best method to transport meat and hide out of state

dannyb278

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So, providing my dad and I fill our Wyoming Unit 24 Antelope tags, what would be the best way to transport the meat and head/hide back to Minnesota?

We are heading over mid October, so i'm assuming the weather will lean towards be cool.

If the temps are sub 60 degrees, would you recommend butchering and caping the animal in the field, or just packing the chest cavity full of ice and keep it cool in the back of the covered pick-up for a few days?

I've always hunted close to home. This is my first western hunt and I want to do everything to ensure quality meat and hopefully a shoulder mount following the trip.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

HalfAce

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Skin and quarter the animal IMMEDIATELY after your field pics!!! Pronghorn are amazing table fare when taken care of properly.
 

Ultrahunter

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Last time I went antelope hunting I took a small freezer and ran it with a generator in the back of my pickup. It worked really well.
 

Muskeez

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I am certainly no pro at this, have only done it for 2 years and hauled 4 of them back to Iowa in Early - mid October. Search this site and You tube videos for how to field dress an animal by using the "gutless method". Cut the hide well behind the shoulders and skin it toward the head if you want to do a shoulder mount, then we cut off the neck as close to the head as possible. We put the head and cape in a garbage bag and haul it back to the truck in a backpack where we have large coolers of frozen milk jugs waiting. We take all the meat off the bone in the field and put it in game bags in our packs and get it to the truck and iced down in coolers as quickly as possible. This has worked well for us and the bucks we have shot have been quite good eating. Personally I wouldn't pack the chest cavity with ice in a truck, that really doesn't cool the hindquarters meat, especially with the hide still on.
 

Topgun 30-06

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No matter what the temperature is I think most will tell you to cape and at least quarter, if not completely bone everything out, and get all the meat on ice ASAP. If you have never worked on an antelope their hair slips very easily and to ensure a good shoulder mount IMHO the head/cape should be taken to a taxidermist ASAP or frozen until you can get it to one.
 

dannyb278

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I am certainly no pro at this, have only done it for 2 years and hauled 4 of them back to Iowa in Early - mid October. Search this site and You tube videos for how to field dress an animal by using the "gutless method". Cut the hide well behind the shoulders and skin it toward the head if you want to do a shoulder mount, then we cut off the neck as close to the head as possible. We put the head and cape in a garbage bag and haul it back to the truck in a backpack where we have large coolers of frozen milk jugs waiting. We take all the meat off the bone in the field and put it in game bags in our packs and get it to the truck and iced down in coolers as quickly as possible. This has worked well for us and the bucks we have shot have been quite good eating. Personally I wouldn't pack the chest cavity with ice in a truck, that really doesn't cool the hindquarters meat, especially with the hide still on.

You sound like a pro! Thanks everyone for the great info. Going to weld together a gramble hoist to slide into our truck receiver and get the knives sharpened. Thanks again.
 

dannyb278

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Never tried the gutless method before. If we find ourselves far from our truck, we might have to give it a try. We do want to get out as far from the truck as we can, and I am in good enough shape to pack out a lope, especially if it is broken down.
 

Muskeez

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The downfall of doing it at the truck is that you have to dispose of the bones, legs, and hide. If you do gutless method in the field you get way less bloody, and have nothing to get rid of. I hate seeing hides and legs laying by the road from other hunters. If you leave them way out in the field the scavengers can take care of the leftovers away from the road.
 

dannyb278

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Watching BigFins gutless method on youtube right now. Definitely see the advantage in it.
 

Gerald Martin

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If you have a gambrel hoist for your truck and your antelope is not far from the road it is definitely easier to keep the meat clean by hoisting it rather than the gutless method.

