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Newfoundland travel
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
g5smoke21 23-Jan-24
Bou'bound 23-Jan-24
fuzzy 23-Jan-24
JTreeman 23-Jan-24
bigeasygator 23-Jan-24
g5smoke21 23-Jan-24
ahunter55 23-Jan-24
g5smoke21 23-Jan-24
BOWNUT 23-Jan-24
g5smoke21 23-Jan-24
g5smoke21 23-Jan-24
BOWNUT 23-Jan-24
Bou'bound 23-Jan-24
Highlife 23-Jan-24
fuzzy 23-Jan-24
JTreeman 23-Jan-24
g5smoke21 23-Jan-24
BOWNUT 23-Jan-24
BOWNUT 23-Jan-24
bchunter2 23-Jan-24
Tracker 23-Jan-24
BOWNUT 23-Jan-24
Mad Trapper 24-Jan-24
Fuzz 24-Jan-24
fuzzy 24-Jan-24
Mad Trapper 24-Jan-24
g5smoke21 24-Jan-24
Treeline 24-Jan-24
mdjunior 24-Jan-24
fuzzy 25-Jan-24
mdjunior 25-Jan-24
fuzzy 25-Jan-24
TEmbry 26-Jan-24
bb 27-Jan-24
Jeff.Thomp 27-Jan-24
Treeline 27-Jan-24
Bou'bound 28-Jan-24
fuzzy 29-Jan-24
JTreeman 29-Jan-24
g5smoke21 29-Jan-24
g5smoke21 29-Jan-24
fuzzy 30-Jan-24
g5smoke21 23-May-24
njbuck 23-May-24
caribou77 23-May-24
Aluminum Rain 23-May-24
Bou'bound 23-May-24
caribou77 23-May-24
g5smoke21 23-May-24
g5smoke21 23-May-24
bb 23-May-24
map1 25-May-24
Charlie Rehor 26-May-24
From: g5smoke21
23-Jan-24
I know alot of guys have traveled to NL in the past for moose hunt. Have any of you opted to drive to Toronto and then fly from there? Would bringing meat back by plane be more of an option then? Looks like trucking costs will be about $1000 this year when I go. I don't have the option to drive that it would take 3 days each way and I have 2 under 3 at home. I'm 11 hrs from Toronto so would have the possibility of leaving early morning and driving up there. Or I would have the option to fly from a small local airport 20 minutes from home with 2 connections.

From: Bou'bound
23-Jan-24
I would hitchhike before going though Toronto

A disaster waiting to happen at that place.

From: fuzzy
23-Jan-24
I did three trips drove each one. Lots to see along the way. Love the ferry

From: JTreeman
23-Jan-24
Maybe I’m missing the point, but what would the difference be in flying meat from Deer Lake to Toronto versus flying it all the way home? I get it if you are driving all the way. But driving a full day just to fly makes no sense to me.

—Jim

From: bigeasygator
23-Jan-24
I'm with Treeman. Unless I'm missing something, you still need to fly with meat.

From: g5smoke21
23-Jan-24
I just saw another post on rokslide about it being an easier option. Don't know if that's the case or not. Just checking all my options. The only good connection options is toronto. I have just heard so many horror stories of customs at the airport I was thinking it would be better to cross it land and not worry about it at the airport

From: ahunter55
23-Jan-24
I'm retired & a good driver & I'm 1 hour from Wis. border.

From: g5smoke21
23-Jan-24
I dont mind driving at all. I just don't have the days to do it with limited vacation days and other family trips planned

From: BOWNUT
23-Jan-24
You will have to go through customs twice. Toronto was hell for me. Not to mention Windsor too. It was just after 911 for me, maybe it's better now. The outfitter we used shipped the meat back a week later frozen and packed. We picked it up at Detroit Metro when it arrived.

From: g5smoke21
23-Jan-24
Sounds good. Didn't know how that all worked. I'll just fly out locally and have the meat shipped back. Hope for the best in Toronto. The layover is 4 hrs so I think it should be fine. Either way flying locally or Chicago the only option is Toronto.

From: g5smoke21
23-Jan-24
Was it canadian customs that was the nightmare or was it US customs on the way back home?

From: BOWNUT
23-Jan-24
Canadian.

From: Bou'bound
23-Jan-24
Toronto’s just a very long and convoluted process. It’s very confusing in that airport but a four hour layover should avert most if not all of your issues

I’ve hunted Newfoundland nine times and driven each time because I’m only in Massachusetts so it’s easy but on probably seven of those trips someone that flew in add issues with luggage. I would say that half of the time it was related to a Halifax connection.

