The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 29, 2020, 11:57 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2019
Posts: 768
How do you take your game out?

The fun is over and you've shot your game. How do you take your game out? Backpack or drag it out? What kind of pack or drag system do you use? Why?
BJung is offline  
Old December 29, 2020, 12:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,545
In the past I've been close enough to just drag it back to the truck after field dressing most of the time. I've helped others carry some in a pack out after quartering them when distances were greater.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old December 29, 2020, 01:36 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 8, 2010
Location: SC
Posts: 1,344
Luckily, I can typically get a SxS on most of the areas I hunt. Granted I still have to drag at times.
mxsailor803 is offline  
Old December 29, 2020, 02:34 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,736
I use an ATV just about everywhere I hunt in my home state.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old December 29, 2020, 05:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 8, 2008
Location: Tooele, Ut
Posts: 1,716
I’ve done pack frames, drag it whole, slung on a pole with two people, cut in half and drag out, and park the truck 5’ away.

A lot of my hunting areas are Forest service land, so getting a vehicle to the animal doesn’t generally happen, and usually requires at least a couple hundred yards (or a couple of miles)of dragging or backpacking it out.

The BLM and private areas I hunt allow me to get a vehicle right up to the game, but that’s far out numbered by the times I’ve had to pack or drag something out.
The answer to 1984 is 1776
Crankylove is offline  
Old December 29, 2020, 07:05 PM   #6
Colorado Redneck
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2008
Location: Northeast Colorado
Posts: 1,978
Walk back to the pickup and drive to the harvested critter. Set up the handy dandy crane, pick up the critter, and start skinning. Last fall I never gutted an animal, just bone out or quarter and peel off the loins and tender loins. Put parts in ice chest with lots of ice and go home. One thing about getting old, it's a great excuse for doing things the way a wuss would do them.

ps I only hunt private land these days.
Colorado Redneck is offline  
Old December 30, 2020, 12:25 AM   #7
big al hunter
Senior Member
Join Date: March 12, 2011
Location: Washington state
Posts: 1,555
The majority of the property I hunt motor vehicles are not allowed. So I used to drag/carry it out. Last season I started carrying a backpack. I decided on an Eberlestock F1 Mainframe as a the starting point. They have several options for bags to zip onto the frame, as it is part of a modular system. I carry it with 2 Batwing bags zippered to the frame and each other. It functions as a good sized day pack. I have room for game bags, knives, extra jacket/warm cap, food and a water filter. The frame has molly webbing on the hip belt, so I added pouches for water bottles, one on each side. Also had room for additional bags for things I might need while hiking, or that I want more accessible.

After the fun is over and the work starts, the Batwing bags unzip in the middle to create sideboards on the frame. The bottom of the Mainframe is a shelf for meat packing. There are 3 straps that wrap around the meat and hold it to the frame. I haven't packed meat with it yet, but there is plenty of room for an elk quarter. I could probably make it work with a front and back quarter at the same time if it was not too far back to the truck. But why work that hard if you don't have to!

I also have a scabbard for my rifle added to the frame. I can remove the rifle while still wearing the pack on my back. Much easier to carry that way. And when my son gets tired of carrying his rifle, it doesn't get in my way when it is in the scabbard.

I can also get multiple sizes of backpacking bags to add to the system for back country hunts lasting a week or more.
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
big al hunter is offline  
Old December 30, 2020, 01:46 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 7,691

By "game" you mean deer (or bigger) of course. The state land I hunt does not allow MV off established roadways. I have a a game "cart" and where location allows, I go back to the Bronco and roll the cart in to the animal, then roll it out. If to thick or steep for the cart, I drag. My treestand harness has a drag ring attachment at the low rear. I clip into the deer and the drag ring and point my nose in the easiest direction and puff. When I can get the cart there, I do. As a teen, Bamaboy was my mule and liked to show me how well he could drag, sadly, the guy has a big boy job and a wife now, I've lost my mule.

