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How-To Guide

How to Build a Deer Hoist

 Posted on: January 5th, 2022

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We’ve finally reached deer hunting season in many parts of the United States. In certain parts of the country, deer hunting is imbedded into the local culture, and hunting enthusiasts wait all year for opening weekend.

There is a lot of equipment a hunter needs for the sport, not just for the actual hunt but for the processing of the deer as well after the kill. Among other things, hunters need a way to hang the animal after getting it back home, and a deer hoist is the best way of accomplishing this.

There are commercial deer hoists on the market that will do the job well, but these can be quite expensive. You can opt instead to build your own deer hoist to save quite a bit of money while also giving you greater customization of the hoist for the specific location in which you will install it.

In fact, you can even create hoists that are designed to be portable so you can bring them out into the field with you, if necessary.

Let’s take a look at the process of building your own deer hoist.

Before you get started

The first step is to make sure you have all of the equipment you will need to build the hoist.

The most important pieces of equipment to have are a steel cable, gambrel, S-hooks, cable clamps, locking pliers and a hand winch or electric winch.

Make sure the winch you have matches the cable you’re going to use. You’ll need at least 25 feet of cable if you’re going to create the hoist out in the field, but in general it’s good to have at least that much anyway. Most manual winches are capable of lifting around 1,000 pounds of weight with a 5/32 diameter steel cable.

Building the hoist

Once you’ve got all your materials gathered you can start building the deer hoist. The first step is to make a loop on one end of the cable, then clamp around the end where that loop begins. Use a pliers to tighten that clamp as much as possible.

Begin winding the cable on to the winch. Do so tightly—this will ensure the tension in the cable stays consistent while it’s being wound. Usually the cables will be pre-wound on the winch, so you’ll need to rewind the cable tightly to avoid slack that could make for a difficult time getting the deer up to elevation.

Hang the cable over a sturdy bar-type structure, or over a tree limb if you’re out in the field or trying to keep it simple at your property. You can then attach the gambrel to the end of the cable with an S-hook.

The gambrel will also feature a spreader bar at the center and a pair of prongs or hooks at either end. Attach those prongs to the deer’s legs, and make sure the connection is sturdy.

Once everything is connected, you can use the electric or hand winch to get the deer up to a comfortable height for you to begin dressing it.

It’s really that simple—there’s a minimal amount of equipment required to create your own deer hoist, and it will be highly effective and portable, even allowing you to raise the deer out in the field.

If you’re going hunting this season, best of luck to you, and we hope you enjoy the time outdoors and the thrill of the hunt!