What size cooler for transporting deer?

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What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby sharris » Mon May 23, 2011 2:29 pm

I have been talking with my dad about him coming out to deer hunt with me this fall during the antlerless season. This will actually be our first hunt together, and probably my dad's first time hunting in close to 50 years. Anyway, I have been thinking about how he would transport the meat when he flies back home and figured it would probably be best to just buy a cooler and have him check it with the airline. Does anyone know about what size cooler would be appropriate to transport a whitetail deer? We'll have to debone it to keep the weight of the meat and cooler below the 50# airline requirements. I know coolers tend to go on sale between Memorial day weekend and the 4th of July, so I'll be starting to keep my eyes out once I decide what size to buy. Any recommendations?
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Re: What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby Sandman3400 » Tue May 24, 2011 9:34 am

Honestly, you can't even fill a 50qt and keep it below the 50lb max. No point in using anything bigger, it will just waste space.
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Re: What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby sharris » Tue May 24, 2011 10:07 am

If a 50 quart is getting too big, maybe a 38-42 quart cooler would be best?
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Re: What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby Bill Herian » Tue May 24, 2011 1:49 pm

It might be pricy but I would suggest shipping the meat seperately. I'm not sure they will let you check a cooler full of meat. With a 50 pound limit your only going to be able to pack 20-30 pounds of meat assuming you need 20# of ice to keep it cold. You also have to worry about sealing the cooler so it won't leak, but they are probably going to want to look at it at the airport so you will have to open it up. I could see that whole situation getting nightmarish.
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Re: What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby sharris » Tue May 24, 2011 3:16 pm

I contacted the airline and they said there is no problem bringing meat in a cooler. They even told me I could pack it in up to 4.4 lbs of dry ice. What I was planning was to freeze it at my house (I'll debone/package it myself) and then pack it frozen in the cooler and duct tape the cooler shut. If they want to inspect it, we'll just bring the duct tape into the airport and reseal it after it's inspected. It is a direct flight that only takes about 2.5 hrs so I can't see where there would be any leaking concerns if the meat is frozen. I've been seeing some 38-42 quart coolers on sale for around $20, and think those might be about the right size. I've just never tried to stuff a deer in a cooler before, so I am not sure what size cooler is needed.
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Re: What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby Sandman3400 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:39 pm

You've got the right idea. What you are describing is what we have always done.
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Re: What size cooler for transporting deer?

Postby ducks~n~bucks » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:25 pm

You should probaly use the same size that would fit bodys.
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