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Carrying meat on plane
Going down to Florida in August for a gator and maybe a hog hunt. What is the easiest/best way to carry meat back with me. Travelling from Fl to Alberta and it is almost 13 hours for the whole trip (assuming no delays).
Any Canadians have experience bringing hog meat back from FL? I talked to CFIA yesterday and their algorithm on the website shows that wild hog meat from Fl and Texas is not allowed, though I have seen and heard numerous experiences where guys have brought it back.
That's easy. Freeze it. Box it. Check it in as extra baggage. 20.00 each for the boxes if under 80 or 100 lbs., based on the airline.
It cheaper than shipping or anything else. That's how we bring all our fish back from Alaska.
Same here. Freeze and put it in checked baggage and really hope they don't lose it. The couple times I've done this it worked out fine.
Make sure it does not leak or the airline might toss it in the trash!
I like coolers for my meat. The coolers are harder than cardboard and help keep the meat frozen longer.
I use the cooler as a suitcase on my way there.
Then, I put frozen, vacpacked meat in there for the way home. If you wrap it with duct tape, it will stay shut.
I buy a cooler, freeze the meat hard, put 5 lbs of dry ice with the meat in the cooler when I kill a deer in Wisconsin that I need to bring home to Alaska. Label the cooler as Venison and dry ice and "Keep Frozen"!! I use Gorilla Tape with one end folded under to make it easy for TSA to inspect and reseal. Of coarse Alaska Airlines is use to handling frozen meat. I have quite a collection of coolers.
I've flown with both fish from the Gulf (Houston) and caribou from Quebec. Coolers or wax airline boxes work great, just bear in mind, TSA will open them to check contents and they may not put it back in place to keep it cool as needed. If you can freeze it, that is the best way.
If it's under 50lbs, then check it as baggage, otherwise, have to check as extra or oversize.
Caution : I wouldn't seal a cooler with dry ice. gases may cause the cooler to explode. better to let it vent
If it's frozen solid I've even taken some wrapped up in a jacket and such and stuffed in my carry-on backpack, still frozen after a days flying back home. While they don't weigh carry-ons... if you have to check it at the gate the sweet little ol lady there turns into a completely different creature with a 60lb pack....
Cheap coolers are the way to go (not styrofoam) Don't need a very big one as it doesn't take much meat to get to 50 lbs total and fully loaded coolers are more efficient. We bring a pocket digital scale to make sure we aren't over 50. (doubles as a bow scale at home)
Have used dry ice to freeze the meat before but never really used it for flying. Most airlines have a limit on how much you can put in the cooler. At one time a few years ago some wouldn't allow any. I don't think a person could seal a cooler well enough to blow one up.... but I have heard warnings about using alot of it in an enclosed area such as a sealed up car cab. The CO2 and, well, breathing/staying conscious could be an issue. We just roll the windows down....
my daughter flew back to Colorado from New York with frozen venison wrapped in clothing in her checked bags....still frozen when she got home and unpacked.
I've got 20+ years of flying fish to MT and venison back to AK. I have never put dry ice in but a small amount is allowed. Regular ice is not allowed. Thawing is not an issue. Even if the meat gets a little soft, it's not a big deal.
Not sure what century some one was talking about, but the extra bag fees are approaching $100. Weight limits are usually 50 pounds and anything over is expensive.
It's not 80-100 lbs, its 50 and it's min of $50. Freeze good and buy good duck tape like Gorilla and tape all hinges and latches and across the top both directions.
Maybe if the airlines were to advertise that it's ok to bring pork as a carry on. It would keep away terrorists;)
I'm thinking more along the lines of free BLT sammies for meals..... =D
Buy a folding insulated fabric cooler (California coolers at Sam's club), put your frozen meat into a plastic bag and into the cooler and carry on the plane at no charge. This cooler holds about 45# of meat.
I travel with a soft cooler with frozen wild pig, turkey, venison etc a lot into Canada. They don't even ask whats in it...ever.
I'll 2nd the pliable cooler-bags. I use Keep-it-cool bags to bring meat from California to AK (yeah, I'm the only hunter to bring game meat from California to Alaska) and I just vacuum pack my meat and deep freeze it in a chest freezer. I have a piece of masking tape across the top of the bag that says, "TSA, please zip the bag all the way shut," and it's ended up zipped shut and my meat has been frozen each time I've landed and gotten home in AK, about 14 hours after packing it.
The pliable bags fit nicely into suit cases.
Most airlines charge $75 for additional bags (after the first two). Then another $75 or so if it weighs over 50#. They won't take them if they're over 100#.
Check with your airline for their policies so you're not surprised.
We've traveled 3 times from Texas to Alberta with hog meat and trophies. We placed our frozen meat in coolers and oddly enough, I had a frozen javelina head in my carry on bag(hunting back pack)...no problem at all. With regards to CBSA, from their website you are allowed a game carcass provided you have a proper license. Good luck to you
I debone to be sure to not have any issues but USA venison has always been no problem to bring back home to Canada
My wife and I are heading to WY for deer/antelope this fall. We are figuring about 200 lbs of frozen meat.
I spent Saturday morning checking airlines for baggage rules, I did United, American and Delta. They were all the same:
- Coach: all bags 50 lb limit. First: $25, second: $35, third: $100, fourth+: $150. If you exceed the weight you get tagged an ADDITIONAL $100
- First class: first two are free and can weigh 70 lbs, then above fees kick in for additional.
We decided to come home first class! First two bags being free saves us $140 combined, plus they can be 70 lbs not 50, so that's 40 lbs extra of "free", we figured doing this we could then remove 1 box of meat, which saves another $100.
then compared the flight price between first and coach and combined it was $360 to fly home first class, but we save over $200, plus first class eats/drinks for free!
We will also load up a carry on and one of our suitcases to get to the weight limit, going out it has clothes in it, won't be that heavy.
I LOVE the idea of the soft sided coolers.
One of my "suitcases" is always a cooler filled with camp. Great to have at the destination for many reasons, and when time to leave you box up your gear and mail it home, meat goes in the cooler. If alot of meat I'll mail back my bowcase and buy a cheap cooler locally. That gets you close to 100 lbs there without getting to the third bag even. Plus whatever you feel like in your carry-on.
Two guys flying can take back ONE elk in pretty good shape...
I always put an extra large dry bag in my duffle and on the way home the sealed in plastic frozen meat and capes are placed inside of my sleeping bag and then inside the dry bag. The belly of a plane at 40, 000 ft is plenty cold.
Great information guys, greatly appreciated.
FYI, i had a TSA guy freak out when my carry on daypack with 50# of elk meat went through their xray machine....it looks like a big black hole.
After opening the multiple layers of plastic bags they were trying to find a reason I couldn't carry it on.....there are none. That was many years ago....now they are probably used to seeing it in places like Denver.
Thought I would update this thread after the trip. Ended up not getting a hog but did have some gator meat to bring home. I got a Yeti Hopper 20 which was the perfect size for a carry on and it was the right size to fit in the over head bin on the small planes.
I ended up being 17 hours between destinations and the meat was still frozen when I put it in the freezer at home. Very impressed with the Yeti. I did warn one guy in security that there was meat in it and it seemed to help, he didn't request that it all be taken out and inspected like in the first security stop. I think if we had more meat we would have bought a cooler at Walmart and just taped it up and checked it.
When I lived in Alaska and traveled back to Kansas to visit family. I brought moose to Kansas and whitetail back to Alaska. I always used redneck luggage, a 45 to 50 ice chest. Never had a problem. One time it was even a day late. Still froze.
I put frozen Javelina in my suitcase every year coming home. No issues...