I thought I was going to die. No. I knew I was going to die.
The deer my buddy Matt shot with his crossbow was a massive buck. A perfect shot from 10 yards put this deer down.
The tree stand Matt was hunting from was just hung on my newly acquired land a few months earlier to allow it to “season”. The land is divided by a creek and is landlocked. I can not access the property across the creek by ATV, only by foot.
Working together it wasn’t too bad to get the stand down a big steep hill, then a steep bank into a creek, then across the creek up another steep bank, then about 100 yards to its spot on the north-west corner of my land. Not bad for a couple of out of shape hunters.
Immediately I knew I had overdressed and would pay dearly for it.
For some reason, it never crossed my mind what it would be like to haul a harvested whitetail deer back out the way we had brought the stand in. I would find out during the second week of bow season when I got a text from Matt that he had a buck down. I headed his way.
In the time it took me to reach Matt, he had the buck gutted and ready to drag. It’s worth noting that the temperature was heading to 60 that morning. We needed to get this deer out across the creek and up the hill to the house.
Immediately I knew I had overdressed and would pay dearly for it. The haul was grueling through the woods. Finally, we reached the creek bank and slid it into the water. If you’ve never pulled a deer through the water or a creek, you may be surprised that they kind of float! Amazing!
We took a short break trying to figure out the best way to scale a 12-foot steep bank to reach the other side of the property. After picking our route we started dragging and pulling this buck up that bank for what seemed like hours. I was so hot and exhausted I didn’t think I was going to make it. There for a while, I thought I was going to die. Have you ever felt that way?
I would get in shape before next season.
Finally feeling light-headed and weak-kneed, we got it over the top and drag it to the bottom of the big hill where we could connect a rope to the buck and pull him up the hill with my 4 wheeler.
At one point, I truly felt my heart was going to explode. I vowed I wouldn’t work that hard to pack out a deer again. I would get in shape before next season. Haa! Just kidding!
During the off-season, I ordered the supplies needed to put a zip line 250 feet across the creek to make the pack out a breeze. Matt helped me set it up and then killed the first deer, a nice doe. The video is the first run. It worked flawlessly! No sweat at all!
Sometimes you have to think out of the box and work smarter not harder.
The ability to think outside of the box is something sportsmen have been doing for hundreds of years. A 150 years ago those skills meant the difference between survival – and sure death.