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Thread: Tips for game meat preservation for outback hunting?

  1. #1
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    Default Tips for game meat preservation for outback hunting?

    I plan on doing some off-trail backpack hunting next year for spring bear. This means that the meat would probably not make it to a freezer for at least 24+ hours. What are some tips to keep meat from spoiling? I will be travelling mostly by inflatable so I could bring a medium sized cooler. I also have my eye on those white game-bags. I'm just not sure how long a quartered bear will last under ice or even outside for the matter. I'm also hesitant to use lake-water for washing but that's fine since I always bring purification tabs/water filters. Any tips would be appreciated!
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MihajloSimsic View Post
    I plan on doing some off-trail backpack hunting next year for spring bear. This means that the meat would probably not make it to a freezer for at least 24+ hours. What are some tips to keep meat from spoiling? I will be travelling mostly by inflatable so I could bring a medium sized cooler. I also have my eye on those white game-bags. I'm just not sure how long a quartered bear will last under ice or even outside for the matter. I'm also hesitant to use lake-water for washing but that's fine since I always bring purification tabs/water filters. Any tips would be appreciated!
    I have taken 8 bears in this manner. Half by canoe and half by motorized inflatable. Depending on your inflatable you can take quite a bit (mine is rated for 1720 lbs and my canoe is rated 950 lbs). I always have 2 large coolers with one of them packed solid with 60 or 70 lbs of ice at the start of the trip. In a good quality cooler i will have 20 or 25 lbs of ice left after 5 days which is usually as long as i plan to go out. That much ice inside the chest cavity buys you some decent time. Some guys also use dry ice which works well. I also have a buddy with a walk in freezer and he lets me pre chill my coolers. This way when you add the ice to them the ice does not have to cool off the room temperature cooler.

    I also recommend not going anymore than 15 or 16 hours from your access point/launch. That will get you plenty far from 99% of the ATV hunters and there really is no need to go any further as you won't really gain any advantage where numbers and size are concerned. Also makes it possible to be back on pavement and getting fresh ice inside 24 hours if you push. Doing it this way my longest recovery had me back on pavement at 7 am the next morning by pushing straight through without sleep. First time i did this type of hunt i went 2 days into the bush but since than i have been reducing the distance i go so that i now go 5 to 8 km from the trails and that seems to be far enough that numbers and size are the same as when i went 2 days in.

    I also have limited the size i take to about 250 lbs so solo recovery is not that difficult. A 250 lb bear is not that hard to drag solo if you use straps and a harness. The trickiest part is loading into the boat/canoe. I pick my spots carefully so that there is a natural vertical rock face of 18 to 30 inches at the shoreline. Tie the boat/canoe off 2 ways alongside the rock face so it can't move and roll the bear off the rock into the boat - no lifting required. That being said should a large bear appear and i decide to take it i always have a come along, straps and shackles just in case plus if necessary i would quarter it.

    Also a good idea to scout your location/route ahead of time. I always do this and use it as an opportunity to fish as well. Also recommend a high quality climber - gives you options.

    This year's boar (189 lbs dressed) in the inflatable:



    A few years ago - 198 lbs dressed in the canoe:

    Last edited by Species8472; September 30th, 2020 at 07:09 PM.
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  4. #3
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    You need to pick your days, we had some warm springs in the past, if you have no way to cool it down its best to pass up on Bears in warm temps. IMO
    If its cold enough at night you need to quarter the bear immediately after kill shot and hang with space between quarters and off the ground and in the shade.
    Clean off properly all the fat and scrap then cover with cheese cloth to keep fly's off the meat.
    Once the outside of meat has cooled down you can start cutting in chunks and let those pieces cool down on cheese cloth. When those are cooled off, best to put in a couple of coolers with dry ice. Its less heavy and should last longer. Always keep your cooler in the shade.
    I personally don't hunt them if its too hot and I cant cool quickly, not worth wasting meat and or getting sick.
    I don't know where you hunt, but most place around here you don't have to go too far to get them.
    Good Luck
    "Only dead fish go with the flow."
    Proud Member: CCFR, CSSA, OFAH, NFA.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    I have taken 8 bears in this manner. Half by canoe and half by motorized inflatable. Depending on your inflatable you can take quite a bit (mine is rated for 1720 lbs and my canoe is rated 950 lbs). I always have 2 large coolers with one of them packed solid with 60 or 70 lbs of ice at the start of the trip. In a good quality cooler i will have 20 or 25 lbs of ice left after 5 days which is usually as long as i plan to go out. That much ice inside the chest cavity buys you some decent time. Some guys also use dry ice which works well. I also have a buddy with a walk in freezer and he lets me pre chill my coolers. This way when you add the ice to them the ice does not have to cool off the room temperature cooler.

    I also recommend not going anymore than 15 or 16 hours from your access point/launch. That will get you plenty far from 99% of the ATV hunters and there really is no need to go any further as you won't really gain any advantage where numbers and size are concerned. Also makes it possible to be back on pavement and getting fresh ice inside 24 hours if you push. Doing it this way my longest recovery had me back on pavement at 7 am the next morning by pushing straight through without sleep. First time i did this type of hunt i went 2 days into the bush but since than i have been reducing the distance i go so that i now go 5 to 8 km from the trails and that seems to be far enough that numbers and size are the same as when i went 2 days in.

    I also have limited the size i take to about 250 lbs so solo recovery is not that difficult. A 250 lb bear is not that hard to drag solo if you use straps and a harness. The trickiest part is loading into the boat/canoe. I pick my spots carefully so that there is a natural vertical rock face of 18 to 30 inches at the shoreline. Tie the boat/canoe off 2 ways alongside the rock face so it can't move and roll the bear off the rock into the boat - no lifting required. That being said should a large bear appear and i decide to take it i always have a come along, straps and shackles just in case plus if necessary i would quarter it.

    Also a good idea to scout your location/route ahead of time. I always do this and use it as an opportunity to fish as well. Also recommend a high quality climber - gives you options.

    This year's boar (189 lbs dressed) in the inflatable:



    A few years ago - 198 lbs dressed in the canoe:

    That is a well detailed answer......good stuff species!
    Guns have two enemies................rust and government

    OFAH and CCFR member

  6. #5
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    Lots of days I can’t hunt because it’s too warm. But I’m in an off grid cottage so it is what it is. Also I’m hesitant to hunt warm evenings in case it’s a tough tracking job and you have to leave it overnight.

    If it’s not 10 deg or cooler overnight I wait. But even that can make it a rush to get it on ice

    There are game bags with anti microbial technology in them that is supposed to help. “Cooler buck” if my memory serves. They make portable coolers and game bags

  7. #6
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    A good home ... made ... cooler ... with 4.5 or 6.0 in isolation
    and 2x 10 kg of ice block 1kg salt make a difference ,
    cooler will stay frozen for a week or longer ...

    Quote Originally Posted by FishHog View Post
    Lots of days I can’t hunt because it’s too warm. But I’m in an off grid cottage so it is what it is. Also I’m hesitant to hunt warm evenings in case it’s a tough tracking job and you have to leave it overnight.

    If it’s not 10 deg or cooler overnight I wait. But even that can make it a rush to get it on ice

    There are game bags with anti microbial technology in them that is supposed to help. “Cooler buck” if my memory serves. They make portable coolers and game bags

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