Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Thread: Meat Transit Protocol: Fish Boxes via Alaska Air

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    81

    Default Meat Transit Protocol: Fish Boxes via Alaska Air

    I'm trying to nail down the process of getting game meat home to Milwaukee, WI this September. I'm working on sorting out the logistics of an alternative to the Meat Express, in the event that his truck is full before my meat makes it aboard. (First come, first served.)

    If you've brought meat home as checked baggage on a commercial flight:

    1) In what type of container did you package your meat? (I see that the inexpensive fish boxes are common.)

    2) Did you include dry ice?

    3) Was the meat frozen solid before flying back from AK?

    4) Was it fully cut/processed and packaged prior to flying home?

    5) How long was your flight, and what condition was the meat in when you arrived home?

    6) Does the elapsed time since the kill and climate/temperature during your hunt influence your packaging method in preparation for commercial flight?

    Any tips or info you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I fly back to IN every year through O'hare. I usually take a waterproof duffle and load it with frozen meat. When I arrive it is still froze. Some packages are soft around the edges but that's it. Have also done this using a cooler. Everything is still froze. I've flown back during winter and summer months, same results. Pack your coolers less than 50lb and check them in. If you can't get your meat froze throw some dry ice in the cooler and it will keep just fine.

  3. #3
    Member Ben XCR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Between Anchorage and Homer
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Frozen solid and in fish boxes would be my preferred. It'll keep a couple of days like that with no thawing if you pack it tight enough. If you're going to go the dry ice route be sure and check AK Airlines policies on it as there are restrictions.
    The more you talk, the more I wish I was deaf.

  4. #4
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    Forget the dry ice. Freeze the meat solid, pack it tight in coolers or fish boxes and you'll be good to go. Countless trips to Michigan, never had one problem, even when routed through Phoenix...18-24 hours total travel time.

  5. #5

    Default

    I don't know what the total transit time is for you guys in the Midwest, but I've flown from various points in Alaska to Seattle with well chilled meat in fish boxes, colors, or bags. If it's cool to begin with it should be fine for a day or so. Then cut and wrap the meat when you get home.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    Hauled plenty of it south. Always frozen. A processor can freeze it solid for you very quickly. Checked baggage. There was one time my brother lost a bunch of moose when the airline lost his box and let it sit out on a loading dock for a few days. It thawed. He had it well marked as 'frozen.' A cooler (or multiple coolers if you need them) would be a worthwhile investment.
    I'm glad to hear you are planning on taking meat home. Hard to beat wild game that is properly cared for. I like to hear of hunters who enjoy ALL parts of their hunt, and not just the head.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    Hauled plenty of it south. Always frozen. A processor can freeze it solid for you very quickly. Checked baggage. There was one time my brother lost a bunch of moose when the airline lost his box and let it sit out on a loading dock for a few days. It thawed. He had it well marked as 'frozen.' A cooler (or multiple coolers if you need them) would be a worthwhile investment.
    I'm glad to hear you are planning on taking meat home. Hard to beat wild game that is properly cared for. I like to hear of hunters who enjoy ALL parts of their hunt, and not just the head.
    Thanks, Ross. Full disclosure: I'm hoping to bring home a head, too. Any bull we can legally kill will be a nice one. But meat is priority #1.

    Do you think a moose could be frozen solid in 24 hours? Do you debone the quarters prior to boxing as baggage? I'm assuming you must, since a quarter is far north of 50#.

  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    I've worked at Alaska Airlines for over 30 years, here in Anchorage. Nearly all of the advice here is solid. The only exception I would make is the dry ice reference. It's not necessary, and if you use it, you're limited to 5# per package, and if it's in a cooler, you can't tape the lid shut. They're concerned about gas buildup in the cooler. Well, a cooler without a taped lid is a prime candidate for coming open during handling and transit. Skip the ice and go with frozen meat.

