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Thread: Father, and sons DIY hunt / getting the meat back

  1. #1
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    Default Father, and sons DIY hunt / getting the meat back

    I am Wanting to plan a Alaskan hunt for my father and little brother.

    I have been reading a lot about getting meat back to the lower 48 we are not worried about processing fees, because we have always done it our selves. I just wanted to confirm and get some opinions on flying the meat back as checked baggage and shipping our gear home.

    We have been looking into the chugach National Forrest the time frame for the hunt would be july to the first week in September next year.

    I believe it would be are 6 or area 7 it is my understanding that area 7 out of the two has deer hunting.

    Do they offer any youth tags ?

    Also when we hunted in Colorado for elk we always had an old canvas army tent with a kerosene heater Because it was cold. We contemplated going in the archery season and spike camping high on the mountain off the road. Would this be possible in this area ? ( I am worried about bears destroying our camp)
    All of us have frame packs and hunting experience in Colorado.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks

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    Member chapman8523's Avatar
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    What species are you hunting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chapman8523 View Post
    What species are you hunting?
    Black bear and possibly deer depending on which area we choose

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    My brother in law came up a few years ago for a sheep hunt. We processed the meat in my garage and then froze it. Stuck it in a fish box (cardboard box with styrofoam inside). It shipped with him as a checked bag to Texas and arrived just fine. I think his total travel time from Anchorage to Dallas was about 12 hours.

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    Don't plan on a road accessible deer hunt in Unit 6 or 7. Deer are present in huntable numbers in Unit 6 (various islands in PWS), but I know of no deer population in Unit 7, which is mainland Kenai Peninsula.
    Are you planning on flying or driving to AK? If flying, just freeze the meat and take as checked baggage. Ship gear back via USPS, giving you more checked bags. If driving, bring a freezer in the back of the pickup or on a trailer and plug it in when you stop at night.
    There are no "youth tags" for deer or black bear in AK.
    A heavy canvas tent is probably not the best option for hunting in AK. With decent sleeping bags an extra tent heater probably will not be needed, either.

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    Stop at yard sales people are always selling coolers cheap!! I buy a few every year for 5-10 bucks and send them home with people as checked bags. They hold up a lot better than a fish box.
    DENNY

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    If you are flying Alaska Air take it to their Air Cargo and ship it back home as food. It is much cheaper and they will keep it frozen for you. All you have to do is go buy some freezer boxes, wrap it up and ship. Jim

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    You need to do a lot more research. Unit 7 doesn't have a deer season. Unit 6 opens in August, bucks only. So July is out for you. Sept. 1st is the opening of black bear in 6C and that is a registration hunt. There is no road accessible places in 6 unless you go to Cordova but I haven't been over there to let you know if even that is possible. You can do a drop off with a transporter to one of the islands. Best bet. But in Sept. You better plan on going up high to the alpine meadows and ridges as they will be up there until the snow moves them down. I'm not lugging a canvas tent and a kerosene heater up any of those mountains. Like I said in my opening, a lot more research is needed.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'll second what Dave said that more research is in order. If you want a road accessible hunt (and a productive one at that), from what you've said, I'd look at black bears in Unit 7 in September. If you do what you were thinking - get high and spike away from the road - you should see plenty of bears. They'll be up high feeding on the berries during that time frame and are pretty active and easy to spot. They will be high, though - we've regularly stalked bears above the goats. Drop the heavy canvas tent and get something light and tough. As for tags, there is no need for a youth tag - black bear tags are available over the counter. Also, as Dave pointed out, there are no deer in Unit 7, so that's not an option. If you really wanted to do a deer hunt, Unit 6 is not where I would look, and August or September is generally not considered to be the best time to pursue deer in Alaska.

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    For those two species for a non resident I would go to South East Alaska. Go to Prince of Wales Island if you want to be able to drive. Go self guided with one of the outfits there, or rent a cabin and a truck or a skiff. Unit 7 is a non starter. Unit 6 you will need to get to Cordova then get dropped off somewhere. Do more research like the others have said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I'll second what Dave said that more research is in order. If you want a road accessible hunt (and a productive one at that), from what you've said, I'd look at black bears in Unit 7 in September. If you do what you were thinking - get high and spike away from the road - you should see plenty of bears. They'll be up high feeding on the berries during that time frame and are pretty active and easy to spot. They will be high, though - we've regularly stalked bears above the goats. Drop the heavy canvas tent and get something light and tough. As for tags, there is no need for a youth tag - black bear tags are available over the counter. Also, as Dave pointed out, there are no deer in Unit 7, so that's not an option. If you really wanted to do a deer hunt, Unit 6 is not where I would look, and August or September is generally not considered to be the best time to pursue deer in Alaska.
    Unit 7 it is then, I will look into lighter tents. The heavy canvas tent was never an option for this hunt as it takes almost two people to carry it. Thank you for all the replyís we will concentrate on black bears in unit 7. We would be flying up, I will narrow my research down to spike camping far away from the road, in September in unit 7 for black bear.

    where can I buy these fish boxes? It would be kind of hard to fly with coolers to Alaska

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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    walmart, fred myers, any grocery store will probably have them.
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    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Well we have coolers up here. When I lived in the bush we put our clothes in them and used them as suit cases. Brought them back to the village full of groceries and mailed the clothes back (or carry on) if need be. Shipping UPS or FedEx is expensive. 40 lbs. or so of fish usually costs me $140 or so. If I had a cooler of meat I'd like it to be frozen. I'm taking shrimp back to NY in a day or so and it will all be frozen solid. You can't ship using dry ice so that isn't an option.

