Best Deer Cart Reviews of 2017 – 2018

Best Deer Cart Reviews of 2017 - 2018

​A good deer cart is one piece of equipment you should definitely consider if you're going deer hunting​ for the weekend. Many of us have a set checklist of equipment we need; some will be for actual hunting, some will be for safety and comfort, and other will be individual items that we each prefer. But  Anyone who’s been successful in the woods knows one thing: The fun is over once the last shot’s fired. You have to field dress and carry your game out of the woods the best you can. If that's uphill, then it’s certainly an uphill battle! Generations of hunters have been looking for a way to make this task easier, and one of the best ways so far is to use a cart.

Many people have the idea that a game cart is essentially a heavy wheelbarrow which you need to trundle through the forest to bring back a downed deer or wild elk, but the reality is very much different. Deer ​​carriers allow you to not only bring back downed deer with ease but also to transport equipment to your preferred hunting ground. Contrary to popular belief, they are not big chunks of unwieldy metal or aluminum that are troublesome to move and store; the modern deer ​​hauler is lightweight, flexible and fitted with a range of features.

They are made for hunters, by hunters. It is a hunting accessory that will make the difference between being able to safely and easily move equipment or game, and having to trudge through difficult terrain with cumbersome and often incredibly large weights. ​Use your game cart to move equipment. It’s an efficient and enjoyable way to move equipment that'll make hunting more enjoyable.​ ​Also, make sure that ​it is legal to use your hunting cart in your ​chosen area. In some areas, they are regarded the same as ATV’s, and they'll get you a game violation if you’re not careful. ​So remember to check the hunting law and rules for the specific area you plan on hunting in first.

In this article, we’ll look at the best deer carts on the market in 2017 -2018 with reviews and a buying guide. We'll also cover the advantages and benefits you can gain by having a handy deer ​hauler. We’ll also ​take a look at the key features that you should be looking out for when considering a deer ​carrier purchase.​


​Top 5 Rated ​Models Comparison Table

​Reviews of the Best Deer Carts of 2017 – 2018


#1. Summit Treestands Game Cart

Summit Deer Cart

If you're familiar with anything Summit Treestands make then you know that they ​produce top-notch gear.

The excellent thing about Summit is that while they're putting ​out innovative, high-quality gear, they don't charge an arm and a leg like some ​other premium brands do. This is their best game cart ​model on the market for transporting your game and equipment in and out of the woods effectively.

The first thing you'll notice about this game cart ​is that the handle is made out of extremely heavy duty tubing. This is one of the most solid feeling units on the market today and really installs confidence when you load it down because it doesn't squeak or bend at all. If you plan on transporting ​a fair amount for long distances, then this is a good ​hauler for you to choose, just don't overload it because ​the heavy-duty tubing comes with a surprisingly low weight capacity.

​The finish of all the parts is excellent just like every other Summit Treestands product, and it comes with all the straps you would need to secure your gear or carcass down with this ​carrier. The ​only thing ​missing from this model to make it stand out from the crowd is a higher weight limit. If you don't have a heavy load to move around, then this is ​definitely the best game cart for deer ​to purchase.

​Verdict: Best Overall


Pros

  • Very high quality
  • Heavy duty tubing
  • Comes with straps
  • Great value for money


​Cons

  • Low weight capacity



#2. Rage Powersports GAME-CART Kill Shot Deer Hauler

Rage Powersports Deer Carrier

With most game carts appearing to be the same on the surface, the thing that sets ​​the kill shot model apart is the handle design. ​This has a huge overextended handle that is offset from the rest of the ​list ​and makes it extremely easy to get the ​hauler moving and stopping quickly. The extra-long handle that is set at a lower angle acts ​as a very good fulcrum to get up to 500 lbs on this cart moving in rough terrain.

The design of this ​model is very open and lends itself well to strapping odd sized objects to it. It doesn't have very many options for holding weights evenly but comes with straps that you can use to attach to the bars that are on the ​carrier itself.

It can also fold down and is the smallest ​deer buggy on this list. ​It also comes with the standard solid rubber tires that get you it in and out of the woods easily. The main reason for buying this ​hauler is that in rough terrain the handle design works very well for both pulling and pushing. If you want a higher-end option it's ​up there; if you want a cheaper option it's still ​up there, but as far as ergonomics go this is one of the best deer carts ​available on the market today.

