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Thread: My home made deer cooler

  1. #1
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    My home made deer cooler

    I started with two 4x8 sheet of urethane insulation. I cut it to make a structure 8' tall, 2' wide adn 3' deep, with floor and a ceiling that I could flip open the front half. I cut out the bottom of the door for a small window air conditioner. Everything is duct taped together so I can disassemble if storage.



    The air conditioner would normally not get cold enough, so I took out the thermostat and reset it. The thermostat is normally simply a bimetalic material that makes contact with a connection when the temperature goes up. The dial screws in and out the contact to adjust the temperature that it comes on at. There is a calibration screw on it that I screwed in until it would go down to 40 degrees at the coldest setting. I don't have it in the picture, but I have a cheap indoor/outdoor thermometer taped to the door with the wire probe going in and hanging in the chest cavity.
    As described in my other thread,
    http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showth...48#post7683248
    this is the biggest deer I've ever gotten. I had to clip his legs a bit to get him to fit!
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  2. #2
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    Nice, that's very clever!

    Lien2

  3. #3
    And that is awesome!

  4. #4
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    Cool

    It's got a little redneck design to it.... Seriously that is very creative and has my wheels spinning a bit. Nice job!

  5. #5
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    Ok great job, now some questions.

    1. How long did you keep the deer in there?

    2. How cold did it get in there with the deer?

    3. Did you loose any meat to spoilage?

    4. Why do you put the AC on the ground....doesn't heat rise and cold air sink to the ground?

  6. #6
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    Cool! Pun intended.

  7. #7
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    This is why Jeff Foxworthy never runs out of material
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  8. #8
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    How cool does it actually get with the window unit AC
    IF YOU CAN READ THIS THANK A TEACHER, BECAUSE IT'S IN ENGLISH THANK A SOLDIER

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawgdawg View Post
    how cool does it actually get with the window unit ac
    +1

  10. #10
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    cost

    how much for the material, not including the AC unit?
    Are those sheets cheap?

    I did a search and saw where another guy said to line the inside with shower stall material so you can hose it down.

    But this looks nice and easy!

  11. #11
    good idea
    Mathews Z7

    Bowhunters4Life

  12. #12
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    Clever, nice buck coffin.

    Just curious, if you just duct taped it, how is the weight of the buck being supported? Did you reinforce the top area around the rod?

    Never mind, I can now see the hoist through the top, at first I thought it was hanging from a rod in the top?
    Last edited by Buckbadger; October 3rd, 2008 at 09:03 PM.

  13. #13
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    Anything invloving a DIY project and a window unit AC is foxworthy material. I like the idea though, guess thats why I like foxworthy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD-Bowhunter View Post
    Ok great job, now some questions.

    1. How long did you keep the deer in there?

    2. How cold did it get in there with the deer?

    3. Did you loose any meat to spoilage?

    4. Why do you put the AC on the ground....doesn't heat rise and cold air sink to the ground?
    1. I usually keep it in there about 5 days before I start cutting it up.
    2. The AC unit clicks off at 39 degrees, and starts up at 43 degrees.
    3. Nope! Not in this unit. Before I put this together, what I had was a very large tarp that I put a layer of bubble wrap in, then folded over then folded again to make a large insulated bag. I put this around the hanging deer and then used a shop vac hose, again wrapped in bubble wrap for insulation, to pipe cold air in off of an old salvage pie cooler.
    Here is a picture of it below.
    4. It would be better to have it at the top, but the structure isn't stiff enough to hold the weight of the AC unit. Even at low fan, in the small space, it circulates the air real well. The only down side to is is that the meat dries out quicker. You definitely want to remove the tenderloins before you put it in the cooler.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by AiR_GuNNeR; October 3rd, 2008 at 09:46 PM.
    Horton Vision 175
    BT General 70lb,
    SBXT 70 lb
    Oneida Black Eagle 70 lb

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exit-Wound View Post
    how much for the material, not including the AC unit?
    Are those sheets cheap?

    I did a search and saw where another guy said to line the inside with shower stall material so you can hose it down.

    But this looks nice and easy!
    I bought the AC unit for around $25. If you check the internet freecycle groups, or cheapcycle (both yahoo groups), you can get them cheap. I bought this one off of ebay. It was around a 30 mile drive to pick it up, but the price was right.

