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Antelope transportation question

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Antelope transportation question

Old 02-21-2016, 09:16 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Hello fellow hunters. Finally going to Wyoming this September for an archery antelope hunt. I know they are smaller than deer but my question is what size of a cooler and should I go as far as buying a Yeti or something comparable. Want to have enough room for the meat as well as the head/cape for the taxidermist. Going to be about a 2 day drive and don't want to ruin any of it. Brand new to the forum and hope to learn as much as I can

Thanks, Rich
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:00 AM
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Anyy decent size chest cooler (56 qt or so) will hold a boned out prairie goat. I wouldn't go to the expense of a Yeti. Heck the cooler would cost more than the tag! Bone him out and put him on ice on the cooler. When you get ready to leave drain out any water and remove the ice and put 2 or 3 chunks of dry ice in the cooler. You can cape the head and put the cape in a ziploc bag and toss it in the meat. Horns don't require anything special to drive home. Toss them in the back of the truck.

I grew up in CO and spent a lot of years stationed in VA with the Navy. I used to go home after deer, elk and pronghorn as much as I could and that is how I hauled meat back to the east coast.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:02 AM
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Any good cooler that will hold about 35-40 pounds of boned out meat with sufficient ice to keep it cold will do. Some use dry ice like flags mentioned, but I never have and have never had a problem bringing meat back to MI. Your big problem on an archery hunt in September will be the head and cape. You can't bring an intact head out of Wyoming back to most states due to CWD regulations. Therefore, if you don't know how to properly cape out the hide and get the horns off the head, I would strongly suggest that you take it to a taxidermist that you have contacted ahead of time to let them do that preparation for you or leave it for them to do the shoulder mount for you and ship it to you when it's done. If you do take the hide and horns home separately you will at least need to remove all the brain material to be legal for transport. Most taxidermists will probably advise you to have the head and cape frozen that time of year if it's going to be any length of time to get it back to your own taxidermist. IMHO I would leave it out there with a taxidermist that does a lot of antelope every year and pay the shipping back to you when it's completed, rather than risking ruining the hide taking it like you're thinking about. The ones we've taken were just gutted and then the entire animal was backpacked out to the truck to avoid any hair damage and immediately taken to our taxidermist in Cody. We give him a call and let him know we're bringing one in and he takes the head off and does the caping so we can take the rest of the carcass to finish the processing. You have to be very careful with antelope as their hair slips very easily as compared to deer and elk. Here's the nice one with 14 1/2" horns that I took in whole in 2009 and had him do what I mentioned, then ship the finished mount to me.
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Last edited by Topgun 3006; 02-21-2016 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Spelling & clarification
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:12 AM
  #4  
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If it were me I would not put the head and cape in the same cooler as the antelope. Is the meat going to be butchered and vacume packed and frozen or just quartered. For just the meat a 125 qt cooler should be fine for the meat, probably a 50 qt would work for the cape and head. I have a 125 qt Coleman and a 150qt Coleman and I have brought back 2 wild boar over 125 lbs quartered twice, about a 12 hour trip, with no problem , hardly any ice melt at all. I also transported the butchered and vacume packed and frozen solid meat from about a 450 lb Bison on a 24 hour drive and the meat was as solid when I got home as when I packed it in the cooler. The trick is to have your cooler very cold, in the case of the hogs my cooler sat in the walk-in for 3 days and the meat was cold when it went into the cooler, a little ice on the bottom and a little ice on the top and I didn't open the lid until I got to the butcher shop. With the Bison, my cooler sat in the walk-in freezer for 3 days until I packed it and once again I didn't open the lid till I got home and put the meat in my freezer. Three of the guys taped the lid all the way around at the closing seam. I did not and there was no difference in condition when we got home. On the one hog trip two of my friends had Yeti coolers and there was no difference in ice melt when we got home. If you put cold meat into a cold cooler and don't open the lid any decent cooler should work for you.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:50 PM
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I would take a picture and give it all away to some local that needed it. no muss no fuss.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kidoggy View Post
I would take a picture and give it all away to some local that needed it. no muss no fuss.
Not me. Pronghorn is one of my favorite wild game. Besides the local can buy a resident tag and go shoot his own.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:05 PM
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This is good info. Thanks all. Forgot about the wasting disease so I'll definitely look into local taxidermists who will ship to Washington. So do you all think a regular igloo cooler with dry ice will suffice for a two day trip home or should I upgrade to something else?
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HawksRich View Post
This is good info. Thanks all. Forgot about the wasting disease so I'll definitely look into local taxidermists who will ship to Washington. So do you all think a regular igloo cooler with dry ice will suffice for a two day trip home or should I upgrade to something else?
If you're just talking transporting boned out meat home, as I stated earlier, any decent cooler that will hold up to 40# of meat with regular ice is all you'll need for two days if kept covered and out of the sun. Dry ice isn't necessary and can partially freeze the meat, or even freezer burn it, which is why I don't use or like it unless it's fully processed, packaged meat that is already frozen. Then dry ice is your ticket to getting the frozen packaged meat home.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:58 PM
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Covering your cooler with a blanket or quilt and keeping it out of the sun will help keep the ice from melting and everything in the cooler will stay colder. I've done it several times from Wy to Ohio.
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:48 PM
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Not sure yet if I'll be bringing it back fresh or if I'll have it cut and wrapped first. All part of my planning with this info you're all kind enough to share. Thanks again
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