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Lope hunting in Wy. first week of Sept . This will the furthest hunting trip , 4 days driving ,that I have made .I am looking for suggestions for getting the meat & the cape home .I have 2 large good quality ice chests .
Step on the gas !!! I make it from Maine every year in two days.last year with a 5.5 year old and the year before when he was 4.5. An I don't speed I just put the hours in.
I have my meat cut and frozen there and throw it in a cooler with dry ice. Never an issue.
Taking my wife & we are old .I do not drive more then 8-9 hr. a day .If it is frozen & wrapped will it keep for 4 days or quartered & not frozen ?
I would have it processed, frozen and placed in a cooler with some (separated) dry ice on top.
If boned out, not quartered with bone on, and cooled down in a cooler, with dry ice, it should be ok to then process when home.
Can I use dry ice in a regular insulated plastic cooler or does it take a different kind of cooler ?
There are likely a few options. If you go with ice I would pull the plug (so water can drain). Put the ice on the bottom with a plastic trash bag above it so the meat doesn't get wet. Are you planning on staying at hotels on your ride home? If so, they may let you freeze the meat every night in a freezer in their kitchen area. I have done this many times with fish. There actually isn't much meat on a processed antelope. Obviously if you use dry ice you'll have to find a place to re-freeze it. Another option would be to hook up an electric outlet w/converter in their truck and put a small freezer in your bed for the drive home.
We are staying at hotels .I am renting a stow & go mini van . It has more room then my pickup & is more secure .If it is wrapped & frozen will it keep in contactor bags & buried in ice ?
I think so. As long as the contractor bag is sealed up good so water doesn't get in. Just drain it at the end of the day when you pull in to the hotel. You can buy ice at every gas station to replenish. If you do that every night and every morning before you start out you should be fine. Where are you coming from?
30 miles north of Baltimore. My coolers keep ice for along time .
I think you'll be ok. Just check and reload it first thing and last thing as you hit the road for the day and call it a night. Good luck. Take pictures and share here if you can.
Thanks for your input . I will post when I get back . I have killed a lot of whitetails but this is my 1st antelope hunt .It is on my bucket list .
I have brought lots of goats back to Texas from Wyoming. Mulie from Montana, elk from New Mexico and all were just chunked or quartered , put on ice, and drained each time I added ice. If it's clean, water will not hurt the meat. I've been doing this for years and it works. It is important to make sure your ice doesn't " bridge " at the top and make you think you have more ice than you do. Each time you stop to pee, fill up or eat, check your ice. Keep it full, and your meat will be fine.
Whatever your plan, do not use cube ice. You will be fighting water the entire trip and it will cause some spoilage. I have this dilemma every season, spending 100 days per year living out of coolers as I hunt across the west. Here is what I have found works best.
Freeze some half-gallon milk jugs at home. Allocate one cooler for nothing but holding those milk jugs while you are on your way to the hunt and while hunting. If it is a good cooler, the milk jugs will stay mostly frozen for a week, longer if you keep it in shade and you are not opening it. If you can, even put a horse blanket or something similar over the top of it. If the cooler is not working as well as you hope, toss in some dry ice every few days.
When you shoot something, dress it as clean as possible and let it cool in the air so the meat is as cool as possible. As it cools, most the blood will get contained within the small outer coating for dried meat, leaving little to drain into your cooler. The night before you head home, let the meat get to air temp, which in the diurnal climates of the west, will be pretty chilly at night, even in September. That means you are putting a large mass of meat into the cooler at a much lower temp than if you tossed it in there during mid-day.
Lay the meat/quarters in the bottom of the cooler, with the milk jugs on top. Cold air travels down, so putting the meat on top of the ice can risk spoilage in super warm temps. Because you are using milk jugs, you will not have water in the bottom of your cooler. Maybe a bit of blood that can be absorbed by a towel. And maybe a bit of condensation dripping off the outside of the milk jugs.
If your cooler is big enough, you can put the cape in there, also. The head is too much of a pain and creates too much air space, with air pockets being a big enemy of heat transfer. If you can, have the cooler as packed full of meat and ice jugs as possible, leaving the smallest amount of air.
If you toss in a bit of dry ice before you head home and you do not open the cooler lid, any good cooler will keep your meat from spoiling on your trip home.
I've done this in 90+ temps with large animals like elk, which need a longer time to cool all the way through the boned quarters. I have done it in AZ and NM and driven all the way home to MT without losing any of the meat.
