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Thread: Best way to travel (fly) back to lower 48 with a caribou head?

  1. #1
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    Default Best way to travel (fly) back to lower 48 with a caribou head?

    I'm heading up from Dallas to hunt (archery) caribou in 4 days. I've never been to Alaska and I'm incredibly excited.
    I keep reviewing this mental checklist and one item I wasn't exactly sure of was how to bring back the antlers.

    If it is indeed a trophy caribou, I will want to get a shoulder mount once back in Texas. If it is an average bou, I would like to just do the european mount myself (as I do all my own deer, elk, bear, etc.)

    What is the best way to fly home with my antlers and head intact? Is that even possible? Would I need to split it down the skull and reassemble when I get back?

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Personally, if you ended with a good size, I would leave it with a taxidermy here who can make your shoulder mount with removable antlers. Then have them ship it to you. But overall, I would say split the antlers in half (through the skull) and reassemble when you get back to Dallas. So not to sure how you could pull off a European mount.

    http://www.alaskaair.com/content/car...wild-game.aspx

    I would try calling them. They allow shipping antlers, see exactly how they want to ship.
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

  3. #3

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    Expect the antlers to still be growing and in full velvet. I'd talk to your taxidermist to figure how to care for them if you want them mounted that way.

  4. #4

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    You'll have to either preserve or strip velvet. If you preserve, you can probably forget about bringing them with you. The velvet will be moist and fragile. If you strip, you must do everything possible to get the bloody antlers clean and dry. Caribou antlers are fairly lightweight and porous, so they can hold a lot of internal blood. I've seen dry (looking) bou antlers weep blood for several days and stink like roadkill. If I ever kill a big bull caribou in velvet, I'll spend what it takes to keep the velvet on the antlers. I think a big bull in velvet is a unique and awesome wall-trophy.

    If you do somehow decide to bring them home with you, the easiest thing is to do a skull cap and split it. Nest the antlers and box them securely to fly home. DO CHECK your airline's regs on flying with antlers and other animal parts. If you really want a euro-mount, you'll need to field-strip the skull removing hide, muscle, tongue, jaw, eyes, brain and anything else that's not bone. The skull must be as dry as possible and securely wrapped to prevent leakage. You can saw off one or both antlers and box them with the skull to fly home. Finish all the prep and reassemble there.

    If you're down to 3 days and not sure about what to do, best get BUSY and get a plan together. A taxidermist in AK can do any/all work and then ship to you. The cost will be measured in $100s (many) but the headache and worry is gone. I'd be doing a lot of fast homework if I was in your situation. Good luck on your hunt and I hope you bust a dandy.

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    thanks all. Good info right there.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Early season bulls in velvet are unique.


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    I have a Taxidermy studio in Fairbanks & one in Oregon.

    We can take your animals in here in Fairbanks & tan the velvet in OUR studio. then we ship all of our lower 48 & out of the USA customers together in a large crate to our studio in OREGON.

    Then we mount them there & crate & ship out saving HUNDREDS on shipping for our clients.

    Give us a call if you need our assistance.

    PRO Taxidermy www.protaxidermy.com
    RJ Simington
    Custom Taxidermy, Experience the difference !!

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    If you have it mounted up here be prepared for a very expensive shipping bill. My brother split his antlers and put them in a bicycle box and checked them. The box had a ton of his hunting gear in it. The gal at the check line didn't even weigh it - he made it through with 60$ of charges that should have been several hundred dollars - he got lucky I think.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protaxidermy View Post
    I have a Taxidermy studio in Fairbanks & one in Oregon.

    We can take your animals in here in Fairbanks & tan the velvet in OUR studio. then we ship all of our lower 48 & out of the USA customers together in a large crate to our studio in OREGON.

    Then we mount them there & crate & ship out saving HUNDREDS on shipping for our clients.

    Give us a call if you need our assistance.

    PRO Taxidermy www.protaxidermy.com
    RJ Simington
    This is your ticket and the best your going to do unless you want to hack up your trophy. Leave your trophys to a pro and you will get the results you want.
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

  10. #10
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    You can have the hide salted and dried by a taxi(like me) here and shipped to your taxi down in TX. We can preserve the antlers as well and ship them in the same box. Then your guy/girl would tan and mount them. That is most likely the cheapest way to do it.
    In Nature's Image Taxidermy and Game Calls
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