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Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
Coolers for meat

I plan to butcher my elk, package the meat in to meal sized portions, and carry it home with dry ice in coolers after my (heres hoping) successful October elk hunt. How many/what size coolers do I need? Assume 200 LBS of packaged elk meat.

What I do is put dry ice in the bottom of my cooler, lay 1/4" of newspaper on top of the dry ice, put my packaged meat on top of the newspaper, lay 1/4" of newspaper on top of the packaged meat, put dry ice on top of the top layer of newspaper, close the cooler lid, and seal the cooler lid with duct tape. This works very well for me.

I looked at some 50 quart coolers last night, and I thought I might be able to get by with four of these coolers, but I'm not sure. What guidance can any of you provide in this question? Also, what brand of cooler do you recommend? I looked at some Igloo coolers at Wal-Mart last night that looked poorly build and just a little shabby.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Coolers for meat

Why not get large syrofoam coolers . The duct tape is always a good idea.
If you can find a store that recived fresh fish, it usually arrives in fairly thick styofoam boxes with tight lids. They usually end up as garbage I like the ones fresh salmon comes in.
Don't know about dry ice, never used it for meat, but you could certainly make ice to fit your coolers.
Strofoam, if you have to buy them, is so cheap, and no better insulation on the market
Good luck on the hunt
Thumbs up

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Location: Boise Idaho
Joined: 05/17/2006
Posts: 120
Coolers for meat

build your own,two 4x8 sheets of plywood,2 2x4s,and a sheet of blue 2in.styro.insolation and a little time,you got a cooler that will go any were,cost less than one you can by and will last a long time and they can hall a lot of game Yes Yes Yes

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
Joined: 03/25/2005
Posts: 245
Coolers for meat

I purchased a huge Coleman marine cooler for elk this year. It has a split lid and I think I paid about $160. Since then I have noticed that Igloo makes one the exact same size. I estimate it will hold 2-3 elk quarters or probably an entire elk if processed and packaged. I am convinced that, even if it's not perfect, it keeps more meat cooler faster when you are dealing with all the logistics of bringing out an animal. It is especially helpfull if you have to carry out the animal in multiple trips.

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Joined: 08/31/2011
Posts: 1
Coolers for meat

Hunters around Arizona recently have been buying up Canyon Coolers. They offer a Yeti style cooler at a better price. Some guys I know called them and got deals on close out models. They use food grade plastic and mine keeps ice forever. 

Some of the colors aren't to my taste but the coolers rock, all around great hardware and they were great to deal with. 

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 365
coolers

Rather then buying several coolers, i use a 10.6 cu ft chest freezer, it works great, but i do take a generator with me to run it at camp, a new one is $300.00 or you can find a used one for around $100.00. jmo

Kevin

Flint J's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2010
Posts: 7
coolers for meat

The processor I use packs meat in plastic crates for freezing. These are the type of crates used for milk delivery. I've never seen an elk that needed more than four crates and often three is enough. I would think four coolers would be more than enough.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 611
waxed boxes might be a

waxed boxes might be a cheaper alternative, especially if the meat is frozen before shipping home.

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Joined: 09/19/2012
Posts: 2
BEST COOLER FOR MEAT! HANDS DOWN!

 I found the Grizzly Coolers seemed to be a little better then the Yeti, you get more cooler for your money. This Grizzly 150 quart is a great big heavy duty cooler.I mean this thing is tough. I can't wait to fill it with elk meat this fall. Outdoors Made Easy.com is where I bought it and they said free shipping for the month of Sept. And that is a really is a good name for the company. The only this is that it takes about 2.5 weeks for delivery, but my transaction was smooth and communication was flawless. I will buy from those guys again.  Big smile

Retired2hunt's picture
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
Joined: 07/28/2011
Posts: 1615
$425 too much!

$425 for a cooler is pricey. There is a tip within this web site on building your own cooler... and for far less money if you use the right materials. http://www.biggamehunt.net/tips/avoiding-trip-build-custom-cooler

Also - the Grizzly 150 is only rated for 122 pounds of game meat. If you get an adult elk you will need a bigger cooler - or a second cooler. Now the Grizzly 400 holds 350 pounds of meat but who wants to spend over $700 on a cooler?!?!

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 365
Freezer

Retired2hunt wrote:
$425 for a cooler is pricey. There is a tip within this web site on building your own cooler... and for far less money if you use the right materials. http://www.biggamehunt.net/tips/avoiding-trip-build-custom-cooler

Also - the Grizzly 150 is only rated for 122 pounds of game meat. If you get an adult elk you will need a bigger cooler - or a second cooler. Now the Grizzly 400 holds 350 pounds of meat but who wants to spend over $700 on a cooler?!?!

That is why i use a 11 cu ft chest freezer, it will hold 2 or 3 elk easy, and it is a lot cheaper then one of those coolers.
it gets my animals back to Michigan with no problems.

Kevin

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