I have an ATV too, an older 2WD straddle version, and on a lot of private property/leases, I can get pretty close with it, if not just right there. A manual "come-along" type winch up front lets me hoist the deer on the rear rack w/o busting a gut muscle. I use the ATV at my skinning shed to hoist the animal to the rafters.
bamaranger is offline  
Old December 30, 2020, 07:37 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: December 10, 2015
Posts: 261
A few years ago i bought a game cart . It does a great job. I was surprised how well it rolled thought the woods and creeks. Just a word of advice, bigger wheels are the secret, not wider as you think but taller.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
Fla_dogman is offline  
Old December 30, 2020, 10:38 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 4,315
Originally Posted by Fla_dogman View Post
A few years ago i bought a game cart . It does a great job. I was surprised how well it rolled thought the woods and creeks. Just a word of advice, bigger wheels are the secret, not wider as you think but taller.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk

^^^This, especially the bigger wheels. Years ago when I was young it was nuttin' to drag a good buck the quarter to half mile back to the truck. Nowadays it's easier to take the gun and extra clothes back to the truck and come back with the cart. Dragging generally means the straightest route, but with the cart, I will skirt swamps and thick grass/brush and stick to dry ground with fewer obstacles. Knowing the area( very large parcel of state owned land) sometimes it's easier to move the truck from the original parking spot to make hauling the animal out easier. Longer with the cart means nuttin' when it's easier. On our private land, it's either the 4 wheeler or the tractor.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old December 30, 2020, 05:58 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: April 14, 2013
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 2,668
I use an atv in northern michigan on private property but in southern wisconsin on public I drag out. A cheap kids sled can be worth its weight in gold. But I have been trying to learn/convince myself on using the gutless method and packing out.

I've been known to backpack out ducks and geese so I could go back in an finish my limit when jump shooting or kayak hunting.
NRA Lifetime Member
Blindstitch is offline  
Old December 30, 2020, 06:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 6, 2014
Posts: 6,126
Out West it was horses, especially if elk was the quarry.
"I believe that people have a right to decide their own destinies; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only so long as) individual citizens give it a 'temporary license to exist'—in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government—it doesn't own you."- Frank Zappa
FITASC is offline  
Old January 4, 2021, 12:07 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,090
I have a cheap red solid plastic kids snow sled with a good sturdy rope loop at the front for towing it.

I live in wisconsin, and if we don’t have snow for deer season, the ground is at least cold and wet. The loaded sled drags along pretty easily if you take the time before hand to load it with some care and bind the front legs together and back legs together with twine, even over grass.
I hunt, shoot bullseye, plink, reload, and tinker with firearms. I have hung out with the Cowboy Action fellas. I have no interest in carrying firearms in urban areas.
stinkeypete is offline  
Old January 6, 2021, 12:44 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 814
The answer to this question is regional in nature.

Where I hunt in upstate NY, everyone does exactly the same thing:
- Shoot deer
- Gut deer (leave skin on)
- Drag deer back to your vehicle with a 4x4 of some type if possible
- If not, drag it by hand and hope you have a friend nearby to help you

Although I live in a very rural community, there really is no "wilderness" around here, so a road is always nearby. Never heard of anyone quartering a deer in the field around here.
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old January 6, 2021, 11:34 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2006
Posts: 596
This year...I used the bucket on the really good....but there has been a lot of dragging through the years


Last edited by ocharry; January 8, 2021 at 02:46 PM.
ocharry is offline  
Old January 7, 2021, 09:40 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Helena, AL
Posts: 4,182
We've got a hanging rack at our deer lease. For hogs, we just take the hams and shoulders off, then peel back the skin to peel out the straps. After we get back to the truck, we take the skin off.
Reloading For: 223R, 243W, 6.5GR, 6.5 CM, 260R, 6.5-06, 280R, 7mmRM, 300HAM'R, 308W, 30-06, 338-06, 9mm, 357M, 41M, 44SPL, 44M, 45 Colt, 450BM.
GeauxTide is offline  
Old January 7, 2021, 12:22 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 12,913
Pack frame or drag it.

For two antelope, my brothers and I attempted one of the roll-up drag sleds. All handles and attachment points were torn out by the time we got to the third animal (same day).

Being able to drive to the animal is pretty rare, since most of my hunting is done on public land. Even on private land and in places where it is okay to drive out on BLM land, the terrain usually presents a barrier that prevents such.

At one point in time, we had a single-wheel, home built game cart. It was intended for use in the sagebrush flats of western Wyoming, and worked acceptably well there until it broke. But it was too unwieldy and difficult to maneuver on slopes of any kind, rough terrain, or in trees.
None of us have bought or built another cart since that one died.

