Outdoor Life - - IN THE FIELD -

It’s no se­cret that the best big-game hunt­ing is of­ten off the beaten path, but hunt­ing in the boonies presents a spe­cial set of chal­lenges. Pri­mar­ily, hunters who ven­ture into re­mote ar­eas must de­vise a plan to re­trieve a har­vested an­i­mal with­out cleared paths or as­sis­tance. The so­lu­tion? A well-de­signed game cart.

I couldn’t find a com­mer­cial game cart that met all of my needs, and even­tu­ally I set­tled on build­ing my own from scratch. I set cer­tain cri­te­ria be­fore con­struc­tion: The cart must be light enough to carry over downed logs and across creeks if the need arose; it had to break down eas­ily and fit in the back of a small SUV; the wheels must pro­vide suf­fi­cient ground clear­ance; and it had to be ca­pa­ble of haul­ing an en­tire field-dressed white­tail. And I didn’t want to pay more than $100 to build it.

To make your own, start with the axle. Add the wheels to the ½-inch round bar stock with lock pins, then build out the frame­work of the cart us­ing ¾-inch gal­va­nized con­duit fit­ted in­side plas­tic PVC pipe. Use the three- and four-way PVC con­nec­tors to hold the sec­tions in place. At­tach the up­per and lower

PVC frame­works by run­ning the bar­stock axle through pre-drilled holes on both sec­tions. Fas­ten the up­per and lower sec­tions into po­si­tion us­ing bar-stock arms held in place with four lock pins. Spray-paint if de­sired, but don’t spray it so the pieces stick to­gether—by re­mov­ing the six lock pins, the cart can be folded al­most com­pletely flat. The cart car­ries a max­i­mum load of about 200 pounds and weighs less than

33, and it cost $109 for the ma­te­ri­als. —Brad Fitz­patrick

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