Nice trip report. We ran Deer Creek last year and had a great time - so many miles of read and run class IV whitewater. Ours was also another story of the Middle Feather being too high but Deer Creek being just right. We had a little less water than you guys did - your level looked ideal.
We had a total misadventure with the first camping spot. We passed your little bridge camping spot in hopes of finding what some internet write-up said was a "most excellent camping spot". We didn't see sh-t and ended up dropping into the Maxi Gorge without a lot a light. Fortunately it was no big deal getting through but we would have liked to have spent more time in there - awesome Gorge. Even the last slow stretch to the takeout was great with all the changing geology and birds flying overhead, fish swimming below us, we found a turtle - lots of those salamanders the first day.
Here in Colorado we're pros at patching up cracked boats. Duct tape is so 1990s. I don't leave home without a wad of bituthene and Gorilla tape.
We had some guy, I think his name was Steve, who lived near the takeout, shuttle the run for us. He was a great guy, did it for a low price, and even kept our car at his place until the day we were supposed to finish to avoid break-ins at the takeout. Good stuff.