How to Drag Your Deer

By Greg Tubbs | PUBLISHED December 6th, 2021

By Any Means Necessary 

Retrieving a deer can be a real chore at times. We’ve all been there at some point! You wandered a little farther off the beaten path and found the perfect spot. You set up, and as luck would have it, you knock down a deer! Now it’s time to get it out of whatever terrain you’re hunting. So the work begins! Are you dragging or quartering your prize?

On our most recent podcast episode with Clint Campbell, host of the Truth from the Stand podcast, we talked about how brutal and rewarding dragging a deer can be. It can feel like you’re going out of your way to make an additional trip to grab a cart, but entirely worth it depending on the distance or terrain.

I primarily hunt swamps and marshes. Dragging a deer isn’t always the easiest way to get it out. Yes, it’s been done! In fact. I did it twice in one week! Two bucks that were pushing 200 pounds! Talk about a workout! If I had been more prepared. My sled would have been in the back of my truck. In addition to the game cart!

Public land deer cart

These two items are part of a system that gets used every season. The sled is an all-terrain vehicle that can go just about anywhere! I have even floated a doe across a deep irritation ditch with it, from cattails to dirt. It slides well! For the hard ground, I prefer to put the entire sled on the cart and pull it back to the parking lot. It’s like a miniature duck boat.

What about quartering? Here in Wisconsin, we can quarter deer but not leave any bones (public land). I see it being an option if necessary. But I haven’t had to do it yet.  

On the more creative side, I have an uncle who hates to give his public land spots away. We would lash deer to a pole and carry them out on our shoulders. This left blood behind! That was too risky! My uncle came back the following year with an old army stretcher! We plopped the deer on that thing and carried it out of the woods! Leaving nothing more than our boot tracks. No blood, no hair, and no drag marks!  

For your water access, guys. It’s hard to beat a canoe or a boat and just float the deer out!

How do you drag your deer out, and what tips can you share?



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