Deer Camp Projects: Meat Pole

Build a pole to hold half a ton of whitetails.

Field & Stream Online Editors

There came a day in my camp when everybody got lucky, and I wondered if my meat pole could hold half a ton of whitetails. It did, easily, and six hunters lined up in front of their bucks for a once-in-a-lifetime photograph that we all carry in our wallets.

** How to build it**
**( 1 ) **Get three 16-foot lengths of a cast-off telephone pole (your local phone company will sometimes sell them). Or, use 16-foot 6x6-inch or 8x8-inch pressure-treated beams from the lumberyard. Sink two vertical sections 31/2 feet deep in the ground. If you can't dig down that far, seat the uprights as deep as you can, then shore them up with 6x6-inch angle braces.

( 2 ) Dig a 6-inch-deep, 24-inch circle around each post. Fill these in with concrete. Let dry.

( 3 ) Drill 1/2-inch holes through the crosspiece at 30-inch intervals, and attach galvanized bolt-hooks from which to hang carcasses. Notch the top of each upright and set the crosspiece within. Secure it on each side with lag bolts and L-brackets.

( 4 ) Bolt a hand-cranked boat winch with 24 feet of cable tipped with a galvanized latch hook to one upright to do the lifting. Run the cable through a pulley attached to a loose loop of strong chain encircling the crosspiece. You can move the chain along the crosspiece to various lifting positions. Use 30-inch lengths of 3/8-inch rope as hanging straps, looped around a deer's antlers or neck. Or, if need be, hang the deer feet first using a gambrel.