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Cooler Space

My hunting buddy & I both drew cow elk tags for this year.  We have a spot lined up to hunt.  Here is the question:  If we both tag out, how much cooler space will we need to get the meat back to KY.?  We will have them processsed so it will be all meat.  Last year we brought home 4 antelope in 2- 45 Qt ones.  We also plan to apply for doe antelope tags so that may add to the meat.

Thanks

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An antelope will normally

An antelope will normally yield less than 40# of finished meat, as you found out by being able to take four home in those two small coolers.  An adult cow elk can weigh 500# or more, so you should probably figure on close to 200# or more of finished meat per animal.  If you can do it, I would think it might be easier to take a small freezer along in the back of a decent sized pickup or on/in a trailer to get that much meat back.  You can plug it to a receptacle if you motel it, into a generator if you are camping, and use a generator or use an inverter to run it while going down the road.  It's really a great way to get a lot of meat back home especially when you figure how much dry ice you would need for that much meat and the cost of it.

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That is a great suggestion

That is a great suggestion that Topgun made. I have never had to take that much meat that far other than hogs but we always drive straight through and it's always been very cold outside. I usually just bring 2 or 3 of the biggest ones that Wal Mart sells everywhere we go.

Since you get it processed I would say to call the processor and ask them how much space it usually takes and what they reccomend.

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Cooler

Thanks guys for the good info.  We will be tent camping so the freezer is probably not an option. I have seen that in other western hunts tho and it seems the best if possible.  I will definitely call the processor as I have used them for 2 years and really like them.  It took 10#s of dry ice last year, for the goats plus the meat started out frozen so there was no problem.  I really enjoy the forum topics, so thanks again for the advice.

 

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In my experience, one deboned

In my experience, one deboned elk equals 4 deboned antelope.  Seems to be a slightly higher percentage yield on antelope does than elk cows.

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When we go to eastern oregon

When we go to eastern oregon for our hunts. we bring 7-8 empty coolers that are 95 quat(i think). we havent had to fill them yet but it seems to be enough, we just started doing this because of the archery season, when we rifle hunt over there the season is in mid nov and usally 30-38 degrees during the day and coolers are not really nessisary. good luck to you.

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suggestion

You say that the meat will be processed, do you mean that you will be doing it yourself and deboning?  That would be my first suggestion.  Completely debone the meat so that it takes up a lot less space. 

Suggestion #2 - buy some of that household insulation that comes in sheets like wall board.  By several sheets Cut it into a box that surrounds your cooler(s) on all sides.  Throw a sheet beneath them and over them to help insulate - tie them down.

Topgun 30-06's picture
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KY Sportsman---You lost me

KY Sportsman---You lost me when you stated that what I suggested is not a possibility because you will be tent camping.  In that case, all you will need is the generator at camp and the inverter on the road.  A freezer like I'm talking about will take up less space in a vehicle than all the coolers you will need---just saying!!!  As well as they are insulater you may not even need to run the generator much, if all all, if the meat is frozen at the processors when you pick it up and I think that's what you meant.

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I agree that you need to

I agree that you need to check out the freezer option.  You would not believe the number of vehicles that I see every year headed back east from Colorado that have either a freezer in the back of the truck or strapped down on a trailer.  It is one of the better ideas out there.  On the plus sided is that you don't need to stop and buy more dry ice which also takes up room in the coolers, also if you need ice for the camp spot you can have a ready supply even if you need to run the generator while it is freezing.  If I was going to do a hunting trip of over 1,000 miles I would consider it. 

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Yep, and if he's in KY he is

Yep, and if he's in KY he is definitely going to be driving well over 1000 miles each way on his trip!

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The more I listen to you guys

The more I listen to you guys talking about a freezer I'm starting to think I need one myself. I spend a lot of money on ice every year between hunting and fishing in Utah. I spend 50 a trip to Utah alone at least twice a year. Two or three years and my generator and a small used freezer would be paid for and like you said take up less space than a bunch of coolers.

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