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Thread: Game carts, are they useful in Alaska?

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    Default Game carts, are they useful in Alaska?

    I was wondering what use, if any, anyone has had for the collapsible game carts from cabelas or other similar designs. Any use for these on hike in sheep, blacktail hunts? What are the draw backs? Added weight, terrain, ect?

    Appreciate your thoughts and experiences.


    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=&id=0020698225958a&navCount=0&podI d=0020698&parentId=&masterpathid=&navAction=push&c atalogCode=UK&rid=&parentType=&indexId=&cmCat=netc on&cm_ven=netcon&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=game%20cart& cm_ite=netcon&rid=2146251080&hasJS=true

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    They're of great use if you're hunting in and around clearcuts with new or old logging roads. But even there, you want as wide a footprint as possible and large wheels. The narrower the cart (or shorter the axle) and smaller the tire, the worse they are about tipping over or getting hung up in the rough stuff. We retro ours with gardenway cart wheels for best service. Move away from the clearcuts and if there are any trails at all, they're too narrow for a wide cart with big wheels, and you've got a mess on your hands. Hunting typical blacktail terrain with a cart is bad business.

    BTW- Even in the clearcuts, the things are noisy as a brass band. We ditch ours before hunting, then walk back to pick them up once we have game down. You could certainly take them with you while hunting, but the noise is going to turn your hunt into a sightseeing tour with little game to be seen. And they're heavy enough and bulky enough you aren't going to collapse them and carry them. I collapsed mine once to put it in the back of my truck, and gave that up as a hassle. Now all the joints are taped to cut down on rattles, but there's no fixing the noise from the bare axle and side play on the wheels.

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    Thanks BrownBear,

    They came up during a conversation today and I wanted to hear what you guys had to say.

    Ralph

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    Never used one, but I can't think of too many places I've hunted in Alaska where they would be useful. I can't imagine dragging that thing up a tundra covered ridge. Plus there is the issue of trying to get it in the airplane!

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    i agree, up here i could not use one except in my yard and the atv wagon fits that bill just fine. to much brush, tundra and thick, gooie, boot sucking MUD! though i have used a sled on many occasions...spring ear and a bogan... makes fast trips off the side of a hill side
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Default Game-Carry-Carts...

    A game cart will work fine on a farm hunt in the midwest, but......
    Game-Carry Carts will very seldom be useful during your AK hunts.
    The tundra is too hummockeeee.
    The rivers too deep.
    The river and stream beds too rocky.
    The alder brush is too thick.
    The mountains too steep.
    And 99.999% of the kills will be way too far from your point of departure.

    A good strong back, strapped under a good strong backpack from Barneys, is still your most efficient mechanism of game-and-camp transport.

    A great pair of boots helps. A rather simply mind gets the packing jobs done with less questions.

    Most important point within this post-responce is...Thanks, truely thank you, for your United States military service to our country.

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    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default Carts

    I do beleive someone around here used those on a Delta sheep hunt? sounded like a good idea at the time. Hillbilly

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    Quote Originally Posted by H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y View Post
    I do beleive someone around here used those on a Delta sheep hunt? sounded like a good idea at the time. Hillbilly
    Yup, Snyd posted a good "How to" story about using 'em..


    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=4634


    I've used them in specific situations, the large wheeled collapsible variety. Mainly for getting gear from the plane to the put in on certain rivers. The Koktuli is one specific instance where the carts saved a lot of backbreaking work getting from the pothole lake that we landed on to the river approx 2/3 of a mile away. The collapsible carts fit into a beaver/otter quite easily and can be loaded into a raft with little hassle or waste of space....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default dead drag

    I bought a dead drag for a bear hunt on Kodiak. It rolls up and has a cover to carry it in. The only problem is that it is a bit heavy when you already have a heavy pack and we left it in camp and ended up packing the head and hyde out. Sounded like a good idea , anybody used one ? Tom

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    I carry an 8X10 blue plastic tarp and a long length of rope when Im hunting Caribou on the Tundra. Multi-purpose and light.
    I tie em into big pouch and give myself a long lead to loop over a shoulder and go.
    Even on the dryest days, I can slide a Bull back to camp or the boat easily by myself.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Stranger- I've used tarps in the past, but quickly wore holes in them from ground friction, terrain and vegitation. I'd like to find something a little more durable, but of course as a last resort the tarp it is.

    algonquin- The dead drag, is that the heavier plastic sheet that folds and ties around an animal, then pulls like a sled? If so I've seen pictures of them but never used one or heard any feedback from anyone that has. How heavy is it? Is the material suitable to use as an additional ground barrier under you tent? Can you think of alternative uses for it during your hunt to justify the added weight? ie, impromptu shelter, ect?

    Hippie& Hillbilly, I went back and read Snyd's post on the Aug 06 hunt, very good article. Sounds like the carts were of limited use. Thanks.

    AlaskaTrueAdventure- Thanks other than my wife and children, the military has been the best part of my life. Twenty years already and still going. Considering a hike in hunt next year with a friend and both our young sons (10&13) and we were trying to brainstorm ideas on how to reduce the required effort to get game out. The game cart idea came up, I initially thought they wouldn't work for many of the reasons you and BrownBear listed, but had to ask anyway.

