Getting 2 Cow Elk Home

Uncmikel

FNG
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
22
My buddy and I are going on a cow elk hunt in Feb in Eastern Oregon and most likely will be bringing two elk home to So. Cal. I'm trying to figure out the best way to get our meat home. We're flying into Boise and then renting a pickup and driving to the outfitter so we can transport the meat back to Boise. I just need to get it home and processed. I see 2 options:
1. Process the meat in Boise and ship it. I believe FedEx Freight boxes 48" x 40" x 38" will ship in a day or 2 for $232. I just need to coordinate getting the box and a pallet to put the box on. We're staying one night in a hotel so I was going to ship 4 coolers to the hotel so we can just throw the meat in the coolers and stack the coolers on the pallet in the FedEx box.
- Concerns: I'm not sure I should trust FedEx to get the meat to me in time. I'm not sure I trust the processer to get it all stacked and in the coolers so it ships well.
2. Bring duffle bags and freeze the quarters (bone in or out?). Then bring the duffle bags with us on our short flights (it will be cold so I'm not too worried about the weather). Process it in the LA area somewhere.

I'm fairly new to hunting and I'm not sure how big the quarters will be. I believe the outfitter will freeze the meat overnight in his walk in but I want to make sure I'm not missing something. I believe we lose some meat if we go bone out, so I'd rather keep bone in if it's not too heavy when checking it on the plane.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

thedutchtouch

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
186
The meat has to come off the bone at some point, so if you're paying by weight it makes sense to me to debone before you fly. Meat shouldn't be lost deboning there vs after unpacking the boxes, unless you're also factoring in something else like dry aging and cutting off the dried rind.
 

fmyth

WKR
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,658
Location
Arizona
Check the meat and ship your clothes home. Buy some storage totes at the local Home Depot. Make sure to put the meat in a big clear plastic bag so it does'nt leak. I go to Alaska every other year and fly home with 2 or 3 or fish boxes with just under 50lbs of frozen fish in each box. The boxes are cardboard impregnated with wax and they have a thick clear plastic bag inside. We portion the fish into quart or gallon ziplocks put 49lbs in a box and drop it into a deep freezer for 2 days. It stays frozen for my 2 day trip home to Phoenix. I get one bag checked free, the second is $40 and the third is $100 but can weigh 100lbs so we tape 2 fish boxes together. I can bring home just under 200lbs for $140. If i can't all get my clothes into my carry on and backpack I'll ship them home. Cheaper to ship clothes than frozen meat. You can get a boned out cow elk into 2 or 3 totes.
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 3.26.28 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 3.26.28 PM.png
    212.1 KB · Views: 33
  • Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 3.43.14 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 3.43.14 PM.png
    196.6 KB · Views: 28
Last edited:
OP
U

Uncmikel

FNG
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
22
The meat has to come off the bone at some point, so if you're paying by weight it makes sense to me to debone before you fly. Meat shouldn't be lost deboning there vs after unpacking the boxes, unless you're also factoring in something else like dry aging and cutting off the dried rind.
I totally agree, just not sure my outfitter will debone for me. I'll look into that.
 
OP
U

Uncmikel

FNG
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
22
Fish boxes. I go to Alaska every other year and fly home with 2 or 3 or these boxes with just under 50lbs of frozen fish in them. Once I had a box lost. The airline found it 2 days later and I drove an hour back to the airport to pick it up then an hour home. It was 115 in Phoenix and the fish was still frozen when I unpacked it.
Great option, but assuming each elk has about 170lbs of meat even boned out we will have around 350lbs of meat or 7 of those boxes. We will prob have a rifle case and duffle with our gear so that's 9 checked bags total between the 2 of us. That's going to be about $500 extra plus the boxes. I'm hoping for a better option.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,281
Location
North Carolina
Ask the processor if they will expedite it for you. Typically they'll charge an extra $100- $150 or so. Just stay an extra night & one way rental home.
 
OP
U

Uncmikel

FNG
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
22
Cardboard boxes with meat inside plastic bags- only so much dry ice allowed inside each box (see airline guidelines) (or FedEx guidelines). Coolers too heavy and not needed.

