Carbon Express Arrows
Tranporting Meat on airlines
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Top Pin 13-Jun-18
grossklw 13-Jun-18
320 bull 13-Jun-18
Mike-TN 13-Jun-18
LKH 13-Jun-18
Bloodtrail 13-Jun-18
WV Mountaineer 13-Jun-18
Kurt 13-Jun-18
fisherick 13-Jun-18
fisherick 13-Jun-18
fisherick 13-Jun-18
Medicinemann 13-Jun-18
trophyhill 13-Jun-18
Bob H in NH 13-Jun-18
TD 13-Jun-18
Kick'em up 13-Jun-18
Bigbuck38 17-Jun-18
Franklin 17-Jun-18
DonVathome 17-Jun-18
Outdoorsdude 20-Jun-18
From: Top Pin
13-Jun-18
My brother and I drew tags in NM. We are from Wisconsin and deciding whether to fly (and rent car from Albuquerque) or to drive the 24 hours there and back. Obviously, flying would make it much more easy but I am concerned about getting our meat back without spoilage. I have done some research but would also like to hear some opinions from those that have done both. Thanks for any advice.

From: grossklw
13-Jun-18
This isn't meat but fish. When I was in Homer, AK salmon and halibut fishing last year we bought coolers that were designed to hold roughly 50#s of meat. We ended up checking 275 lbs of halibut. If you have an AK airlines card the first checked bag will be free for you and your buddy, 2nd is 25$'s each, and the last is 75$'s, but your third checked bag can be up to 75#'s. It worked like a charm, roughly 14 hours of flights and everything was still frozen solid when we got home.

From: 320 bull
13-Jun-18
Fish here also. I checked my clothing and brought 50# of meat in my carry on. They even let me bring the dry ice on the plane that I planned on tossing.

From: Mike-TN
13-Jun-18
IMO.... drive and you won’t have to worry about it. Your going to burn a day flying anyway. If I have a buddy going with we generally just swap driving shifts during the night. If flying, make sure the meat is cooled way down and in coolers taped up well and you should be good for a flight. I’ve done it from AK and meat was fine.

From: LKH
13-Jun-18
Had about 18 years of moving fish south and meat north from MT when I lived in AK. Ran a fish wheel so it was a lot. Never an issue. The only negative is if they lose the cooler for 2-3 days and everything spoils. They aren't responsible. I've had it show up a day late and everything was still fine.

From: Bloodtrail
13-Jun-18
Maybe you or a friend has a corporate account with FedEx or UPS....much cheaper rates. Use the account. Freeze the meat (some hotels will let you use their restaurant freezer for free), go to Home Depot buy some cardboard boxes, a sheet of solid foam insulation and some duct tape. Cut up the foam to go around the boxes and insulate them. Ship it two-day Express (or over night). Way easy and doesn’t cost much at all. And you can ship your skull/antlers in one piece too!

Airlines charge so much for extra bags that it’s not worth it to ship 200lbs of meat that way. Oh yeah, they make you split your antlers.

13-Jun-18
Flew an elk from CO to WV. It wasn’t cheap. By any means. But, I packed one cooler I bought out there and used the boxes the carrier provided. Everything arrived 36 hours later frozen still.

With all that said, driving is a pain but, I prefer that over flying. Cheaper too. This flying meat back was a few years Back. I gave the processor some and flew back 110 pounds. It cost me almost $700 if I remember correctly. God Bless

From: Kurt
13-Jun-18
Drive, take a chest freezer in the back of the pickup (best with a canopy) with a Honda Inverter Generator on a small platform on the hitch. Works like a charm. Don't need to run it 24/7 either. Good luck!

From: fisherick
13-Jun-18
We have done this many times flying Mass - Colorado renting SUV, camping etc. We have been flying South West Air that allows two free 50# bags. Place two bows into one bow case, each carry a duffle for clothes/gear, bring one 50-60qt cooler as check in luggage and your backpacks as carry ons. When you harvest an elk ship your gear home UPS 5-day ground. Have your elk processed and frozen and take on the jet with you as checked luggage. (coolers or waxed cardboard boxes or Rubbermaid container) This should be about 175# of meat, any more place in your carry ons. DO NOT EXCEED 50# per box. ( ave processed elk meat 140-230#) If rack is involved, split and box it home UPS 5-day ground OR send to a taxidermist.

From: fisherick
13-Jun-18
We have done this many times flying Mass - Colorado renting SUV, camping etc. We have been flying South West Air that allows two free 50# bags. Place two bows into one bow case, each carry a duffle for clothes/gear, bring one 50-60qt cooler as check in luggage and your backpacks as carry ons. When you harvest an elk ship your gear home UPS 5-day ground. Have your elk processed and frozen and take on the jet with you as checked luggage. (coolers or waxed cardboard boxes or Rubbermaid container) This should be about 175# of meat, any more place in your carry ons. DO NOT EXCEED 50# per box. ( ave processed elk meat 140-230#) If rack is involved, split and box it home UPS 5-day ground OR send to a taxidermist.

From: fisherick
13-Jun-18
When transporting meat from processer to airport, place 4-5# of dry ice in each container, then remove and tape up at airport. We have never had meat thaw on trip home. Don't count on hotels to put meat in their freezers. They won't do it.

