An homage to the calf sled: Making life easier for laden-down anglers and hunters


Originally designed for ranchers to pull newborn cattle out of the field and into the barn, calf sleds have also long been used by ice anglers and hunters to haul gear and downed game. Typically made of polyethylene, these rugged sleds are light, practically indestructible and easy to clean. They also have short sides, making it easy to load and unload gear or critters, while keeping the contents protected when being pulled.

Outfitted with a rope handle and a rounded front for easy towing, calf sleds are also highly customizable. I enhanced mine for ice fishing, for example, by drilling holes on the top lip so I could strap down bigger loads using bungee cords.


When I got my first calf sled 30 years ago from a farm supply store, I used it exclusively for ice fishing, especially when I had to travel on foot because the ice was too thin for a vehicle. It proved perfect for carrying my auger, electronics, fishing rods and tacklebox, allowing me to get to and from my fishing area in just one trip. And when equipped with a towbar, it works equally well behind a snowmobile or ATV.

Originally for ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts also make good use of calf sleds

Calf sleds may not have all the features of purpose-built ice-fishing sleds, but they’re just as functional—and considerably cheaper. I now also use my calf sled during hunting season to pull decoys and blinds in and out of muddy fields, and to retrieve downed deer. And once it’s loaded with even the heaviest buck, a calf sled is easy for two people to lift into the back of a pickup, proving once again its usefulness and versatility.

Saskatchewan’s Mike Hungle gets plenty of use out of his trusty calf sled throughout the entire year.