Best option is to blast home w one way rental vehicle with meat


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Looking at renting a car but the 14 hr drive is rough plus we already got first class tix since they weren't much more expensive and thinking we could use the 2 free return trip bags each to our advantage. Renting a car is about $175 plus $250 in gas so we're at $425 or so.
 
OP
U

Uncmikel

FNG
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
22
Ask the processor if they will expedite it for you. Typically they'll charge an extra $100- $150 or so. Just stay an extra night & one way rental home.
Maybe a rookie question, but if we're driving why would we want to expedite processing? Why not just take off from the hunt after hanging overnight and process it down in LA? Should stay cold enough if it's in the car and frozen solid, right?
 

fmyth

WKR
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,658
Location
Arizona
Great option, but assuming each elk has about 170lbs of meat even boned out we will have around 350lbs of meat or 7 of those boxes. We will prob have a rifle case and duffle with our gear so that's 9 checked bags total between the 2 of us. That's going to be about $500 extra plus the boxes. I'm hoping for a better option.
Check with your airline. AK airline allows checked bags up to 100lbs for $100. Buy 2 totes large enough to hold 100lbs each. Check 2 totes and your rifle. Carry on and backpack for your clothes and gear. I've never seen a cow yield 200lbs of boned out trimmed meat so you can shove your knives, and some gear in the totes w the meat if needed.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,281
Location
North Carolina
Maybe a rookie question, but if we're driving why would we want to expedite processing? Why not just take off from the hunt after hanging overnight and process it down in LA? Should stay cold enough if it's in the car and frozen solid, right?
Yes, just your personal preference on where you wanted to process it at. I've done it both ways for a 26 hour return drive. It's kinda nice to have it all done, packaged up & frozen in a cooler, get home & just put it in the freezer & not worry about it
 

EdP

WKR
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
1,217
Location
Southwest Va
I think you should reconsider your travel plans. What is it, something between 900 and 1000 miles? That's a one day drive with a buddy. It's going to take you a whole day to get there anyway between flight time, time you have to be there early, check guns, get guns and bags, get your rental vehicle, drive from Boise to eastern Oregon, and that's if your flight actually happens. Drive up, drive back with coolers full of meat, problem solved.
 
OP
U

Uncmikel

FNG
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
22
I think you should reconsider your travel plans. What is it, something between 900 and 1000 miles? That's a one day drive with a buddy. It's going to take you a whole day to get there anyway between flight time, time you have to be there early, check guns, get guns and bags, get your rental vehicle, drive from Boise to eastern Oregon, and that's if your flight actually happens. Drive up, drive back with coolers full of meat, problem solved.
Tickets are purchased. Costs are sunk. Worth considering next time.
 

TheHammer

WKR
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
612
Location
juneau wi
Driving doesn’t seem outlandish at all. 14hrs is not that extreme or extensive. Most likely the most economical, no lost or damages gear to worry about, solves the meat transporting concerns.
 

87TT

WKR
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
3,511
Location
Idaho
I shot a Muley buck in CO a few years ago, Got it processed in CO and frozen. The outfitter put it on a plane, freight, and I picked it up at the airport. But Personally, I would just drive it home and process it myself.
 

realunlucky

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
12,937
Location
Eastern Utah
Why over think this--
1- not going to get 170 lbs per cow elk. De bone yourself by breaking into muscle groups less wieght and easier to pack. Put in freezer zip lock bags since outfitter has a walk in.

2- buy two totes drill a hole on each side add zip ties to hold on lid. Fill with meat throw a couple extra zip ties on top in case someone wants to look inside.

3. Use a double rifle case with your buddy. This will give a shared case and a shared piece of luggage and 4 totes of meat. Anything you can't wear or fit in your carryon goes in shared luggage until it weight limit then the rest gets mailed home.

4. Print the airlines luggage policy out don't expect the employees to know and follow the rules. Make sure you have read and understand the over sized and over wieght luggage policies you can maximize those restrictions to be most cost effective.

5. Sometimes upgrading to first class get you more free luggage and less hassel with heavier totes. Look into it.

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 

87TT

WKR
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
3,511
Location
Idaho
I have no personal experience but in Feb. aren't most cows pregnant with pretty well developed calves inside? Not sure if that means less meat on the cow.
 
Top