Transporting Moose Meat

by Vern
(British Columbia)

After harvesting your moose, how do you keep it chilled? Because you have an 8-9hr trip back home? That's after we are done cutting it up and wrapped, of course.

You ask a very good question Vern. Transporting moose meat on a long journey can have good or bad results.

First I have to make some assumptions regarding your question.

1) If you have cut and wrapped your meat I assume then you have taken your moose to a butcher, had it aged properly then cut and wrapped. If you are going this route, then the best thing you can do is to have the butcher flash freeze the meat as well.

Frozen meat will travel quite easily in cardboard boxes if you cover them with a good insulting layer. If you are driving back form a moose hunt you'll have lots of clothes, sleeping bags, etc. Just pile all this on top of your boxes, taking care to tuck the insulating stuff all around.

An 8-9 hour drive will be no problem.

2) If you have just shot your moose and plan to cut and wrap, you face many more challenges.
How cool is your meat? Was it hanging in a butchers cooler or just out in the bush? If the latter, what will the temperature be? Freezing?

In order to cut and wrap you meat it should hang a suitable duration in a temperature controlled climate and allowed to age. Once this step has been completed you cut and wrap.

If, at this point you plan to travel, I suggest you place your meat in coolers and layer some dry ice over top. Do not place the ice directly on your meat packages. Put some cloth or clothing as a buffer in between.
Again cover your meat with a good insulated layer.

When we hunt up north, we travel anywhere between 10 and 14 hours depending on the area we hunt. We always bring our moose meat home to cut and wrap. If it is not cool enough in the bush to chill the moose quarters sufficiently we take our moose to the nearest town and have the butcher hang the meat in his cooler.

Once the hunt is complete we stop at the butchers business on the way home and pick up or quarters of moose. We place the quarters in the center of a large tarp and wrap them up like a huge parcel. Then we take all our heavy clothing, sleeping bags etc and cover the moose as best we can.

There have been many times we arrive home late at night and have found the meat to be still adequately cold to wait until the following morning to take the moose meat down to our own butcher. Wit an elapsed time of around 24 hours the meat is still quite cold.

I have heard horror stories of shooting moose and after transporting moose meat home, hunters have had to discard entire moose. How sad this would be.

If you take some precautions to keep you meat cool you should have no problem in traveling 8-9 hours.

One more thing... If you are hunting in August when temperatures can easily reach 30 degrees Celsius, you better have a supply of dry ice available for all types of transporting moose meat. Another option that may be worth looking into would be to have your meat transported by a commercial transport with refrigeration. Just a thought.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your hunt this year, well... future years too! Come on back and share your story and pictures.
- Mark
PS - If you have more information regarding your question you can use the comment form to submit. I'll answer as soon as I can.

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Nov 07, 2017
Enough Freezer Room!
by: Mark ~ The Mooseman

I should have clarified that my 7 1/2 cu foot freezer was for half a boned out moose. Not a whole moose!

Nov 07, 2017
Moose bug fever
by: JeffreyCooper

While traveling to NW Alberta, I saw several pick-up trucks with deep freezers and generators on board. It is a good method as long as it s big enough.
My moose filled my new 17.5 cubic foot freezer, filled. My 100 gallon cooler was not big enough for all the 682 pounds of boned meat.
As for my Grizzly 400 quart cooler, it is back in the box waiting for my next Moose hunt.
I can not think of another animal whose meat can be brought home, that is any more exciting than a Bull Moose in Rut to hunt.
Thank you for your love of the Moose and this forum.

Oct 31, 2017
Congratulations Jeffery!
by: Mark ~ The Mooseman

Well done Jeffery! I'm sure you had an exciting time!

Is your wife going to crawl in the cooler? lol

I didn't plan on enough room this year either. I was fortunate enough to get a very nice bull on my second day as well.

What I did to deal with the moose meat was: We cut, wrapped and froze the meat. I then went to the local hardware store and bought a 7 1/2 cubic foot freezer into which I placed all my moose meat. I plugged the freezer in and waited another 24 hours to be sure everything was good and cold then I drove my 2200 kilometers (1360 miles) back to my home.

Are you planning another moose hunt?

Oct 31, 2017
After this hunt, Size Matters!
by: Jeffrey Cooper

I have posted earlier about preparing for my first Moose hunt NW of Fairview, Alberta. Purchased a new 100 gallon Grizzly cooler, placed on my trailer and made the 2300 mile trip there.