From: Highlife
23-Jan-24

From: fuzzy
23-Jan-24
My advice, which is worth at least ten bucks less than you paid for it , is save NF for when you have time to experience it. The hunt is a minor part of the NF experience.

From: JTreeman
23-Jan-24
Bownut/G5 - not clear why Canadian customs would have anything to do with the return flight (meat/trophies) home either? That would all be US customs coming back.

Or are you saying Canadian customs a pain going up?

I honestly find almost all customs relatively easy if you are reasonable about things. Some issues over the years, but patience and attitude pretty much smooth things over with relative easy. I personally find it smoother customs experience flying than driving, the biggest pains I’ve had are driving, but I know others who say the opposite.

—Jim

From: g5smoke21
23-Jan-24
Jim. Sorry I should have worded it better Yes I was talking canadian customs on the way up. I agree I have never had really any negative experience with them as long as you give enough time and have all paperwork in order. Thanks Nick

From: BOWNUT
23-Jan-24
Coming home was easy. The trip there was hard. My trip was a late season last week gun hunt just after 911. Traveling with guns was more of the problem. We drove to Windsor,Flew to Toronto then flew to Gander. Windsor was hardest stop. With archery equipment it might not be as bad.

From: BOWNUT
23-Jan-24

From: bchunter2
23-Jan-24
Toronto airport sucks both going and coming back, give yourself at least 4 hours. Montreal can be just as bad if not worse unless you can speak French.

From: Tracker
23-Jan-24
Well my trip thru Montreal was a disaster. First they could not find my gun. Then the Canucks wanted to see my gun resignation. Then I had to convince the official my ammunition was not armor piercing??. I had a 4 hour delay and still missed my flight. Only savings grace was we were 15 minutes late out of BWI so Air Canada picked up hotel cost. Trip back thru Toronto really was not much better. The IS Customs agent didn’t ask me to open up my gun case. The Canuck guy was pissed. Cleared and went to my gate. Little while later I got a call on loud speaker to the desk. Canucks wanted keys to my gun case so they could confirm the gun was I there. Next time I drive.

From: BOWNUT
23-Jan-24
They told me the Boss system adjustable mussel break on my Browning rifle was a silencer and was illegal to use in Canada. They also wanted me to take apart my range finder so they could look inside it. They asked my buddy what caliber his rifle was and he said 454. They said there was no such thing. I could go on but I won't. With that said the people in Gander Newfoundland are the best you will ever meet. It was a great trip. We went three for four on Moose. The one hold out would only shoot a big bull. We split the meat four ways.

From: Mad Trapper
24-Jan-24
Bou is spot on about the Toronto airport. It has improved somewhat over the years but it is still my least favorite airport. Give yourself plenty of time between flights.

From: Fuzz
24-Jan-24
G5... are you flying with firearms or archery equipment?

The length of layover doesn't matter. I was flying w archery gear and had a 4 hr layover. 30 minutes before boarding I get paged over the loudspeaker. I go to a service desk and get berated for not checking my firearm. (My bowcase was a hard SKB double bow) I tell them its archery gear and I have no firearms. They don't believe me and I end up missing my flight trying to get shit straightened out. My bow didn't make it to NL for another 2 days.

On my return flight back to the States, I get pulled off the plane in Toronto by security because I didnt "check my firearm". I almost missed that flight, and again, my bow didn't make it back on the plane. I'd suggest getting a rigid soft case like a Legend.

Toronto Airport is the devil.

From: fuzzy
24-Jan-24
I did 3 trips to NL two with bow one with rifle. Driving there were no issues. First trip the border agent was surprised when i said i was bear hunting but had no gun. She had never heard of bow hunting bears. Another positive for Driving.

From: Mad Trapper
24-Jan-24
I use an SKB double bow case and have never had that experience. I put a big label on the case stating “Not a Firearm”. Maybe that is what saved me. I still try to avoid Toronto whenever possible. I flew through there during the pandemic. What a cluster!

From: g5smoke21
24-Jan-24
I'm planning to bring both up. Almost every time I have traveled with rifle or bow I have been brought back out to airline check in to re open cases. The last time was LAX. Not sure how an airport could be worse. We had a 4 hr layover and an hour before boarding got the call to come rd open cases. No guidance on where to go just get to the counter. Airline agents felt bad and escorted us back to our gate

From: Treeline
24-Jan-24
I am going up there in 2025 for moose and caribou. I just looked and it is like a 50-hour drive!