    Fresh, unfrozen meat is fine too, but it should be in plastic so it cannot in any way leak. Of course to prevent spoilage you want it as cold as possible. Yes, remove the bones! You're going to process it right away, so you're more concerned about weight at this point. If you go over 50# it's going to cost you extra, to the tune of about $75 per package. You will certainly be over your limit of two pieces of free luggage, so plan for excess baggage charges.

    The best boxes by far are the waxed fish boxes, which are available in Anchorage at Fred Meyer. If possible, call ahead and have someone pick them up for you. Alternatively you can go with insulated boxes from New Sagaya or 10th and M Seafoods. I don't know that they offer waxed uninsulated boxes.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    Forget the dry ice. Freeze the meat solid, pack it tight in coolers or fish boxes and you'll be good to go. Countless trips to Michigan, never had one problem, even when routed through Phoenix...18-24 hours total travel time.
    (Mike is pondering how a guy with a name like "Frostbitten" would be steering folks clear of dry ice...)
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnboy View Post
    Thanks, Ross. Full disclosure: I'm hoping to bring home a head, too. Any bull we can legally kill will be a nice one. But meat is priority #1.

    Do you think a moose could be frozen solid in 24 hours? Do you debone the quarters prior to boxing as baggage? I'm assuming you must, since a quarter is far north of 50#.
    Everything I have hauled south has been processed and frozen. Yeah, I think a processor can blast freeze in 24 hours. I gotta give you some 'rep' for wanting to take the meat home. Moose is some of the very best IMO, and I've eaten it all.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    1,590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnboy View Post
    I'm trying to nail down the process of getting game meat home to Milwaukee, WI this September. I'm working on sorting out the logistics of an alternative to the Meat Express, in the event that his truck is full before my meat makes it aboard. (First come, first served.)

    If you've brought meat home as checked baggage on a commercial flight:

    1) In what type of container did you package your meat? (I see that the inexpensive fish boxes are common.)

    2) Did you include dry ice?

    3) Was the meat frozen solid before flying back from AK?

    4) Was it fully cut/processed and packaged prior to flying home?

    5) How long was your flight, and what condition was the meat in when you arrived home?

    6) Does the elapsed time since the kill and climate/temperature during your hunt influence your packaging method in preparation for commercial flight?

    Any tips or info you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks!
    1. Waxed cardboard boxes - they used to sell them at Costco.
    2. No.
    3. No. Completely cooled.
    4. No. Removed from the game bags and packed inside black garbage bags, inside the box.
    5. To PA - about 12 hours (flight time). I checked the meat at the house, then refrigerated it until I took it to a butcher the next day.
    6. The bull was killed on 9/24. Pick up was on the 26th.Return to PA on 9/28. Meat was kept in boxes outside. In the shade during the day and the box was opened & the plastic unwrapped over night (to aid cooling). Temps overnight were in the upper 30's and daytime temps didn't hit 50.

  12. #12
    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    420

    Default

    1. Fish boxes the styrofoam and cardboard ones

    2. No

    3. Should be but I flew deer from ANC to DEN in December slightly frozen and it arrive good.

    4. Home processed

    5.. Semi frozen in ANC as in I could squeeze meat if I tried hard. when arriving In denver some was firm the others were real cold.

    6. It could result in you meat not being froze at all depending on day of kill and date of flight.
    Late season hunts help keep meat cold! Good
    Luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK.
    Posts
    4,112

    Default

    Look up ''Peterbuilt'' on this forum. He has hauled meat back in a freezer truck each fall for friends and relatives that live in Stevens Point area of Wisc. They have been very happy with his service.
    Just another avenue to explore?!
    Bk
    BK Marine Services 232-6399
    Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
    Airboats, ocean boats, and river boats serviced.
    https://www.facebook.com/BKMarineServices?fref=ts

  14. #14
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Soldotna AK, Eugene, OR
    Posts
    612

