Sitka Gear
Game cart experience - Push or pull?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
herd bull 08-Jun-09
Joey Ward 08-Jun-09
Brack Man 08-Jun-09
swede 08-Jun-09
wyobullshooter 08-Jun-09
J.E. Travis 08-Jun-09
rj 08-Jun-09
longhunter 08-Jun-09
Elkman52 08-Jun-09
arrohed 08-Jun-09
herd bull 08-Jun-09
cnelk 08-Jun-09
Joey Ward 09-Jun-09
hntn4elk 09-Jun-09
samman 09-Jun-09
BBrown 09-Jun-09
samman 09-Jun-09
samman 09-Jun-09
samman 09-Jun-09
Trykon 09-Jun-09
Call'em N 09-Jun-09
Call'em N 09-Jun-09
Call'em N 09-Jun-09
Call'em N 09-Jun-09
bvbtrout 10-Jun-09
Call'em N 10-Jun-09
TD 10-Jun-09
Mathews Man 10-Jun-09
herd bull 10-Jun-09
Joey Ward 11-Jun-09
oldbow 03-Sep-09
oregon boy 03-Sep-09
JRABQ 03-Sep-09
Pdiddlydoe 03-Sep-09
oldbow 28-Sep-10
nmelkhunner 28-Sep-10
nmelkhunner 28-Sep-10
nmelkhunner 28-Sep-10
nmelkhunner 28-Sep-10
nmelkhunner 28-Sep-10
Coyote 65 28-Sep-10
Elkida 30-Sep-10
oldbow 01-Oct-10
oldbow 21-Nov-10
muliemad 21-Nov-10
>>>---WW----> 25-Nov-10
BigAl 26-Nov-10
twistedlimb 26-Nov-10
BigAl 26-Nov-10
oldbow 28-Nov-10
muliemad 28-Nov-10
Wild Bill 12-Jul-23
Paul@thefort 12-Jul-23
nchunter 12-Jul-23
TGbow 12-Jul-23
2Wild Bill 13-Jul-23
Live2Hunt 13-Jul-23
flybyjohn 14-Aug-23
DonVathome 15-Aug-23
RK 15-Aug-23
Stix 15-Aug-23
jordanathome 15-Aug-23
IdyllwildArcher 16-Aug-23
ahawkeye 16-Aug-23
Wild Bill 12-May-24
Corax_latrans 12-May-24
Bowboy 12-May-24
HDE 12-May-24
From: herd bull
08-Jun-09
I'll try again. Seems the one I posted earlier is gone??? (shrug).

So what do you guys think? Push like a stroller or grocery cart or pull like a sled? I'm getting ready for my elk trip and I've been tweaking the game cart making sure it's mtn ready and all the testing I've done has been pulling.

The distance will more than likely be 5+ miles on old logging roads and I'm looking at 2 trips to get an average bull & camp back off the mtn. Or 1 trip if it's a cow.

I know the best thing to do is test this out in the mtns but I'm 1100 miles away from them. There is a very, very, very slim chance I might make it to Colorado over the 4th of July but only for a few days. There might not be any time on that trip for testing gear.

Thanks (again) for any input/experience.

From: Joey Ward
08-Jun-09
Ever seen a horse push a wagon?

From: Brack Man
08-Jun-09
The terrain will tell you. Uphill you will pull and going down you will push / walk behind because it is easier to control.

From: swede
08-Jun-09
I just purchased a new cart. I hope I will get to try it out this year. I thought I would pull it unless I was going down a steep hill. There I would get behind it to hold it back. I assume there is a handle, on both ends of these things, for a reason. If I am real lucky I can have another person, on the other end, when we remove my elk. If the other person gets the elk, I would think they could handle it on their own. LOL

08-Jun-09
Just like a chain. Pull, don't push. Just remember to have a good pair of gloves for the handle!

From: J.E. Travis
08-Jun-09
Behind it downhill...pull it all other times. Pushing on level ground will cause you lots of pain when you hit an unseen rock and it comes to that sudden stop...and you don't.

