onX Maps
By Pat Lefemine


I receive a lot of gear to try out by new companies hoping I will do a review. I turn most of them down. Not because they are bad products, most are fine, quality products. It’s more about their usefulness to the majority of our visitors - and whether the product is truly innovative.

But every so often we get to try out gear that has me asking; why hasn’t anyone else thought of that? If the quality is there, and the prices is realistic, well those are the products we like to share with our visitors.

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The Kwik Hoist (by Viking Solutions) is one of those products. When I first saw it at the ATA trade show, I immediately thought of several situations where I absolutely needed a portable deer hoist/winch but didn’t have one. Places where the trees are small with no high limbs to hang a deer from. Even places where I hunted with no trees at all? But the greatest need was those places where I hunt alone. Where I don’t have the luxury of a hunting buddy helping me hoist a mature doe or buck to skin it. Like many of you, I’ve skinned my fair share of deer on the ground, turning a simple job into a complicated, inefficient ordeal. No more, the Kwik Hoist’s will be a fixture in my truck bed the entire deer season.

Size, Shape and Weight

The Kwik Hoist is a lightweight unit, weighing just 17.5 lbs. I can lift the unit over my head with one hand easily. It also fits into a small space. When transporting my ATV, the unit fit easily between my Honda Rancher and the side panel of my truck bed. It’s just 4” wide throughout the length of the hoist and the Tree brace section is 8” wide near the winch.

Mounting to the tree

Mounting to the tree is quite simple. You wrap a chain around the tree and then connect into a chain slot on the opposite side. It literally takes 15-30 seconds to mount. A child could do it. I mounted the unit several times during testing and twice with an actual deer. With me simply standing it was more than high enough to get both small and big deer off the ground. If you have a big buck, and want to get it higher, just stand on your quad seat or use a chair to get an extra couple of feet. You can mount the unit as high as you like. Once the chain is in place, just pull down gently and it locks in place very firmly. In all my testing it never shifted or moved once I tugged down to lock it in. Pretty slick.

Lifting the deer

When I wanted to hang the deer head first, I just wrapped the winch cable around its neck, hooked to the cable, and started turning the ratchet handle to winch it up. If you prefer to hang it feet first (using a gambrel) place your gambrel through the legs and attach the locking hook onto your gambrel loop. Then start winching. Took me about a minute and a half to mount the unit to the tree and winch up the deer to skinning height. When you’re done quartering, just lower the remaining carcass and you’re done.

About the Unit

The unit is made of heavy duty tubular steel. It’s powder coated to resist the elements. The Winch capacity easily accommodates the largest size deer. While the stated capacity is 300lbs, it is obviously designed to do more, but for safety reasons it’s best to keep it within the limits.


The unit sells for $89.95 and is well within all hunters’ budgets. The unit should last you a lifetime.

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