Any Tips for Transporting Elk Antlers on Airplane?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by MWood, Sep 12, 2019.


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  1. MWood

    MWood Active Member LRH Team Member

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    Hello,

    I am flying out for Elk hunt in Idaho first week of October. Normally I drive to any hunts, but this year due to work I am not able to get enough time from work to drive and have to fly.

    Have any of you ever transported Elk Antlers on Airplane? I would really appreciate any experience and tips you could share. Also, please let me know your thoughts on if this is something I should attempt to do.

    As an alternative, I thought of leaving antlers with local taxidermist and trying to make arraignments for them to ship via freight company.
     
  2. hunter67wa

    hunter67wa Well-Known Member

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    You will have to tape up the skull with garbage bags so it wont bleed. Any blood type fluid that comes out is a no-no. Tape up the tips with pipe insulation or something rubber to prevent damage. Or leave it with local taxidermist to mount then go pick it up when its done. If you hall it nothing will happen to it!
     
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  3. wyosteve

    wyosteve Well-Known Member

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    I believe you may need to split the skull as well, which is no big deal unless it's a book head.
     
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  4. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Well-Known Member

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    The mode of transportation does not matter when transporting parts of game animals across state lines relative to CWD requirements. Recommend reviewing states CWD requirements before you bring your game animal "parts" home. The key word in all the regulations is "importation" which I have tried to get clarified versus "transporting" through state. I have left messages in 2 states for response and hope to hear so soon. I also sent similar request to cwd-info.org. I am still researching the definition of "importation" versus "transporting" across states and hope to get further clarifications shortly.

    Attached is a table of CWD regulations across the States from MI and can be found on the CWD-Info.org website :http://cwd-info.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CWDRegstableState-Province_Spring19.pdf
    I printed this out on 8.5x11 and you couldn't read it without a really good magnifying glass. I reprinted on 8.5x14 legal and it was little better but still tough to read unless you are 18 years old with 20/10 vision. I was hoping the definition of "importation" applied to the resident of the state and not transporting through the State but that is not crystal clear. Some states do include the term "transport" so again what do they mean to non-residents traveling through? I have read regulations my entire career and these are not well written relative to understanding hunters cross state lines to get to hunting in other states. They are tunnel visioned to their own state so I am not going to guess without actual interpretation from a specific state.

    Link to CWD info:http://cwd-info.org/
    The problem with this site is it is not 100% accurate on who has responsibility within a specific state. I have found for example, that the page for Iowa is incorrect since it states their Agriculture department has responsibility which it does for "live" animals but the page includes discussion on game animal parts as well which is the DNR area and not addressed in the agency contacts. Which brings you to the point of asking "Do I have all the info I need?" from this site?

    Attached is a table of CWD regulations across the States from MI and can be found on the CWD-Info.org website :http://cwd-info.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CWDRegstableState-Province_Spring19.pdf
    I printed this out on 8.5x11 and you couldn't read it without a really good magnifying glass. I reprinted on 8.5x14 legal and it was little better but still tough to read unless you are 18 years old with 20/10 vision. I think this table provides a much better consolidation of regulations from DNR perspective if you can read the dang thing in printed format. Of course you can read it on screen easier by enlarging font and then scrolling across as needed. But I was going to bring with me as a backup in case we got into something so we could prove "due diligence" if we had to in most scenarios. Again the interpretation of "importation" versus "transporting" through the state is not clear. If the importation definition used in goods coming into the USA could be applied where the importation does not occur until it arrives at the destination state that have Foreign Trade Zone approach, then I am all in.

    Some states have substantial financial penalties for bringing "whole" skulls back, spinal cord attached meat and so on. Some states will allow if you bring directly to processor or taxidermist. The rules are ridiculously complicated across multiple states unless you take the simple route of just bring back a pristine clean skull cap (no tissue on it at all), quarters, and no spinal related bone. The real problem is you are transporting across state lines and it may not matter where you live regulation wise, it may be the state that you are traveling through can get you hosed up unless you understand the regulations and how they apply to transporting across state lines.

    For example in MI:
    "Posses Carcass – Deer from CWD State [ C4.1(9) ] – misdemeanor offense with a maximum of 90 days in jail, a minimum fine of at least $50 to a maximum fine of $500, Court costs and State fees, and the loss of hunting privileges at the discretion of the Court pursuant to MCL 324.43559." This applies to all cervids.

    We are hunting CO 2nd rifle season and our group that actually is across multiple states and we have decided to take the simple route of no skull, clean skull caps, quarters and plain meat.

    Even if we killed a wall hanger, we would still skull cap, cape and butcher same way so really not a huge deal UNLESS you want an European Mount. Then decisions have to be made how to deal with it.

