You have spent the better part of the day hunting, hoping that you are fortunate enough to find and kill a deer so you do not starve. You aren’t hunting for sport. You are hunting for survival, and you need that deer. You are miles and miles away from your camp when you finally spot the beast and take your shot. You’ve downed the deer, you have meat… but now you need to get it back to camp, and that is no easy feat. How are you going to do it? Fortunately, others have been in the same situation, and there are methods you can use to get your prize to camp.
Those who hunt regularly tend to have their own methods of getting deer out of the woods after a kill. It might be a four-wheeler, for example. However, when you are in a survival situation, you will not likely have this luxury. You need to find other methods.
Dragging or Carrying
Depending on the size of the deer, it might be possible to carry it out, if you are in good shape and you do not have to walk too far or through too much rugged terrain to get back to the camp. Having some rope with you can help to create a harness that could make it easier. You can also use the rope in conjunction with a tarp or even a poncho. Place the deer onto the tarp and tie it up. Use rope or paracord as a way to create a harness that goes around your shoulders so you can drag it more easily through the woods.
If you have another person who is hunting with you, it will be easier to carry the deer. You can cut down a sapling that is somewhat straight and that is longer than the deer. Lash the front and back legs of the deer to the sapling, and then you lift it from the front while your partner lifts from the back. This will make the going much easier.
Butchering on the Spot
However, you might be in a place that is too far away from camp to make returning with the entire deer possible. In this case, your best bet is to butcher the deer on the spot. Salvage as much of the meat as you can, along with the hide, antlers, hooves and anything else that you can make use of for survival. Place this into your pack and then get back to camp.
No matter where you butcher the deer, you need to be wary of hungry predators that might want to take your kill. If you can bring the entire deer back to camp, it is still a good idea to butcher at least a couple hundred yards from the camp, as the scent is sure to make predators curious.
It might not always be easy to get the deer back to your camp, but once you start to smell it cooking, you will know that it was well worth the effort.
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