So your deer is down. Excitement is in the air. You're going to be able to fill your freezer for the winter and provide for your family. But first, you've got to get your deer from point A to point B, from the field to your vehicle. Do you use a deer cart, deer carrier, or do you drag it out of the field?
We're here to help. There are several essential elements to dragging a deer out of the field. There are important steps that must be taken in order to ensure that you do not spoil the meat and ruin the hide. Here you will find our step by step guide to guarantee your successful deer drag.
This concludes our detailed guide on how to drag a deer. Just don't do it. It's that simple. After dragging deer for many years and experiencing the challenge of removing it out of the field, we've determined there are better ways of doing it. Dragging a deer destroys the animal. It exposes the meat to dirt and mud. It also destroys the hide. And finally, it destroys your back.
Certainly there are times when dragging a deer works well. Think downhill snow. These are the ideal situations, but they are not always what we have to work with. We usually are dealing with a long hike over rough terrain. What's the alternative to dragging a deer?
The Honey Badger Wheel deer cart is lightweight and fully collapsible. It straps directly onto your backpack. It rides in compact and ready to use when needed. It comes in multiple wheel sizes. The 24" has been the preferred size for bow hunters who are working in tight spaces. Getting in through thick foliage requires a compact wheel. Hunters in the mountains such as the Rockies or Sierra Nevadas have preferred the 29er and Fattie. The Fattie is the best multi-purpose kit and the 29er is ideal for rolling out in rough terrain.
There are two methods of using a deer carrier. The first method is for carrying smaller deer up to 150 pounds. This method requires the Honey Badger Wheel Deer Cart Adapter. It is a three piece unit that installs quickly onto the Honey Badger Wheel frame. It allows the user to flip the deer carrier upside down and place over the animal. After strapping the deer to the frame, the user then flips the deer cart right side up.
The second method of using a deer carrier is for carrying larger animals 150+ pounds. Whether the animal is a large deer, elk, bear, or moose, it does not matter. This second method allows for entire animals to be taken out of the backcountry. Big game can be deboned or quartered. The quarters and meat can be either tied directly onto the frame - on top and on the sides - or placed in saddlebags or panniers.
The above image is a Fattie hauling out a bull elk. The saddlebags are our TrailMax Pack Panniers. This method is quick and allows for a large amount of weight to be carried. This method is great for getting into the backcountry as well.
The other option for hauling big game with the Honey Badger Wheel deer carrier is strapping quarters directly onto the frame. This works well, but requires game bags to protect the meat. It also requires rope and/or straps to properly secure the meat to the frame.
Either method works well, but is determined by the size of the game you are removing from the field. For deer use the Deer Carrier Accessory. For elk and other large big game, just use the Honey Badger Wheel. Strap the meat to the frame or use panniers or saddlebags.
No matter how you use the Honey Badger Wheel, you will be able to remove your big game and arrive at your vehicle without have exposed or destroyed the meat and hide. Dragging a deer has its place in the woods. That place is found where the snow is fresh and the slope is downward towards your vehicle.
Now you know how not to drag a deer. Use the Honey Badger Wheel Deer Cart as a game carrier and you've got your aces covered. However, if you're stubborn and still insist on figuring out how to drag a deer, then read the following from the tip board on Field and Stream. Good luck.
Tie the front legs at the wrist to the neck of the deer. Then get back into your tree stand safety harness, and attach the strap of your harness that goes around the tree to the head or neck of the deer at a length so that the head and front legs will be slightly off the ground when pulling. By using the safety harness to pull the deer behind you, you are able to use your legs and upper body to drag the deer without it clipping your heels, and your hands are free to carry things or move obstructions out of the way.