Gambrel Hoist for Deer: An Essential Tool for Hunters

The gambrel hoist for deer is an indispensable tool for hunters, making the tasks of field dressing, skinning, and meat processing a breeze. Its unique design allows for the safe and efficient lifting of deer off the ground, providing convenience and efficiency compared to traditional methods.

This comprehensive guide delves into the world of gambrel hoists, exploring their types, benefits, and proper usage. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting out, this article will equip you with the knowledge and skills to choose and operate a gambrel hoist effectively.

Gambrel Hoist Overview

Deer hunters use a gambrel hoist to lift a deer off the ground after it has been field-dressed. This allows the hunter to skin and butcher the deer more easily. A gambrel hoist is typically made of metal or wood and consists of two poles that are connected at the top by a crossbar.

The deer’s hind legs are attached to the crossbar with hooks or ropes. The hoist is then raised, lifting the deer off the ground.

Construction and Materials

Gambrel hoists are typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum, which are strong and durable materials that can withstand the weight of a deer. The poles are usually round or square in shape and are typically 6-8 feet long. The crossbar is usually made of a flat piece of metal or wood that is about 2 feet long.

The hooks or ropes used to attach the deer’s legs to the crossbar are usually made of strong nylon or steel.

Types of Gambrel Hoists

Gambrel hoists come in various types, each designed for specific applications and offering unique features. Understanding the different types available can help you choose the most suitable hoist for your needs.

Fixed Gambrel Hoists

Fixed gambrel hoists are permanently mounted to a structure, such as a ceiling or a wall. They provide a stable and secure lifting solution for regular use in butchering operations. Advantages include their durability, ease of use, and ability to handle heavy loads.

However, they lack portability and require professional installation.

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Gambrel hoists are a great way to make deer hunting easier and more efficient.

Portable Gambrel Hoists

Portable gambrel hoists are designed for temporary use and can be easily transported to different locations. They are often used for hunting or field dressing. These hoists offer flexibility and convenience but may have lower weight capacities and less durability compared to fixed hoists.

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Electric Gambrel Hoists

Electric gambrel hoists utilize an electric motor to lift and lower the load. They provide effortless operation and can handle heavier loads compared to manual hoists. Electric hoists are ideal for high-volume butchering operations or where frequent lifting is required.

However, they require a power source and can be more expensive than manual hoists.

Manual Gambrel Hoists

Manual gambrel hoists rely on human power to lift and lower the load using a hand crank or lever. They are less expensive and easier to maintain than electric hoists but require more physical effort. Manual hoists are suitable for occasional use or in situations where a power source is not readily available.

How to Use a Gambrel Hoist

Gambrel hoist deer

Using a gambrel hoist is a safe and effective way to lift a deer off the ground for processing or storage. Here are the steps on how to use a gambrel hoist:

Attaching the Hoist

Attach the hoist to a sturdy overhead support, such as a tree branch or a hoist beam. Make sure the support can withstand the weight of the deer.

Next, attach the gambrel to the deer’s hind legs. Insert the gambrel through the tendons just above the hocks. Spread the legs apart and hook the gambrel onto the hoist.

The gambrel hoist is a great tool for lifting deer off the ground and into a tree or other high place. This can be helpful for field dressing the deer or for transporting it back to camp. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you might want to consider building a shipping container deer blind . These blinds are made from shipping containers and provide a comfortable and enclosed space to hunt from.

They also come with a variety of features, such as windows, doors, and even air conditioning. Once you’ve got your deer hoisted up, you can use the gambrel hoist to hang it from a tree branch or other support.

Lifting the Deer

Once the deer is attached to the hoist, slowly lift it off the ground. Use a smooth, steady motion to avoid jarring the deer.

Continue lifting the deer until it is at a height that is comfortable for working. The ideal height will vary depending on the size of the deer and the task you are performing.

Tips and Techniques

Here are some tips and techniques for proper hoisting and handling:

  • Use a hoist that is rated for the weight of the deer.
  • Inspect the hoist and gambrel before each use to ensure they are in good condition.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Be careful not to overtighten the gambrel, as this can damage the deer’s tendons.
  • Lift the deer slowly and smoothly to avoid jarring.
  • Keep the deer’s head and neck supported to prevent injury.
  • Once the deer is hoisted, secure it in place to prevent it from swinging or falling.

Benefits of Using a Gambrel Hoist: Gambrel Hoist For Deer

Utilizing a gambrel hoist in deer hunting provides a multitude of advantages that streamline the field dressing, skinning, and meat processing procedures.

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First and foremost, a gambrel hoist elevates the deer off the ground, creating a more convenient and ergonomic workspace. This elevated position facilitates easier access to the animal’s body, allowing for efficient and precise field dressing and skinning.

Enhanced Hygiene and Safety

  • Suspending the deer off the ground minimizes contact with dirt and debris, promoting better hygiene and reducing the risk of contamination.
  • The elevated position also improves safety by preventing the deer from rolling or kicking, which could potentially cause injuries to the hunter.

Improved Meat Quality

  • Properly elevating the deer allows for better drainage of blood and fluids, resulting in improved meat quality.
  • The reduced contact with the ground minimizes the risk of spoilage and bacterial growth.

Convenience and Efficiency

  • A gambrel hoist eliminates the need for manual lifting and maneuvering of the deer, saving time and effort.
  • The hoist can be easily adjusted to accommodate deer of various sizes, ensuring a secure and stable suspension.

