Have you ever been preparing for a day of hunting bushytails and realized that you did not have a convenient way to carry your prize? Or have you ever decided to silence that barking sentry in the next tree alerting the entire block to the fact of your intrusion only to realize you’ve obligated yourself to either give up use of one hand or put a warm, bloody furball right next to your lunch? One of the best solutions is a dedicated game vest. In the first case, however, it is absent from your inventory or we wouldn’t be at this point. In the second, it would probably be terribly inconvenient. What you need is a cheap, expedient way to carry limb chickens that fits in your pack or pocket when not in use. These devices do exist on the market but why pay when you can make one in less time than it took for you to read up to this point? All you need is a metal coat hanger and a pair of bolt cutters, hack saw, or similar heavy duty cutting tool.
- 1. Cut the metal. Make three cuts at points A (2x) and B. The two points A are a short way down from the hook and point B is halfway across the horizontal bit. This will give you two identical pieces (for two clips per hanger) with the center hook as scrap. See Figure 1.
- 2. Bend the loop. Where you made your cut at point B, bend the wire around in a complete loop with a short tail that will help catch the other end of the clip. The natural angles in the corner of the coat hanger give it proper spacing and springiness for the task of holding squirrels. See Figure 2.
- 3. Use it. After collecting your squirrel, use a pocketknife to make a tiny slit behind the Achilles tendon of one of its back feet. This is the same spot you would cut on a deer to hang it from a gambrel. Slip the open end of the clip through this hole and through a belt loop. Close the clip in the same fashion as closing a safety pin. Viola. Your squirrels are now hanging conveniently on your waist.
Extras: You can sharpen the end that sticks through to aid in that step. Just be careful not to stab yourself in the process. A small carabiner will also make it easier to reattach to your belt loop.
While not the perfect solution for birds, this clip will carry as many squirrels or rabbits as your pants can hold while remaining on your waist. When not in use, it takes up virtually zero space in a pack and weighs practically nothing. It is as much a part of my everyday hunting kit as my rifle and I hardly go into the field without one.