Dragging it Out
If I have to drag the deer out of the woods, then I tie the front legs together with a piece of string and make a cut through both lower legs just above the hooves between the Achilles tendon and the leg bone. I pass my drag rope through these cuts and pull the deer by the rear legs.
I like doing it this way because it tends to keep the meat away from the dirt while dragging. And if itâ€™s a buck, the antlers are less likely to catch things when dragged backwards.
The ultimate tool however is the deer cart. I would rather hike back to my truck, put all my gear away, bring back a deer cart, and haul the deer in that. The deer stays out of the dirt and it is much easier to get them through the woods. The exception to this is stream crossings or deep snow.
Transporting the Deer
Once back at the truck, ice the deer as soon as possible. I carry a cooler with bagged ice whenever I go hunting any distance from home. I can keep some cold drinks in there for after the hunt, and if I got anything then I place the bag of ice in the body cavity of the deer for the trip home. If itâ€™s a big deer I stop a soon as I can for a couple more bags. If you are in a warm climate, throw a couple bags on top of the deer as well.
Donâ€™t stop to show off your deer at the local bar or VFW. If you want to show it off, tell your friends to meet you where you will be processing it. Not only can they admire it, they can give you a hand processing.
If youâ€™re taking your deer to a processor, youâ€™re done with your part. If you have to wait for the processor to open, keep cooling the deer with the ice. If youâ€™re processing yourself (which I recommend), read the articles on how to do that.
Enjoy your venison!