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Do any of you guys have any suggestions for some type of cold storage for big game? I’m looking for something to hold quarters for a week or so while I find time to butcher. If I’m successful during the archery elk season, I always have to drive back to town and put in an 8 hr.+ butchering session. Where I’d much rather be able to hang the meat and get back to camp with the rest of the guys, calling, filming, fishing, whatever.
I’ve considering building basically a big insulated box and using dry ice to keep it cool or an old refrigerator that I could place a big rod/dowell thru to hang things from. Anyone ever try anything like this? And maybe I’d do best finding someone to freeze the meat and I could get to it whenever?
You can build a freezer using 1/4" tk plywood and 1" tk siding foam. make it a 2 chamber unit. top part for dry ice and the other for the meat. You will also need a small 12v fan motor and a solar panel (opintinal). The large you make the unit the thicker the plywood and foam needs to be.
I have seen guys take a small freezer with a generator. Never tried it my self tho.
I am also looking for plans on a cooler too for our shop. We have a cooling unit but want to make a walkin cooler for early hunting cause it is 70 to 90 degrees here when deer season starts. Have been looking at truck boxes that were used to carry frozen meat but to pricey for me..
Use a window AC with 2" or greater foam insulation. Duct tape the foam to the size cooler you want and run the ac unit with a generator. You will get it cold enough in there to hang meat without spoiling. It should not get cold enough to freeze.
You can take a small freezer and an inverter that will run off of a 12 volt system, like your truck ect... We hauled elk back from Co. to Ohio. Worked out great! You will need to check the voltage rating on the freezer and buy inverter accordingly. You should be able to keep meat cool w/o freezing, thought we froze ours. Try it out first before your trip! May or may not be info. you were looking for, but it worked for us.
Dirty D's Link
The small chest freezer thing works great for us.We have access to an electrical plug in at the ranchers place we hunt on.We quarter & skin the elk/deer & put in the freezer overnite. You can regulate how cold you want just by plugging it in & unplugging it.Another BIG plus is that in the middle of the day, you can gang up on it with your hunting buddies right in camp & have it cut/ wrapped & frozen when you get home.In addition to the freezer, we take 2 saw horses& a half a sheet of plywood for a butcher block. Some cutlery & wrapping paper with tape & your set.Ya can also just throw the plywood in the bed of your truck & work it over right there.Tailgates are the perfect height for cutting meat.
Thanks for the info guys. I was thinking more about a walk-in at the house, but maybe the mobile freezer makes more sense.
I did find a pretty good link for a DIY permanent walk-in.
I bought a house last year that has a walk-in cooler in the shop out back. They guy that we bought the house was was a HVAC contractor for years and took the cooler out of a grocery store where he was installing a new unit. It has 4" insulation (2x4 framed), with metal skin inside and out. The cooling unit consists of an evaporation unit with a fan inside the cooler and a condensing unit outside the wall of the shop. I fired it up the other day and the thermometer hit 30 degrees in about 20 minutes (it was over 80 when I started it up). My cooler is 5'x5'x7'.
A friend of mine is planning on making a homemade walk-in in his shop and I helped him design it based on the one that I have. He is going to frame a room with 2x6's and insulate them, and then put reinforced fiberglass paneling on the inside walls. For the cooling unit, he is going to get a local HVAC installer to take a look at it and install an evaporation unit with a condenser similar to what I have. He was originally thinking of using a wall mounted air conditioning unit but we decided to do it the right way.
I built one out of 2x4 and plywood on the inside metal on the outside used a window shaker to cool it disconected the original thermos stat and run the fan and compressor separately I then hooked it to a smart relay to run the compressor and fan for 14 min then just the fan for 10 min to keep ice from building on the evaporator coil this seems to work quite well it will keep it at 32 deg when it is 95deg outside I also put a atv winch on the roof to lift animals up to skin and hang on the bar
I have a friend who had a small shed out back. He insulated the inside with sheets of heavy styrofoam and taped the joints. Then he cut an over sized AC unit into the wall of the shed. Not exactly a frezzer but it got plenty cold enough to leave a deer for a number of days.