HuntStand Hunting App
How many coolers?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Cowdoc 31-May-20
Rob in VT 31-May-20
Kurt 31-May-20
bowman 01-Jun-20
bowman 01-Jun-20
bowman 01-Jun-20
WV Mountaineer 01-Jun-20
BULELK1 01-Jun-20
Trial153 01-Jun-20
Cowdoc 01-Jun-20
midwest 01-Jun-20
WV Mountaineer 01-Jun-20
hdaman 01-Jun-20
fisherick 01-Jun-20
Kurt 01-Jun-20
Treeline 01-Jun-20
WapitiBob 01-Jun-20
Surfbow 01-Jun-20
JohnMC 01-Jun-20
ohiohunter 01-Jun-20
IdyllwildArcher 01-Jun-20
Hancock West 01-Jun-20
JohnMC 01-Jun-20
Hancock West 01-Jun-20
JohnMC 01-Jun-20
Hancock West 01-Jun-20
JohnMC 01-Jun-20
swede 01-Jun-20
txhunter58 01-Jun-20
Cowdoc 01-Jun-20
BULELK1 02-Jun-20
ElkNut1 02-Jun-20
Medicinemann 02-Jun-20
wytex 03-Jun-20
Cowdoc 05-Jun-20
txhunter58 05-Jun-20
Box 05-Jun-20
Box 05-Jun-20
Kurt 05-Jun-20
jordanathome 09-Jun-20
Stayfit 29-Aug-20
JohnMC 29-Aug-20
Trophyhill 29-Aug-20
txhunter58 29-Aug-20
HDE 30-Aug-20
Stayfit 30-Aug-20
Ambush 30-Aug-20
txhunter58 31-Aug-20
midwest 31-Aug-20
From: Cowdoc
31-May-20
And what size to haul an average cut and wrapped elk? Thanks.

From: Rob in VT
31-May-20
A 150qt cooler will hold most of it, provided its frozen and you don’t need to add any dry ice. The balance will fit in a 50qt cooler. This doesn’t take into consideration the cape if you are saving that.

From: Kurt
31-May-20
My 5 cubic foot little chest freezer that is equivalent to 150 quarts just barely held my Tule elk meat last August. I cut the elk up (boneless) and vacuum sealed the roasts and steaks. The burger meat was put in large 2-1/2 gallon ziplocks to be ground at home. My Tule cow was about 375#s live weight (great eating too) and I had about 150#s of meat in the freezer. Probably could have squeezed a few more packages in but not much. A Rocky bull...say a 5 point or small 6 point would yield 33% more meat and would require around 225 quarts of coolers or a 7-8 cubic foot freezer in my experience. The cape of course is not included in the figure noted, just boned and packaged meat. Good luck!

From: bowman
01-Jun-20
I do not understand the question

From: bowman
01-Jun-20
I do not understand the question

From: bowman
01-Jun-20
I do not understand the question

01-Jun-20
A bull or cow Rocky Mountain Elk cut, wrapped, And frozen can be hauled in 3 55-60 quart coolers. Unfrozen, you better get 4 or 5 because that means more dry ice per cooler.

From: BULELK1
01-Jun-20
I've never had it cut and wrap for travel but my 150qt cooler does just fine getting my boned off meat & ice home to my guy.

Granted, in most cases/harvest, I'm like a 3--3 1/2 hour drive, makes a big difference no doubt....

Good luck, Robb

From: Trial153
01-Jun-20
Last elk i killed I took a 105 and 110 and had plenty room, that was half boned out. That was for a 24 hour plus drive and i stopped and mule deer hunted for three days as well.

From: Cowdoc
01-Jun-20
Thank you for the responses. This will be my first time driving to an elk hunt. I've always had the meat shipped home. I'm now retired and really don't have anywhere I have to be, so I plan to be-bop around the western states, do some fishing and site seeing, visit some friends and family, and finish with an elk hunt. I'd be gone for a month or two. If I am lucky enough to get my elk (Wyoming unit 11), I thought I'd have it butchered in Wyoming and then haul it back to Maryland with me. Wanted to get an idea for the space I needed. Thanks again.

