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Thread: Transporting 60" Moose Antlers

  1. #1

    Default Transporting 60" Moose Antlers

    I'd like to bring a 60" set of Moose Antlers with me to the lower 48. I'm hoping to be able to bring them as luggage on Alaska Airlines. Any tips or suggestions in doing this?

    I'm guessing they may have to be cut in order to meet the airlines size restrictions. If that's the case, what would be the best way for an average Joe to do this? What would be the best way to get back together so they don't look like crap?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    yeah, 60" racks are tough to fly with anymore, whole. You can cut the skull cap down the middle and have your taxidermist reassemble in the mounting process...to easy this way.

    It's best to cut them for shipping as baggage or send via US Postal Service in a box.

    larry

  3. #3
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    You could make the antlers removable & that would make it simple,then just put em back together or even glue the antlers permanently whe you get them home.

    I would only cut the skull plate on a big moose as a last resort.

    If it will be mounted as a shoulder mount later you will weaken the skull by cutting it , no matter what you do to it to put it back together.

    If the antlers are made removable the right way you will still have the strength in the skull so when the antlers are put back on you can carry the mount by the anlers & not have anything coming loose under the skin.

    Plus if they are done right you will not alter the width or forward tilt of the antlers.

    Give me a call & I can talk ya through it if needed.

    RJ Simington

  4. #4

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    i'd like to read how you "make the removable", if you have the time. Do you mean to say cut them just behind the bur ring at the antler base?

    lb

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    i'd like to read how you "make the removable", if you have the time. Do you mean to say cut them just behind the bur ring at the antler base?

    lb
    Thats what they do and then generally a square metal post is glued in to the antler with a corresponding hole in the mount. Makes shipping, mounting and handling much easier. Done properly you can never tell.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  6. #6

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    Before you do any cutting, I would recommend taking a number of different measurements at key points so that you will know that it is in the correct position when you secure things back together.

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    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    OK, First off DO NOT CUT THE ANTLERS LOOSE FROM THE SKULL YET.

    You will have to go get a large auger bit from Home depot or where ever.

    You will need a Large drill, must have a side handle or you could break your wrist or fingers, ( Trust me I broke 2 fingers last season because I didn want to wait till I could find the side handle for my drill.)

    Next Before Cutting ANYTHING, Drill a smaller Pliot hole from the inside of the skull up through the Pedical base & into the Antler.

    Being sure to keep checking so you wont come out through the side wall of the antler.

    ( KEEP YOUR Head back, The drill WILL catch in hard spots in the antler bone, & the drill will spin loose in your hands, no matter how hard you hold it. DING goes fingers sideways, & your Jaw if you are leaning on the drill for presure.)

    OK , Now you have the apropriate size Large hole & you test fit your Square tubing into the hole.

    Always go to a Steel store & get Solid bar stock that fits REAL tight into the square tubing you are chosing.

    You can always grind it down slightly so it will fit without any slack but still come back out.

    Then use Johnstons paste wax & wax the solid bar & insert it ONCE, then remove the bar stock again.

    At this time take a small piece of tape & tape off each end of the tubing. ( this will keep the bondo from filling your tube & defeating your pupose.

    Mix Bondo & a little bit of Fibreglass resin , mix well. the put in a LOT of hardner.

    Mix well again & fill the hole up about 1/3 with bondo.

    Then insert the square tubing that you have taped off.

    Fill the remaining hole with bondo & put extra bondo around & over the end of the square tube.

    LET HARDEN til it is all the way cold again.

    At this time you can do the other antler.

    After BOTH antlers are cold & completely set up , at this time you can use a Sawzall with a fine toothed metal cutting blade & cut the antler off of the skull plate just below the bur, Being carefull not to hit the bur with the blade or the chuck of the saw.

    When cut off you will see that you have a preset tube that is an EXACT fit with the way the antlers were befor cutting off.

    Insert the solid bar stock.

    If you want to make them permanent again, just put a bunch of 5 minute epoxie on both ends ( AFTER WIPING ALL OF THE WAX OFF ) of the solid bar stock & insert the rod ino the skull & antler pushing them all the way together.

    Let this stand till hardens & it will never come apart again.

    You can also just glue in One end like we do so your Solid bar doesnt fall out & get lost in moving it around.


    THAT is the right way to do it.


    RJ Simington

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Here is the easy way to cut antlers and not worry about tilting or shifting: cut in the middle of the skull plate in a "V" form (tip of the V going towards the other antler). This allows for it to go back together easily, it can shift, and two bolts/screws its back together. Is it ideal? no, but its the best way I've found.
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

    No guns: no peace. No safety!

