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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.
I would hitchhike before going though Toronto
A disaster waiting to happen at that place.
I did three trips drove each one. Lots to see along the way. Love the ferry
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.
I'm with Treeman. Unless I'm missing something, you still need to fly with meat.
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
I'm retired & a good driver & I'm 1 hour from Wis. border.
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
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.
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.
Was it canadian customs that was the nightmare or was it US customs on the way back home?
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.
I'm with Fuzzy on this one I don't mind driving. Too much country to see for me part of the adventure.
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.
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. 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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?
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.
A two a ay drive with the wife? I'm worried FOR you. Lol
Lol, it’s ok. We travel well together.
mdjunior that's great, I was just teasing you a bit.
Sounds like an easy place to travel to/from!
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
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.
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!
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
^^^ I don't always agree with Boubound but when I do he's right.
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.
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.
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.