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ANTLER VALLEY Aug 1st 2012 03:41 AM

Having trouble finding a good, cheap container to ship three deceased fawns that are frozen. Sending from Missouri to Indiana for someone to mount them. Any idas?

Johnny B Aug 1st 2012 04:01 AM

Yep, the cheapest way I can think of would be the same way that I have meat shipped up to me after hunting down in TX. You will want to get a cardboard box that is big enough to fit the fawns in with plenty of room around them. Then find some 1/2" Styrofoam that you can line all the walls, the bottom, and the top with. Make sure you have the fawns frozen solid. Then the day you want to ship them get a bunch of newspaper, find a grocery store that sells dry ice (lots of them sell dry ice up in West Michigan), its $6/lb here. The trick when packing the dry ice around whatever your shipping is to be sure that you have plenty of protection so that the flesh is not getting burned from being so cold. You can either use a layer of bubble wrap around the fawns, or a nice thick layer of newspaper. Whatever you do make sure that there is little to no lose space in the box, you do not want things shifting around and moving all that much during shipping. After you get things situated take and put several thick overlapping layers of paper and place them over the top, followed by a sheet of Styrofoam. Make sure you tape the box all around each seam with several layers of the clear tape. Clear tape will not peel off when it gets extremely cold (I found out the hard way when shipping before). Duct tape is not the answer here, I know some might see that as blasphemy. Please forgive me :) Like I said, this is how I get the meat from whatever critters I shoot down in TX in Nov. / Dec sent up to me in Michigan. In my opinion this time of year you do not have much of an option aside from sending it next day. If you were to wait till fall when temperatures are significantly lower you would not have to be as picky about your packaging habits and you could easily get away with 2 day shipping. It depends on how quickly your wanting the taxidermist to start his creations. This as always is my opinion, I can tell you when I have received my meat every year it has always arrived at a sub-zero temperature with dry ice still in the box. You will not find a cheaper container than a box and some Styrofoam with newspaper. Good luck, I hope you find this helpful in one way shape or form.

-Johnny B

ANTLER VALLEY Aug 1st 2012 05:13 AM

Johnny B, thanks-hadn't considered making my own container. I receive lots of foam coolers at work, normally packed inside a box. My biggest one wasn't big enough, though. That got me worried that the deal was off (I actually sold these fawns on ebay for someone else's use) and that's why I was asking. You don't think that a bunch of freezer gel packs will work if they are frozen solid and being shipped overnight? I have a ton of those things in the freezer, too.

On the tape, I have my own stories. Of course, we all ship heads for CWD testing all the time. I normally take one of those handy foam coolers from work and ship it in there with those gel packs. Once I had run out of the clear tape, but the lady that took it assured me that she would tape it. This establishment happened to be our town's pharmacy, and the little 4-sided island where their cash registers and computers are is the place they hold packages waiting on UPS. This particular time, the head was in a clear bag and wrapped in an old bath towel, packed with brown paper bags to fill space and gel packs. I dropped it off and went to the farm to chore the deer when I got a call on my cell phone. I was MORTIFIED to hear that I needed to come back to town to fix something-the UPS guy knocked the stack of packages over, the lid (that wasn't taped on, as promised) popped off, and the deer head rolled out on the floor with all customers standing in line to see. I heard it more than took the UPS Driver by surprise! Lucky I wasn't contacted by the Health Dept or something. Luckily, I do enough business there that I wasn't asked to go somewhere else, too!

Johnny B Aug 1st 2012 05:52 AM

Wow, that would be an interesting phone call! The frozen gel packs may work for you, they add a ton of weight though. That was always why the dry ice was used. On the other hand if you are spending $10 on dry ice there may be a trade of with the cost of shipping the gel packs.

-Johnny B

JEJ7 Aug 1st 2012 06:48 AM

I am a taxidermist so I'll tell you what has worked for me as I've shipped countless frozen critters/hides over the years. I usually double a cardboard box that the items will fit in. I then use one of two (sometimes both) to insulate/pack the items in the box with. I use some regular house insulation (have scraps from my house as well as get other scraps from anyone I know who is working on their place) and bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Keep the items as close to the center of the box as possible and fill all around with the other items. Pack up the box one of two times. If your freezer is big enough I pack the box and put the whole thing other freezer for couple days to "chill" it, or pack it right before you ship it. As far a shipping, I never spend the money to overnight unless it is going really far, I go to my local UPS on a Monday (always ship frozen items on a Monday!) a half hour before they close in the evening. That way it doesn't sit their all day starting to want to thaw before it even gets on the truck. I drop it off and it's on the truck and gone. With regular shipping I can get most parts of the country in one to two days (therefore Tuesday or Wednesday delivery). I don't use styrofoam inside the box (although that does work as a cooler type box) or any dry ice or freezer packs. Especially if you are sending a whole specimen as the whole body is your ice pack. I have never had any issues with thawing or rot using this method, but I also try and avoid shipping if it's gonna be 100 degrees those couple days with Loews in the evenings of 80! This is what works for me. Take all the advice given here and formulate you own method. Good luck.

ANTLER VALLEY Aug 1st 2012 08:08 AM

Thanks, Jens. I have a bunch of small foam boxes that 12x100ml bottles were shipped in. I can use those to line the inside of a cardboard box, and they'll each have static air inside them to act as more insulation. Just getting these ideas from you guys has been a big help.

Sandridge Whitetails Aug 6th 2012 06:09 PM

Phillip - I have had quite a bit of experience shipping meat across the country and have had excellent luck.

I have never used dry ice before, and I'm not saying it isn't a good idea, just saying I've never had to use it.

What I deem very important and what I feel works well is making sure you wrap it tight mutiple times in plastic. If you take a frozen fawn and use say five 30 gal garbage bags, wrapping the fawn individually 5 times, you would be amazed at the insulating properties this offers.

Then like stated above, put it in the center of the container(I use cardboard boxes mostly, but of course styrofoam cooler type container could only be better), insulating with something(I simply use paper towels, liberally), and then dropping it off at a timely fashion as mentioned above, wrapping your container the day before and putting it in the freezer over night...all these things can certainly help.

The key for me is the multiple wraps of plastic.

I discovered how effective the mutiple wraps are when I would thaw deer meat. If it was wrapped singularly, it thawed MUCH MUCH sooner than those same size pieces that happened to be double when you wrap something 4 or 5 times in plastic, you have helped yourself out quite a bit in the insulation process.

ANTLER VALLEY Aug 7th 2012 01:20 AM

Thanks, Mark. I lost the buyer due to the uncertainty of the shipping process, but I did have an offer from someone who will be making a drive nearby where the would-be buyer lives. I will definitely do the "five bag" strategy if I can still get them sold.

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