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BobbyDigital

Quartering in the field

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Hello!

 

Quick question - can you field quarter deer in NJ/why don't I see people do it? Most people I see just drag the gutted deer back to their truck. It must be difficult to drag a deer a couple miles especially down hill or through rough terrain - it seems like quartering and packing it out would be easier for going over rough terrain? Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

 

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Posted (edited)

Most anywhere you are in NJ, you’re within a mile of a road.  I’ll go out on a limb and say most hunters are hunting within 100-300 yards 0f their vehicles.  Easier just dragging the deer out.  Use of a jet sled makes dragging a deer easy (in most cases!)

Edited by Gobblengrunt
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, BobbyDigital said:

Quick question - can you field quarter deer in NJ/why don't I see people do it? Most people I see just drag the gutted deer back to their truck. It must be difficult to drag a deer a couple miles especially down hill or through rough terrain - it seems like quartering and packing it out would be easier for going over rough terrain? Thoughts

You could quarter, but I would not.  Too much waste. 

Quartering may be necessary when you are harvesting hundreds of pounds of meat from the likes of elk, moose, or reds.  But not in NJ

Doubtful you would ever have to drag a deer in NJ for two miles. 

Outside of NJ, I've hiked a few deer out of mountains, somewhere between a mile or two.  Learn how to make a bambi backpack...

Cut as little as possible in the field and do the finer stuff at home. 

If you need a hacksaw in the field, you need to learn more.

Basically, in the field: bleed, open the stomach, remove guts.  Everything else remains until home. The bigger the cut, the more contamination. 

Edited by username
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Like said above, not really a tactic for deer here in NJ. Field dress it, drag it out and process it either on your own, or get it to a butcher. 

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Alright - thanks guys. Appreciate the help. Might need to invest in a sled or deer pull then!

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6 hours ago, BobbyDigital said:

Alright - thanks guys. Appreciate the help. Might need to invest in a sled or deer pull then!

A simple piece of nylon strap is sufficient, I wouldn't invest too much money in equipment until you have established a need for it.   

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Get a Jet Sled, medium size. Best investment for a hunter for getting deer and bear out. Very useful for duck and goose hunting too for decoys and gear. 

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When I was 19 I shot a buck up near Sunfish Pond. I dragged it out to the parking area on 80. It weighed about 110 lbs when I started but it was over 300 when I got to my truck at 11:00 pm!

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There are plenty of times I probably shud hav quartered up my harvests down in the hills n hollers of WV, as the terrain down there is brutal, but there is also a certain satisfaction with getting the deer back while to camp and hanging em up on the ol meatpole with the rest of the crews, n it makes for a nice pic at the end of the trip. As for NJ, most drags are 100-300 yds, add a jet sled,  and u r golden!!

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Against the law now.  When the wonton waste law was put in effect a couple years ago, they also added that the entire carcass has to be removed.  Might as well take it out all in one piece in a cart or sled.  Some places I hunt I have to drag them, and had just tried deboning a couple before the new law.  Carrying the meat out took 2 trips, and carrying that weight wasn't much better than dragging the deer to where I could use the cart.  It wasn't easy doing it on the ground and the meat got leaves stuck to it.  It was better in the winter to put just the meat in a sled, rather than the whole deer, for the 2 mile trek out.  But, it doesn't beat butchering it by hanging it up and cutting it up out of the cold.

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1 hour ago, gobblergetter said:

Jet sled is the way to go

Don't worry about the cost, you will find plenty of uses for it.

Agreed. Jet sled is good for pulling deer out, but also pulling gear in for setup (ie climbing sticks, stand, etc).! :up:

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Posted (edited)

I'm just going to reiterate what others have said.. In case you're still undecided.. GET A DAM JET SLED!! Lol. Best hunting purchase I have made in a very long time. Also, cut the rope handle it comes with, and thread a 16 or 18in piece of PVC onto it, as a handle. This allows enough room for 2 people to grip the PVC handle, and truly makes dragging deer out a breeze. 

Edited by Hunter115522
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I had a friend who lived and hunted out west.  He quarters everything.  So he comes hunting with us last year in NJ and someone shoots a buck and he talks us into quartering the deer.  To keep it short.....I was not overly impressed.  Seemed to be more work and not easy to carry the parts. Jet Sled is the way to go!

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As Rusty said, some rope with loops will work just fine.  Keep the gut-cut small and the drag should be fine.

If you want to go full on Bear Grylls:

(1) After bleeding and gralloching cut a small incision in the rear hind legs at the ankle (#17 in the image, looks like a knee, but technically, deer have no knees), just as you would for a gambrel.

(2) Insert the front legs through the incision and you have a bambi-back pack!

Just make sure you are wearing a hat and slick as ticks will be looking for a new home!

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I prefer to use the gutless method and quarter in the field.  When NJ went to automated check system I did most of my deer that way.  I had a system down where I could keep the meat clean and in the time it would take to gut and drag to the truck I would already be back at the truck with the meat quartered up and the head in a bag.  When i got home put the meat in a refrigerator and the head in the freezer (for the 48 hours) and I was done.  No hanging, skinning, quartering, no mess at the house and no rib cage, hide, etc to fill up the trash can.  When they implemented the wanton waste law I had to go back to dragging them out as I am hunting mostly state land where you can only leave entrails now.

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All you city types with the sled!
This isn't ice fishing.
A small tarp fits in your backpack and ties neatly around the deers neck with the drag rope/strap/belt/shoelaces...
Just sayin'

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I've used the gutless method as well. Its actually very easy, but apparently not legal here anymore. I plan on doing it in PA this year as well if I score. The place I hunt is even miserable using a jet sled so after last years death drag, I will be packing them out.

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1 hour ago, Tater1973 said:

Unless your hunting 1+ miles from the truck just drag it out.

:agree:

And there aren't many places in NJ where you will be more than a mile from your truck.  

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