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    If you'll be hunting the Kenai mountains I suppose you will have a rental car. Plan a day or two Silver salmon fishing on the Kenai river. Then stop at Trustworthy Hardware in Soldotna for a selection of coolers, boxes etc to ship meat and fish home. Keep doing research and ask questions just try to be specific. Good luck with your plans.

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    I can't for any reason see why you would go all the way to AK, and hunt off the road. The best thing about Alaska is you can get away from a road! But that's just me...

    Obviously, I have no idea about what and where to hunt for yout, but I highly recommend bringing your boned out meat home as checked baggage in 48qt cheap coolers IF you fly Alaska Airlines. Duct tape them up. The airline will put stickers on them that shows it as perishable and frozen and it doesn't cost extra. If something happens on your way home, they will do their best to keep it frozen if facilities are available (they are in Seattle and Portland). You can bring up to 99lbs per cooler. It will cost you some, but the convenience of arriving at your home airport and the meat being right there with you is worth it to me. I brought back 500 lbs last fall and my partner did the same. I've tried many other methods, but this the most convenient and cost effective I've used. I also check moose and caribou antlers and have never had an issue. I just pad them and package them properly.

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    We used the foam used to insulate water pipes around the sharp points on all our antlers when shipping. Tape them on and you are ready to go. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland on the River View Post
    If you'll be hunting the Kenai mountains I suppose you will have a rental car. Plan a day or two Silver salmon fishing on the Kenai river. Then stop at Trustworthy Hardware in Soldotna for a selection of coolers, boxes etc to ship meat and fish home. Keep doing research and ask questions just try to be specific. Good luck with your plans.
    Yes we will have a rental, probably a suv of some sort. Once we get the black bear part figured out we will try to work in the salmon.
    I was looking at the rules on the Alaska airlines website for having frozen goods in checked baggage. They donít allow wet ice so it either has to be gel ice or the meat frozen completely. Ideally it would be frozen completely, but spike camping high on the mountain does not allow for a freezer especially when flying. So we are concidereing looking for a cabin/house rental on air B and B or a site similar to have access to power and hopefully a chest freezer. If the rental property does not have a chest freezer we could buy a small one and sell or leave it for the owner of the cabin/house. The airline also allows for 5.5 lbs out dry ice per person as Long as it is appropriately marked so that is an option. Is dry ice available in soldotna or Whittier ? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak47nutter View Post
    Yes we will have a rental, probably a suv of some sort. Once we get the black bear part figured out we will try to work in the salmon.
    I was looking at the rules on the Alaska airlines website for having frozen goods in checked baggage. They donít allow wet ice so it either has to be gel ice or the meat frozen completely. Ideally it would be frozen completely, but spike camping high on the mountain does not allow for a freezer especially when flying. So we are concidereing looking for a cabin/house rental on air B and B or a site similar to have access to power and hopefully a chest freezer. If the rental property does not have a chest freezer we could buy a small one and sell or leave it for the owner of the cabin/house. The airline also allows for 5.5 lbs out dry ice per person as Long as it is appropriately marked so that is an option. Is dry ice available in soldotna or Whittier ? Thanks
    I always put two days at the end of my hunts for "what ifs". Things happens and plans bust... This gives you some cushion. If all goes well, you can get your meat frozen at the storage freezers in the Anchorage airport before you fly home. An extra day to allow the meat to freeze would fix this problem.

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    As long as the meat has been THROUGHLY COOLED. freezing (or dry ice) isn't needed. Cooled meat in non-insulated meat boxes can be shipped anywhere in the US as checked baggage. I've done it on more than one occasion and know others that have done it also. If you can find a way to freeze the meat, you're home free - no additional freezing agent needed. Lots of the local motels will allow carefully packaged meat inside their freezers. You will need to allow a couple of days after the hunt to package and have the meat frozen. Getting a slow freezer will allow extra fishing days. If you want to catch a few fish - hire a guide. Fishing here is different than elsewhere, enough that a guide to show you the ropes could mean the difference between zero fish and the fishing experience of a lifetime - no exaggeration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    As long as the meat has been THROUGHLY COOLED. freezing (or dry ice) isn't needed. Cooled meat in non-insulated meat boxes can be shipped anywhere in the US as checked baggage. I've done it on more than one occasion and know others that have done it also. If you can find a way to freeze the meat, you're home free - no additional freezing agent needed. Lots of the local motels will allow carefully packaged meat inside their freezers. You will need to allow a couple of days after the hunt to package and have the meat frozen. Getting a slow freezer will allow extra fishing days. If you want to catch a few fish - hire a guide. Fishing here is different than elsewhere, enough that a guide to show you the ropes could mean the difference between zero fish and the fishing experience of a lifetime - no exaggeration.
    shipping meat without some sort of cooling makes me nervous. We have found a cabin for rent near sterling that has a chest freezer. We are leaning towards a ten day hunt. We are still spike camping but of two or three days at a time. We will bring a vacuum sealer and process the bears that we (hopefully ) get in the cabin and freeze them in the chest freezer. We will by the coolers here and bring our gear with them then ship our gear back. Anytime I have looked at guides they seem super expensive I will look into it again

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