How To Make A Deer Cooler

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How To Make A Deer Cooler


A deer cooler is an important refrigeration equipment for those who are fond of deer meat. If you are into hunting, or if you have purchased a large piece of meat, you can use this freezer to preserve the meat for a longer duration. Although deer coolers are available for sale and can easily be purchased, they are quite expensive and you can make one yourself.

Materials Required

  • Fiber wall panels for the cooler
  • Insulation material
  • Cooler packs
  • Copper sheets to fabricate your own condenser
  • Commercial refrigeration components/locally available DIY refrigeration kit
  • Thermostat equipment

Tools Required

  • Measuring tape, pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Pliers
  • Sawing machine
  • Soldering equipment
  • Wire cutter
  • Nails, screwdriver, and a drill


Difficulty Level – Moderate

Step One: Before Building A Deer Cooler

Take a look around your local shops and scan the Internet to see the variety of deer coolers available. You can purchase and modify a used refrigeration unit, or you can make one from scratch. Either way, talk to fellow deer hunters to get insider tips. Get a few friends together to help you with the task.

Step Two: Size Of The Deer Cooler

The first thing to keep in mind when building a deer cooler is the size you are looking at. Before you start, it will help to keep the rule of thumb for the space required by a deer carcass in mind. A basic 6 6 7 ft is a good size for one adult deer. But if you cut up the head and the legs, there would be space for one more carcass. However, the final size you choose depends on your individual requirement.

Step Three: The Condenser

Aside from the compressor, the most important component of your deer cooler is the condenser. If the condenser does not work properly, the refrigerant you use for your deer cooler will not liquefy and cool it. The cheapest option is to build your own condenser, using sheets of 0.015-inch-thick sheets of copper. An alternative is to buy a second-hand condenser at a component shop. The heat load the deer cooler can handle depends on the size of the condenser. The best condensers have a maze of copper tubing of 1/4th inch bore running through the length of the copper sheets.

Step Four: The Compressor

All the components of your deer cooler will revolve around the compressor. This makes it one of the most important parts of your cooling unit. Of course, you want a cheaper compressor. So, scan the garage sales, or second-hand spare part shops for a compressor that has earlier been a part of a big refrigerator or a chest freezer. If you take it apart, you usually find that it just needs a small fix and is ready to be installed into your deer cooler. This exercise will save you a decent bundle and ensure that the deer cooler works perfectly!

Step Five: Final Assembly

Now that you have the main components of your deer cooler handy, it’s just a question of assembling the parts. Solder the copper lining and insulation sheets between fiber sheets. This will keep the deer cooler cool once you switch it on. Then, starting with the compressor, assemble the evaporator and the condenser together on the deer cooler. Do not forget to wire the thermostat switch to the cooler.


  • Keep the deer cooler design simple.
  • Collect information and get tips from experts and friends before you build your deer cooler.



  1. Ray Orzechowski said,

    on October 19th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    When I get a deer I skin it and quarter it and put it in my garage refrigerator for a few days. If I take the same refrigerator and remove the door and build an insulated box and mount it in front of the refrigerator door opening. Should this be the same. I would also build a door in the front of the box for entry. Is this one of the biggest jokes you every heard??

  2. Kevin Allen said,

    on February 16th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I work in the ac/refrigeration industry. This is the biggest joke I have ever heard. There is not one out of a thousand that will make this work!!! If you want to build ur own deer cooler you can purchase foam for the walls, or have urethane sprayed in the walls. Cover it with metal so it will be easy to clean. Go out and purchase a drop in refrigeration system. They r very comman and do not cost very much. U will be happy u did so.