I have never used an actual taxidermist in Fairbanks, though several exist.
If you don't want it in the book, split your skull and ship the antlers that way.
Mail all your gear home and that will free up about 80 pounds in 2 52 quart coolers. You can also pay for extra luggage which is way cheaper than Fedex or UPS.
I have crunched numbers a lot, checked bags are the way to go, unless you really want a lot of meat and are willing to pay for it, or yoy do not want to split your horns.
Just shipping HORNS from AK unslip will be $500 plus. OR checked bag fee..........
Read email I sent you, tons of info and numbers
DON V. this was said on the AK Forum sight.
Secondly, your taxidermist will tell you this too. IF the hide can be frozen then there is not need to turn the ears, turn the lips or anything else. If you have warm weather then you will need to do this.
You can take 3 extra bags of meat, frozen in a wax box, 50 pound max on Alaskan airlines only. No other airline will take meat. In fact most other airlines will not take the horns either...
LKH said it right. Mail all your gear home with USPS. A 18 quart Tupperware container will cost $40 to ship home and must be around 38 pounds. Just label them correctly and wrap with shipping tape. No need for any insurance as the USPS is very good about not loosing stuff.
We always take 3 x 50# boxes of meat home (per man) off of a moose. I was checking in last fall (Alaska Air) in Fairbanks, and had 2 large duffels and 3 big boxes of meat. The check-in clerk asked me if I had anything else to check in. I didn't, but asked if there was a limit on meat. She said I could check in up to 7 pieces of baggage regardless of content...fees to be paid of course. Personally, I have no use for more than 150 pounds of prime moose in my freezer, as it's more than I can consume in a calendar year.
Our meat has been flown on Delta Airlines in addition to Alaska Air. It's rather common to see boxes of meat and fish leaving Alaska on a variety of airlines.
I have never tried to fly a moose rack home. I would split it, box it and follow all regs. Check with the F&G people if unsure about splitting. The GMU/zone you hunt in may matter in this. Unless totally prohibited, I would measure and photo-document the spread before splitting...be sure to show the metal tag and ID numbers. It may be possible to USPS Priority ship a split/boxed rack home. Costly, but still far less than crating a full rack and trucking it.
There are practical considerations: Are the capes frozen? Dry? Salted? Are they raw and untreated? What time of year to ship?
There are rules and legalities: What does F&G say about transporting, if anything? What are the airline's rules on these items?
You'll get a lot of opinions, but here's what I'd suggest. Ask the F&W people if any transporting regs apply. Find out the airline regs with certainty. No way would I EVER put a warm, wet or unpreserved cape in a duffel or dry bag for a trip home. It would have to either be relatively dry and salted, or frozen. Otherwise you're risking hair loss or worse. I can't see any point in spending many thousands to hunt and acquire a fine trophy, then cut financial corners trying to get it home. Spend the money (or the time) and be safe.
I wasn't letting that sucker out of my sight!
I would think I could stop in somewhere and show them and get the ok to split the horns or do I have to wait until I get home?
Definitely a call you should let the folks at F&W make...I believe. No mistakes.
While I do not agree with this reg, it is still the law!
If the question is: "Are you likely to get caught?" The answer is "not likely!" But it is not legal to split the skull.
Nor is Kevin D correct about what "parts" can/cannot be sold. It is perfectly legal to sell horns/antlers as long as they are detached from the skull (NOT your 50" bull from the last question!) It is legal to sell hides/capes as well. Selling game meat is not legal.
Check with any FWP officer. Don't believe everything you hear on here!
On page 22 it talks about antler salvage from the kill site saying they must remain naturally attached to the skull plate. This is where the assumption comes into play, Personally I assume that means till you get the meat/antlers out of the woods then you can cut them. Others are assuming till you get them out of the state... The reason I assume it is only at the kill site is because on page 24 it talks about transportation of the meat/antlers and it does NOT mention having to keep the antlers intact... Would recomend contacting the AK G&F to clarify but from the regs it seems like you can split them to transport home...