From: rj
08-Jun-09
I have a super mag hauler and i would not suggest putting more than 100lbs on them . the wheels are kind of cheap they do not work well off trail it might be all right on old logging roads were its wide, my wheels got all bent up and had to throw them away. the cart has been in my basement for four years with no wheels. rj

From: longhunter
08-Jun-09
We use carts a lot when we go to Wyoming on our deer/antelope hunts because the areas that we hunt are walk in only. In answer to your question, pull, for sure. I have seen ads for carts that have a hand brake and I think that if I was using a cart in steep terrain, I would want one. It could get real hairy, real quick up in the mountains with a load on a cart.

Good luck on your hunt!

From: Elkman52
08-Jun-09
Brack Man got it right.this is from a guy that has pushed a handtruck with up to 350lbs. on it for 33 yrs.

From: arrohed
08-Jun-09
I have a cart I modified from a bicycle/kid hauler, and it works great on fairly level terrain. I wouldn't think of trying to push it, unless as some said, you're going down a steep grade. Keep in mind, Colorado has a "no wheels" rule for all of the wilderness areas. Good luck.

From: herd bull
08-Jun-09

herd bull's Link
Here ya go Joey W!!

From: cnelk
08-Jun-09

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Here is a cart I made for less than $100. It hauls ~1/2 elk at a time. One or Two guys can pull/push.

From: Joey Ward
09-Jun-09
herd bull, sweet feed can have that effect. ;-)

From: hntn4elk
09-Jun-09
I have been making different types of carts for several years, as a winter project, and as I have been getting older they come in handy.

The latest design uses wheel barrow tires, two of them inline instead of on the outside of the cart. It is much easier to use on sidehills and the wider tires absorb a lot of shock. One or two men works great.

Hauled out four deer, two of them 200LB+ bucks and one bighorn sheep last year all field dressed whole.

I'll try to post pics later.

Garo

From: samman
09-Jun-09

samman's embedded Photo
samman's embedded Photo
I don't think they make this type anymore, but I built mine for aout $100. It attaches to the pack frame & you can balance & walk easy without even holding on to it. It side hills nice with the single wheel (solid rubber tube). If going steep downhill, you can turn it around & anchor it. Great for hauling in gear too. Here my daughter is hauling out a small doe across a clearcut area.

09-Jun-09

Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
Here's one that I made out of the aluminum frame from an old truck topper. It folds up and I carried it in on the pack frame in the photo. It has hauled about 20 whitetails, 4 bears and 2 elk.

This photo was taken in Idaho in 2006. I packed the first load out on my back and packed the rest of the elk out in one load on the cart. I only had to pack about 2 1/2 miles, but It was all cross-country with very little pack trail.

I pulled it on the level and uphill and turned it around and let it pull me down the steep hills. I had to dig my heals in to stop it sometimes or stand it up like I was dumping a wheel barrow to keep it from getting away from me.

I was amazed at how well it did going down the steep switchbacks; I thought I was going to have to unload it for the steep stuff, but I tried it and it worked. It saved me a ton of work.

From: BBrown
09-Jun-09
Not to hijack the thread.... but I am curious as to what everyone's preferance is as far as tires? Short and wide tires (kind of like wheel barrow but with more tread) to provide a larger footprint and less effort to make each revolution. Or taller mountain bike tires to allow additional clearance. I have a nice cart but the tires are crappy road bike tires with no tread and they wont hold air so if I am going to replace them I want to make the best of it.

Thanks

From: samman
09-Jun-09

samman's embedded Photo
samman's embedded Photo
Here is last falls buck. Took him out whole to field dress away from my tree stand. Had to go over some downed logs & thick bushes. I had to two hind quarters of a mature cow elk on it at one time with no problems. Not sure what this buck weighed whole. Once to the road, hooked him up & trialered him away from the hunting area.