Pros

  • A ​nice ergonomic and comfortable handle
  • Comes with a strap
  • Good price for what you get


​Cons

  • The large front bumper can get in the way



#3. Kill Shot Heavy Duty Big Game Deer Hauler Cart ​

Kill Shot Deercart Hauler

​If ​you need to transport more than one or ​even a lot of equipment such as heavy-duty tree stands​, then this is your game cart. The first thing you'll notice is ​the fantastic construction ​of this oversized deer cart. Everything about this makes it feel like a tank, and when it moves through the woods, it has no problem going over small obstacles like roots and shrubs.

​One of the top features of this big game cart by far has to be the heavy duty extended handle. Not only does this give you more room to balance out the load on the ​carrier, but it gives you a nice long fulcrum to easily get the ​deer buggy ​to stop when going up or downhill.

It simply doesn't get any more heavy duty or high-quality ​than this ​deer hauler, the only thing holding it back is the price and the fact that it's so big ​and could be overkill in terms of size for ​some hunters out there. If you ​look for size when it comes to your equipment, look no further, for a more balanced option consider one of the cheaper priced options on the list.

This unit does get an honorable mention for people who need to move heavy amounts of bait into the backcountry. Weather for deer or bear, this is by far the best unit for moving baits and equipment long distances into the backcountry.

​Verdict: Best Weight Capacity


Pros

  • Highest capacity
  • Very heavy-duty construction
  • Tool-less assembly


​Cons

  • Heavy
  • Pricey



#4. Goplus ​Deer Cart Game Hauler Gear Dolly

Goplus Deer Gamecart Dolly

This deer ​dolly is very much like the Guide Gear unit but ​has a few distinct differences that may appeal to some hunters. Firstly, the wheels are removable and easier to get on and off than all the other units. If you are an out-of-state hunter that travels to a lease a long-distance away and needs to pack a lot of gear, consider a unit like this that not only folds flat but partially comes apart.

Everything else about this ​model is pretty standard. It has a decent weight capacity ​of 500 lbs and has a decent all-weather finish. ​However, the finish is nothing special, and the fitting of parts can be tricky.

Remember though, this isn't a showroom piece that's going to be ​kept in your display cabinet, it's a tool just like a hammer, and it's going to get dirty and scuffed up the first time you use it.

​We would certainly recommend this deer ​dolly to anybody who needs to transport equipment or game animals in and out of the field, just be aware ​the design is very similar to other models and it's only real advantage is how easy the wheels come on and off.

​Verdict: Great Budget Pick


Pros

  • Comfortable handle
  • Wheels are removable
  • Good folding cart


​Cons

  • Finish isn’t as nice as other models
  • ​Parts can be tricky to fit



#5. Guide Gear Deer Cart

Guide Gear Deer Cart

Guide Gear manufacturers a ton of different outdoor hunting equipment that is all of the lower ends of the pricing structure. They don't make extremely high-quality gear, but at the end of the day, all of their equipment gets the job done at a price no other company can even come close to.

​This is one of the most popular and inexpensive game carts that is on the market and combines its affordability with good functionality. This game cart holds up to 500 pounds fully loaded. That should be plenty for all of your equipment, on top of a field-dressed deer.

The handle itself is long enough that you can push the ​hauler without having to bend over too far and the solid rubber tires mean that you'll never have a flat even when you have to run over a thorn bush to get out of the woods. The entire unit folds flat for storage and has just about every feature you could ask for in a game ​hauler, ​but lacks the quality of other similar models.

Those missing luxuries ​​haven’t stopped it from being one of the most loved and used game carts on the market today. If you're looking for just a basic model to get in and out of the woods without breaking your back or the bank, then this is the ​game hauler we would recommend.


Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Field proven
  • Maneuverable

​​Cons

  • Small
  • Small tires
  • Lacks quality


Key Features / Things to Consider When Purchasing a Deer Hauler

​There are a few things that you should take into consideration when looking for ​the best game cart for elk or deer, so here's​ our top points to think about before ​​spending your money on a model.

