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Thread: Kotz 'Bou Question

  1. #1

    Default Kotz 'Bou Question

    Before I get hammered here please consider that I have done fair amount of research for an upcoming Caribou drop camp out of Kotz this fall. I've read (and noted) the entire 25 or so page "Unit 23 Nonlocal Hunter Orientation", printed my meat transfer forms, watched the NPS hunters guide DVD for the Western Arctic (thanks for sending that, Walt), purchased meat bags, citric acid, tarps-cord etc. And we've booked extra time in Kotz to process the meat. So, I've done my homework and do have a plan.

    My question is, how does a guy go the extra mile to ensure his meat gets back home in good shape? I am well aware that meat donating up in Kotz is a mortal sin, at least based on what I've read, to even mention the notion in Kotz seems like an invitation to get your eyes poked out with a dull spork.

    I'm confidant that we can get any meat we are fortunate to harvest back to Kotz in good shape, barring unusually hot weather, in which case we may not have any meat to begin with. But I'm seriously wondering what the chances are of getting the meat home to the east coast (20+ hrs travel, at least) if I can't even freeze the meat before departure from Kotz.

    Would it be more prudent to try and donate (some of?) the meat once we reach Anchorage? If so, can anyone suggest a local outlet or two that would accept the meat, obviously if it is in good shape? I'm not sure about this yet as I have to confirm with the airline but I assume we will pay for the excess baggage (ie: meat boxes) in Kotz, checked through to our home airport. So, the idea of paying for the shipping back to the east coast and pulling the meat off in Anchorage and giving it away seems like a bit of a waste. But I suppose it will be worth it if the meat ends up being in better shape and getting used rather than winding up all the way back home in bad shape.

    I'm certain I'm not the first one with these concerns. Having hunted Alaska in the past, I do understand the logistics and the complications that can arise. I know there is no such thing as a fool-proof plan but I'd like to give myself and my partners the best odds of avoiding any unnecessary meat waste. Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your reply.

  2. #2

    Default

    Good question Busta Ribs........I have been thinking the same. I'm planning a trip for (3) total hunters from the midwest to Kotz in Sept. 2009. I'll be interested to hear if anyone knows how to plan for this, even though there are variables that can come into play and change the outcome.

    I've connected with the City of Kotzebue to ask for information like lodging, restaurants, transporters, etc..... Maybe they can provide some information about meat processing / freezing and packing. If you can't get it done in Kotz, you have to layover in Anchorage because it would take too long from the field to the east coast without spoiling.

    When I went black bear hunting on the Kenai a couple years ago, we arranged to have a few days after the hunt in Homer, AK which gave us time to have our meat and rugs frozen and packed in fish boxes for the flight home. We actually mailed our clothes and gear back USPS for $35 and brought our hides and meat on the jet home.

    I'll be interested in hearing what others have to say.

    Good luck hunting........Let me know how you did.

    BBR500

  3. #3
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    Default

    Alaska air is now showing that their hub has freezer and cooler space. news to me but here is the web page:http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/Car...y.asp?city=OTZ

    Kotzebue Cargo Information
    Address
    PO Box 726
    Kotzebue, AK 99752
    Located adjacent to passenger terminal, Kotzebue Airport.

    Phone: (907) 442-3477

    Office Hours
    Monday – Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Sunday: Closed
    Reminders & Services
    Freezer: Yes
    Cooler: Yes
    Alaska Airlines cannot guarantee the availability of cooling and freezing facilities at origin, destination or enroute points. All perishables must be packaged to withstand a minimum of 48 hours in transit, without refrigeration.

  4. #4
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default packing meat below

    I hope this helps, when we send people out with fish from out little charter operation we ask them to pack their cloths in a 50qt. roller cooler( the ones called 5 day coolers) and to carry a duffel bag for the return home for their cloths. The whole thing is we freeze the fish before they leave and the fish has alway made it OK by all reports. even 24hr trips in the summer going thru ATL.,Ga.
    All the hotels in Anchorage have freezers and you can check coolers at the ANC airport they have a freezer for a small fee.
    Have a velco strap to keep it closed or get some small duck tape packs and tape them to the cooler so the TSA can resecure the cooler. Good luck

  5. #5
    Member #1duck's Avatar
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    Default

    Indian valley meats will pick up your meat in anchorage at the airport if you arange it with them ahead of time process it and ship it out for you.

