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Bringing a turkey on Southwest
There's a chance I am getting to go hunt my Rio next month. What is the best way to bring a turkey home to mount on Southwest Airlines. Has anyone had any experience?
Brought a couple back from Texas...Frozen in ice chest, no issue!
sealed cooler with sign out outside stating
Contents: Perished Poultry. Please Do Not Pluck With This.
Freeze it and wrap it up in your cloths inside your duffle bag.
I fly to hunt every year and what I do is take a sleeping bag, game bag, plastic bag and dry bag. Put your turkey ( preferably frozen solid ) into a game bag, then place that into a plastic bag, then place that into the sleeping bag, and then that into a large dry bag. As a checked bag in the belly of the plane at 40,000' it will stay cold.
Take some cardboard to cut out and put on each side of tail and tape around with duct tape so tail stays in excellent condition and tips of feathers are protected. Wrap toilet paper around head and tuck head and neck under one wing. I then wrap bird with one or two wraps of paper towel and then tape so you have a nice firm package. Put in garbage bag and wrap with tape again. Put in freezer and hopefully give 2 full days to freeze. I then wrap my dirty hunting jacket, pants, towel around bird and put in duffle bag and pack clothes around bird.
Good luck on your hunt.
Since I get free checked bags on Delta, I bought a plastic tub at Walmart in AZ, had the guide freeze my Merriams, then wrapped him in clothes and put him in thr plastic tub. I then sealed it w duct tape and wrote my name on the outside. Much cheaper than buying an extra suitcase like I did when I brought my Rio back from Kansas.
In a cooler checked as luggage. Brought meat/fish from Alaska that way 5 times with no issues. I actually UPSed my belongings and checked 2 coolers and a rifle case. I didn't care when my clothes got home as long as my meat and rifle were with me.
I brought a Rio from Texas and Osceola from Florida back to Pennsylvania on airplanes just by freezing them whole and putting them into my carry-on bag. Did it on American Airlines and SouthWest.
Where and with whom are you hunting your Rio?
Checking your bird wont be a problem as folks havecsaid. But do check with your taxidermist and get their thoughts on how to best protect the tail/can, as well as the head and heard. Our taxidermist recommended cardboard for the fan and placing the csrcus inside a pillowcase (to keep feathers in place, before wrapping and freezing. He also recommended a zip lock bag over the head to minimize blood drainage onto the feathers. He wasn't too concerned at protecting the head since he used freeze-dried heads from a supplier.
I'm going with some friends to Oklahoma. Leaving April 12th.
I have flown with turkeys and my taxi has me; remove the tail and place in a cardboard sleeve.
Put the head in a sandwich bag and tuck it under the wing. This keeps the head from bleeding on to the feathers.
Slip the turkey into a leg of pantyhose, this keeps the feathers in place, protected and in good shape.
Freeze the turkey and then transport with any of the ideas already given.