Choosing the Right Gambrel Hoist

Selecting the appropriate gambrel hoist is crucial for efficient deer processing. Consider these factors:

Deer Size and Weight Capacity

Choose a hoist that can handle the size and weight of the deer you’ll be hunting. For smaller deer, a hoist with a weight capacity of 500-750 pounds may suffice. For larger deer, a hoist with a capacity of 1,000 pounds or more is recommended.


If you’ll be hunting in remote areas, consider a portable hoist that can be easily carried and assembled. Look for hoists with collapsible legs or removable parts.

Hunting Scenario

For solo hunters, a tripod hoist with a winch can provide stability and ease of use. For team hunting, a fixed hoist mounted to a tree or other structure may be more suitable.

Additional Features

Consider additional features such as adjustable height, built-in scales, and swivel hooks for added convenience and functionality.

Safety Considerations

Gambrel hoist for deer

Using a gambrel hoist is generally safe, but certain precautions should be taken to prevent accidents and injuries. Always prioritize safety when operating a gambrel hoist, especially when working with heavy game.

Here are some tips for safe hoisting:

Proper Hoisting Techniques

  • Inspect the hoist before each use to ensure it’s in good working condition.
  • Secure the hoist firmly to a sturdy overhead structure, such as a tree limb or a hoisting beam.
  • Attach the hoist to the animal’s hind legs, ensuring the legs are spread apart and the hoist is level.
  • Lift the animal slowly and carefully, avoiding sudden movements.
  • Never overload the hoist beyond its rated capacity.


  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges.
  • Keep children and pets away from the hoisting area.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards, such as overhead wires or obstacles.
  • If you encounter any difficulties or malfunctions, stop using the hoist immediately and seek assistance.

Alternative Methods to Gambrel Hoists

Gambrel hoist for deer

While gambrel hoists are commonly used for hoisting deer, there are alternative methods that can be employed. These methods offer varying advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of method depends on the specific situation and preferences of the hunter.

Manual Hoisting

  • Involves lifting the deer manually using ropes or straps attached to the deer’s legs or antlers.
  • Advantages:
    • Does not require specialized equipment.
    • Can be done with a team of people.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Can be physically demanding, especially for large deer.
    • Requires multiple people for heavier deer.
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Trolley System, Gambrel hoist for deer

  • Utilizes a pulley system with a trolley running on an overhead track.
  • Advantages:
    • Reduces the physical effort required to hoist the deer.
    • Allows for easy movement of the deer along the track.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Requires installation of the track and pulley system.
    • May not be suitable for all hunting locations.


  • Uses a mechanical or electric winch to lift the deer.
  • Advantages:
    • Provides a mechanical advantage, making it easier to hoist heavy deer.
    • Can be used in remote locations without electricity.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Requires a winch and accessories.
    • Can be bulky and heavy to transport.

DIY Gambrel Hoist

Hoist tree deer capacity mounted game lb hoists kill shot mount weight

Building a DIY gambrel hoist is a cost-effective and rewarding project for hunters who want to process their own game. Here’s a guide on how to make one:

Materials Required:

  • 4×4 lumber (4 feet long)
  • 2×4 lumber (6 feet long)
  • Chain or rope (minimum 10 feet)
  • S-hooks or snap hooks
  • Carriage bolts (1/2 inch x 4 inches)
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Drill
  • Wrench


  1. Create the frame:Cut two 4x4s to 4 feet and two 2x4s to 6 feet. Assemble them into a rectangular frame using carriage bolts, washers, and nuts. Ensure the 4x4s form the base and the 2x4s form the sides.
  2. Install the hoisting mechanism:Cut two additional 2x4s to 2 feet. Drill holes at the ends of these 2x4s and insert the chain or rope through them. Attach the chain or rope to the frame using S-hooks or snap hooks.
  3. Add the gambrel:Cut a piece of 2×4 to the desired length of the gambrel. Drill holes at both ends and insert the chain or rope through them. Attach the gambrel to the hoisting mechanism using S-hooks or snap hooks.
  4. Test the hoist:Before using the hoist, test it by hanging a weight from the gambrel. Ensure the hoist is stable and secure before lifting any game.


  • Use treated lumber to ensure the hoist lasts longer.
  • Paint or stain the hoist to protect it from the elements.
  • Add a pulley system to the hoist to make lifting easier.
  • Store the hoist in a dry place when not in use.

Final Conclusion

In conclusion, the gambrel hoist for deer is an invaluable asset for hunters, offering a safe, convenient, and efficient way to handle deer in the field. By following the guidelines Artikeld in this guide, you can select the right hoist for your needs and ensure its proper use, maximizing your hunting experience and ensuring the successful processing of your game.


What are the different types of gambrel hoists available?

There are various types of gambrel hoists, including portable hoists, tripod hoists, and electric hoists. Portable hoists are lightweight and easy to carry, while tripod hoists offer stability and can handle heavier loads. Electric hoists provide the most power and efficiency but require a power source.

How do I choose the right gambrel hoist for my needs?

Consider the size of deer you typically hunt, the weight capacity of the hoist, and the portability you require. If you hunt large deer or need to lift heavy loads, a tripod hoist or electric hoist may be suitable. For smaller deer or if portability is a priority, a portable hoist is a good choice.

What safety precautions should I take when using a gambrel hoist?

Always ensure the hoist is securely attached to a stable support and that the load is evenly distributed. Avoid overloading the hoist and be aware of your surroundings to prevent accidents. Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, and never leave the hoist unattended while it is in use.

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