I do want to get as much meat back as possible and maybe antlers and capes as well. What is the best option for meat, capes, and antlers?

Does it make sense to just fly to Newfoundland or to somewhere up north in the US like Maine and then drive up?

From: mdjunior
24-Jan-24
I’m headed up in 2025. I’m driving. Wife going with me. It’s just over a two day drive for me. Only thing that worries me is missing the ferry.

From: fuzzy
25-Jan-24
A two a ay drive with the wife? I'm worried FOR you. Lol

From: mdjunior
25-Jan-24
Lol, it’s ok. We travel well together.

From: fuzzy
25-Jan-24
mdjunior that's great, I was just teasing you a bit.

From: TEmbry
26-Jan-24
Sounds like an easy place to travel to/from!

From: bb
27-Jan-24
Treeline,

You could fly to Bangor or Portland, rent a car and drive, It’s about 10 hrs give or take to the ferry from Bangor. You could fly to NL, if you do, try to avoid routing through both Toronto and montreal, they both suck. I have had the best experiences through halifax but the lat times I flew the layovers were long. If you fly, you used to be able to purchase styrofoam shipping containers for seafood at the Gander airport from Air Canada if you, bone out the meat, that’s a good way to bring it back. Several of the Hotels in Gander would let you put the meat boxes in their freezers if you were staying there. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any of that, but it can’t hurt to explore those possibilities

From: Jeff.Thomp
27-Jan-24
I just did this trip last October. Air Canada is a trip....Plan an extra day on the front of your hunt for missed flights. Toronto doesn't like firearms, nor does Montreal. I didnt talk to a single hunter up there that had no issues with their flights. Archery equipment was a non issue. Meat from deer lake to Missouri ended up being $900 shipped and $400 more for processing. My meat just made it back last week. Wild country and great people. I would go strictly archery next time or just drive.

From: Treeline
27-Jan-24
Thank you, bb! Certainly helps to get options lined out early! Boning out the meat up there and getting it boxed and frozen would probably be the best option to get it home. Will definitely be talking through logistics with folks from now till then!

From: Bou'bound
28-Jan-24
JUST DRIVE !

You can plan to fly, but you may end up being as gone the same amount of time anyway given how travel goes or your trip may get screwed up

figure out a way to finagle a couple extra days and forget about it

control your own destiny. save a couple thousand dollars at least in travel and shipping.

Not one person above has said things will go well for you in the air

From: fuzzy
29-Jan-24
^^^ I don't always agree with Boubound but when I do he's right.

From: JTreeman
29-Jan-24
I flew to NF last year on 2 days notice, it was very uneventful and simple both ways. Shipping of meat and trophies was equally simple.

I like how people say “just drive” “it’s cheaper”, “its easier”

For me to drive it’s at least 4 days each way. Assuming everything goes smooth. I can fly one day each way. The flight cost me about $1200 RT. I can absolutely guarantee I cannot drive for $1,200 in just fuel, probably closer to 2x. Not considering anything for the mileage on my truck.

Then if we add in what I could make at work in those 4 days it turns into a complete joke to say it’s better to drive. If you consider mileage on my truck, fuel, ferry, and opportunity cost of those 6 days I can pay for the flight and meat/trophy shipping multiple times over.

Retired guys can do it, I get it. But saying “just drive” simply doesn’t work for most of us. Make a plan for the logistics and go hunt.

—Jim

From: g5smoke21
29-Jan-24
It would be a 42 hr drive for me each way including the ferry. 2200 miles each way. I have a 3 year old and 1 year old at home. Driving just isn't going to work for me. Flights from my local small airport 20 minutes away are running about $1100 right now or can go out of Chicago (don't really want to) for about $800. I would love to just drive and take the meat with me and have total control but it ain't happening at this point in life.

From: g5smoke21
29-Jan-24

From: fuzzy
30-Jan-24
g5smoke it is exactly 2,000 road miles from my driveway to Millertown NF , not counting the ferry mileage. Yes I allowed 4 days each way. A couple trips I made it back in 3 days. I (used to) love doing long drives though.

From: g5smoke21
23-May-24
I ended up booking out of Chicago which is a 3hr drive from home connecting in Toronto (4hr layover on the way to and 5.5 hr on the way home). Arrival into deer lake roughly 36 hrs prior to being picked up by the outfitter. Driving just is not an option with 2 little ones at home

From: njbuck
23-May-24
I flew last October, half of the flight into Deer Lake was hunters. Of those, over 20 people on that flight ALONE had baggage lost. I had two bags, luckily my bow showed up and I always wear my hunting boots, so fortunately for me I did not lose any hunting days. Others lost multiple days. There were other hunters waiting in the airport from other flights who were reporting similar issues.