    Vince, I've heard of people using the sled and bogans in the winter, have you used them in the summer? Or the dead drag algonquin mentioned?

    Chisana- I was thinking they would be pretty difficult to get up hill as well. The added 35 pounds of the cart alone is a consideration that would have to be factored into its usefulness. At some point you definately get diminishing returns.

    Thanks for the responses everyone.

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default dead drag

    I would guess it to be 4-5 lbs and its a simi-ridget plastic only good for its purpose but reuseable and looks to be durible. Tom

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    Arrow dead drag; rolls up when not in use

    Mine is heavy shiny sheet plastic, maybe 1/8th inch thick and maybe 4 feet by 5 feet or so. One thing I really like about it is that it has little eyelet holes all around the outside. So you roll the big game (or partial, if moose) onto the plastic, pull the edges of it together as far as they go (which depends on how much beast is inside), then lace the edges together with parachute cord. This keeps the beastie's arms/legs tucked inside so less catching on the terrain during a drag.

    Then my actual drag rope (4 parachute cords) hooks directly from being tied to the beast itself within the drag (not tied to the actual drag) and the other end ties to a small dual web loops (that I always keep in my fanny-pack) that go around each of my shoulders.

    This plastic drag is thick/tough enough that I've pulled it over/thru a rock garden or two and though its gouged a bit in places, it still works great.

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    Thanks Family Man,

    I will be taking a look at the dead drag when I get back. They sound like the solution I'm looking for. Are they locally avilable at SW?

    Ralph

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    I would be concerned about chumming in the bears using the dead drag - you can't do much about the scent you leave on your trail. Our trips to Kodiak we simply took an empty frame with a day pack and put the whole deer on/in our pack frame and the day pack on top; it worked well. (My hunting partners from back home thought we were nuts but they are used to using 4 wheelers for 150 lbs of meat). As for sheep, I can't see many places where you could successfully drag an animal behind you without risk of serious injury.

    Believe it or not, I have seen a sled/bobsled used to pull gear in and animals out. A number of years ago, an old sourdough used this method to great success up on hall road for caribou. Of course, it was all tundra and the terrain was open without any alders. Personally, I thought he was nuts, but two days later we saw him walking back to camp pulling a load of meat. He proved it worked but I'd much rather put it on my back and walk - it's much easier to move around the wild and overgrown landscape.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Default They have their place

    On terra-firma (hard pack atv trail and a dirt road) the carts worked great for what we were doing, hauling 175-200lbs per guy for several miles. In softer stuff like mud and sand with rocks they were hard to pull. If I ever do it again I will put a brake on it though. Downhill on hard pack with 200lbs pushing you can get interesting

    They were of limited use but definitely had their place on that DCUA hunt. I've been on a several other walkin sheep hunts in other areas and no way they'd work.

  17. #17

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    Anyplace I've ever hunted they'd be about as worthless as a Christmas tree the day after Christmas. I have seen some guys use the plastic kids sleds to drag out game over the muskeg etc, looks like they may be useful. But I've also seen those sleds left abandoned out in the middle of nowhere, they standout a long ways off.

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    Default Single axle, 2 wheel Mule

    I have used one for years moose hunting. Depending on where we find a bull, we use either a stretcher or the mule. Both may require a bit of trail work. We usually have 4 to 6 guys so we can take turns regardless of the method. I think the furthest we have used either is a mile, maybe a bit less.
    I like the mule for several reasons.
    1- Any time you stop you just let go. The load is already on the ground
    2- If somebody falls, they don't get hurt by having too much weight in their hands.
    3- We can use it to move camp gear to and from the boat as well as fuel and other supplies.
    I keep thinking about modifying the ends of the mule with some better handles but never get around to it. Maybe some day I will. I think the best time it was handy was in 2007. We shot a moose on the edge of the lake, but the water was too shallow to get a boat near, and the mud near the water was horrible. We parked the boat a measured 1/2 mile away and used the cart to haul the moose along the higher ground. This time there was only the 2 of us. We were able to take our time, keep the meat clean, and were safe moving each load.

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    Default like this drag

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    Thanks Family Man,

    I will be taking a look at the dead drag when I get back. They sound like the solution I'm looking for. Are they locally avilable at SW?

    Ralph
    Mine is quite like this one:
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=210605
    except mine is way wider, which is important because that lets you wrap it more together so that errant arms and legs don't hang out and catch on bushes and rocks.

    I have no idea where I got mine; its been quite a lot of years.

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    Thanks for all the replies everyone,

    A lot of good and varied experience. From reading your responses it sounds like the carts, like many other items, vary in use and utility. Depends on the situation.

    Snyd- The brake on one sounds like a great idea. I can imagine downhill being touchy.

    AlaskanOutdoorsman- The chumming thought. Hmmm Very possible. That would be a major concern. Definately a unquie Alaskan consideration of such a tool.

    Ak River Rat- how do you store yours until it's needed? Does yours fold up? The handles ideas reminds me of the carts I seen in Korea. They had like a yoke that sat on the shoulders with straps that ran under the arms to the rear that was attached to the cart. seemed like a handy way to attach the cart to the person and reduce the stress of the load.

    Familyman- I like the drag. What is the farthest you've drug anything with it? And about how much weight were you pulling?

    Thanks again all, and happy new year,
    Ralph

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