I had an elk hind quarter on my pack frame when Crankylove and another brother put the front half of the animal on a pole to carry it out. Having helped with and watched that, I would never do it again unless I absolutely had no other choice.
Even then, I'd probably opt for hauling the pole and body parts up a tree, to come back for, before I tried carrying it all out that way.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old January 7, 2021, 12:51 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2019
Posts: 768
I have not done this but reading your thread, has anyone tried bringing two poles that act as walking sticks for each hunter. Reinforced in the center and attached, two hunters could carry the game out one one pole as you see in old African photos? Carrying a frame seems cumbersome in brush and a soft pack would be better carrying with ropes for dragging; or do you use straps? I suppose that if you could drive close enough and the game is down a steep hill, you use a winch?
BJung is offline  
Old January 9, 2021, 12:30 AM   #19
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,843
Call my son after my animals gutting and within a half hour he shows up with his Ranger. Picks me up at my stand and we than drive to my field tagged and freshly gutted quarry. We load the animal up with the help of a UTV electric winch. Reverse course to drop me off at my pick-up parked on a gravel road. Son again reverses course and drives quietly thru my woods via a long ago made skidder road to my cabins back yard. We rinse the cavity good then hang the animal in the garage and visit the animal again after supper and dishes done so to remove its hide. Next morning its quarter whole and dropped into the garages chest freezer minus its tender loins. That's how we do every deer season.
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old January 9, 2021, 06:52 AM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 4,536
We use a Highly Modified game cart.
1. Extend handle and gave it some drop for easier balancing.
2. Swap out those lawnmower wheels for wheel chair wheels, it's a ton better for crawling over logs and such.
3. Added fender gussets to axle as to keep those taller wheels from bowing in or out.
We've hauled out as many as 3 deer at a time comfortably, also the handles extend outside of buggy so two people can tug along with it.
Keep your Axe sharp and your powder dry.
hooligan1 is offline  
Old January 9, 2021, 11:57 AM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 646
Deer always get dragged out, however far, in one piece; no problems there, thankfully, even at my age (so far! I'll be 70 in a couple of months! ).

Elk, now that's a whole other animal (pun absolutely intended!). I've packed them out quartered on horseback, packed them out quartered on my back, and with the proper permit, I've boned them out on the spot and packed them out in separate meat bags. Whatever's "easiest," and that's a word that rarely is considered when working with a downed elk. Nonetheless, when the field dressing starts, my mind is always pretty much thinking of the word, "egress."

Didn't get an elk this year, didn't even get a shot... I'll save my "egress" energies for next year. I've got a good friend a bit older than me, and when there's a plan in the future, we've started to put the acronym, "ATP," at the end of a text or email. It keeps us covered; it means "All Things Permitting."
reinert is offline  
Old January 10, 2021, 02:09 PM   #22
North East Redneck
Senior Member
Join Date: June 6, 2012
Location: Berkshire Hills
Posts: 741
Regarding deer, I've dragged them, carried them across rivers, quartered them hanging from a tree. Bought a game cart a few years ago, much easier to roll them out of the woods.
NRA Patron Member
SAF Life Member
GOAL Member
North East Redneck is offline  
Old June 27, 2021, 02:42 AM   #23
Junior Member
Join Date: April 27, 2021
Posts: 7
I hunt a lot in the maintains for chamois. When I was younger, I mostly backpacked the animal down the hill. However, this can become quite dangourous as you have additional weight which pushed you downhill. After an accident :-( I prefer to drag my game downhill ...
schwob2 is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 05:06 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 1,066
The "rule" the last few times I was on a big game hunt was "only shoot game uphill from an accessible road". So dragging/packing was all downhill.

Note that little of the hunting area had much of anything you would call flat and the slopes were steeper and higher than "rolling". Think ridge.
All data is flawed, some just less so.
ballardw is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 08:14 PM   #25
The Happy kaboomer
Senior Member
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Posts: 131
Back the truck up to it. Put the ramp in place and drag it up into the truck. OR. Drag it to the truck with 4 wheeler. Put down ramp and drag it up into the truck. IF, I shoot one that runs into a thick place I call a couple off friends for help.
The Happy kaboomer is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Page generated in 0.07661 seconds with 10 queries