Video: Two Proven Methods for Hauling a Whole Deer From the Field

Dragging a deer back to your truck can be back-breaking work. Here are two proven methods that make it a bit easier to haul a whole deer from the field.

Video: Two Proven Methods for Hauling a Whole Deer From the Field

Some deer hunters have the luxury of killing deer on private land featuring easy ATV access. Even if a deer expires in thicket or creek drainage, it’s typically a short drag to a trail suitable for an ATV.

Of course, deer hunters on private land without such easy access, or those who hike deep into public land where ATVs are not allowed, must consider non-motorized methods for game retrieval.

In the video below, frequent Bowhunting World contributor Bernie Barringer shows his two favorite methods for hauling deer and bears from the field. Like Barringer, I’ve used the sled method and it works fairly well, especially if the forest floor is wet. Of course, snow on the ground makes it all that much easier to pull a sled loaded with an animal. Barringer rigs his sled with handle used on a waterskiing rope. Smart.

Instead of the ski handle trick, I add a thick rope to my sled (top photo). I tie in one large loop (non-sliding) so one person can drape the rope across their chest, then tie in a second smaller loop closer to the sled so a second person has a handle to assist in dragging. This way two people can pull the sled and not be side by side, which sometimes is difficult in thick cover.

Many companies offer sleds that work well for hauling gear and deer. Barringer uses a Shappell Jet Sled 1. (FYI: In the second video below, traditional bowhunter Jason Samkowiak explains how a 54-inch Jet Sled 1 makes it easier to load deer into your pickup bed, and keeps your truck clean from blood. He also details many modifications to improve a Jet Sled’s performance in the field.)

While dragging a deer in a sled is better than without one, a wheeled cart is still easier, especially if the ground is firm. I’ve never used the Hawk Crawler Multi-Use Cart showcased in Barringer’s video, but I plan to try one soon. One public property I bowhunt in South Dakota requires a long walk over a hilly pasture, and if I kill a deer there, the Crawler would be an ideal retrieval solution. There’s also a spot on that SoDak public ground where I’d like to place a ladder stand (legal), and I’d use the Crawler to haul it in, too. Several companies offer game carts, but the Hawk Crawler has four wheels and Dual Rotating Axles (patent pending) that crawl over objects. Barringer promises me that this cart is the real deal, and I’m excited to try it.

Check out these two videos and consider whether you should purchase a sled or game cart — or both — for hauling a whole deer from the field.


P.S. Check out the video below from Jason Samkowiak to see smart modifications for making a Shappell Jet Sled 1 a more effective deer hauling tool.

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