Cooler Size for Elk

Sewall

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Jun 21, 2016
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118
Newbie just wondering what is the best cooler size for a quartered elk. Looking to invest in one large cooler or maybe two smaller coolers that will hold an elk. Thanks!


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archer wapiti

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Sep 12, 2015
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New Mexico
Are you driving cross-country with it or just within 5 - 6 hours? I don't even fit all my meat in the cooler, but I'm driving 5 - 6 hours. It hangs in the woods and cools overnight and doesn't heat up if it's in the shade. Getting that last load from the trail into the vehicle and maybe covering it with a sleeping bag is sufficient.
I'm sure some of the cross-country drivers will be able to help you more on how much capacity you'll need if you need to fit it all in with ice.
 
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Sewall

Sewall

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
118
Are you driving cross-country with it or just within 5 - 6 hours? I don't even fit all my meat in the cooler, but I'm driving 5 - 6 hours. It hangs in the woods and cools overnight and doesn't heat up if it's in the shade. Getting that last load from the trail into the vehicle and maybe covering it with a sleeping bag is sufficient.
I'm sure some of the cross-country drivers will be able to help you more on how much capacity you'll need if you need to fit it all in with ice.
I'll be traveling about 7 hours but I will be with others so it would possibly sit in the cooler at the truck if I kill one early.


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full choke

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Feb 28, 2012
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Last year, a guy in our elk camp shot a spike bull 10 minutes into opening morning. He quartered it (bone in) and packed it back to camp. We stored the four quarters and the extra meat bag in one of these cooler/totes for five more days before he headed home. Everything fit with the lid closed. He rotated the quarters daily and repacked the ice. This was the PB11 model (half a full size tote size). I don't know if that is the info you were looking for? Also- with the lid on, one of these fit inside my Toyota Tacoma with a cab height canopy

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dah605

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Jun 12, 2016
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Pittsburgh, PA
I used a 110qt and a 65qt cooler to haul back processed elk meat from Montana to Pennsylvania. It left enough room for dry ice on the top. I went the dry ice route since the meat was frozen--the top half was by the time I got home.

-David
 

Brendan

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Aug 27, 2013
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Boston, MA
I've used a Yeti Tundra 160. It will keep ice for two weeks no problem driving from the east coast. But - bone out a bull, and then there's not quite enough room in the cooler for the meat and enough ice to get it cooled down quickly. It would certainly work for a processed / packaged bull though if frozen.

I now bring a cheaper 60qt (or two) that are full of dry goods, spare gear, my mountain house/backpacking food and spares on the way out. If I get something - I split the meat and ice between the Yeti and one other cooler.

Other problems - I'm not moving that Yeti when it's full. Stays in the truck. Doing it all over again, I'd probably get two in the 80-85qt range, and still use a cheaper cooler for dry goods.
 

bmart2622

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Jun 16, 2013
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Montana
I can fit a quartered bull in 2 120 qt coolers and have room for 4-5 frozen milk jugs in each cooler.
 

ericF

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Oct 4, 2016
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CO
For just hauling the quarters from Camp to the processor, we use an Igloo 150qt. You can find them at Sams Club for $70. a 150qt should fit all four quarters with a little bit of rearranging, but there is not alot of extra room for jugs of ice. We usually haul up cold stuff or extra camp gear in the coolers and then swap out as needed depending on how many elk are going back. The elk we get are hung for the week during the season and only go in the cooler for the 5 hour drive back to the processor.

Igloo 150 QT MaxCold Cooler - Sam's Club
 

pods8

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Two 120qt coleman from walmart is a cheap route that definitely fits an elk with plenty of block ice that will last over a week.
 
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