  9. #9

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    RJ, no offense, but that's a lot of detail work that requires tools and time and know-how. Most hunters from my experience have about 1 day at best between the outbound bush flights and commercial travel. None of my clients have the time or resources to make this operation work smoothly.

    Most guys I know that have done this simply cut the skull cap in half and ship antlers home, where their taxidermists can then make the antlers fit with removable antlers. This way it is done right vs. "oops, oh crap i just screwed up!"

    Larry

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    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    I am just telling them THE RIGHT WAY to do it.

    Every one has their own way of doing things.

    Most taxidermist, Especialy part timers , Do not like split skulls, or pre cut pedical bases.

    Too easy to get them not wide enough, or to have the antlers the exact way they were. Plus just using bolts & glue Will not make them stable enough to carry the mount by the antlers.

    The way I have explained is how we proffetionals do it & there is not chance for error .

    Plus no complaining client when they get their mount & the photos dont match the mount.

    Everbody is looking to save a buck but in some instances it can cause more problems that the saved couple of dollars can make up for.

    I know it takes time & special handling & tools, Thats why a lot of hunters will just have us do it for them, then they dont have the headache.

    Thats also why we charge to do it for customers.

    We get a bunch of antlers & skins from outfitters after the clients are already gone home, That way there is no big rush to make a plane or a huge mess to clean up either.

    Thats what expiditors are for, we work on the trophies so the everyday hunter doesnt have to.

    We also have several Taxidermists every year also dropping things off, just so they dont have to mess with them & plus not everyone has Salt for their capes, or the desire to flesh them properly. Lots of work & they would rather have it done right , than do it half *****ed & ruin their hunting trophies.

  11. #11

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    copy that. do you work with any reputable expeditors for hunters in the Fairbanks area? We've tried a couple folks, but not good service.

    thanks in advance.

    larry

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    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    UM, We ARE an expiditor !!

    It is posted in the Stiky notes above in this forum.

    We expidited a Bunch of trophies for Striker Overly, Audun Endestadt, & Greg Jennen last year on top of several hunters that just stopped in.

    We are CHEAPER & Quiker turn around time than hauling things to Anchorage.

    That I know of we are the ONLY taxidermist in Fairbanks that can expidite to any country in the world, & the lower 48, We have our own USF&W Import/ Export license, & we are a USDA Aproved Facility.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    So you can't fly back whole sets of antlers on planes anymore? How long has this been going on? I used to wrap points with pipe wrap and electrical tape and my hunters would fly them back home. A few were in the 70" range.
    "The emotions that good hunters need to cultivate are love and service more than courage. The sentiments of the hunt then become translated into art." James Swan, In Defense of Hunting

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    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    I remember when yopu could tip the antlers & they would just put your luggage tag on the antlers & they would always be at your destnation.

    But things have changed & it could mostly be blamed back on us hunters, such as:

    I have 2 clients that went to Quebec Caribou hunting & when they got back , they were laghing about the blood trail they were leaving in the New York Airport because they were too cheap to buy new Wax coated boxes.

    Then when a little girl asked what was leaking out of their boxes, They said " We shot Ruddolph & he is in there.


    Or anouther client that just wrapped card board around the caribou antlers that he shot on Adak. Didnt tip them or anything.


    When they got to the destination they had antlers sticking out of the box & had the gall to complain about a couple of tines broken off by the airlines. Let alone all the holes those antlers put in other folks luggage.


    Or anouther client that thought he would save time & money & not pay to have his Velvet Caribou anlers injected & soaked properly.

    He just rubbed Borax on em. He was pissed when the airport personel threw a fit about the maggots & spoiled blood that was smeared on other peoples luggage.


    & alot more stories of folks trying to save a couple of bucks that caused problems that we ALL have to deal with now.


    NO wonder airlines are so strict about Antlers & meat.


    RJ Simington

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protaxidermy View Post
    I remember when yopu could tip the antlers & they would just put your luggage tag on the antlers & they would always be at your destnation.
    Yep.......that's all we used to do, as well as wrap a garbage bag around the skullcap with duct tape making it pretty much leak and smell proof. Too bad a bunch of idiots ruined it for everybody.....
    "The emotions that good hunters need to cultivate are love and service more than courage. The sentiments of the hunt then become translated into art." James Swan, In Defense of Hunting

  16. #16

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    good to know RJ, i'll shoot you a line this fall with guys who might need your service. thanks much.

    larry

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    Member 379 Peterbilt's Avatar
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    Bush flyer,If you are wanting the antlers shipped to anywhere from Montana to Michigan or in-between, drop me a line. I haul a truckload of moose meat and UNsplit racks every Sept from Alaska. If you are shipping elsewhere, these gents above gave great advise.Mike

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