The best ways to get your game from the field to your freezer

Don’t fret again about heat and spoiled meat.

hunters in field
Keep your catch.Rhett Noonan via Unsplash

Congratulations, you shot your elk, punched your turkey tag, or knocked down your daily limit of ducks. While the hunt is certainly a part of the adventure, taking the meat home and filling your freezer is the real prize. But so much can go wrong between field and freezer. We’re here to help. Whether you need a cooler or game bags, here are four tailored ways to help ensure your meat is as good as you imagined.

OtterBox Trooper Cooler 30 Quart - Alpine Ascent
Don’t let waterfowl go foul.Amazon

Is this pricey for a cooler you can throw over your shoulder? Yes. Is it worth it to keep your small game and birds cold in the field? Absolutely. The quickest way to spoiled meat is not caring for it properly after it’s been shot. If you live and hunt in the Arctic, maybe a good cooler doesn’t matter. But if you’re anywhere warmer, consider this one. It has a large mouth opening so it’s easy to drop animals in and pull them out. It also has a heavy base to protect from abrasion and a water-, puncture-, and UV-resistant exterior.

YETI Tundra 160 Cooler, White
Consider this your extra refrigerator.Amazon

You just shot an elk and dressed it in the field. But as you lug it back to your truck, you begin to realize it’s a long way to home and it’s 80 degrees. Don’t worry. This Yeti cooler can handle the bulk of the meat and some ice, cooling it down and preventing unwanted spoiling. It’s also certified bear resistant, so if you’re hunting in bear country and need to camp out another night, your meat is safe.

Alaska Game Moose, Elk, Caribou Rolled Quarter Bags Bags, 60-Inch
Carry out meat, not bugs.Amazon

Field dressing an elk, moose, caribou, or other big game is no easy task. And while a shoulder can be carried out whole, the backstraps, tenderloins, and other choice pieces need somewhere to go. Don’t put them on the ground. Use these bags to keep your meat clean, safe, and away from pesky bugs. The odor-free bags are compact and can be washed and reused. They’re also made in the U.S.A.

NESCO VS-12, Deluxe Vacuum Sealer with Bag Starter Kit and Viewing Lid
Preserve your game.Amazon

Knowing you’re not going to deal with freezer burn should be enough to make you want a vacuum sealer for your meat. This one has a double line seal for extra strength, a double vacuum pump, and various sealing choices. It’s the easiest way to ensure your meat is frozen, preserved, and ready for you to eat throughout the year.