My teenagers are now grown and the last one left home today, so that option is no longer valid for me.
That being said, "dragging" a deer feels like it's going to literally kill me, so last month I picked up a Hawk Crawler deer cart after reading many positive reviews. It's obviously not something that you can slip into your backpack, but I must say that it is AWESOME! On Friday I shot a huge 8-point (https://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?449897-Shotgun-opener-big-8!) and after strapping the cart to it and flipping it over onto its wheels I was truly impressed. With him weighing 225-240 lbs I never could have dragged him out by myself, but I'm am pleased to say that I pulled it the entire way out of the woods without any help. Even when traversing a ravine and up a hill.https://www.amazon.com/Hawk-Crawler-Game-Cart-Black/dp/B01D93036U
I have one of those, purchased at a big discount. It’s almost a great cart, however, it suffers from a couple of shortcomings, easily fixed, but annoying. Maybe they’ve addressed this since I got mine, but here goes…..
First, the knobs that lock the upper handle lack the strength to really hold the sections together. I added hose clamps to re-enforce them. Second, the lower section has holes for clevis pins (apparently anyway) but no pins came with the cart, and when I used it Monday, that section kept folding up and throwing the balance off, forcing me to hold my end down or up as needed, in addition to pulling it. First thing I did yesterday morning was to rummage through my “ tractor parts” coffee can for a couple of clevis pins and take care of that problem. I also added some mongo cable ties around the upper handle sections to further strengthen that. Folding it up now would be a chore, but I can just throw it in the truck as-is.
NOW it’s a great cart. It’s been cabled to a tree on my WMA for two seasons, and will probably go back next year. Meanwhile it’ll be hauling heavy crap around my yard. I am impressed with how it held up for two years in the woods. I toted a lightweight bike pump in to top off the tires, one of which needs a new valve core. A little mouse chewed one of the tube caps a bit, but otherwise it’s undamaged.