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Posted: 8/4/2010 5:17:07 PM EDT
Reason I ask is, how do you get the meat home?. I'm going to deer hunt in Maine this year, and eventually one day I will do a bear hunt. What are some suggestions on packing meat and traveling? I was thinking a few large coolers packed with dry ice. My drive time is usually around 12 hours depending on traffic.
Link Posted: 8/5/2010 5:42:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/5/2010 5:43:21 AM EDT by VaFish]
12 hours driving?

Just freeze the meat and put it in a cooler. Should last just fine, especially if you are hunting in the fall/winter. MD to ME in November/December time frame should be fine.

I've driven from MN to VA with frozen Venison in the back of an SUV simply wrapped up in newspaper in a cardboard box, but that was in January.

Dry ice wouldn't be a bad thing, but I don't think it is needed.
Link Posted: 8/5/2010 6:47:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 80thdiv313fa:
Reason I ask is, how do you get the meat home?. I'm going to deer hunt in Maine this year, and eventually one day I will do a bear hunt. What are some suggestions on packing meat and traveling? I was thinking a few large coolers packed with dry ice. My drive time is usually around 12 hours depending on traffic.

Not sure what your set up is.

I usually try to have the meat processed locally, and then frozen for the trip home.
I know some disagree with this, and prefer to do it themselves.
I do it because of the ability to have the meat frozen solid. the $80-$100 per deer to process does get a little expensive.

I transport in coolers.
There are some great coolers out there, but also have some hefty prices.
I got a couple from Walmart that hold ice for 5 days. These work great.

As for maintaining the temp in the cooler, I do not use bags of ice.
I save up Quart Jugs of milk prior to a trip, wash the inside real good after use.
Then fill with water, place in freezer.
After frozen place on bottom of cooler, then place a sheet of styrofoam on top, place meat in, and then another sheet of styrofoam on top of that, close lid.
The frozen jugs keep everything from getting soaked, as the ice melts.

Using the above, we have been able to transport deer for 18-26 hours still frozen.

Some use the same method, but use the "frozen packs" that can be bought.
I prefer not to use these because of the chemicals used to make them. Had one leak on a trip and ended up tossing the meat.

Link Posted: 8/6/2010 12:54:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2010 12:55:19 PM EDT by danc46]
I've brought back elk from Colorado to Oklahoma, quartered, wrapped inside a sheet, inside a sleeping bag. 12 hours or more and the meat was fine.
It was good and cold when I left and still cool when I got home.
Don't travel in the day time though.
The sun ain't your friend when you're hauling meat in the back of your truck.
If you're a hard core hunter and a LONG ways from home you can do like some guys I know. They take a small freezer with them and a generator. They butcher and wrap the game at camp, drop it in the freezer, and get it frozen before they head home.
If they stop and eat somewhere, the generator is started. And they've been known to have the generator running in the trailer on the way home, all depending on the weather.
Link Posted: 8/6/2010 4:20:55 PM EDT
We usually end up taking an enclosed trailer.We have taken a smaller 5.5 cubic foot freezer. Even if it can't be run it still seconds as a good cooler. That said you can easily fit two quartered deer in a 120 qt cooler. Don't know about dry ice but quarters packed in cubed ice will keep meat good for day's.
Link Posted: 8/7/2010 6:35:39 PM EDT
Thanks for all the tips guys!
Link Posted: 8/8/2010 6:59:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2010 7:02:51 AM EDT by CaputLapidis]
Originally Posted By 80thdiv313fa:
Reason I ask is, how do you get the meat home?. I'm going to deer hunt in Maine this year, and eventually one day I will do a bear hunt. What are some suggestions on packing meat and traveling? I was thinking a few large coolers packed with dry ice. My drive time is usually around 12 hours depending on traffic.


I field dress them, skin them, quarter them right away, and put them in bags on top of bags of ice in the cooler. Might have to replace the ice after a day or so if it is hot in your vehicle. Be sure to keep the meet away from water - i.e. drain the cooler regularly and add ice if necessary. I use Coleman Extreme coolers and they seem to do really well. Cheap at WalMart. I can get a whole quartered deer in two or three, depending on how big it was and cooler size.

I butcher, vacuum seal, label and freeze within 3 days or so. That way the cell structure breaks down a little and the meat is firm enough to make really good cuts.

Meat is always perfect - no gamey taste.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:16:45 AM EDT
The freezer/generator method works great. If its multiple guys in a hunting party and one guy harvests first day, it allows you to keep meat frozen while the others hunt. Once down to temp the generator does not have to run all the time, freezers hold temp well when not opened.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:25:58 AM EDT
I just got home this past weekend from bear hunting in northern Maine.....My buddy that I rode with is 27 hrs from bear camp...I'm another 3. He had used heavy 4ga wire from his truck battery to the bed of the truck, and wired in an Inverter, and plugged in his deep freezer right inside the bed of the truck!!! Worked like a charm!!! It takes 120 watts per Amp, and his freezer pulled 5 amps. His Inverter was a 750/1500(peak) output Inverter.

We are about 12-14 hrs from out Antelope hunting grounds. We freeze it all out there, and bring it all home in coolers, with frozen water bottles for ice.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:11:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FiremanBrad:
I just got home this past weekend from bear hunting in northern Maine.....My buddy that I rode with is 27 hrs from bear camp...I'm another 3. He had used heavy 4ga wire from his truck battery to the bed of the truck, and wired in an Inverter, and plugged in his deep freezer right inside the bed of the truck!!! Worked like a charm!!! It takes 120 watts per Amp, and his freezer pulled 5 amps. His Inverter was a 750/1500(peak) output Inverter.

We are about 12-14 hrs from out Antelope hunting grounds. We freeze it all out there, and bring it all home in coolers, with frozen water bottles for ice.

I like this idea best of all.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 4:00:38 AM EDT
I'm shopping around for an Inverter for my rig after that trip....So far, Harbor Freight has the best price, fyi!!!
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