Zippity Do-Da

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Zip ties are a great invention and almost as indispensable as duct tape for repairing, fixing, or strengthening a whole variety of items.  I like to carry several different sizes from 4” to 16” in my hunting pack.  Specifically, I like to use them for deer and antelope to help keep the carcass closed while dragging them from the field back to the truck.

After you’ve field dressed your animal, you either need to drag it back to the vehicle or you’ll have to quarter it so that you can pack it out.  With smaller game, I usually go with dragging when possible.  It seems easier although I’m not sure that it is.  The big downside to dragging though is getting all of the sage, grass, brush and dirt inside the animal during the process.

Zip ties work great for “sewing” up you carcass fast and easy.  We usually put a single zip tie around the back legs right at the hock and the same for the front legs.  Then use a couple more on the ribs to keep the carcass mostly closed.  If you also like to open the brisket when field dressing your critter, you can easily close this with zip ties too.  If your zip ties are too small, again it’s easy to fasten several together to make a longer zip tie or you can simply make loops from the ties and link them together like a chain, tightening the loops to after you’ve got them fastened through the ribs, etc.

Zip ties are just handy to have around anyway, but they are lightweight enough to put several in your hunting pack and not even notice.  And when it comes time to drag that deer back to the truck, they sure help in keeping the carcass clean.


hunter25's picture

This is a great tip and one I

This is a great tip and one I plan to try if the situation dictates it. Usually I have to quarter them up or in some cases we just take them out whole so it doesn't matter but I'm sure we will be dragging something again before to long and keeping all the dirt out has always been a problem. I have also just started using them to attach my tag to the carcass. My dad got tired of cutting his boot laces off every year I guess.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Yep a great tip there.  I

Yep a great tip there.  I started usually them a few years back especially for tagging the animal.  Never did think of using the to button up and animal.  Thanks for the tip.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Huh, never thought of using

Huh, never thought of using them that way.  I hunt in a very dry, arid area, so I always worry about dragging a deer through the dry, dusty ground.  I can see that this would help in keeping the dirt out of the chest cavity, which in turn, would limit the amount of spraying down I would need to do when I got home.

Excellent idea.  I will have to throw some in my pack this weekend.  Thanks for the tip!!

SGM's picture

Never used them to close up a

Never used them to close up a dressed animal but can see the value if you do not have game bags. I agree with the use of twist ties/zip ties for tagging my animals and about 1000 quick fix aplications at camp. Thanks for the idea, something to consider for sure.

Retired2hunt's picture

  That is a great tip


That is a great tip CoMeatHunter!  Like numbnutz, I too have used them for years to attach my animal tag securely to the animal.  I always keep a good supply of these zip ties on hand as I have had many times to provide them to other hunters that were not fully prepared.

I do like your idea of "sewing" the animal cavity closed.  That is a great idea that I will be using on my next deer hunt.  I didn't know they came in that large of size - the 16" ones.  I'll have to look for them on the next planned trip to the hardware store.  I think they will also do a great job of holding a tarp closed that I use to swaddle my deer in to make dragging it out easier.  I used parachute cord this past hunt and it was just a hassle to thread through just right to also allow enough for dragging.  The zip ties will work nicely for this.

Great tip and thanks for sharing it with all of us.


numbnutz's picture

Great tip!! Zip ties have

Great tip!! Zip ties have been a staple in my hunting gear for years. They have so many uses, like you said between duct tape and zip ties you can fix just about anything in a back country hunt. One other thing I like to use them for is to tie my tag to the deer. They hold the tag in place and I don't have to worry about it coming loose or the tag falling off. I have even used them to tie 2 tarps together, fix clothing, tie around branches to make clothslines. there are just so many uses. again great tip.