Getting my caribou home was relatively easy. At the end of the season a shipping company took a tractor trailer to PA and I picked up the cape and rack there.

Due to time constraints, driving is normally not an option for me. If you are going to fly, make sure you have air tags so you can know exactly where your bags are.

From: caribou77
23-May-24
Fly. Fly first class every hunting trip. Rarely is it a few hundred more than coach, picking your seat, paying for meals and drinks, paying for extra luggage.

How much meat do you want to bring home? As a first class flyer most times you get 2 65# bags free. (And priority) pack all your gear in one, fly 65# meat cape home.

Every outfitter that and deliver your meat to a shipper as well. They deliver after season to many different big cities. Pic one close to you and drive to claim your meat. Much much easier than anything I’ve done.

23-May-24
Nick, No disrespect, but if you are arriving 36hrs early, then drive. There is so much to go wrong flying. We flew from Appleton. We missed our connector in Montreal on the way into Canada in 2021. Due to the ignorance and care less attitude of the Canadian customs staff checking weapons. They are either really stupid or just vindictive or both. Then one guy lost luggage to deer lake. Our hunt was delayed 3 days in NF due to bad weather. Float planes couldn't fly. If that happens to you at the end of your hunt you will miss your return flight. Coming home 3 hrs was almost not enough in Toronto. Luckily US customs is somewhat better than Canadian. Part of our group did drive. They took 5 of 7 moose home but the last 2 guys had to store it and ship it. The meat got to Minneapolis in February. Storage and shipping was over $1000 each plus processing and the bear rug one guy had never made it home. It was a great time despite the issues but I'll drive next time.

From: Bou'bound
23-May-24
How does The age of the kids factor in. Just curious. You’re either with them or away from them be they 3, 9, 15, or 21. Maybe more Of a spouse thing but flying is a rodeo and you are adding unpredictability into the itinerary. It may very well Go Smoothly.

From: caribou77
23-May-24
Bou, flying can be a rodeo if you don’t plan ahead and allow enough time for layovers and the small chance of lost baggage. On my Yukon hunt last fall I scheduled 4-5 hours per layover in Toronto and Vancouver going up and back. Also planned a day ahead for lost luggage. It was still far cheaper and easier than driving from Iowa. I’ve drove to Grand Prairie Alberta for a moose hunt before. It was 33 hours and several hotels. If you have time and budget both flying and driving easily doable. All comes down to time available. Driving isn’t always cheaper or more fun for that matter. And I enjoy a good road trip.

From: g5smoke21
23-May-24
Luke. Thanks. I did the bid to fly first class on the way up with aor canada. Flight is currently lretty empty. They way back I can care less.

Brian. Where are you from. I live in sherwood which is real close to appleton but they just didn't offer good prices on flights and dodnt want to mess with airlines transferring bags.

Grant. I work a 24 hr rotating shift. Typically my kids are in daycare when I'm at work and have them home every day I'm off. I'm no sticking my kids with someone else longer than needs to be. It's the new world where I want my kids with me as much as possible. They are 3 1/2 and 1 1/2

From: g5smoke21
23-May-24

From: bb
23-May-24
Delays aren't unique to flights. You can have delayed flights due to weather, you can also have Ferries delayed for the same reason. Generally more apt to have a delayed ferry for an extended period than a flight. I've sat several days on the ship in port due to weather and once outside of port waiting for winds to die down to get into port. The port Aux Basque entrance to the port is very narrow with rocks on either side. It doesn't take very strong winds to hold the boat At the dock either coming or going. If the winds pick up en-route the Ferry will wait it out off shore.

From: map1
25-May-24
If you haven’t booked trip maybe consider holding off until you have more vacation time and kids are older. I’ve driven and flown thru Winnipeg Canada with firearms. I had no issues but on top of the meat issue the more connections you have the greater odds of losing luggage or firearm.

26-May-24

Charlie Rehor's embedded Photo
Charlie Rehor's embedded Photo
g5: The fact that you can go on a hunt like this with kids so young is amazing. You are doing quite well. I could never have dreamed of these hunts until age 50 or so when my kids where through college.

Personally The Rock is a destination (8 trips) I would only drive. You’re gonna have a blast.

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