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Questions about traveling for a hunt.

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Questions about traveling for a hunt.

Old 08-03-2017, 01:08 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Questions about traveling for a hunt.

I've never actually hunted out of state, or more than 100 miles from home(North Florida). I'm in the beginning stages of planning a hunt with a buddy somewhere in ID, MT, or WY in 2018.

It's a lot to take in and try to prepare for, and I have a TON of questions. One of the first I have is if in deed we do actually kill something, how the hell do we get it back home 2000+ miles?

Do you try to go ahead and process everything there, pack into a cooler and ship it?

Partially ship some of it, and take some back in a cooler to check onto our flight home?

Freeze it first before shipping?

I hope these aren't stupid or obvious questions, it's just something I've never got to do, so I have no idea.


THANKS!!!

Jordan
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:30 PM
  #2  
JW
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I drive. Therefore, my animals are processed. A requirement by my outfitter. And I take it all home frozen. If I tag out early I have it cut in what I like. If I font have time I have the animal bulk packaged.
And I even have taken an animal that was boned as I harvested 2 hrs before we had to leave. Just a big cooler and ice.

We bring extra coolers and you always can get ice along the way.
But then I've never been more than 20 hrs from home.
I've never shipped.
JW
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:34 PM
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Shipping game home is very very expensive. A good friend just took a huge bull elk in Idaho last year. He was prepared. He bought a good used chest freezer, they are usually pretty cheap. He put it in the back of his pick up along with a small gas generator. He had it butchered in Idaho and while it was being butchered he had the freezer plugged in to an outlet. The meat was wrapped and quick frozen when he put it in the already cold freezer. Every so often he would start the generator with the freezer plugged into it as he drove home to PA and when he stopped for the night he would plug it into an outlet where he stayed. When he got home, all he had to do was transfer the meat from the freezer in his pick up to his home freezer. If you plan on flying to your hunt, be advised it is extremely expensive to fly your meat home. This method is becoming more common and makes sense.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:41 PM
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I grew up in CO but spent a lot of time on the east coast. I went home hunting as often as I could and I hauled a lot of deer/elk and antelope back east. I got some good coolers and boned the meat. Put 5 or 6 lbs of dry ice in the coolers and seal them good including putting duct tape around the lid seam. Meat will keep 3 or 4 days like this. if you'll be longer you may need to augment the dry ice with some regular ice and keep the cooler sealed.

I never had my game processed since I do all that myself. never lost an ounce of game meat either due to spoiling. Keep it chilled and as dry as possible and get home without stopping at the casino etc...
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:48 PM
  #5  
Spike
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I figured that it would be expensive to ship but how expensive is the question lol. With the window of time we have, I don't know if driving would be an option. Google maps says its 36 hours of drive time, which I think would be a little too much. I don't think that I want to give up 4 days to driving. It may just be that we have to find some where closer as much as I really had my heart set on going out there. I'm sure a big cooler would be just as expensive to fly back with as it would be to ship it.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:05 PM
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It would be more expensive to fly you meat home than to ship it but that is expensive as well. I have taken trips that were 24 hrs of driving time. 36 hours is only 12 hours more. Several times I have driven straight through to and from SC a 12 hour drive while in my late 60s and the last trip 70 YO. We drove straight through. As long as there is more people than you you can just each drive for so many hours then the other person drives while you sleep. I suspect you are younger than I am and I didn't mind it. However you have to do what suits you. The drive is as much fun as the destination.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 08-03-2017 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:45 AM
  #7  
Spike
 
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Drive it! Do it multiple times every year all across the country. Leaving next Saturday morning for a 26 hour drive to Wyoming for antelope. I'm assuming you're going with an outfitter if you're flying. Don't see how in the world anyone could do other wise and be able to take all the gear needed to stay in the mountains. The meat is one thing, but you also have to consider antlers if you get one as well. Seems like too much hassle to fly it all. Not to mention, you will be relying on someone else to take full care of your meat in transit. I cut my own, use plenty of ice with dry ice to top it off when hauling it home. I don't even like the thought of a processor dealing with my animal. Too many horror stories there, but to me, doing it yourself is actually part of the experience that you should do yourself if possible.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:55 AM
  #8  
Spike
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I guess I should have also clarified when I said process, I didn't mean taking it somewhere for someone else to do it. I've never done that, nor do I plan to. I just meant process in the sense of cutting, trimming, and bagging if I was at home and getting ready to freeze it.

Thanks for all the help!

-J
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:05 AM
  #9  
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I've flown round trip twice with meat to bring home. I'm driving from now on!


Things to keep in mind:
- Your first two checked bags are fairly cheap, however that covers you bow/gun and clothes. Now you get into excess baggage fees, which run around $100 per bag, and they have to weigh 50 pounds or less or they ALSO become overweight, so closer to $200/bag. for an elk you will need 4-7 of these to stay under 50 lbs.


- If it isn't frozen, then you have an extra issue, if the box leaks "juice" they will refuse it. That includes any connections.


- Dry ice is typically ok, but 5lbs per bag. If the meat is frozen it will last the flight in wax boxes. I brought home my elk like this and including a long layover in Chicago when it sat on the tarmac, in the sun, on a 70 degree day, for 3 hours.


- You can ship it home and given baggage fees it may be worth checking. When I got my elk in ID, a fellow hunter got one, he was from Boston, he overnighted it, this was back in 2004. It was I think $800 door to door, but he had the piece of mind that it made it.


- You can ship your clothes home to save a box, you don't need them quickly. I packed a box with the antlers, and most of my clothes and UPS'd it home for pretty cheap.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:02 AM
  #10  
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You should also check with your outfitter as many of them do shows all across the country. I know a couple that pack meat/antlers back for clients. Your outfitter may also have another client that is willing to haul your animal back to someplace close or within a few hundred miles.
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