Hoist For A Deer
Q: Years ago you wrote a story about hunting rusa deer in New Guinea. In it you described how you made a tripod out of three straight saplings to hoist a deer up off the ground to dress it without getting any dirt or debris on it. Can you describe how you did this?
A: If I can drive my 4x4 to where the deer is lying and there's a tree handy, I'll use my winch to hoist the deer up to dress it. But where there's no big tree, I cut three straight saplings and tie them together at one end leaving enough rope to tie the deer's antlers to the top. The deer is hoisted in stages by lifting each leg of the tripod in turn until it is fully extended and the deer is clear of the ground. The advantage of hanging the deer up by the antlers is that you can open up the animal's body from crotch to throat. When you cut around the diaphragm its entire innards - heart lungs and intestines - will fall out on onto the ground. Wipe out the body cavity thoroughly with a dry cloth or dry, clean leaves. The carcass will cool faster if you spread the ribs apart with a stick. This method is an advantage if you want to mount your trophy, as this will keep blood from getting into the neck and head.
Note in the accompanying images that deer are hoisted either by antlers, as Nick describes for trophy retention and by the rear legs if dressing for meat.