Re: shipping meat
To process a "typical" elk out here, and in northern New Mexico, it seems to cost around $200-$250. A few friends have had the processed meat shipped out of Denver, and that worked fine for them. Many of the processor units make regular trips to DIA for this purpose, so I don't think it would be a problem.
One thing to keep in mind, is that most places that accept donated meat insist that the processing was done at a "commercial" processor, with all the packages stamped.
If you like your hunting rifle, you can keep your hunting rifle.