The tire on mine is off a 16" kids bike. Pretty good tread & filled with one of those solid rubber tubes. If I come across a 20" with decent tread, I may swap it out. It rolls over downed logs real nice.

From: samman
09-Jun-09

samman's embedded Photo
samman's embedded Photo
Pic didn't upload, lets try again.

From: samman
09-Jun-09
Doh! That's weird. No pic, now two.

09-Jun-09
Mine are 20" heavy duty cart wheels with solid tires. I wouldn't use the type that you have to fill with air. We tried hauling a whitetail out of the Canadian bush with a friends and both tires blew out.

Mine are very tough and the rims get bent up, but I've always been able to straighten them out with a little effort and some spoke adjustments.

I also like the ground clearance of the 20" wheels.

From: Trykon
09-Jun-09

Trykon's embedded Photo
Trykon's embedded Photo
Here is the one I made from an old dolly and some wheelchair wheels I tried it this weekend hauling firewood. Worked great.

From: Call'em N
09-Jun-09

Call'em N's embedded Photo
Call'em N's embedded Photo
I used to say "Pull" but since I have built 3 different ones over the years I now say "Push". In the long run it will save your back and knees! For Elk and Deer I like the 3-wheeler (child jogging stroller) with minor adaptions. 3 wheels allows for one person loading and you don't have to worry about the perfect balance. If the animal is within a mile of the nearest road I can usually do it in one trip.

From: Call'em N
09-Jun-09

Call'em N's embedded Photo
Call'em N's embedded Photo
Being a waterfowl nut also I believe in getting everything in and out of the field in one trip.

Here is a 2-wheeler that can be pushed or pulled. As with most 2 wheeled carts it can be difficult to balance!

From: Call'em N
09-Jun-09

Call'em N's embedded Photo
Call'em N's embedded Photo
The 4-wheller is my favorite one to use. I can haul around 500 lbs by myself as long as it is flat ground. It is a push only cart and is Way to big for Big game use.

From: Call'em N
09-Jun-09

Call'em N's embedded Photo
Call'em N's embedded Photo
I can't forget about this 2 wheeler either!!

Well it Worked!!

From: bvbtrout
10-Jun-09
Call'em N That is a great looking set up. You sort of remind me of that 'Old Woman' in Monty Python's Grail! How much do you estimate that weighs on average? going in that is!

10-Jun-09
That buck extraction device is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I love it......... I'll be remember this :)

From: Call'em N
10-Jun-09
"Call'em N That is a great looking set up. You sort of remind me of that 'Old Woman' in Monty Python's Grail! How much do you estimate that weighs on average? going in that is!"

2-wheeler approx 40 lbs empty and 250 lbs (depending on how many guys are going) loaded.

3 - wheeler approx 20 lbs empty and 200-250 loaded

4 - wheeler 50 lbs empty and 350-450 loaded (depending on how many guys are going)

Matt

From: TD
10-Jun-09
How fast were you going when you hit that deer with your bike?

From: Mathews Man
10-Jun-09
Does anyone have, or perhaps know of the "Game O'rse" carts.

They used to advertise all over the place but I've not been able to find out much.

They were a single wheel cart with a brake, but the front had big loop type handles and the back had straight handles with bicycle style grips and a brake handle. They were collapsible and around $400 about 10 or maybe it was 15 years ago.

These were extremely balanced and you could put a few hundred pounds on them and they were super manuverable.

If anyone has an add, contact, or perhaps one of them, I'm very interested in trying to get one.

Any help would be appreciated.

From: herd bull
10-Jun-09
Well I just did a xcountry test and some hill climbs with 180lbs on the cart. Looks like "pull" for me unless on flat ground or a gradual downhill.

Me got me ass kicked going uphill. I did eventually win but it wasn't pretty. Although I have figured the short uphill part that I have is about a 35%+ grade. It's short but very steep. I'd much rather poke myself with a red hot poker than have to do that for any significant amount of time or distance. If that's the case it goes on my back.

Other than that I just need to mount a drink holder within easy grab access while pulling and I think she's good to go.

It could be the design of this cart or the way I had it weighted. But it just didn't seem very comfortable or efficient to push it once it got a little steeper. I really had to bend over and it was uncomfortable. There was no good way to transfer the push in an upright position that really moved the cart easily.

Thanks for the input guys. Hopefully I'll get to test out this theory this fall. I guess just hunt uphill from camp or the truck - lol.

From: Joey Ward
11-Jun-09
"I guess just hunt uphill from camp or the truck"

Horse sense? ;-)

Good luck this fall.

From: oldbow
03-Sep-09
I know this subject is concerning hand pulled or pushed carts but does anyone on here remember a motorized two wheeled Cart type vehicle that was used out West to haul out Elk, three at a time.

This motorized machine was designed on the order of a motor scooter with the engine mounted over the front wheel so that when you turned the handle bars, you auctually turned the front wheel and motor at the same time.

I was told that these machines were orginally designed to haul supplies up mountains during the Korean War and were built with the basket type rear end to carry wounded soldiers out of the mountains over there.

I was also told that the Herters Company sold these two wheeled machines in 1957; anyone know anything about that.

These machines had a 15 inch Mud and Snow tire mounted on the front end for traction; plus you could put snow chains on them; and the back wheel freewheeled.

A person could build one similar to them and maybe make them like a hand pushed scooter.

Anyone out there ever saw one of these motorized machines? if so I'd sure enjoy seeing a picture of one.

From: oregon boy
03-Sep-09
I remember a motorized wheel barrow made by DR the nmaker of bush hogs etc that sounds simailar.

From: JRABQ
03-Sep-09
Call'em N, now that's resourceful, but it reminds me of the classic Pat McManus story "The deer on the bicycle".

From: Pdiddlydoe
03-Sep-09
I bought one for my Bro in Law as a thank you for guiding me on an elk hunt . It was a Cabellas two wheeler version. He was so insulted he never mentioned it again. Not manly enough. He has the luxury of downing an animal and calling his workers in to pack em out. Unless it's yours of course... That being said I will be hunting with him tomorrow and he will be doing the wonderful calling he does. I hunting love him!

From: oldbow
28-Sep-10

Anyone got any new push Cart pictures to see?

I like the Buck pedaling himself out on the Bicycle.

From: nmelkhunner
28-Sep-10

nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
I helped my Bro-in-law and sister pack in to a remote area that was no powered wheeled vehicles in '08. I have ultralight gear, they did not, and my 9 year old packed in with us as well.

4 miles as the crow flies. 7 if you have to hike it.

For a point of reference for the grade, we covered 2.5 miles walking in the first bit, but were less than a half mile from the trail head as the crow flies.

2 of us pulled on the uphills, literally 100 yds, and then sit for 10 min, rinse repeat. For near 5 hours.

The cart had to have 100+ lbs of stuff ( 2 tents, sleeping bags, gear, jackets etc.

After 3 days, we had gotten into a few elk, but when the forecast called for 14" of snow 2500 feet below us... we packed out.

Above is a pic of one of us pulling on the flats

From: nmelkhunner
28-Sep-10

nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
Reference for the grade we were attacking

From: nmelkhunner
28-Sep-10

nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
But dang were the views worth it

From: nmelkhunner
28-Sep-10

nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
He missed a noce 5x6 out here. That would have added 2 more trips plus the gear....

From: nmelkhunner
28-Sep-10

nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
nmelkhunner's embedded Photo
Nice one actually

From: Coyote 65
28-Sep-10
Wheelbarrow handles with a motorcycle wheel with a brake. If you need to have some one pull, a strap attached to the cart. Using the brake you can go staight down hill on a fairly steep slope.

Terry

From: Elkida
30-Sep-10
Been using a cart for years. I usually pull it. I've padded the handles with pipe insulation with duct tape over that. Depending on what model you have, I have stepped into the large loop (handle) and walk kind of like a horse with a harness. I have one modification that I am going to make. I am going to take a old backpack waist belt (padded) and use straps to attach it to the front handle so I can keep walking while giving my hands a break or walk hands free completely depending on terrain.

From: oldbow
01-Oct-10
Back in the day when Fred Bear was hunting in the Little Delta region, he talked about a Machine they called the "Merry Packer" which was handled by two men sort of like a Wheel Barrel; this Machine was motorized. I have never been able to find a detailed picture or any other information on the "Merry Packer". Anyone know anything about a Merry Packer?

From: oldbow
21-Nov-10
If there are any of you looking for ideas of how to design an Elk Cart, I suggest that you Google Carpet Cart and look at how Carpet Carts are built. Carpet Carts are designed to carry rolls of Carpet but if a person put a set of Handle Bars on one it would make an ideal Game hauler. You might one of these where a Carpet business has gone out of business to.

From: muliemad
21-Nov-10
If i was going to get a cart the two that i'd look at are the nxt cart or the neet cart little more money but the best i've seen. Brian

23-Nov-10

Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
This year I bought a Military surplus Molle pack frame off eBay for less than $20 plus shipping.

In this photo I used a couple Arno straps to strap it to my folded game cart. It worked really slick for packing the cart in to retrieve my buck.

Elkida, I think this pack frame could be easily adapted to attach to the handle on the cart so you could pull it hands free.

23-Nov-10

Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
Here is the Molle pack frame attached to my Lone Wolf climbing tree stand.

It's really nice for packing your stand, daypack, etc. long distances. With a couple Arno straps it attaches to the stand in minutes and I just leave it attached to the bottom of the stand when I climb the tree.

25-Nov-10
2nd the three wheel jogging stroller. They handle a pretty good load with ease. Also, most have brakes on them.

You can pick one up at yard sales for very little. I think I payed $6 for mine. It is unbelievable how easy they push.

From: BigAl
26-Nov-10
I made a cart for deer much like the pictured cart of samman. Mine has a 20" bicycle wheel, is 8' long and has two cross supports...one near the handles, the other down just behind the wheel. I use several strips of webbing from one side to the other to support the deer. I am able to lie a deer flat on it's back with the rear legs straight forward. This way, winding in and out of obstacles, the legs don't catch on anything. After a few flat tires, I put one of those puncture-proof strips in the tire which solved the problem. I took it to CO this fall in the event I needed it to bring out a quartered elk.

From: twistedlimb
26-Nov-10
Love all these ideas for carts.Only problem with the two wheel carts is they seem tough to use in the woods to move around and over things.Found this out from personal exp.One wheelers seem to be easier and also center of gravity is important.

From: BigAl
26-Nov-10

BigAl's embedded Photo
BigAl's embedded Photo
Here's a pic of my cart in use. Due to the thick areas I hunt, I need it to be a one-wheeler and to have the deer flat on his back so I can wind through the brush. Note the adjustable strap from the handles up and around my neck...it's gets very tiring if you've got all the weight on your arms.

From: oldbow
28-Nov-10
I finally found some information on "The Merry Packer" a single wheeled motorized pack machine. Google "Merry Packer" and check out the merry packer.

From: muliemad
28-Nov-10
Does anyone have some dimensions or material list for the one wheel cart i think this would be the ticket for me,greatly appreciated. Brian

From: Wild Bill
12-Jul-23
I hunt Idaho mountains, filled with trails and logging roads. I'm 67 with bad knees, but normally good health. I normally hike a minimum of two miles in to avoid the crowd. I pull along my favorite game cart (Hawk Crawler) via harness. Depending upon terrain, I may also push/pull my game cart. If I need to head off-trail/road, I leave my cart chained to a tree out of sight from the main trail/road.

From: Paul@thefort
12-Jul-23

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
works best with boned out bagged meat.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
works best with boned out bagged meat.

