Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Project Game Cart: Phase II

Weekends are full of a variety of to-dos these days. Parties, hunting, reloading, and projects. Fitting some shopping in between is always good, too! For me, hunting season is winding down. I have a deer tag and a bear tag left and plan on getting to the forest in two weeks. I am praying the fires do not come near the area again. Before that, I have obligations and projects, and I enjoy every minute of them. I have a newfound respect for waking up everyday and being alive and want to accomplish many things. The highlight of the weekend, that was hunting related, was working on my bicycle game cart. 

To give you some backstory, many of the areas I hunt have a locked gate crossing the road, therefore no vehicle access. I have taken my bike through and ridden up and around and love it. It's quiet and quick. Unfortunately, I have had to lug my backpack and bow on my back while doing this. It's not a big deal, but it's tiring and awkward. A few years back, I found some all-terrain tires and started building my own cart. Then we bought a house and that project was sidelined as I tossed a bunch of the gear. It was simply cumbersome and I knew there had to be a better way. Fast forward to a few weeks ago (and about a year of thinking about it) when I found a Yakima cart that is used to transport your kids behind the bike when you ride. I bought it for $40, stripped it down and got right into transforming it into a hunting cart.

You may ask why I stripped off the original covering when it had a rain cover, netting, and clips in all the right places. To be honest, I didn't like it. It was yellow and purple and I wanted to be able to hide it when hunting. I also wanted faster access to my gear. I also found kid puke and other fun stuff inside and was not about to wash it. I did, however, save all the straps and clips knowing they would prove to be very beneficial!

My plan is to have a cart that I can transport my pack and bow without having it on my back, but also leave room to haul a deer or pig back, too. This cart has all the room I need. My original plan, that I intend to continue with after deer season, is to have a solid base of some sort of open rack, like a metal rack with open grates to allow for air and drippings to fall through. I found a great instructable that talks about using metal shelving. Excellent idea! I am trying very hard not to drill any holes if I don't have to. Right now I don't have the grate, so I am using coated chicken wire that a friend gave me. The width was perfect and I cut it down to size and zip-tied it into place. That would give me a temporary floor and it should hold up to 100 lbs. I had some spare metal bars from a recycled Easy-up that I used to form a crossbar. This allows some support for my pack without putting full weight in one spot.

I wasn't sure how to mount my bow, but I remembered my dad using some mounts for his UTV that worked great. He was eager to talk about the design and thought that idea was good, but he had a better idea. Not only did he have a set of Kolpin Rhino grips he wasn't using, these actually have a mount that secures to the bar where you don't have to do any drilling. I became very excited and they should be here by the end of the week.

The one thing I had hemmed and hawed about was covering the aluminum. Should I paint it? Should I use camo duct tape? Should I hydro-dip it? I think I am going to combine a couple things. Kevin Paulson, from HuntingLife.com, mentioned that painting it a matte black would be good. I tend to agree, but I also want to keep it our of site when I am hunting. I also have a desert camo netting that I will carry to toss over when hunting. It'll work well and packs light!

This week I will sit down and plan a few more things out for it. How many of you have a cart like this? Any suggestions or ideas? I am interested in hearing what you might do with building a cart like this. Leave me a comment with a suggestion or idea (funny or legit, I don't care) and I may pull a name or two for some hunting related gifts from my stash!