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Do I have enough cooler space?

bigbuck247

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Joined
May 20, 2021
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93
Location
Oklahoma
We are headed out on a 2 man fall bear hunt with the possibility of adding an otc archery elk tag if tagged out on the bear early in the 10 days we are going to be there. I am bringing a Yeti Haul (equivalent to a 55-60), Yeti 50, Yeti Tundra 35. Bears will be coming back with full capes most likely for a rug, elk would depend if it is a cow or bull but meat will be quartered or boned out on the elk. We also have a igloo 100 qt cooler that works but I know doesn't keep ice like a yeti/rotomolded cooler. Also if I am needing more cooler space I would most likely get a big yeti or similar (rtic, canyon, etc). Ive looked at any from the 75 to the 105 and 110. Out of those which do you think is the best? I would like if I get a bigger cooler for it to be one that I can also use for deer and just be able to take one cooler on those hunts that might get a deer or 2 quartered out. I am mainly worried about fitting elk quarters in as I know they can be longer but have no comparison as this is out first trip out west.
 
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Jamen

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Oct 5, 2013
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462
Location
North Dakota
Is cooler space like shop or garage space? there never is enough? lol I cannot remember which one my buddy bought i believe it was the 125 yeti, his will not let me close my cover on my pickup box with the cooler in the back. I have the 75 yeti and it is almost touching the top, just a thought if you'd be keeping them inside the box ever and wanting the cover down if you have one id check that. Did i answer any of your questions? no, i have never put elk quarters in a cooler before. You could buy another igloo 100 and keep big ice blocks in the yetis and as you need them add to the igloo.
 

bigbuck247

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Joined
May 20, 2021
Messages
93
Location
Oklahoma
Is cooler space like shop or garage space? there never is enough? lol I cannot remember which one my buddy bought i believe it was the 125 yeti, his will not let me close my cover on my pickup box with the cooler in the back. I have the 75 yeti and it is almost touching the top, just a thought if you'd be keeping them inside the box ever and wanting the cover down if you have one id check that. Did i answer any of your questions? no, i have never put elk quarters in a cooler before. You could buy another igloo 100 and keep big ice blocks in the yetis and as you need them add to the igloo.
That is a good point I wondered if the bigger 110-125 yeti would fit they are both 20" tall and the 105 is 19.9 so basically the same so I may want to stick with a 75 or find a brand that is shorter to stay under the bed cover. Thanks
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
You're probably fine, because OTC elk and fall bear tags are difficult to fill.

If, however, you kill two 200-pound bears and a mature elk, you won't have enough space.

You'll probably need something in the vicinity of 150 quarts for an elk, and 100 quarts per bear with hide.

Elk quarters probably will not fit in your 60 quart cooler unless you break them down further. I have a couple Coleman 120 quart coolers, and the quarters off of my raghorn last year were nearly the length of the cooler.

I would probably roll with what you have, and make a trip to Wal-Mart mid-hunt if you fill up your existing cooler space.
 

bigbuck247

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May 20, 2021
Messages
93
Location
Oklahoma
You're probably fine, because OTC elk and fall bear tags are difficult to fill.

If, however, you kill two 200-pound bears and a mature elk, you won't have enough space.

You'll probably need something in the vicinity of 150 quarts for an elk, and 100 quarts per bear with hide.

Elk quarters probably will not fit in your 60 quart cooler unless you break them down further. I have a couple Coleman 120 quart coolers, and the quarters off of my raghorn last year were nearly the length of the cooler.

I would probably roll with what you have, and make a trip to Wal-Mart mid-hunt if you fill up your existing cooler space.
That is what I am leaning towards. I think the elk is probably a long shot but from scouting and info in the area I'm feeling pretty good about these bear tags. 2nd most successful bear unit in the state, first 10 days of season with the amount of rain in the area food should be good and holding bears. CPW's words when I called about a access question and mentioned bears in the area we have scouted and looked at hunting, their response was if you don't see a bear in that area you aren't looking very hard.
 

IK-NWhunter

Active member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
42
Location
Alaska
I couldn't fit my bull from Idaho in a yeti 250 last year. I needed to pick up a 150qt igloo to hold the front shoulders. Had to weigh everything to pack it out on my llamas: 459lbs not including the antlers & skull. I don't like boning out the quarters, I find the meat gets dirty and spoils faster. It's also illegal in quite a few units here in AK. On the other hand, I fit a raghorn in that same yeti 250 a few years ago with enough space to stuff a mule deer in there as well...
 

D.Blake

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Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Nebraska
My bear from last spring filled a Yeti 105 and about half of another 65 qt cooler. Quarters were still bone in and the skull was still in the hide. You will want to keep the skull for sure. Meat care is top priority, but that hide needs to be on ice ASAP. With bears, I think the hide will start slipping well before the meat goes bad.
 
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wllm

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Dec 9, 2015
Messages
15,032
Location
Boston
Biggest factor is going to be how you decide to dress your elk and what you use to cool it.

Boned out v. bone in, dry ice v. block ice.

Neither a right or wrong way, but block ice bone in takes up waaaay more room.

The other consideration is skull in or out with the bear, if you take it up you save some space.

You'll probably need something in the vicinity of 150 quarts for an elk, and 100 quarts per bear with hide.
I think this is a pretty safe guess, definitely if you bone out. Boned out bears don't yield all that much meat.

Your average elk is going to be around 200lbs of boned out meat, density of meat is like 1g/cm3... so if you perfectly packed a 65L cooler with meat it would weigh ~143lbs. In reality you're not getting close to that, I think 75lb is reasonable with room for like 1 gallon jug of ice.

I'd be pretty shocked if you got more than 75lb of meat off a black bear.

If it was me I'd roll with what you have and if you manage to completely tag out I agree will @LCH just hit up walmart on the way home and buy a cheap coleman 100.
 

Seamaster

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Feb 10, 2017
Messages
193
I have bought quite a few Yeti coolers and the big thing with them is that the storage capacity is less than the number indicates. A 105 (my favorite) only holds about 84 quarts, a 65 holds about 52 quarts, and a 35 only holds about 28 quarts. Mostly I use mine for elk, deer, or pronghorn hunts and the meat is deboned. I can get a deboned cow elk (average size) in a 105, but not a bull. That is just for the meat, as the hide stays with the guts and bones on the mountain. You need extra room in the cooler for either ice or dry ice. If you are successful you will not even be close to having enough capacity with the Yeti coolers you currently have.
Your Igloo 100 will come in handy, just make sure to add ice as needed. I hope you are lucky enough to require making that trip to Walmart during your hunt!
 
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