Sportsman's Notebook: How to Make a Handy Squirrel Hauler

Pay attention, small-game hunters. If you have an extra coat hanger in your closet, this DIY squirrel tote won't cost you a dime

I'm not the handy project type. Show me plans for a DIY piece of gear that requires precise measuring, cutting, and sanding, and I'll show you something that I'll gladly pay an extra $5 for at Bass Pro. For me, DIY gear must be both truly useful and truly easy to make. I know of no piece of hunting gear more worthy of that description than the coat-hanger squirrel tote. With a Leatherman (or even just a pair of needle-nosed pliers with cutters) and a wire coat hanger, you can make two of these totes in about a minute. I like to hone the straight side of my totes to a point with a file, but that step isn't absolutely necessary.

Using these totes in the woods is easy. When you shoot a squirrel, simply open the tote, pierce the wire through the back leg (that's where having it sharpened to a point helps), and then close it back. It may be easiest to poke a hole through the squirrel's leg with a pocketknife. You can then clip the tote to a belt loop or a pack so that you can carry your squirrels hands-free. These totes work pretty well with rabbits, too.