Success came as a blessing on the 2nd day when I took a 42 inch giant Bull Moose. The Moose was at the professional butcher shop in Heine Creek in 6 hours, where Dale and his folks butchered, ground, and jerked a total of 682 pounds. Then hard froze the meat. That is 682 pounds! My 100 gallon cooler was not enough, I left 50 pounds at the cooler.

That Grizzly Cooler worked Perfectly, All the meat was frozen solid after a three day drive back to NE Ohio.
The cooler could of nearly held the other two moose taken in camp that week combined.

So with cooler size, you could be surprised at how much wonderful meat these Canadian Moose giants can give.

Oct 31, 2017
Cold Temperature Moose Meat Storage
by: Mark ~ The Mooseman

If your moose meat freezes while you are at moose camp it is nothing to worry about. This is a much better problem than if it gets too warm.

It is quite safe and actually happens a lot, especially to those who live in the northern climates. (It happened to us last season)

Once you get back home, hang your moose meat in proper cooler and the meat will thaw out so that it can be butchered.
Keep in mind that while your meat is frozen, no aging takes place. You have to start the aging timing once the meat has thawed.

One a side note:
This year when we hunted the temperatures became very warm. Our problem became fly eggs and mold. All the mold and eggs were trimmed and removed when cutting so no issue there either.

Oct 31, 2017
Caring for moose meat in very cold temps (-5 to -20)
by: Alberta Hunter

Heading into northern Alberta for a moose hunt in mid November. I am just wondering about caring for the meat properly in these temperatures.

Everything will be quartered, skinned, and put into breathable game bags. Usually when we get something we will hang it in a tree for the duration of the hunt and have never had any issues.

But I've never done this for a period of time and in this cold of weather. This hunt is a 9 day hunt, so if by chance we get one on the first couple days, is it OK for the meat to be hung and frozen for up to a week?
Then hung and aged in a controlled environment when we return home from the hunt?

Any advice or experience from people is greatly appreciated, really haven't been able to find much information on this topic. Thanks

Aug 28, 2017
Moose hauling
by: Jeffrey Cooper

First time, heading to Peace River area, taking 100 gallon Grizzly cooler, using dry ice, will travel four days each way, starting NE Ohio.
After this may sell cooler if the wife won't crawl in it to use as a Jacuzzi.

Oct 12, 2015
Thawing Frozen Moose
by: Mark

Betty, I don't think your thawing will hurt your moose meat. Many times during hunting camps moose, deer, elk etc. will get frozen at camp and will thaw out when going through the aging process.

Oct 02, 2015
Frozen moose
by: Betty

We take a freezer with us and after a day or so we freeze it.
When we come home our friend has a cooler for us to hang our moose.

Does it matter if we hang it after it has been frozen?
Or do we just cut our meat up and not bother with the hanging?

Jan 30, 2014
Using Dry Ice In Coolers
by: Mark MTMM

I've heard that because dry ice is so cold -109.3F or -78.5C that its use in plastic lined coolers is limited. One person told me they used dry ice placed on top of frozen goods and arrived at their destination only to find the entire cooler liner had shattered!
As I mentioned previously its important to wrap the dry ice to insulate it, in this case I don't know if it was done or not!

As for how much space you need? Partially it will depend on how big those two moose are. You are going to get 2; right?
The next consideration is, have the animals been deboned?
Big differences in space requirements right there.

You could insulate the box of your pickup truck. I'd use the blue insulation that is 1 1/2" thick. Put a layer on the floor and up the sides. Add your moose and dry ice then add another layer of insulation on top. Then I'd top the entire load off with a couple of sleeping bags or quilts. Your moosemeat will stay frozen for a very long time that way.
In my mind I picture you have a canopy on your pick up, if not you'll have to do something to keep your load dry too.

Our moose this year weighed in at just under 500 pounds; that is after field dressing, hide, head and leg removal.

Deboned and flash frozen we took the moosemeat home and we filled a 10 cubic foot freezer and had some room to spare.

Keeping your moosemeat frozen on a long trip is important. I know of a few guys that do just as you suggest. Throw a deep freeze in the back of a truck and keep it going with a small generator.
You can use it for food storage and keeping the beer cold too. Just run the generator for a few hours a day and you have the same effect as having a refridgerator. Once you need something frozen just feed the generator gas and keep it running.

Jan 30, 2014
moose meat
by: Anonymous

How much room do you need to pack two moose that have been butchered home. Can it be done in coolers with dry ice? We were thinking of bringing up a freezer in the back of the pick up, or insulating the pick up bed itself and packing it with dry ice.

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