From: midwest
01-Jun-20
A few smaller coolers are much easier to manhandle than a 150 qt. full of meat. Especially, if you're solo. Lesson learned.

01-Jun-20
^^^^This^^^^

From: hdaman
01-Jun-20
Sounds like a great trip that you have planned. Good luck with the elk hunt!

From: fisherick
01-Jun-20
Bring four 60 quart 5 day coolers for that 3 day ride home. You may need a fifth cooler for a cape. Buy plenty of dry ice to keep meat frozen. (available in western states) Do Not use dry ice if in a SUV, it will suck the oxygen out of the vehicle. The coolers make great storage for the trip out, take all sleeping bags, pads, clothes, etc. and cover the meat filled coolers for the ride home.

From: Kurt
01-Jun-20
Meat weighs about 2#s per quart, just like water. Theoretically a 100 quart cooler would hold 200#s of meat and unfrozen deboned meat would come close to reaching 100% density, i.e. look at how it balls up in a game bags in the bottom of your pack.

Frozen packages have quite a bit of air space between them. My freezer only holds slightly over 50% vacuum sealed (in smaller packages) meat versus unfrozen deboned meat.

From: Treeline
01-Jun-20
Not sure on frozen packaged meat. It will kind of depend on how they wrap it and how much void space you have.

Unfrozen meat will pack tighter. I have used two 120 quart coolers with all the boned meat and room for dry ice for elk.

A 120 full of meat is heavy! You will need help moving it!

WV Mountaineer and Midwest are on the right track. Several smaller ones will be much easier to manage.

From: WapitiBob
01-Jun-20
I'd buy one 60qt and use it as a dry box then buy whatever you need after killing your Elk. You will have plenty of time to get to walmart from the processor. Maybe take a dozen paper shopping bags along under the seat so you have them to put the processed meat in when at the processor.

From: Surfbow
01-Jun-20
Don't forget to leave room for ice!!!

From: JohnMC
01-Jun-20
None of this applies if you are hunting with Willie at Jim River Guide Service. You would need at least 3 150 quart coolers just for a pronghorn. His animals are way bigger than anywhere else.

From: ohiohunter
01-Jun-20
120qt full is more than heavy, especially lifting it into these newer trucks!! I’ll echo the others, multiple small coolers would be in your best interest.

01-Jun-20
I've had it go both ways with 150 qt coolers: fit and not fit.

I bring a 150 and a 120 now and that's more than enough room. If you have an empty cooler, it's not a big deal cause you can just put your sleeping bag or tent and whatever else inside.

From: Hancock West
01-Jun-20
how did willie get involved in this one? Trolling at its finest again. Wikipedia definition of internet troll:

In internet slang, a troll is a person who starts flame wars or upsets people on the Internet by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] either for the troll's amusement or a specific gain.

From: JohnMC
01-Jun-20
Hancock I am guess you are the only one that will get an emotional responses from. Everyone else will roll their eyes or maybe chuckle and move on. Sorry to offend your sensitive soul.

From: Hancock West
01-Jun-20
you didn't offend me you are just trying to continue to trash someone's business for your own selfish fun. The definition above speaks for itself and your post is very fitting. I didn't make the definition up.

From: JohnMC
01-Jun-20
Only one person is responsible for trashing Willie's business and it was Willie. Me saying it you are going to need extra coolers to fit his extra large critters in is not going hurt his business. But if you are so emotional trigger by it keep googling things things to make you feel better.

From: Hancock West
01-Jun-20
Blame the victim. All because he didn't run his business the way you thought he should.

From: JohnMC
01-Jun-20
If you think is he the victim book a hunt with him. FYI...he is only a victim of his own arrogance.