I would have the antelope processed and frozen and kept at the locker until you head home. You might get a shopping bag full of frozen meat out of a good sized antelope buck. Put it in your cooler with some dry ice and check on the drive home each night and see if you need more dry ice.
Oldman, you said you were renting a mini van, please use caution if loading up the coolers with dry ice. Dry ice emits a Co2 gas that will put you to sleep forever, you must keep windows open.
Quote: "Dry ice emits a Co2 gas that will put you to sleep forever"
Thanks . Will dry ice hurt a regular insulated cooler ?
Oldman, We are not far from you. 31 hours is a haul! You should call the butcher on some prices in Wyoming. Its outrageous in some areas. We always carry a freezer and generator. Get the wench pole for your receiver. Quarter and freeze your self. Don't forget wax paper between the quarters! Will stay frozen for days after its froze, without electric. Plug in at the motel and transport meat via cooler in the field.
Sticksender, I cut and pasted this from the University of Vermont lab safety page. Granted, i would think just having the vents in a minivan open would be enough, however, never hurts to educate yourself.
Suffocation hazard: a large volume of carbon dioxide gas emitted in a confined space, or other unventilated area (e.g. cold room) may create an oxygen deficient atmosphere.
Dry ice must be stored in a well-ventilated location. NEVER store dry ice in a cold room, warm room, or storage closet unless adequate supply ventilation is provided.
Dry ice cannot be stored in any type of tightly sealed device such as an ultra-low freezer, plastic/glass container, or other enclosed space. Store dry ice in a stryofoam chest, insulated cooler or a special cooler designed for the the storage of dry ice (i.e. allows for the release of carbon dioxide gas).
I got a moose in NF last September. I wanted to butcher it myself so just had them skin, quarter, and freeze in my two 150 qt. coolers. It was solidly frozen so I didn't use dry ice at all for the trip home. The drive home was 30 hours and I figured it would be thawing by time I got home and I could start butchering. WRONG! I had to keep my coolers open for two days before I could start cutting it, and even then it was still partly frozen.
I elk hunt in CO the beginning of the bow season every fall. I've been lucky enough to get one every year except one and have it processed out there, wrapped and frozen in my coolers. I've always packed it with dry ice. This fall I'll do the same as the moose and butcher it myself when I get home...it's about the same time for the trip and I'm sure it will still be frozen by time I get home. I prefer to do my own butchering, firmly believing no processor will do a better job than I can. I've butchered well over a hundred deer, and now one moose.
I've been cooling meat in ice chests covered in ice for 25 years and never lost any or had any go bad. Put some ice (cubes are fine) in the bottom, fill it with meat and cover the top. You will have to drain quite a bit of water the first day or so. I've put a thermometer in the meat and monitored it. Once the meat is cooled (about 24 hours) as long as you have ice on it, it will stay at about 34 degrees. I've kept meat in a cooler, iced down for 7 days before. Once I get home, I put the cooler in the shade, loosen the drain and check it daily until I have time to cut it up. Nothing cools meat quicker than Ice. I eat wild game every day and if this didn't work, I wouldn't do it.
i have a trick that keeps meat from soaking in water (which will draw out blood and dry out the meat). cut up some clean 4 x 4's to fit sideways in your cooler. keep those in the bottom of the cooler and put the quarters on top of it.- it elevates meat above any water that melts from regular ice. as noted above, prefrozen water jugs and cooling the carcass/quarters in the air overnight helps.
If you really want to keep the meat cool - and getting it cool asap and keeping it there is important with lopes), take your critters to a butcher the day you whack it/them. their price always depends on your sked, if you can wait 2-3 days to get it you will typically save a bundle. Once you have the meat packaged and hard froze you are halfway there. either put the ice underneath/on top of the meat packages, or use 20 lbs of dry ice for a 100-qt cooler (used for up to 3-4 lopes.), blanket on top of that to fill any air voids, duct tape the lid gaskets minimal air inflow/outflow, and you are good to go for 2 days easy. maybe the top layer wont be rock hard when you get home, but the meat will be plenty cold and fine.
as for getting gassed by dry ice - huh??? it's not like you're sniffing a co2 cylinder. the boil off rate is insignificant - you're in more danger from your passengers and their camp chili, although that isn't exactly a silent, odorless killer.
I use plastic milk crates that have been cut to fit the bottom of my cooler, keeping meat off the bottom (2"). I then try to fill as much air space between the lid and Ice/Meat with towels, news paper, etc. Keep the drain open, or drain water off when you have a chance keeping water from soaking