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Joined: 08/14/2006
Posts: 31
do any of you take your elk to a processor

could someone give me the run down on you do with your elk once you get it out of the woods? For instance, let's say I get an Elk the second day of the season and get it packed back to camp. well there are four more days left for the others to hunt and still another thirty hour drive back home.

do any of you take your elk to a processor and have them package it for you and hold onto it till time for you to leave? we are taking coolers but it seems excessive to have to keep it on ice for eight or more days. What do you guys do?

Thanks

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 600
do any of you take your elk to a processor

lots of guys have made a run to the nearest town and put there animal in a locker. Better safe than sorry.

tim

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
beer

If a guy gets one early in the season in our camp, his job is to clean up camp, drink beer an cut meat. We bring enough freezer wrap and tape to do at least one elk. If it's cold enough and later in the week, we butcher it the day we get back to my buddy's house. It's a five hour drive from camp to his house. We go later in the year so warmth usually isn't a problem. If it were in early September, it would be too warm to butcher in camp and a cold locker in town would be the ticket.

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Location: HB,CA
Joined: 10/04/2006
Posts: 2
do any of you take your elk to a processor

We have a long drive home from our elk hunts too (over 24 hours). We used to run them into town and have them kept frozen until we pulled out and made the run in coolers, but now My father likes to go big with certain things like food.

I remember from an earlier post that you're hunting around Gunnison. I'll pester my old man and see if he remembers any names of people who will keep them for you, but as I recall there are alot of signs in town (Gunnison) for it (my memmory sucks tho).

I know you can buy dry ice at the grocery store in Gunnison (safeway?) Making the trip home alot easier ESPECIALLY if you have things like capes.

We've been hauling a deep freezer out with us and our base camp now has a generator. We keep them frozen ourselves which is a luxury to say the least. Mr. Cool!

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Joined: 10/06/2006
Posts: 2
do any of you take your elk to a processor

I don't like to freeze my elk to soon. It is better if you age it. If you can keep it between 33 and 50 degrees for a couple weeks you will be rewarded with some excellent meat. I chill it and put it in the cooler then top it with ice in contractor garbage bags. Put the larger hunks on the bottom. Don't smash your loins! You don't want the ice water to come in contact with the meat and you don't want to put the meat in garbage bags that may have chemicals inside to prevent sticking or odors. One thing you don't want to do is freeze it and thaw it to cut up and then refreeze it. Freezing does do some damage to the meat. I chill it first too so it freezes faster which minimizes the freezing process damage. Also, don't load your freezer up with raw meat. Let the freezer freeze some and then put more in. Good luck.

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Joined: 08/14/2006
Posts: 31
do any of you take your elk to a processor

thanks for the replies guys.

all three of us are noobs as far as dealing with an animal this big this far away from home. it seems like we had the right idea about leaving the woods and taking it too a processor.

however, if it's cold enough I think we can get by letting it hang in base camp until the hunt is over.

our plan is: once an animal is down we radio the other two to help quarter and pack it back to base camp, if it's too warm to leave in camp then one of us (the shooter) will take it to town.

thanks again!

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
Joined: 03/25/2005
Posts: 245
do any of you take your elk to a processor

You are smart to start thinking about it ahead of time.

Something that has happened more than once to us is that a 2nd hunter will come back out to help pack out a downed animal from a remote location. Then that 2nd hunter will also kill one. It sets in motion this relay system of preserving the best and most meat first in a race against the sun and predators.

This year I am bringing one of those enormous coolers large enough to hold 2 quarters. If you put up a sunscreen to shade hanging meat make sure that the plastic doesn't touch the meat.

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Location: Upper Snake River
Joined: 09/01/2006
Posts: 86
do any of you take your elk to a processor

Just some food for thought fellas,
Do not put coolers with dry ice in the same compartment that you are in, asa dry ice evaporates or whatever it does, it releases carbon dioxide and can reach dangerous levels quickly, 15/20 years ago 3 amigos were in a camper in the Greys River and never came out, they died of lack of oxygen from the dry ice.
Good luck to all, nothing like fat under your fingernails and blood on your boots

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
tight camper

It must have been a really, really tight camper. You can see through the walls of the one we use. Unless you had a really big block of it outside of a cooler, I wouldn't worry too much. I'd be more worried about a methane explosion, if you know what I mean. Yes The more insulated it is, the slower it should "melt". I use dry ice to take my meat on the plane as baggage. Seal up the cooler w/duct tape and you're limited to about 5#, I believe.

Correction: I think you're limited to 2 kg (4.4#)......check with your airline's policy. It should be listed as "dangerous goods" under the baggage policy. As a sidenote, it looks like Delta has a baggage catagory for "antlers". It's a flat $100 and they have reqyuirements that need to be met. Anybody remember the "good old days" when they would throw them on the plane for no charge. Returning from the first succesful elk trip I had, the baggage agent in Denver had a RMEF pin in his uniform and a wild west handlebar moustache. All my meat....(2) big coolers......flew no charge that year. Sadly, those days are gone. If your flying and have extra baggage, get out your wallet.

Offline
Location: Bonne Terre Missouri
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 21
do any of you take your elk to a processor

i am hunting north of hayden Co. this year
if i take a elk into hayden what can i expect to pay
for processing?

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