  • Wheels: When choosing ​the best deer cart, make sure the wheels are suitable for all terrains. Generally, the wheels should cover two important factors. Number one, they should be pretty large; the size will make it easier to pull over bumpy, uneven ground. Number two, they should be hard rubber tires; you don’t want a deer ​hauler that might get a flat while you’re loaded down with a couple of hundred pounds of deer on board.
Deercart Wheel
  • Weight: While most ​carriers average around the 30-pound mark, you need to consider what kind of weights you’ll be hauling. Some of the lighter models will have less weight capacity (perhaps 300-250 pounds), whereas the heavier frames can accommodate up to 750 pounds in some cases. Think about how many deer you're likely to bring back on an average trip before investing.
  • Frame: The frame is the most important part of each cart. Some carts are collapsible and will fold away into two parts, others into three, each has their own advantages. You might want something more flexible if you’re going to be hauling out a tree stand or a lot of equipment, but if it’s just for the downed game, you can usually get by with a folding two-parter. It’s also worth making sure you get a frame with an appropriate finish for the surroundings and weather conditions.
  • Setting Up: Most deer carts are easy to assemble being only made of a couple of frame pieces and wheels. But you should still consider how easy it is to put together. Most deer carts don’t require specialized tools (or in many cases, any tools at all); make sure the one you choose best fits your preferences.
  • Straps: Almost all deer carts have some kind of strapping mechanism. Some will have standard lashing straps and others may have buckles for extra security. You don’t want your kills or your equipment toppling off, so think about the gear you will haul and what will be the best method of securing it. (Because they are always frames, it is easy to add some elasticized straps with hooks).
A Strap


Whether you want a ​carrier for taking equipment or just bringing home fresh meat, consider your hunting style, likely uses, and how you would use it.

Advantages and Benefits of Using a Carrier

  • Bringing Home The Deer: Depending on where you hunt, a downed deer can weigh up to 200 pounds (although White-Tailed deer, for example, can be about half the weight). After you’ve shot the animal, how do you safely and easily transport it back to your truck? Some people will hoist it with a friend, others will drag the carcass, yet this puts a limit on how far you can track a deer. Most deer ​haulers can easily take between 350 and 500 pounds, which means you and your hunting friends can move more deer over longer distances without breaking your back. And what about if you want to set up a deer hide somewhere? It’s likely that any tree stands you set up are going to be off the beaten track, hauling all the lumber and tools is tough work. With a ​portable carrying cart, you can take your gear out into the hunting ground easily, pack away the cart, and use it to bring home your equipment and hundreds of pounds of fresh meat.
  • Portability: As mentioned, the standard idea of a deer ​carrier is a bulky wheelbarrow that gets caught on leaves and roots. The fact is that the modern deer or elk cart is not only lightweight, but can also fold away, too. An average ​hauler will have a packed weight of less than 30 pounds, be foldable, and even have removable wheels. This means that you can easily carry it out into the field as part of your hunting gear and set it up when you need it.  Also, because they fold away easily, they can be stored in your truck without taking up hardly any space.
  • ATVs Can't Always Be Used: ​​ Sometimes it's just not possible to get an ATV or truck over the land and into the area where you've made the kill. The terrain may not be suitable, or, it may just be illegal to use an ATV in that area. As mentioned,​ it is illegal to use ATVs in some areas w​hile hunting therefore a game cart is your next best option if this is the case.
  • Can Carry Gear: Yep that's right, you don't have to just use your ​buggy for transporting game. It can also be used as a nice way to carry around all your equipment in one place without having to spend extra on lots of backpacks. Some of the best decoy carts you'll find on the market today are in fact just game carriers. Because these haulers are designed ​for carrying heavy weights, they are more than able to handle ​most of your gear comfortably.

​Recommended Extras - ​​Some Good 20" Inch ​Replacement Wheels

​​If you use your carrier extensively throughout the season and drag it across a whole different range of terrains, the tires will inevitably have some wear and tear on them. This is why it's important to inspect your gear before any hunt and ensure that things like your wheels are undamaged before going ​out. Sometimes, however, it's impossible to predict things, and the unexpected can happen ​out in the field such as your tires ​​becoming damaged and unusable.

