Shipping meat??

actionshooter

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I'm looking for some input from folks who have had meat proccessed and shipped from AK to the lower 48. How did you go about it and costs? What should one look out for.

Luke, do you have any suggestions?

Starting plans for next year already! YEE-HAW

Thanks!
 

Becca

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I'm not Luke but I will chime in anyway :) First off, what kind of animal are you hunting? And how do you plan to have it processed? A moose yields a whole lot more meat than many people realize, and so both processing and shipping costs will be higher due to sheer volume than if you are talking about a caribou, Dall sheep or mountain goat. Also, if you only have your meat processed to steaks, roasts or burger then the processing costs will be much less than if you opt to have it made into ground or cured sausage, which while excellent, is more expensive per pound.

As far as shipping to the lower 48, my experience is fairly limited. I shipped about 75 lbs of caribou sausage to a friend last year. He had a FedEx account and some kind of military (i think) discount, and I think the shipping bill ran him around $250. I packed it frozen into fish boxes, and sent it two day air. It arrived the next day in Georgia, still frozen solid. I have also checked coolers and insulated cooler totes full of frozen meat on commercial airlines, and never had a problem. The airline only charges you once for excess or overweight baggage--so $50 will let you take an extra bag or cooler that weighs up to 100lbs.

I have heard through the grapevine about people utilizing a trucking service to get their meat and antlers home. I don't have any first hand experience, or any idea of the cost but I have heard people on other forums rave about the service. Might be worth looking into: http://www.alaskameatexpress.com/
 
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actionshooter

actionshooter

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Thanks Becca,
We are going to be shipping out of Fairbanks (hopefully ;) )
Moose and Caribou are on the menu If things go well, I would love to have different items made if anyone has a recomendations for a proccessor. I'm sure they (meat cutter) have gone through all of this before but would like to hear of others experiences.
Thanks, Steve
 

akrdkill

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Check with delta meat & sausage if you want it processed up there. They also ship. Package deal !!
 

RosinBag

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I think the cheapest way back to the lower 48 it is to freeze it, put it in coolers and check it as baggage. Each piece being between $50 and $100, plus the cost of the cooler. Having it processed up there, then shipped to you will cost a fortune I would think. Some of the guys with lots of hunts up there will get in on this thread as the holiday weekend slows down.
 

ckleeves

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I would really check into each airlines baggage policy and consider the differences when you book your ticket. Some airlines are ridiculous by the time you get to your 4th bag (200.00+ overweight fee of 90.00)
 
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actionshooter

actionshooter

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I'm in W. Wa
I'm hearing that some of the new baggage fees are crazy and its not that easy to bring a couple of coolers back like the old days.

I check Delta meats,............ thats a long haul from Fairbanks!
 

bowuntr

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This topic is a very important one if you are DIY hunting Alaska and want to get your valuable meat home... it should be budgeted in to your trip, especially if you're hunting moose or multiple animals. I've done six successful DIY trips to Alaska and believe that the way I did it was the cheapest at the time... airline rules an fees change all the time. My experience is with Alaska Airlines and Alaska Airlines Cargo.

With that being said... the cheapest way is to take it home with you on your commercial flight as extra baggage., just like Doug mentioned. Follow the airline packaging, weight and size limits and you shouldn't have a problem. Tons of fish and meat are flown out of Alaska so they're used to it if you follow the rules. A boned out Sitka blacktail will fit nicely in to a 50# fish box. A caribou will take up about two 100# ice chests. It doesn't take much volume of meat to 100#. I suggest weighing your bags in at least 2# under the max weight limit and arrive at the airport way before your departure time. On more than one occasion I was pulling meat out of a box in the Anchorage airport because of their corrupt baggage scales. Both times I weighed the ice chests at AA Cargo and they were under.... go figure. Nothing wrong with bribing the counter lady with some caribou or moose meat.... it worked both times.

Getting large antlers and a moose home is a logistic nightmare. I found... for me it is to join ($100) AA Cargo and become a certified known shipper. Again, this is a big part of their business, shipping perishable and oversize items. Its more expensive and comes out roughly to $2 a pound..... much cheaper than UPS or Fed Ex. It stays in a cooler when you drop it off and you pick it up at a cooler at your destination.

That's basically it from me. Other guys I've talked to do it differently... more than one way to skin a Mt Lion (sorry.... can't get Mt Lion off my mind). I've never lost one ounce of meat from field to home and have only given away some to friends in Ak and a couple pretty counter girls. Ed F
 

Matt Cashell

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If you drive up yourself, you can save a lot of cost. We took three moose, treated with citric acid, back to MT without freezing them at all. My moose was dead for 11 days before reaching the processor in Hamilton, MT. There was zero spoilage.
 

bowuntr

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Here's an interesting pic.... This is an AA Cargo "antler box" that has two P&Y caribou racks in it. I forgot the demensions but it was right at the commercial size limit, L+W+H. We even cut a few inches off it. We took it as extra baggage on our commercial flight and when they asked what it was we told them "hunting equipment". They knew exactly what was inside but had to ask. By the way, AA stopped flying antlers a few years ago... Ed F
 

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actionshooter

actionshooter

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I had thought about driving, mapquest says 58 hrs. That doesn't excite me too much as I would probably be by myself, my partners are in MT and NC.
That might be the best route though when I factor in my raft and other gear that will have to be freighted up anyway.

Back in 96 I killed a good caribou bull. I DID NOT want to split the skull. So when we got back to Anchorage I went to the U-haul store and wrapped up one huge basketball. ;)

The lady said "Are those horns"
Me "yes"
"Are they in velvet"
Me "no"
By the time I was back in Sea-tac, the basketball was leaking blood . :)

Getting that meat home back then wasn't a big deal, but looking at a possible moose and caribou, the commercial route didn't seem feasible,

Thanks for input guys! Keep it coming.
 

Shrek

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Sounds like you need a team member. You might find someone here to join up with you. If you can find someone to split the drive and fuel it would cut the cost in well... half ! Plan to hunt the same area at the same time doesn't mean you have to hunt and camp together. Put the word out for where and when and see if you find a new hunting partner.
 
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actionshooter

actionshooter

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Sounds like you need a team member. You might find someone here to join up with you. If you can find someone to split the drive and fuel it would cut the cost in well... half ! Plan to hunt the same area at the same time doesn't mean you have to hunt and camp together. Put the word out for where and when and see if you find a new hunting partner.

That wouldn't be a bad idea, but the raft is full and the bush flights are booked! ;)
 

Benny

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I've always checked everything but haven't killed a moose so....

There used to be a guy that was making a once a year run with his refer. Not sure if he was coming out of Anc or Fbx but his pricing was good if I remember right. I always thought I'd go that route if I needed to get a moose home. I'll look and see if I can find his contact.
 

swat8888

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Don't plan this shipping deal out to hard, if you figure it all out you won't kill a damn thing. If you wing it and figure to just figure out shipping if you kill something you'll probably punch all your tags. Isn't that how it works?
 
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