From: swede
01-Jun-20
I have a 164 quart cooler. The elk I have shot are cut, wrapped and frozen before they go in the cooler. One elk fills it 3/4 to full. I add no ice. It takes about 11 hours to drive home, and all of the meat is still frozen solid. I have never had an antelope that filled the cooler, but I got one free at the butcher shop. It was put into my cooler by mistake. Since it was a full box of meat, I had to go back for a box of elk that was left out. I called when I got home and was informed they could not take the antelope back, so it ended up being a bonus. My brother picked up my extra box of elk on his way through that town. I just wonder what they told the antelope hunter when he/she stopped to get their meat.

From: txhunter58
01-Jun-20
Not to change the subject, but the toughest elk I ever ate were the 2 that I took straight to the processor and they cut wrapped and froze them for my trip home. All within 48 hours of when I killed it. Made me a believer in aging an elk. I now age a deer a minimum of 3 days and an elk 4-5 if I can. Makes it a little trickier to keep it preserved and in good shape in camp and on the trip home but worth it in my book

That’s just free advice from one cowdoc to another :-)

From: Cowdoc
01-Jun-20
Thanks to everyone. I like the idea of buying the coolers there if I need them. Tx - always appreciate free advice.

From: BULELK1
02-Jun-20
I too used a 120 qt for a few years but when it was time to replace it I went with the 150 qt as the single 120 qt just was to tight full of meat and I had to lessen the amount of ice.

No worries now with the 150 qt.

Ya got some great input here Cowdoc,.

Enjoy your hunt man,

Robb

From: ElkNut1
02-Jun-20
2 - 150 quart serves us well for an entire bull!

ElkNut

From: Medicinemann
02-Jun-20
Back to the point about aging the meat, to make it more tender...…I am a BIG believer in aging meat. If I drive home with a bull (20 hour drive); whether it is still frozen, or just real cold, can it still be hung in breathable game bags and hung in a cooler and aged for several days? At some point, you have to have the meat frozen to prevent spoilage. If you have access to a walk- in cooler, perfect. What if you don't have such access? Any other suggestions for aging meat if you DON'T have access to a walk-in cooler? Back East, dry ice is practically impossible to locate.....so I don't even know if you build racks that would fit in a cooler (to keep the meat out of the melting ice), while you try to age the meat.....any ideas/suggestions to share? BTW, just what IS the ideal temperature to age meat?

From: wytex
03-Jun-20
You can make a walk in out of a small room or shed and a coolbot with a window a/c. Wet aging might work better for you with out a walk in. Just bag it and keep cool for many days. Cowdoc not many processing options for you on that elk meat, I wouldn't recc. the guy in Medicine Bow and don't know the Rock River processor. Encampment has one with good reviews. No one in Laramie any more. I would drop it off and do some fishing or grouse hunting, they could hang it for a week or so and then process it for you and have it frozen for your trip. You can also pick up a cheap cooler at Walmart in Laramie if you need one. They should have some Coleman Xtremes.

We may see you in 11, that's our draw hope.

From: Cowdoc
05-Jun-20
Wytex that was my plan. Good luck on the draw. Thanks.

From: txhunter58
05-Jun-20
While in camp (if cool enough) I quarter and hang in bags in the shade till I am ready to head home, then in coolers with regular ice till I get home. Then my local processor does the final processing. If not cool after the kill, I either find a local processor that will let me chill it out for a few days in their cooler or just keep quartered in ice chests (drain water daily) until I leave for home.

I process all my own deer but with all the meat an elk has and the long tiring trip, I pay the butcher to process.

From: Box
05-Jun-20
Great topic as I’m going with a group of friends to hunt elk in Colorado this year. Realize temps in September can vary a lot, what temps are adequate to safely age the meat? Day temps in shade and night temps?