    I forgot what the sheets cost, but they aren't bad at all. I'd guess $12 a sheet? Sorry, but it's been a while. The sheets are silvered on one side, and there is no problem hosing it down. I put several layers of news paper on the bottom.
    Last edited by AiR_GuNNeR; October 3rd, 2008 at 09:41 PM.
    Horton Vision 175
    BT General 70lb,
    SBXT 70 lb
    Oneida Black Eagle 70 lb

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawgdawg View Post
    How cool does it actually get with the window unit AC
    Normally, it probably wouldn't get below 50 degrees at it's lowest setting. By resetting the calibration screw on the temperature knob, I have it set to keep it 40 degrees inside at it's lowest setting.
    Horton Vision 175
    BT General 70lb,
    SBXT 70 lb
    Oneida Black Eagle 70 lb

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AiR_GuNNeR View Post
    Normally, it probably wouldn't get below 50 degrees at it's lowest setting. By resetting the calibration screw on the temperature knob, I have it set to keep it 40 degrees inside at it's lowest setting.

    Ok, can you give a pictorial description or a step by step process?

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD-Bowhunter View Post
    Ok, can you give a pictorial description or a step by step process?

    Thanks
    Unfortunately, I'd have to take the AC thermostat out to give you a pictorial. It was pretty obvious what to adjust, (but then again, I'm gweeb an engineer). I would say that normally, the calibration screw will have a dab of paint/glue on the threads that lock it in place. It really is pretty obvious what to adjust just by looking at the mechanism.
    Eric
    Horton Vision 175
    BT General 70lb,
    SBXT 70 lb
    Oneida Black Eagle 70 lb

  19. #19
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    Ummm, cool innovations!!!
    "Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail". -Bruce Lee- (Striking Thoughts)

  20. #20
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    I gotta ask...

    Are you leaving the hide on your deer while it's hanging in there for 5 days?
    Registered killer of elk, deer, antelope and turkeys

    How far is 50 yards where you live?

  21. #21
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    It is best to age them with the skin on because it keeps the meat moist.
    Down side is it is more difficult to skin once the skin cools off.
    If you age them with the skin off, the outer layer dries out (like jerkey) and you must cut it off before you cook it.
    One butcher I took a deer to (before I switched to doing my own butchering) aged them for five days in his walk in fridge with the skin on, but he made the hunter cut off all four legs at the elboe/knee with a saw to ensure no odors gamy got to the meat.

    Great idea on your DIY deer meat ager!

    Ray
    Last edited by Ray.Klefstad; October 3rd, 2008 at 11:37 PM.

  22. #22
    Awesome idea! I have to applaud your creativeness. I was thinking about how to make a cooler in my detached garage....but your idea is way better...make a mini cooler instead of trying to cool the whole garage.
    Not sure I'll get to it this year. I normally skin and quarter while they are still warm and then put the quarters in contractor bags and put in my "garage fridge". Puttin the quarters in plastic bags keeps the meat from drying so I can keep it in there up to a week or so...But there have been SOOO many times where I either just didn't feel like doing it right then and there or I wanted to celebrate.
    One plus to skinning it out quick...My opinion is that the sooner you get the hide off, the less gamey taste goes to the meat.
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  23. #23
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    cool

    redneck, foxworthy or whatever, it is very cool.

    Actually quite brilliant. Good job sir I would be willing to bet there will be several of these popping up around AT land.
    Steve (Bartman)
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  24. #24
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    Nice cooler

    Yes the a/c dries out the carcass, what if you put a tray of water on the bottom it would increase the moisture and catch the blood, or maybe even hang a wet towel in the cooler????

  25. #25
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    i

    Quote Originally Posted by changboy View Post
    Yes the a/c dries out the carcass, what if you put a tray of water on the bottom it would increase the moisture and catch the blood, or maybe even hang a wet towel in the cooler????
    I dont think it would make much of a difference. With the air blowing, and the AC drying the air, the towel would quickly dry out as well. The only parts that get dry is the back leg area where you split the pelvis, the rib meat, and the brisket. The exposed leg meat means you need to trim 1/4" off to get back to the red meat. I don't normally use the rib meat. The brisket I usually cut into jerky strips, and will need to shave the tried surface off first.

    On the positive side, the drying action keeps bacteria from growing. And as stated before, the hide is harder to get off once it's been on for a while. In the winter time, when I don't need the cooler, I cut the skin around the legs, and around the head, pull back some of the hide at the neck line, stick a golf ball into the hide, then wrap a rope around the ball from the other side. I tie the rope to my car and slowly back up, pulling the hide completely off the deer.
    Horton Vision 175
    BT General 70lb,
    SBXT 70 lb
    Oneida Black Eagle 70 lb

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