When carrying out your turkey, tie some orange tape around the legs and let it hang over the bird. Cliff Gardiner & John Keller

Spring turkey season is still several weeks away—even longer for some—and until the opener, hunters don’t have a ton of options to keep busy. But here’s a project that’ll get you outside hunting for sheds, then inside your workshop: a D.I.Y. turkey carrier made from a palm-size length of antler and some rope. The antler is tough, looks great, and fits nicely in your hand. Here’s how it’s done.

Turkey carrier
Chris Philpot

Step 1: Drill Into the Shed

Through the outside curve of the antler, drill a hole that’s the same diameter—1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch —as the nylon rope you’ll use. Next, widen the hole by using a 1⁄4- to 3⁄8-inch countersink bit to drill about 1⁄4 inch deep.

turkey hauler
Run the rope through the hole. Chris Philpot

Step 2: Add the Cordage

Run a length of rope through the hole. Melt the bottom end of the rope, and allow it to harden and form a lip that will fit into the countersink. Form a loop in the rope 6 inches down and fix it with a bowline knot.

Turkey carrier
Chris Philpot

Step 3: Form the Loop

To use, fold the end of the loop over itself to form a smaller loop and place it over the talons, above the spurs. The bird’s weight will pull the loop tight for a secure and more comfortable over-the-shoulder carry.