The Dragging Rope
Just about every hunter who has hunted big game animals has used a rope to drag his game. Over the years I have seen many kinds and sizes used for this purpose. One of my friends brought a deer to my house to hang in my garage for butchering, and he had a 1” hemp rope that was at least 12 feet long on it. It was large enough to tow a truck! Another time I saw a guy stuffing an entire 50-foot coil of that stiff, plastic rope into his pocket to use as a dragging rope.
I have found that the ideal dragging rope isn’t very large or bulky, and it only weighs a few ounces. I use the soft, nylon rope that is ¼” in diameter. It collapses and tucks into almost any pocket or pack. Here’s how I make and use it.
(1) Cut a piece of rope about 8 feet long. Use a match, lighter or propane torch to melt the last ½” of the ends and roll them against a cement surface to make a small “ball” on them so they will not fray. Be careful! Don’t get the molten material on your skin or clothes.
(2) Tie a small loop in each end using a bowline knot. The loop only needs to be large enough to put two or three fingers through. If you aren’t familiar with this knot, go to http://animatedknots.com/ for very clear and simple directions. This knot will not slip and will never tighten so that you can’t untie it if you should want to.
(3) To drag your deer, simply grab the rope about a foot from one end and push it through the loop. You will now have a large “choker” loop to put around the animal’s neck. It will tighten as you pull, but will easily come loose when you slacken the rope.
(4) Find a stick that’s about 1-1½” in diameter about 18” long. Make a loop in the other end of the rope and put it around the middle of the stick.
(5) I like to make a half-hitch around the deer’s nose with the rope near the head. I then drag the animal by holding the stick with both hands behind my back, with my rifle slung across my back. Ideally, the animal’s nose should be off the ground slightly, just far enough back so it doesn’t bump your feet when you walk. Adjust the rope length to suit yourself.