    I know some of us would like to put our head into the ground on these regulations but CO's across the states are probably being tasked to watch for potential transport violations relative to western hunt dates or even adjoining states. Is it worth the hassle of losing your animal or potential mounts etc for failing to meet game animal transport requirements whatever they are?

    I would also bet states are looking for that really good "Poster Child" for enforcement and I don't plan on being that guy.

    Lastly, if you are truly an expert on the CWD transportation through states, I would like to hear your opinions that are based upon actual documented interpretations. Where you live is no problem, just being a "traveling man" is the problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  5. MWood

    MWood Active Member LRH Team Member

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    Thanks for the great information. I had thought of CWD only in terms of state of export. I am hunting in Idaho ( non CWD) and driving meat / antlers from Idaho through a portion of Utah to fly from Salt Lake. Utah ( CWD state) . Looks like I need to do some homework.
     
  6. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

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    Usually....with the info i have had from working a previous taxidermist shops...the regulations of the state you take the animal are prevailing....but on transport...transporting cwd infected animals from areas known to have cwd is a trouble spot...
    However...if you are planning o fly it...
    ...completely meatless and skinless...if you plan on a euro mount it is gonna cost you huge tor an airline to put that into the storage...
    If just antlers for later mounting..just have measurements at three locations of the tips of tines...can be mounted correctly from there...wrap each time and tape it securely...then wrap the entire in separate pieces of tarp(if whole)..wrap entirely in one tarp if skull is split....
    Freight transport is gonna cost you a lot of cash...and usually they have to be crated...unless you find a freight transporter whom hunts and is willing to take them just wrapped....
    I tried once to ship a 40" steelhead in a plywood crate from Oregon to Arizona.......can you say $3000....and still smile.......
     
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  7. MWood

    MWood Active Member LRH Team Member

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    Thanks for the information on how to deal with the antlers with airline. I was thinking of leaving antlers with local taxidermist for euro mount, but after seeing the cost info on the shipping the steelhead , I have now decided against that route for sure.
     
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  8. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

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    The taxidermist should be able to cut the antlers off the pedicals..and then drill and use inserts for replacement of the antlers once they arrive at your destination...
    And it makes it petting cool to pull and antler and hand it. to someone for show and tell....
     
  9. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Well-Known Member

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    Update: I spoke to IL and IA CWD department heads this afternoon and they both concurred the "importation" is ONLY for a resident who brings the meat into their state or someone who is depositing the meat into their state and does not apply to pass through transportation. IA also agreed the regulations should include clarification on transportation through the state since CO's have been incorrect in interpretation for pass through. I requested both states to recommend changes to the CWD-Info.org site to reflect pass through transportation and both thought it is good idea and will do so. I also emailed cwd-info.org with same request. In addition, IA indicated there is a group meeting of state representatives in 2 weeks and they will bring this issue up to group for further clarification to hunters transporting through states.

    Couple more states to contact but I think we are on the way to clarify the pass through transportation question.
     
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  10. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Well-Known Member

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    Another Update: I just spoke to the head of cwd-info.org about the transportation interpretation concerns relative to cervid parts and he is in agreement there needs to be a consensus among state agencies for transportation through a state without depositing the cervid parts in that state. He will bring this up as a targeted discussion in 2 weeks at their next state agency meeting. Even if agreed upon, it will take some time to policy this need out in consensus across the states BUT at least we may see consistent application of transportation of cervid parts across state lines as an interstate activity in the future.
     
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  11. YZ-80

    YZ-80 Well-Known Member

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    No, in all likelihood he’ll end up on a plane with a bunch of people coming back from a PETA convention. CWD is probably the least of his wories. I can see the YouTube video now....
     
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  12. MWood

    MWood Active Member LRH Team Member

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    Normally I would think since I am flying into Texas , which is my home state, I would be ok on this front, but some part of Texas are beginning to lean very far left which is very disturbing. So I totally agree with you that this is concern.

    Unsure if any of you follow the democrat party debates, but last night Beto O'Rourke, former Texas US congressman had a tirade about gun control in the debate

    See

    I never thought I would see a Congressman from Texas with this viewpoint. Very disturbing.
     
  13. RogerPA

    RogerPA Active Member

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    There are several speciality trophy transportation companies that will pick up your completed mounts from your preferred taxidermist, (usually located near the hunting area and recommended by your outfitter), and deliver them to your home. I’ve done this several times... I just had an elk mount delivered to my home in PA from Utah for $700. (The driver even helped me hang it up!). I did tip him well, but that was my choice. A quick web search will reveal choices... Good Luck for a safe and successful hunt!
     
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  14. MWood

    MWood Active Member LRH Team Member

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    Thank you sir for this information. This is a very reasonable price and I will take your advice .