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Thread: Transporting ducks

  1. #1
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    Default Transporting ducks

    I'm planning a trip to Adak. I want to bring skins home for taxidermy with no carcass or meat on them.
    Question: How do I prove I didn't "wanton waste" the breast' ?

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    Bring the meat back, get a letter from your guide stating that you gave it to him... Some guides will provide the meat to the local natives etc, or eat it and carry sample of evidence..lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by glass_eye View Post
    I'm planning a trip to Adak. I want to bring skins home for taxidermy with no carcass or meat on them.
    Question: How do I prove I didn't "wanton waste" the breast' ?


    Bring the birds back frozen whole. A good taxidermist can handle them that way as well. If you want to do the work yourself, do it at home. Transport them frozen and whole and it'll be the easiest way to avoid a ticket.

  4. #4

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    I have no experience with bird hunting so I may be missing some aspect that is different than big game, but.... With big game, once you are out of the field, there really is no basis for them to challenge you with regards to wanton waste. If they see you driving around with a set of moose antlers around town or heading down to the lower 48, they really have no basis to make you prove you did not waste the meat. Once you are out of the field, you can process and do what you want with it (with limitations of course). Maybe you gave it to friends or just have it stored in a freezer somewhere. I would think it should be similar with birds, especially something that small that can be eaten in a single sitting before you even get out of the field. Having said that, doing what the others have posted above will definietly keep you out of any potential problems, it just might be a bit overkill for 99.99% of the time (doesn't hurt to be covered for that other 0.01% of the time if you have the opportunity though... )

  5. #5

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    Freeze the carcasses whole instead of skinning them. They will keep better that way for a skin, plus you avoid any potential issues. And as a general rule, gifting of any meat is fine, but you should always have documentation if you are keeping any part of the bird and transporting it further. Especially if you gift it to your guide, it becomes part of their possession limit, which they might not always want. If you do intend to do this, make sure it will work for them beforehand.

    I think that technically you can discard the meat legally once you have reached your residence (or in this case, the lodge). Still, I would keep as much documentation as possible in case anyone asks. Easiest way, freeze them solid and deal with them once you get home. A cooler is trivial considering the total cost of getting to and from Adak, not to mention guide fees, but it will more than pay itself off to have some nice birds on the wall.

  6. #6
    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    I have no experience with bird hunting so I may be missing some aspect that is different than big game, but.... With big game, once you are out of the field, there really is no basis for them to challenge you with regards to wanton waste. If they see you driving around with a set of moose antlers around town or heading down to the lower 48, they really have no basis to make you prove you did not waste the meat. Once you are out of the field, you can process and do what you want with it (with limitations of course). Maybe you gave it to friends or just have it stored in a freezer somewhere. I would think it should be similar with birds, especially something that small that can be eaten in a single sitting before you even get out of the field. Having said that, doing what the others have posted above will definietly keep you out of any potential problems, it just might be a bit overkill for 99.99% of the time (doesn't hurt to be covered for that other 0.01% of the time if you have the opportunity though... )


    Waterfowl get crazy since they're federally regulated and a migratory game bird. There are plenty of areas regarding waterfowl that most people don't understand and are willing to argue, but when it comes down to it, the only person's opinion that matters is Mr. Green Jeans when he's checking you out and has a ticket book in hand. The safest and easiest method to transport the bird for taxidermy is whole and frozen. Apart from that, at a minimum, a fully feathered wing must be attached if you're just transporting meat. Furthermore, which I verified this with USFW when I went snow goose hunting in Arkansas this past spring - the meat still counts towards your possession limit when it's in your freezer at home. I can almost guarantee you this will cause an argument here on the forum, but I had to get transferred to about a million different people with USFW, left messages, etc., until I was apparently contacted by the person who dealt exclusively with waterfowl regulations both federally and nationwide for individual states. We wanted to take all of our snow goose meat to a processor and have the breasts ground into burger so it'd be easier to get home than a cooler full of breasts with wings attached. In order to do this, you have to take your birds to a licensed waterfowl processor and there is paperwork that can be filled out where they verify the species and quantity of meat (47 snow geese, 12 blue geese, etc) which then clears them from your possession limit. I asked him why I'd never heard of such a thing and he said there isn't one in the state of Alaska. Not sure why, but that's the information I was given. So, if you're transferring your waterfowl meat to be processed, I'd make sure you take it in trips of less than the possession limit, and keep a wing attached during transport.

    This opens another can of worms about possession limits and your freezer, but he clarified that once you reach your possession limit, you're either to eat or gift the meat prior to obtaining more game. I'm not going to argue this with anyone because I know it's only going to start an argument; but, that's what we were told after speaking with about 20 different people with USFW.

    As for the OP, if you're hell bent on skinning your own duck and don't want to bring the meat, I'd at least have some paperwork with you saying you transferred it to someone (back of the regulations may work) and I might even go so far as taking a picture or two. It's going to boil down to whatever evidence you have at the time you're checked, so you might as well do as much as you can to state your case. But, if it were me, I'd just freeze them whole and skin them at home when they thaw.

  7. #7
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Spot on correct advice--federal rules/regs regarding waterfowl are significantly different than the state of Alaska. My experience has been that the accompanying federal enforcement staff can sometimes take their jobs really seriously!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    Waterfowl get crazy since they're federally regulated and a migratory game bird. There are plenty of areas regarding waterfowl that most people don't understand and are willing to argue, but when it comes down to it, the only person's opinion that matters is Mr. Green Jeans when he's checking you out and has a ticket book in hand. The safest and easiest method to transport the bird for taxidermy is whole and frozen. Apart from that, at a minimum, a fully feathered wing must be attached if you're just transporting meat. Furthermore, which I verified this with USFW when I went snow goose hunting in Arkansas this past spring - the meat still counts towards your possession limit when it's in your freezer at home. I can almost guarantee you this will cause an argument here on the forum, but I had to get transferred to about a million different people with USFW, left messages, etc., until I was apparently contacted by the person who dealt exclusively with waterfowl regulations both federally and nationwide for individual states. We wanted to take all of our snow goose meat to a processor and have the breasts ground into burger so it'd be easier to get home than a cooler full of breasts with wings attached. In order to do this, you have to take your birds to a licensed waterfowl processor and there is paperwork that can be filled out where they verify the species and quantity of meat (47 snow geese, 12 blue geese, etc) which then clears them from your possession limit. I asked him why I'd never heard of such a thing and he said there isn't one in the state of Alaska. Not sure why, but that's the information I was given. So, if you're transferring your waterfowl meat to be processed, I'd make sure you take it in trips of less than the possession limit, and keep a wing attached during transport.

    This opens another can of worms about possession limits and your freezer, but he clarified that once you reach your possession limit, you're either to eat or gift the meat prior to obtaining more game. I'm not going to argue this with anyone because I know it's only going to start an argument; but, that's what we were told after speaking with about 20 different people with USFW.

    As for the OP, if you're hell bent on skinning your own duck and don't want to bring the meat, I'd at least have some paperwork with you saying you transferred it to someone (back of the regulations may work) and I might even go so far as taking a picture or two. It's going to boil down to whatever evidence you have at the time you're checked, so you might as well do as much as you can to state your case. But, if it were me, I'd just freeze them whole and skin them at home when they thaw.
    You learn something new every day. Thanks for the information. Although I am not currently a bird hunter, you never know when I might want to get into it (I do have a 1 year old black lab that would like me to....).

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