Flying not driving to hunt elk

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
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19
I am planning a trip to Idaho next year to hunt elk. I have been there 2 times and have driven from Illinois both times.next year I was trying to save a little more cash and fly but I am concerned on how to get the meat home? Do you pack your bags and ship your gear? It's diy for 7 days but there is a processed close that I could get the meat frozen any help would be great
 
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reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
There is 2 of us that have driven and with gas prices as high as they are it seems I can fly and rent a car for about the sameprice. Save the 24 hr ride their and back and get another day on the mountain. With that said there has to be some good tricks for getting the meat or your gear back even if it's acouple hundred bucks
 

tstowater

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
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1,207
Location
Iowa
You need to weigh the cost of flying and dealing with meat and antlers vs. the cost of driving and time. I hunted elk in Nevada last year. It was a 1500 mile drive to where I hunted. I had a relative in Las Vegas and he picked me up at the airport and gave me a pickup to use to get to where I hunted and provided housing on the way in and on the way out. This made my decision easier, but doesn't work for everyone. I ended up with a nice elk and gave the meat away to needy families (my family really likes elk) and the head is getting mounted in Vegas. Going to be expensive to get the mount home. On the flip side, I didn't want to burn at least 4 days driving to get there and back by myself and the cost. This was a November hunt, so I could have had lots of weather issues also. If I had had someone else to go with, I probably would have elected to drive, but I did not find it to be a viable option. As far as gear goes, you can mail it to yourself if you can find a place to send it. Just got back from Alaska and there was a pile of gear in McGrath that hunters had mailed ahead so they didn't have to deal with it on a plane. My understanding is that they used US mail, parcel post, but you may want to consider your other options. Add up the total cost of airfare, parking, hotels if needed, rental vehicles, shipping of gear, trophy and meat and weigh that against time of driving and cost. You may find it to be closer than you think.
 

sab

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
199
Reid:

I'm hunting elk in Montana this year (I leave in 2 days - woo hoo!). Two of us are flying to Seattle, where we'll meet up with two Seattle-based hunters and drive to Montana. We did a lot of research on fly-in hunts. We chose Southwest Airlines because their baggage policy is generous (two free checked bags). On the way out, my backpack with stays removed is my carryon, and two hard-side coolers are my checked luggage. I did a great deal of research to find a cooler that fits the maximum baggage dimensions within an inch or so. I made a harness out of mil-spec webbing to keep the coolers closed, plus they piggyback, one on top the other. I then had a local machine shop make me an axle using Razor scooter wheels. The harness holds the axle under the bottom cooler. With the wheels, I can easily transport the two coolers from baggage claim to the curb. I shipped my rifle and a few other harder- or impossible-to-check (bear spray and stove fuel) items ahead of time (they have already arrived in Seattle).

On the way back, if I have meat in the coolers, I'll either check a third bag or ship more of my gear home. So far, the hardest task has been finding a way to get the meat frozen solid prior to the flight back. It sounds like you already have that covered.

Good luck!
Scott
 

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