the end of the hunt. Depending on fit, as well as amount of sweat built up during the hike, removing rubber boots can be difficult. In fact, I’ve been in deer camps where it required two grown men to yank the boot off a buddy.

Is it funny to watch? Absolutely. Is it embarrassing for the boot wearer? Sure. I’ve seen the guys pulling with all their strength fall across the floor when a boot finally popped free, and I’ve seen the boot wearer scream in agony due to having his ankle and foot twisted during the boot battle.

Yes, you can spend $10 to $30 and purchase a boot puller, otherwise known as a boot jack. The problem if you hunt several places is then you need to remember packing it each time. And you’ll forget at some point, and then the deer camp footwear fight will be on!

You really need one boot puller for every place you hunt, and it’s handy to have one at home, too. I’m not saying you should purchase six of them. People, there’s an affordable and simple solution.

DIY Boot Puller

Several years ago in a hunting camp in Illinois, I saw a DIY boot puller that made me ponder, Why didn’t I think of that? This simple design consisted of only two pieces of wood. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let you examine the photos below.

Keep in mind that the dimensions of a boot puller aren’t critical. Get the wedge cut out to a reasonable size and it’ll work just fine. The one shown below measures 18 inches by 5.5 inches, and it has a piece of 2x4 screwed to the bottom to raise the wedge end. Easy! 

As shown in the top photo, the user stands on the puller while removing a boot. It’s helpful for the user to place one hand on a wall or something else for balance.

This DIY design for a boot puller was discovered at a hunting camp in Illinois. Called the "Boot Off,” it works like magic.
This DIY design for a boot puller was discovered at a hunting camp in Illinois. Called the "Boot Off,” it works like magic.
The author has made a half dozen boot pullers for use at home, as well as hunting destinations in neighboring states. He leaves one wherever he plans to hunt/hike in rubber boots.
The author has made a half dozen boot pullers for use at home, as well as hunting destinations in neighboring states. He leaves one wherever he plans to hunt/hike in rubber boots.

Because this DIY boot puller is so cheap to make, you can build one for every place you wear rubber boots and leave it there. That hunting camp in Illinois where I first spotted this design didn’t have just one; they had four in a single mud room so no hunter had to wait his or her turn.

If you’re looking for a simple DIY project to kill some time at home, then find some scrap lumber and build yourself a half dozen boot pullers. You’ll be amazed at how easily this simple wooden wedge removes a rubber boot, no matter how tight it fits.

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