Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06
Goood post and I agree that if he does it properly it won't cost him 4-5 dollars a pound to get it back to his house! He's also going to be taking a lot more than 180# back on an elk hunt.
Go ahead and get quotes on overnighting it or even 2 day air - you'll see that $4-5/pound is about right.
2 bull elk this year, deboned by the processor, net weight about 180 pounds each. I'm not just making up these numbers, I've looked into it for myself and done it myself. Head and antlers and cape are extra.
If you have a local (in WY)processor do it, note that there is a chance that 1) it may not be done by the time you leave, or 2) it may not be frozen by the time you leave, or 3) they might not arrange shipping for you. These are all things to look into when it comes to having an elk processed and/or shipped. For our hunt this past November we had to arrange our own processor because our outfitter's "preferred " processor would not have had the meat ready by the time we left - and I was not about to ship meat after driving 1600 miles.
An elk will probably take up a LOT more room than 3 whitetail deer. We used over 150 quarts worth of cooler space for each of ours this fall. If you fly it home as baggage that's several styrofoam coolers worth of meat. Consider that too if that ends up being your preferred method to get it back home. At $50 each baggage fee for 8 small-to-medium coolers that's still $400.
FYI some airlines will let you actually "ship" it along with you rather than take it as baggage. That's another angle to look at, and paying the shipping price is less expensive than taking each cooler as baggage.