Fly or drive?

FLAK

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
2,208
Location
Gulf Coast
I simply cant get enough gear on a plane to keep this old body comfortable any longer.
And bringing horns and meat back?
Driving is no brainer.
And honestly, I dont know how much longer i want to keep
making the drive.🙂
 

Indian Summer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
951
The sweetness of flying is gone long before the bitterness of all of the logistical problems it creates. Driving gives you total control over everything. The only way to help with that is to ship all the gear you need to a contact out there and ship it home. To do that with an entire camp, tent cots woodstove and all will cost as much as your airfare. Been there done that not worth it. The cost isn’t the problem.

And to whoever compared this to an Alaska moose hunt is comparing apples to basketballs! Obviously you would need an extra week just to drive. And shipping everything back and forth for a diy moose hunt will run you easily $1000+. Been there done that too. Alaska/fly and lower 48/drive.
 
OP
Mdfowlman2

Mdfowlman2

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
164
The sweetness of flying is gone long before the bitterness of all of the logistical problems it creates. Driving gives you total control over everything. The only way to help with that is to ship all the gear you need to a contact out there and ship it home. To do that with an entire camp, tent cots woodstove and all will cost as much as your airfare. Been there done that not worth it. The cost isn’t the problem.

And to whoever compared this to an Alaska moose hunt is comparing apples to basketballs! Obviously you would need an extra week just to drive. And shipping everything back and forth for a diy moose hunt will run you easily $1000+. Been there done that too. Alaska/fly and lower 48/drive.
I simply cant get enough gear on a plane to keep this old body comfortable any longer.
And bringing horns and meat back?
Driving is no brainer.
And honestly, I dont know how much longer i want to keep
making the drive.🙂
Getting meat back seems to be the easiest part of the equation, it’s $75 for each “bag” or cooler 51

Won’t be any cots, large tents, or wood stoves. We Don’t plan on building any sort of elaborate camp. We are going out there with the plan to be very mobile and we don’t want any elaborate camp to tie us to an area. We are pretty much decided on flying, with southwest I can pay nothing and take 4 (bags), or I could pack stupid heavy, pay $75 per bag for overweight Bags up to 100lbs each. Only concern I have at this point is making sure the 4x4 truck rental is in fact a 4x4 truck when I arrive.
 

Indian Summer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
951
Getting meat back seems to be the easiest part of the equation, it’s $75 for each “bag” or cooler 51

Won’t be any cots, large tents, or wood stoves. We Don’t plan on building any sort of elaborate camp. We are going out there with the plan to be very mobile and we don’t want any elaborate camp to tie us to an area. We are pretty much decided on flying, with southwest I can pay nothing and take 4 (bags), or I could pack stupid heavy, pay $75 per bag for overweight Bags up to 100lbs each. Only concern I have at this point is making sure the 4x4 truck rental is in fact a 4x4 truck when I arrive.
Think warm and dry. Not everyone realizes what the weather is like out there. I’ve heard guys say “We’re going out in May to scout” No.... you’re not! Unless you’re taking a snowmobile. Likewise it can get wintery in September. I’ve seen 8 inches of wet heavy snow that quickly turned into a slushy nightmare.

Words to live by: Hope for the best but by God plan for the worst.

I honestly cannot imagine flying and taking everything you need for a DIY elk hunt on a plane.
 

eaglemountainman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
474
Location
Florida,Dwneast Me,Catskills
I prefer to fly. And I do for antelope and mulies because I can carry the entire boned and frozen animal in the over head and under the seat if needed. For elk I would throw a chest freezer in the bed of my truck and drive, even though the thought of that trip from Florida to Wyoming/Montana, alone, makes my palms sweat. At least you'd have your buddy for company and to share the driving.
 

FLAK

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
2,208
Location
Gulf Coast
Think warm and dry. Not everyone realizes what the weather is like out there. I’ve heard guys say “We’re going out in May to scout” No.... you’re not! Unless you’re taking a snowmobile. Likewise it can get wintery in September. I’ve seen 8 inches of wet heavy snow that quickly turned into a slushy nightmare.

Words to live by: Hope for the best but by God plan for the worst.

I honestly cannot imagine flying and taking everything you need for a DIY elk hunt on a plane.
NO lie. Hunted the Sawtooth of central Id. in early Oct., few years back.
Got down to 15' in the wee hrs of the morning.
That was brisk!!
 

jmez

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
6,054
Location
Piedmont, SD
Flying by is the right choice. If you can't bring everything you need on a plane your taking way to o much stuff.

If you get an elk, box all your hunting stuff up and UPS it home. Give you more room on plane.

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DANJR

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
20
Location
CO
I'd fly for sure-the extra days hunting/scouting make it a no brainer. While everyone hopes to be successful, odds are not in the favor of success. Get an animal down, then figure it out. Fly out, get an animal down, then spend the remaining time road tripping home. I haven't flown for a hunt, but have flown for camping trips in other states. Plan on backpacking gear even if car camping. You'll have to fit everything in your backpack anyways, so packing for the trip is simple. Once you rent a car pick up a cheap cooler from walmart, and buy groceries, firewood, fuel for stove, etc. If flying home at the end of your trip, you can easily pass these items on to another hunter at the trailhead, or leave them at a rest stop with a note on it-you'll make someone's day. Use and abuse the rental and save the miles from your personal vehicle. One thing people don't think about is what happens if you have a breakdown halfway across the country. You've now ruined your hunt and are stuck somewhere. If your flight gets delayed/cancelled, you'll be able to hop on the next one and are still in a great place for a Plan B scramble of driving if need be.
 

cday34

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
11
Done both. But I much prefer to drive, and I have broken down half way across the country. Lost half a day but that is still better than not having your gear show up from either shipping it or the airline screwing up.
 
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Mdfowlman2

Mdfowlman2

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
164
Done both. But I much prefer to drive, and I have broken down half way across the country. Lost half a day but that is still better than not having your gear show up from either shipping it or the airline screwing up.

Losing half a day when a vehicle “breaks” down is about best case scenario.
 

Doc Holliday

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Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
1,055
Losing half a day when a vehicle “breaks” down is about best case scenario.
Yep. My (self-employed) buddy drove from Florida to Montana last year.....over the last couple of years leading up to the hunt, all he could talk about was how pumped he was for that drive, "see the country", and how he was getting new tires, new brakes, cold air intake, this, that, and the other for the big trip. I told him before we ever booked the trip that I was flying, and that if he wanted someone to ride with him I understood if he wanted to plan with someone else. I got a first class roundtrip ticket for less than $600. He had a belt snap on the way home and luckily was on his way again that night. I paid to have all my meat shipped back FedEx. When it's all said and done, he didn't save any money by driving, and (more importantly to me) he was away from home almost a week longer than I was.

He finally admitted to me the other day that he regrets driving, and would fly next time. I know that was hard for him to do.
 

eshunt

Junior Member
Joined
May 23, 2012
Messages
30
One thing to think about with the 4x4 rental. Even if it is a true 4x4, the tires on the truck/suv will be the light duty, most likely P-rated tires. They won’t be good LT-rated off road tires. I have rented 4x4s many times and also had trouble with flat tires. And many times there’s wording in the rental contract about not going on dirt roads. It usually states something about for use on maintained highways and roads. I’m not saying don’t do it, I have flown many times, just be aware of some of the limitations that come with the “4x4 rental”.

One time we flew up to AK and had reserved a 4x4 Chevy Tahoe. When we got there, they wanted to give us some little AWD mini-SUV. Not at all what we had reserved. Took some work, but eventually ended up with a good 4x4 Dodge pickup that we were able to make do with.

Another time, we flew down to AZ for Jan archery hunt. Had reserved a 4x4 pickup. Ended up with a 2-wheel drive Dodge. That trip we had more than one flat tire trying to get around on some of the maintained gravel roads. Couldn’t access a few places we wanted to get to due to the limitation.
 

dzlfarmboy

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Messages
65
I would drive and have all your gear with you, and sleep in the back of this Mega Cab on a memory foam matress switching drivers every 5hrs for fuel. This is the best way to drive across country. So comfy Mega Cab FTW! Mega Cab 2.jpg
 

PaBone

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
17
Location
Western Pa.
We are flying into Missoula, mainly because we have limited time this year. My son has to be home for a wedding he is in also, not sure why anyone would get married in September, October, November or December. Our plans could change depending on us killing elk, my son could fly home and we could drive the rental home.
 

ncavi8tor

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
182
My buddy and I drove to MT from NC last year. Even though it was a long trip we actually enjoyed the drive, had great conversations, and listened to numerous podcasts. I think it helps to have a great hunting partner that you enjoy being around! Good luck!

NC

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