From: nchunter
12-Jul-23
I have a nxtcart that I bought years ago. Still works great. I use it in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia

From: TGbow
12-Jul-23
How do the Carts work in muddy wet areas? I've been thinking about a cart but a lot of the terrain is wet n soft. Even thought about using my mountain bike..saw a fella on YouTube use his bike, just field dress the deer and lay the mid section over the seat and tie the front n back legs.

From: 2Wild Bill
13-Jul-23

2Wild Bill's embedded Photo
2Wild Bill's embedded Photo
I modified my cart by clamping a 3/4" pipe to the centerline of the handle. It gives me better leverage from the axle. I have a strap around my shoulder/chest to pull and the pipe makes steering much easier. In the photo you can see the black strap in the antlers and the pipe extending up away from the cart. I really like the looks of Paul's cart and would exchange mine for one of those if the opportunity comes to me.

From: Live2Hunt
13-Jul-23
We tried one on our first trip out. The guy with me shot a cow elk and we quartered and put it on the cart. Ironically, his back went out while quartering it and I tried to pull the cart up the mountain to the truck. Not, it did not work well. Ended up pushing the guy up the mountain while he crawled and getting a mule and a donkey to haul the elk. In Idaho, they use a chainsaw wench with a capstan and 100ft of rope. Some cut a canoe in half and put the elk in to pull it up with it, some just pull the whole elk with them. Just leap frog it through the woods.

From: flybyjohn
14-Aug-23
I like using a bicycle. Quarters can be tied to front forks and the frame over the peddles. When going out, if it is down hill, you can coast on the bike down game trails or closed roads. Push up hill with brakes to hold while you take a break. I have removed 2 deer whole, 1spike elk in halves, and two cow elk in quarters on a bicycle. You can also use the bike to peddle into a spot if there is substantial flat road or trail in and gets you back out quickly if you don’t kill anything. Even if you have to push the bike in, it will more than make up for the time coming out.

From: DonVathome
15-Aug-23
Push, think wheel barrel.

From: RK
15-Aug-23
Think horse or mule :)

From: Stix
15-Aug-23
Try walking ahead of it while going downhill. After your hospitalization you can tell us what's best.

Behind it downhill, all other times up front, pulling.

From: jordanathome
15-Aug-23
RK for the WIN!

16-Aug-23
This is a 13 year old thread.

From: ahawkeye
16-Aug-23
14

From: Wild Bill
12-May-24
At 68, I like using the Hawk Crawler game cart for hauling in/out gear and game meat. All the weight rests squarely on four wheels. All I have to do is push/pull my cart along. Granted, it works best on well used trails and roads, but then, so do my aging knees! Honestly, I've aged out of bowhunting one replaced knee and shoulder ago. Rifle hunting is my "cup of tea" nowadays. All I need is to get within 500 yards for a shot. The trick is, hunting deep enough to avoid the morning/evening pressure hunters. However, at my age, that means toting along a popup tent and sleeping bag incase I end up spending a night on the trail. This is where my game cart comes in handy, I keep my day hunt backpack light with only the essentials for processing a game animal. Everything else, I pull along in my game cart. If I need to sneak up the hillside for a shot, I just park my game cart and take care of business. Once done, I pack up all my deboned game meat and gear on to my game cart and head for home. Hunting is only hard if you make it hard! You just need to be in good enough shape to hike 2-4 miles without stopping. If your like me, that may be an old man's hiking speed, but I still get'er done!

12-May-24
Funny thing…. The one time that my brother and a friend of his used a cart to get an Elk off the mountain, it was neither Push NOR Pull, but actually CARRY, after the damn thing was reduced to scrap metal by the load and the terrain!

;)

From: Bowboy
12-May-24

Bowboy's embedded Photo
Bowboy's embedded Photo

Bowboy's Link
I got to play with one of these a few weeks ago. He’s was going up and over logs with ease. The guy had 160lb on it.

From: HDE
12-May-24
Just overhauled mine by adding the Hawk Crawler wheel system to it and removing the two bicycle wheels used for many years.

Pulling is best.

  • Sitka Gear