From: Medicinemann
13-Jun-18
The airlines used to be very leery of allowing dry ice in the coolers, because as the CO2 turns to gas, it poses a threat for any pets in the cargo hold. They used to have about a one pound dry ice maximum (and they wanted to see how much was actually in the cooler).....has that restriction been relaxed? We always froze our meat AND used as much dry ice as allowed.....but it eventually got tougher and tougher to have any. That coincides with when I started driving to most of my hunts.....

From: trophyhill
13-Jun-18
While living in Hawaii a few years ago, I brought back just under 100 lbs of meat from my NM elk hunt. At the time, I didn't have to pay for the first 50 lbs, and $25 for the second 50 lbs. I froze it solid for a couple days and packed dry ice for the 10 hours of flying and airport time. Still frozen solid when I got there. I was a happy islander :)

From: Bob H in NH
13-Jun-18
Done it twice, once fairly long ago with a bull elk, recently with 2 mule deer and 2 antelope and 2 people flying. I've never used coolers, both times, frozen meat in cardboard boxes. Elk made it, even after sitting on the tarmac in Chicago, in the sun on an 80 degree day for 3 hours. Only thing not frozen was the corner of a couple burger bundles the edges up against the box bottom where thawed. Everything else frozen. Second time we put 5 lbs dry ice in each box, not only was meat frozen at home, so was the dry ice. Both cases meat was frozen solid and boxed, then flown on the plane with us.

It costs $$$ to do, especially if you don't pack careful. The excess baggage fees eat up money quick, you are limited to 50Lb/bag and 2 bags will cost about $60. THen when you get to bag 3 it's $100+, and it still has to be 50lbs, if you go over, you get BOTH extra bag and extra weight fees. Wife and I actually flew home first class from Rapid City SD to Boston. With first class, first 2 bags are FREE AND can weigh 70lbs. For two people, that's an extra 80 lbs of meat and it costs $0, not $120. We lucked out and the price difference was about $200 on the tickets, for $120 in baggage we saved, we figured $80 for upgrade and we figured we'd eat and drink that on the plane, plus at 6'2" was worth it. Still costs us a couple hundred to get 6 boxes of meat, 1 duffel of hunting clothes, gun case and 1 duffel of "vacation clothes" (we combined the hunting with week of hiking/site seeing).

The butcher SHOULD know how to do all this for you.

this year we are driving, same trip.

From: TD
13-Jun-18
The trick to flying with meat is getting it frozen. We cut and wrap our own, no processor. We have used processors to get it frozen. A couple of them we walked away. It was clear they thought they had us over a barrel, for what they wanted it was close to having them cut it too. A couple others were very reasonable. That's the way of the world I guess..... you have some good honest hard working folks..... and you have snakes.....

Have used friends freezers, sometimes new friends freezers. Always leave some meat with them. Hotels are a crap shoot, it will depend on the area I think and mostly who you get to deal with. Sure not something you could count on. I know for a fact supermarkets, etc. won't.

A couple times we've had to freeze it ourselves with dry ice, one I remember in particular as we tagged a bull on the last day, cut and wrapped and froze it on the drive overnight with dry ice. It takes a lot of dry ice and you layer it in your coolers. Layer of meat on bottom, newspaper or cardboard, dry ice, more paper, meat, etc. till it's "full" (50lbs.... we travel with a scale)

If the meat is frozen in coolers (we fly with one each and buy cheap ones local as necessary) we have never had any issues, and that's flying from ID, MT, etc. to Maui. Have never used dry ice flying. When we used it to freeze it was all pretty much gone by the time we checked our bags in. You can get a fair amount of meat in your carry on and I've never had one weighed. (my carry on is my backpack) In one case I did have a little old lady airline employee (on a short leg flight where you had to check in your carry on at the ramp) cuss me out up one side and down the other though......

The rest of the gear we box up and mail home. USPS. UPS, FedEx to HI is ridiculous...... and as an option for shipping meat? Even "overnight" many times turns into a couple days. Fly with it.

If I had the option to drive..... I would drive. Most trips we fly it takes pretty much minimum 24 hours travel and lot's of hassle, check in, fly, switch planes, baggage (did it all make it? In one piece?) rental cars, then shopping for food and stuff.... all that before you even start to drive to your area. Driving I know I'll have a decent vehicle to hunt from and a ton of gear. Flying with camp, limiting your gear, clothing, bows, etc. to two bags and a carry on makes for a pretty spartan camp for a couple weeks. But it is certainly doable.

From: Kick'em up
13-Jun-18
I would drive if given the chance again. I went to Hell's Canyon last year and took a 5x5 bull. I flew out and ended up Fed Xing my gear home and then since I was flying S.W. and I got two checked bags free. Ended up taking four coolers packed at 49.5 lbs for a grand total of $150.00 in baggage fees. Getting the head home was a different sorry for another time and thread on Trophy mount logistics. Next time I'll take the extra time and drive out.

From: Bigbuck38
17-Jun-18

From: Franklin
17-Jun-18
DRIVE and avoid all the BS and enjoy the country as you go.

From: DonVathome
17-Jun-18
I have done it a dozen times or more. Never heard of or seen a carry-on bag getting weighed mine always end up around seventy or 80 pounds. Another 15 or so in your personal item. I also want enough someone to take a little bit of meat because going over 50 pounds or over two bags gets crazy expensive.

One checked bag with 49 pounds I always bring a small fish scale with me you pretty much have most if not all of the meat. Even if you both tag out you should be OK. Get really cold and pack clothes around it.

I bring it home fresh and eat as much as I can before freezing it typically eat the entire backstrap.

From: Outdoorsdude
20-Jun-18
Drive--

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