From: Box
05-Jun-20
Adding to my question, what is the best way to age meat as far as cutting it up for hanging? Guessing you don’t want sacks of loose meat piled together where the air doesn’t get to all the meat. Keep quartered with extra bags for tenderloin and spare parts?

From: Kurt
05-Jun-20
Box, You answered your own questions quite well in your second post. I like intact quarters to age in my Coolbot equipped cold room...ie bone in from the ankle to the hip ball on rears and wrist through shoulder blade on fronts. Hang them or set them on racks where they can get good circulation. I don't age the smaller pieces (or loins)....often just cut, package and freeze them up typically. That said, I've had excellent results where I kept the smaller stuff frozen, thawed it to cut it up, packaged and refroze it as part of the bigger cutting job on the quarters. Good luck!

From: jordanathome
09-Jun-20
good stuff, we always take every cooler we had on hand that we could fit on our rig. Mostly 100 qts coolers. I can't image lifting a 150 qt filled with elk....damn On my own I have a 65 qt RTIC and an 85 qt name forgotten but another heavy duty long ice holding cooler, and a 50 ct coleman mid grade. With ice on 1/2 a bull my buddy killed last year I was pretty dang full.

From: Stayfit
29-Aug-20
Anybody know the formula for determining how big an older Igloo cooler is? They are not marked (that I can find) with quart capacity. I called Igloo and the CSR had no clue. Thanks

From: JohnMC
29-Aug-20
Measure yours length, wide, height. Then go to a store or get online find one with similar measure see how many quarts it.

Or figure how many cubic feet you have and ask siri how many quarts that is!

length(inches) × width(inches) × height(inches) ÷ 1728 = cubic feet(cf³)

10 cubic feet is about 299 quarts so if you figure how many cubic feet you have you should be able to figure it by dividing that into 10 and then dividing that number into 299. For example if you come up with 5 cubic feet 10 divide by 5 = 2, 299 divide by 2 is 149.5 quarts.

From: Trophyhill
29-Aug-20
a 150 and 120 plus a 70. the small one is for my food/drink at the truck and can be used if needed for a little elk.

From: txhunter58
29-Aug-20
Or:

There are aprox 58 cubic inches in a Quart. Measure and multiply the length x width x depth in inches. Take that result and divide by 58

That said, there is no one that governs what a “quart rating” is on ice chests. For example, Yeti coolers measurements include the wall of the cooler. Whereas RTIC coolers measurements are inside the cooler. I have a 65 qt of each cooler and the RTIC is noticeably bigger. Not sure what other companies do.

From: HDE
30-Aug-20
A 300# carcass weight animal will yield approximately 200# of meat assuming it is clean. 200# of de-boned meat will yield a little less than that because of trim waste. Most de-boned and packed out animals don't yield what they could, especially doing the "gutless". As far as ice goes, keep in mind the more frozen meat will draw heat energy from the ice. Ever thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator?

For a long haul, your best to put the frozen meat into a cooled off cooler (dry) and place a towel over the top before closing the lid and never opening it to "check" on it to make sure it is still frozen, better still would be to used the rolled up insulation with silver backing that has an R-6 such as Reflectix. Frozen meat by itself will do the same thing as dry ice will do for it. One cooler filled that you can man handle yourself will hold 3 to 4 milk crate sized bags of meat.

From: Stayfit
30-Aug-20
The formulas work. Thanks. I have 165, 90 and 72 quart coolers. Now I need an elk and 2 Sherpas or a forklift to help me lift them.

From: Ambush
30-Aug-20
If you guys had gone metric when you had the chance....?

10cm X 10cm X 10cm = one litre = one kilogram.

From: txhunter58
31-Aug-20
1 liter is basically = one quart.

32 Oz per Qt. 30 cc per Oz. So 32X 30 = 960 cc

So 100 quarts = 96 liters. Pretty close if you want to convert

From: midwest
31-Aug-20

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Loading a 165 qt. cooler full of meat when you're solo. Two 75's would have been MUCH handier!

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