If you want to save the cape for mounting DO NOT drag your antelope. Their hair breaks very easily. I also suggest getting them broken down into quarters and onto ice as soon as possible. If you aren't processing the meat for a couple days I wouldn't bother to debone it as long as you can get it cool. Larger chunks of meat mean less waste when you do the final processing.
 

awapiti

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I recommend placing the boned out meat in gallon size freezer bags before placing in the cooler with ice. You want to keep the meat dry.
 

whiskeydog

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I wouldn't bother to debone it as long as you can get it cool. Larger chunks of meat mean less waste when you do the final processing.

It's pretty easy to take the meat out whole even when boning in the field. Whether it's deer, elk, or lope, I always debone it and take out two whole shoulders, two whole hind quarters and loins/backstraps. For me, I see zero point in ever packing out any bone, and I'd rather take care of it where it lies...I won't ever drag anything more than 100 yards...too much work!
 

LopeHunter

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Don't you have to leave evidence of sex with a portion of one hindquarter, even if boned out in the field in Wyoming? Is having the cape with antlers all that is needed if a game warden stops you after toss everything in the cooler back at the truck?
 
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Not sure about Wyoming, but it's not hard to keep proof of sex. Just try to leave it on the first hind quarter if it doesn't work you should still be able to leave on the second hind quarter. You just cut around it it doesn't have to be attached by much.
 

1_pointer

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Truck hoists can be very handy to have pronghorn hunting!


I skin and bone the animals and put the meat in trashbags which I cover with ice in the cooler. A whole boned pronghorn will easily fit in a 30gal trashbag. I like to keep the animals separate for game/tag checks. For evidence of sex, I keep the genitals or teets on as large a piece of meat as possible. I cover them in a ziplock bag and zip tie it shut to keep the hair off other meat.

One tip, keep the coolers pre-chilled with either block ice or plastic bottles filled with ice. It makes any ice you add later last longer. Six pronghorns will fit in a 120qt and 70qt coolers. Check the ice often and refill/drain as needed. I've kept meat up to 7 days this way without a bit of spoilage. Works for me.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Last time I went antelope hunting I took a small freezer and ran it with a generator in the back of my pickup. It worked really well.

This is the best way to go. I've done it for a few years elk hunting and it works great .
 

Topgun 30-06

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Don't you have to leave evidence of sex with a portion of one hindquarter, even if boned out in the field in Wyoming? Is having the cape with antlers all that is needed if a game warden stops you after toss everything in the cooler back at the truck?

Answer---No, as Wyoming changed that law a few years ago and it only applied if you have a tag specifying that you can only take one sex. If they have Type 1 antelope tags it allows either sex to be taken and no proof of sex would be required. If you have a doe permit, now you only have to have the proof of sex with you and it doesn't have to be attached to any part of the animal. The easiest way to do that now is to just cut the udder off and put it in a ziplock bag and keep that with all the meat. That would also apply to doe deer and cow elk.
 
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emrah1028

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I know some will disagree, but I'm a big fan of dry ice. I manage to hunt pigs twice a year or so in Florida. If you skin, quarter and ice the meat down in the field (or close to it), it'll buy you time to prep it for long term transport.

I pack the meat (freezer paper wrapped) on the bottom, put a dividing layer of newsprint or towels above the meat, then add a few pounds of dry ice on top. Then close the lid and don't think about opening it until you get home. The meat will be frozen or almost frozen.

I've done this several times from FL to MN and not once have I had meat go bad or freezer burn.

Emrah
 

twsnow18

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It's pretty easy to take the meat out whole even when boning in the field. Whether it's deer, elk, or lope, I always debone it and take out two whole shoulders, two whole hind quarters and loins/backstraps. For me, I see zero point in ever packing out any bone, and I'd rather take care of it where it lies...I won't ever drag anything more than 100 yards...too much work!

Dannyb,

Shoot it, quarter it via gutless (antelope are perfect to practice on, then an elk will seem manageable). Don't debone, not needed on an antelope IMO unless your backpack is small. The meat will dry and cool faster on the bone and you will get less waste trimming leather off later.

If you can get your lope back to camp whole, hang it, then quarter it, that's ideal IMO.
 
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