20" Inch Replacement Wheels

This can be a complete nightmare if you have no way of fixing them on the spot or don't have a set of replacement wheels. What we would recommend is to buy a set of 20" replacement wheels to go along with your purchase, which you can then take out ​with you as a backup and give you that piece of mind that you have a spare ​tire with you.

Are Game Carts Legal?

Before 1964, it was legal to use motorized and mechanical vehicles pretty much anywhere, but after the Wilderness Act created the National Wilderness Preservation System, it created millions of acres of protected land across America. This meant that the use of ATVs, motorized vehicles, and even mechanized carts (including wheeled game carts) were prohibited in many areas.

The theory was that a wheeled cart might be too destructive for the environment, but with the advent of the 1990s Disability Act, the idea was rethought and amended.

In most areas now, you can use a hand-pulled game cart, but restrictions are still in place on motorized vehicles. Although you can use a cart on almost any path or road, it’s worth ensuring that your chosen hunting area does not have specific restrictions. Protected Wilderness areas are a no go zone.

Legal or Illegal Question

​How To Load A Deer Onto A Game Cart

For most hunters who have just begun using a deer drag cart, the usual method of loading your kill is to pick it up and place it on the cart bed, but this can risk serious injury if you’re not lifting right or if the deer is particularly weighty.

The best and safest method is actually not to do the lifting yourself, but to use the strength of the ca​rrier and gravity to load the kill. Begin by laying the kill flat on its side and put your cart against its back (also on its side. Next, in one motion roll the deer legs up towards you while tilting the cart back to the upright position. This will help the deer roll onto the cart bed as it becomes upright.

If, however, you have a larger deer and don’t want to stress your back, you can follow the same method as above but strap the deer to the cart before you tilt it upright; you'll be able to keep your back straight and use the frame as leverage.

Should your ​buggy have a long base, you can drag the top half of the carcass onto the bed and then use the handles to tilt the rest of the body on.

​Using ​With An ATV or Bike

While purists may balk at the idea of taking an ATV on a hunt, they can be great fun and really help you out in terms of transport, hauling equipment and bringing back the kills. If you want to set up a permanent tree stand deep in the wilds, shifting the materials and tools can be a real hardship; using an ATV with a game cart allows you to move lots of gear with very little effort.

Hunting ATV

Many game carts can be attached to an ATV, but even if your cart doesn’t come with a connection rig (often ball and socket or bolted bracket), it is fairly simple to make a stable, secure connection by yourself.

Rigging your cart and ATV by yourself is simple and effective, but make sure that it’s safe. Don’t have loose rope or wires hanging off; don’t make a connection anywhere that will interfere with steerage, and make sure the cart won’t get in the way if you need to make a tight turn.

An alternative to an ATV is a motorized bike. Trail bikes are fun, hardy and can handle moving over more rugged ground; they can, however, leave a very large footprint in terms of churning up the ground if you use them irresponsibly.

The Wilderness Act and other state ordinances will be in place for certain areas when using ATVs or bikes. Make sure you are not breaking any laws by checking with local councils before you head out; the directives are in place to protect the environment for us and the animals, not to spoil your fun.

Group of Deer

Final Word​

Prices for ​deer carts across the board have come down a lot in recent years. There’s never been a better time to go afield, as there’s just so much great equipment and tools making the chores of hunting a lot easier. Deer haulers and carriers are no different, with such a wide range to choose from there’s so many options to consider.

As with any hunting activity, remember to do no harm to the environment. Use your game cart and ATV responsibly and carefully; it will not only protect you physically, but also ensure that the deer population remains stable and available for many years to come. Not only do they transport gear and equipment, they just make the entire hunt a more enjoyable experience.

Hopefully you've stopped stressing over which ​model you should spend your money on and can now go out and make the right purchase.

Just be sure to follow our buying guide above with our list of the 5 best deer carts available in 2017 - 2018 on the market.

Jonny
 

Hunting is something that has been a big part of my family history for generations. Typically every spare weekend I have is spent outdoors either hunting or doing something else adventure related. This site uses my years of knowledge in the field to hopefully help improve the hunting experience of others.

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