How to transport Elk meat??

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by SPR123, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. SPR123

    SPR123 Member

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    I will be going on my first Elk hunt (hopefully) in the next few years, and was curious how one would get ALL of that meat back home after the hunt? I will be flying out to Wyoming from Florida and am trying to figure the logistics of shipping however many pounds of wonderful Elk meat back home. Cost effective, obviously would be what I'm trying to research.

    Thanks for any feedback!

    Ryan Newsome
    Superior Precision Rifles, LLC
    Superior Precision Rifles, LLC | Crawfordville, FL 32327
     
  2. jackem

    jackem Well-Known Member

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    I suggest lining up a wild game processor near where you hunt to cut up the meat, wrap it, and freeze it.

    If he can put the meat in ice chests and then freeze it a lot more meat will fit in a chest.

    Then overnight or 2nd day air, etc. ship it back in taped, sealed ice chests.

    Just money:D

    Jack
     

  3. SPR123

    SPR123 Member

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    I guess the only other choice would be check the cooler as luggage with the airline? I'm sure it would be over sized and over weight $$$. Just thought I'd ask to see how anyone else has done this before.
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    Shipping it will run you $4-5/pound. Think 180 pounds net weight and yes it may be $900.

    The most cost effective way is to drive - yes, even FL to WY and back - as the flight + meat shipping will be about the same as driving.
     
  5. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    I agree w Dr Vette. You need to drive, take some coolers with you and bring your meat home packed in dry ice.
     
  6. Jon L.

    Jon L. Member

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    If you can fly Southwest Air, they do not charge for checked baggage (first Bag). You need to have a game processor cut, Vac Bag, and freeze your meat.

    My wife and I flew Southwest from Northern California to Texas last year to hunt deer. We only checked on bag between us and two empty ice chests.

    We purchased a third ice chest in Texas, and brought back 3 white tail deer, cut, vacuum bagged and frozen. We placed 7 lbs. of dry ice in each ice chest and after having them inspected at airport check in, I duct taped the lids. We arrived home with perfectly frozen meet and still had some dry ice left in all 3 chests. * only had to pay $50.00 for the one additional checked piece of luggage.

    I have brought fish and game back home in this manner from Alaska, Quebec, etc. always with great results and minimal costs.

    Save yourself the long drive unless you really want to sight see and spend over $ 900.00 for gas not to mention the wear and tear on your vehicle.

    Note: Check the air line regulations. Southwest has a strict policy on how much dry ice can be placed in each ice chest. Last January it was 7#'s per chest.

    To The Hunt

    Jon L.
     
  7. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Before you try to define what you will be doing with meat, figure out how you are hunting. A do-it-yourself hunt means you may have to bone out and move several hundred pounds of meat a few miles to a vehicle before it spoils. With an outfitter it should be different. MOST outfitters plan on how to care for meat although the last hunt I went on the outfitter had no plans for getting meat to a processor or for cutting and packaging on site — even by me! (I was PISSED!) Once you define the hunt you should know what has to be done on the front end. I contrast that to my first guided elk hunt where the animal was quartered and quarters packed out the next day. Then for $200 the quarters were cut, wrapped and flash-frozen so they were frozen solid before they went into my coolers.

    The next stage is driven by time and money. You either ship the meat home or put it in your vehicle. If you have more money than time you ship the meat & catch a plane both ways. If like me, money can be tight, you drive both ways so you can haul as much gear as you care to and getting meat home isn't a problem. (I drive from NC to Montana or Idaho for hunts so it's not a short trip.) The middle ground is to fly to the hunt (saving days driving) and rent a vehicle to drive home. Choose which of them fits your situation best. Obviously, how far you are going for your hunt may affect your decision.
     
  9. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    I should have added that if you choose to take meat with you on a plane you can save by shipping your hunting gear home via UPS ground.

    The size of a mature bull elk is often shocking to first-time elk hunters. These are not just larger versions of white-tailed deer. These are BIG animals, think Clydesdales with 5-6 foot antlers!
     
  10. SPR123

    SPR123 Member

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    Reading this:

    "The size of a mature bull elk is often shocking to first-time elk hunters. These are not just larger versions of white-tailed deer. These are BIG animals, think Clydesdale with 5-6 foot antlers!"

    really makes me ready to go elk hunting!! Lol!

    My situation is: I have a military buddy that lives in Hemingford NE that I fly out to hunt with (twice so far) for Mule deer and Whitetails. I have yet to bring back meat from these trips so far. We do all of the processing (cut it, grind it, pack it and freeze it) at his house. He and his family keeps most of the meat and gives the rest to some less fortunate friends. So the meat is put to great use and I have no problem donating (deer) meat to anyone. I live in North Florida and deer hunting there is great! (As long as your not Trophy hunting) I shoot 4-5 deer a year, so deer meat is plentiful at my house. Elk on the other hand, just seem to not like walking past my tree stand in the woods where I hunt! So if and when I make my trip to my buddies house for an Elk hunt in South Eastern WY (Unit 7 is where I'm accumulating preference points) I want to make sure I have the best plan for bringing back as much meat as possible. We will most likely drive from his house to the nearest cheap hotel/motel close to Unit 7 and stay until I fill my tag. They have done this before so that part is not a problem. I am always grateful for the responses that you guys post. Thank you!



    [​IMG]
     
  11. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Like you, I can easily fill freezers with venison hunting in NC where I live and in NY where I have a lifetime license. Elk is another matter — and much better than venison.

    The issues for you will be:
    • How to cool the meat quickly in the field and getting it out of the field. This may not be a major problem if ranch-land hunting but it often requires a pack team on wilderness hunts.
    • I recommend contacting someone that does game processing in the area. To have someone professionally cut and wrap your meat and have it frozen solid by the next morning is well worth $200.

    Having it wrapped, frozen and ready to go will make it easier for you to either drive back or ship the meat. It also means you won't have to stay up all night playing butcher before a long drive.
     
  12. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    "Go ahead and get quotes on overnighting it or even 2 day air - you'll see that $4-5/pound is about right."

    Nobody said it wouldn't cost that much if you do what you stated. The quote of mine you put up is stating that there are other ways of getting the meat home a lot cheaper than 4-5 $ per # and you just stated that yourself! Incidentally, if you only got 180# from your bull, you either shot a real piscutter or got screwed by the processor!!!
     
  14. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    This is how I transport emlightbulb
     

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