    Default Fish boxes question

    Yes the waxed boxes work in the fall weather, but if it will be warm when you arrive home I recommend the Styrofoam lined boxes, get the 80 pound box, it will haul 50 pounds easily, ( I put closed cell foam around the frozen meat if I know it will be a while before I get it home). I am a known shipper on AK airlines so I ship baggage frozen, any weight, I ship it out the day before I intend to leave Alaska, I catch up with it at my local airport the next day. They keep it in a cooler at the air freight location, so it stays frozen. I have done this for years and never lost any meat. Make sure it is marked frozen on all sides. I send a lot of friends home with fish boxes as checked baggage, and they do just fine. Alaska Airlines has freezers in Anchorage, and Seattle, so if you have a layover it will generally get put in while waiting for your flight. I have had meat last for another 2 days after arriving in the lower 48 while transporting it to a friends home while in the Styrofoam boxes.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    401

    Default

    I haven't flown south with any meat but this fall I flew north with a bunch of it. If it is frozen I wouldn't bother spending the extra money for the wax boxes. Just use regular boxes. I cut the boxes down so there wasn't any extra air space so the meat didn't rattle around and taped it up good. Was in the boxes about 15 hours and it was still frozen solid.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Look up ''Peterbuilt'' on this forum. He has hauled meat back in a freezer truck each fall for friends and relatives that live in Stevens Point area of Wisc. They have been very happy with his service.
    Just another avenue to explore?!
    Bk
    bkmail, is this the same guy that operates the Alaska Meat Express (I think it's now called Alaska Express Trucking)? I'll have to check in the Peterbuilt. Thanks for the recommendation.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Thanks for the solid feedback, everyone. Thinking about this process, with the trucking service I would only have to drop the meat off in game bags at a cooler to await pickup by the "reefer" truck. But if we check the meat as bags with the airline, we'll need to scramble to purchase boxes, then spend time deboning and packaging the meat. Just wondering how much time we should leave ourselves between take-out from the bush and departure on the airline. Our take-out date is Monday, September 19th (assuming no delay). We were planning to schedule the return flight home for Wednesday, 9/21 (two days after take-out). Is this enough time to get all meat prep done before flying home?

  18. #18
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK.
    Posts
    4,112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnboy View Post
    bkmail, is this the same guy that operates the Alaska Meat Express (I think it's now called Alaska Express Trucking)? I'll have to check in the Peterbuilt. Thanks for the recommendation.
    I do believe so. Again, his name on here is peterbuilt.
    Good luck on your hunt!
    Bk
    BK Marine Services 232-6399
    Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
    Airboats, ocean boats, and river boats serviced.
    https://www.facebook.com/BKMarineServices?fref=ts

  19. #19
    Member Hoss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I think you are on the right track with wanting to use Alaska Express Trucking as your first option. I used them for my hunt and was very happy with their service. However, I do know that they did fill up last year so you are smart to be looking at a back up plan. You may have already thought about it, but you say that you're scheduled takeout from the bush is 9/21 and you are thinking about flying home on 9/21, where are you being taken out of the bush to? If you are taken out and all of your meat is transported to anchorage or similar city whereby you can take a direct flight home that is one thing, but if you are taken out and flown to a village, then your transit logistics will have a two step process, i.e. transport from the village to anchorage(or other city) and then home, as you will probably not be able to bring the meat out as checked baggage from the village. Thus you will be looking at an air transport service from the village to anchorage (or other city) such as NAC which probably does not fly everyday. You probably already knew this but just throwing it out there just incase. In addition, have a plan in place to care for the meat in case the NAC flight you are counting on is full and it gets bumped to the next flight which may be three days or so later.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    I have sent my brother (and a couple others) home numerous times with meat as checked bags. We use the big fish boxes, Walmart has the best price for them. We debone the meat and throw it in my freezer overnight and it usually only partially freezes. Pack it tight in the boxes without dry ice and tape it all. No one has had any issues at all.
    The day you are taken out of the bush is pretty much a lost day for working on the meat with the exception of making sure it is all right and hanging it somewhere. Just boning will not take too long but you need a place to do it. Then hopefully a cooler or freezer to put it in. Are you flying into Anchorage on your way out?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •