flying meat out of Bethel

JPD350

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Thought I would put a link to this thread in the moose page to generate more activity
 

live2huntelk

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Another links for reference....

 

AKDoc

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Thought I would put a link to this thread in the moose page to generate more activity

It's great to see that you are looking at ways to get all of that wonderful moose meat back home with you.
Numerous empty storage bins stacked inside one another is a common sight on Alaska flights going in and out of the bush communities...so that part of your plan is solid.

Live2huntelk gave you some helpful links.

I've moose hunted out of Bethel for the past seven years (and will again next year), and I get home all of our meat. It's different for me because we use an in-state air-freight company...it goes right in their freezer on the bone in Bethel and stays in the meat bags for transport to ANC...it is so convenient.

I think a major step for you is to plan and prearrange how you are going to get your meat cut down to bin size and be assured of freezer space in Bethel in advance of shipping so it can be frozen before flying home with you. I am pretty sure that Alaska Air requires your meat to be frozen to fly...you should check.

Contact the transporter service that you are using and ask about options and prearrangements to freeze your meat in Bethel before transport home with you...don't assume anything (especially freezer space in Bethel). Most always our meat is picked-up in the field well before we come out, so everything is prearranged for us with our transporter. It would be a super tight window to come out of the field, cut down the meat to bin size and get it well frozen (not likely) before jumping on a Alaska flight home the next day. I'm sure your transporter will help connect those steps for you.
 
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JPD350

JPD350

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It's great to see that you are looking at ways to get all of that wonderful moose meat back home with you.
Numerous empty storage bins stacked inside one another is a common sight on Alaska flights going in and out of the bush communities...so that part of your plan is solid.

Live2huntelk gave you some helpful links.

I've moose hunted out of Bethel for the past seven years (and will again next year), and I get home all of our meat. It's different for me because we use an in-state air-freight company...it goes right in their freezer on the bone in Bethel and stays in the meat bags for transport to ANC...it is so convenient.

I think a major step for you is to plan and prearrange how you are going to get your meat cut down to bin size and be assured of freezer space in Bethel in advance of shipping so it can be frozen before flying home with you. I am pretty sure that Alaska Air requires your meat to be frozen to fly...you should check.

Contact the transporter service that you are using and ask about options and prearrangements to freeze your meat in Bethel before transport home with you...don't assume anything (especially freezer space in Bethel). Most always our meat is picked-up in the field well before we come out, so everything is prearranged for us with our transporter. It would be a super tight window to come out of the field, cut down the meat to bin size and get it well frozen (not likely) before jumping on a Alaska flight home the next day. I'm sure your transporter will help connect those steps for you.

I looked on Everts website and their policy says that all game meat is to be packed in ice chests or wax boxes, also says that all antlers are to be prepped and wrapped and no where did it say that you could ship bagged unfrozen quarters. From their website 82 cents a lb is Everts rate

I totally agree, I do not want to assume anything!

In regards to the meat and talking to the transporters, I actually wasn't real thrilled with what I was told by Renfro's, they pretty much said they don't have anywhere for me to freeze the meat. They did say that if I wanted to freeze the back straps and tenderloins to take with me as checked baggage they have enough space for that.
Renfro's also said that if one of us kills early they would fly the meat out and put it in their cold storage but then said they want it moved out of there as fast as possible, I asked how am I suppose to get it reduced to boxes or coolers if I am still out in the field, she mentioned to move it to Evert Cargo then ship it to Anchorage and debone it there or have someone else do it for you in Anchorage. If I kill at the end of the hunt then I would have the ability to debone at Renfro's but no help on where to get it frozen even if I stayed an extra night in Bethel.

I have a pretty good grasp of how to ship meat home separate from my flight, it would probably cost me 800 to ship two 100lb totes thru Evert to Anchorage then home
 
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mtnbiker208

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The method I used is costly, but it got the job done well.
I chartered a plane for my ride back to anchorage. This was a diy, with 2 guys and all the gear and 2 moose. It just worked easier to charter a plane, Not cheap, but very effective. My trip was out of Mcgrath, not Bethel, but same basic circumstances. This was a float trip with no meat pickup. I did discover giving the ribs and neck meat away was very easy.
 

Larry Bartlett

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Most guys I've dealth with use AK Air Cargo. Need to use your pilot's "known shipper" account unless you have your own.
 

Nick Muche

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I've shipped thousands of pounds of meat out of Bethel, Northern Air Cargo has been very reliable and while I've used AK Air Cargo with great success in other locations, I have not used them there but I am sure it would work very well.
 

william schmaltz

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The only certainty when traveling to the village AK Airlines hubs is the lack of consistency. I’ve been to all (but 1) of the hubs numerous times and almost every time I’ve traveled with temperature-sensitive coolers for work. Every experience (even at the same hub weeks apart) is very different. The best approach is the way you described, but I only do that if the weather is close to what I need inside the coolers and I can accept that they may sit on the ramp a day or two. I’ve waited on checked coolers a few times and the internal temp when i received them days later suggested they were not in the freezer like they were supposed to be. When it works out, great. But with everything in AK, have a contingency plan in place.

If you have an AK airlines shipping hub at home, register for a known shipping number. If you ship it, you watch it go right into the freezer and it has “freeze” directly on the air waybill if it gets hung up at another airport. Price for shipping out of the village is on par with oversized bag fees.

FYI for the AK guys, NAC no longer allows the shipping whole quarters on a pallet method - they are now requiring sealed containers. ACE still allows the quarters on a pallet method. Bring your own tarps/visqueen/tape and I’ve found they really appreciate it and take care of ya! They require a plastic tub pallet, so plan to call ahead and make sure they have one set aside.
 
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JPD350

JPD350

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Everts cargos written policy also says they want game meat in totes or coolers. If all air cargo companies in Bethel are moving to requiring meat be reduced to totes or coolers to ship then someone in Bethel needs to figure out how to help hunters reduce their meat to boxes or the transporters need to increase their cooler capacities so that there isn't an issue of shipping your meat out of their cooler before you get out of the field so that you may reduce it yourself.

The biggest hurdle I see is getting the meat reduced to boxes and wanting to reduce it myself, not a huge issue if I kill late in the hunt, I believe I can get it reduced to boxes in a few hours then take it right to AACargo, done deal!
The problem is killing early and Renfros or PaPa Bear wanting it out of their cooler asap which you can't do unless you use a local processor or ship it to Anchorage and have someone else reduce or process the meat, not a great solution because this will have a much higher price tag.

The second hurdle is whether or not you get the meat frozen prior to shipping, I would prefer to ship the meat as checked in baggage but getting the meat frozen seems unlikely which makes checking it in as baggage an unlikely plan.

At this point air cargo is the way to go because as long as you get the meat reduced to boxes or totes air cargo will put it in a freezer until they ship it and when you pick it up your meat is frozen. The caveat for this is that Alaska air cargo doesn't ship to where I live and I would need to drive 7 hours one way to pick it up which sucks but it isn't that big a deal.

A couple questions for those who have used PaPa Bear or Renfro's coolers, give me some honest opinions of the condition of them and did you feel they took good care of your meat while it was in their coolers.
I know it is what it is, I just want to know in advance.
 
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