Ice sleds are excellent for moving gear over ice, yet put a deer carcass inside and they serve a number of equally important functions on dry land. First, the smooth plastic surface slides easily over snow, grass, and nearly any somewhat-slippery surface. Instead of grabbing a deer by the antlers to drag it, one or two people can hold the rope handle and pull with better traction ‐ and without running the risk of twisting your back. Often dragging a deer by the antlers is made more difficult with heavy coats and clothing. With a sled, you can lay your bow, gun, and outer layers in the sled and exit in a single trip.

South Dak Muz Deer 2010 627One of the greatest benefits of an ice sled is containing body fluids inside the vessel instead of your SUV. It’s great to have a farm truck so that you can just pile the deer in the back and wash it out with a hose later, yet many of us take the kids to school in our “deer truck.” Not only will the sled contain any excess fluid, but loading is much easier, especially with help. If everyone takes a corner of the sled, even a monster buck can be easily lifted and slid in the back for transport. Ice sleds are available from a number of major outdoor vendors, such as Cabela’s, LL Bean, REI, and others. Once you own one, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.