The NZ Deer Backpack

NZ backpack

This method is perfect for packing a deer out of the bush whole. We wouldn’t recommend trying it with anything heavier than a fallow buck or red hind (e.g. chital, Rusa, Hog deer, sambar hind, whitetail).

The first step is to remove the entrails. You can use this tutorial where David Dunne demonstrates the method for that. If you are going to cape your deer out for a mount, stop your incision just below the ribcage. You won’t have quite as much room to remove the entrails but this will ensure there is enough hide for the taxidermist to use.

Step 1

Cut around the leg at the first knuckle (moving from the hock towards the shoulder) on both front legs.

Step 2

Bending the knuckle at your cut, locate the thick tendon that runs down the back of the leg towards the hock.

Step 3

Cut between the leg bone and the tendon down towards the hock, being careful not to sever the tendon. Repeat for both front legs. These will form the ‘straps’ that hold the backpack together.

Step 4

Make a 10-15cm incision in the skin on the back of both hind legs.

Step 5

Push the front hock through the incision on the back leg. Push it through from the inside of the back leg to the outside. Repeat for both legs. These make your two backpack ‘straps’.

Step 6

Carefully put your arms through the straps and stand up. You can hold onto the head with one hand and push the opposite back leg down with the other hand to balance the weight better on your body.

Please be careful when trying this method. Know your own boundaries and if you aren’t comfortable lifting the weight of a full deer like this, you are always best to play it safe and break the deer down in the field. 

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