  6. #6
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Default

    The Indian Valley option is a good one.

    The key to long travel is to have the meat solidly frozen before you start. Wrapping a couple of sections of newspaper around it doesn't hurt, either. (Coolers are even better.)

    It sounds like you're working on doing right by the resource and the animal you'll (hopefully) harvest.

    If you can't arrange for an extra day in Anchorage or Seattle to get that meat in a commercial freezer, make sure you've got some insulation on it before you leave Kotz, and make sure it's really, truly frozen all the way through.

  7. #7
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    Default Misunderstandings and mistruths in Kotz

    Okay, I've been reading about all this bad press regarding excess caribou meat in Kotzebue. So, let's get the truth of the matter out. First, let me start by stating clearly that I sit on monthly boards with members of the city, to include local native organizations, fish and game and others. There has been a lot of questions from their side on the excess meat issue. I have been watching this from both sides. First, hunters come up and want to hunt. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that everything gets taken out of Kotz, meat that is. In the past there have been situations when guides/transporters have dumped spoiled meat in dumpsters, and various, now known locations outside of Kotz to get rid of it. Okay, now, let's switch sides of the table. Let's look at the local's views. You must take into consideration their way of life, trophy hunting is not an accepted practice in their culture. To them, you hunt for food, not a nice rack to put on your wall. The right and the wrong of either side is not in question here. I have read over the years that if you are going to hunt out of Kotzebue don't even think about offering your meat in town, and other mis-conceptions. I have listened to elders in town ask why the hunters don't just donate their meat to the town to be used by the elders that can no longer hunt for themselves, you see where this is going? I explained to them that they need to log into this forum series and read what is being said around the country about them. We sat down to discuss options. Here is what we came up with: First, if you come to Kotzebue and have more meat than you can take out of Kotz, call the local radio station, KOTZ radio. Let them know that you have fresh caribou free for the taking, please don't offer nasty meat. I can assure you that you will not have any problem getting rid of it. Secondly, the city is looking into setting up a meat processing facility to aid hunters with meat, but they need to know that you would like to see something like this set up. Again, the radio station is the best place to voice your opinions. If more hunters connect with the city and let them know that you don't intend to waste meat but you would be more than happy to donate it to the local community you will see that in a short period of time mind sets will change. Non-local hunters won't be seen as wasters of meat due to actions of years past, and the local native population will not be viewed as non-local haters. Here is the number to the radio station, this is the best place to start: 907-442-3434, Suzie Erlick is the station manager and has stated that if anyone calls her with meat she will work to get it placed. I hope my long post helps end the mis quotes and builds a better relationship for both sides. Please spread the word, for everyones sake.

  8. #8
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    Exclamation

    Or if you just have to you can pm me in Eagle River just out of Anchorage and I will take the unwanted meat!

  9. #9
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    Alaska air is now showing that their hub has freezer and cooler space. news to me but here is the web page:http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/Car...y.asp?city=OTZ

    Kotzebue Cargo Information
    Address
    PO Box 726
    Kotzebue, AK 99752
    Located adjacent to passenger terminal, Kotzebue Airport.

    Phone: (907) 442-3477

    Office Hours
    Monday Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Sunday: Closed
    Reminders & Services
    Freezer: Yes
    Cooler: Yes
    Alaska Airlines cannot guarantee the availability of cooling and freezing facilities at origin, destination or enroute points. All perishables must be packaged to withstand a minimum of 48 hours in transit, without refrigeration.

    Great info, Bill. Thanks for taking the time for these fellas!


    Frank

  10. #10

    Default Good Info

    Quote Originally Posted by mariner View Post
    Okay, I've been reading about all this bad press regarding excess caribou meat in Kotzebue. So, let's get the truth of the matter out. First, let me start by stating clearly that I sit on monthly boards with members of the city, to include local native organizations, fish and game and others. There has been a lot of questions from their side on the excess meat issue. I have been watching this from both sides. First, hunters come up and want to hunt. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that everything gets taken out of Kotz, meat that is. In the past there have been situations when guides/transporters have dumped spoiled meat in dumpsters, and various, now known locations outside of Kotz to get rid of it. Okay, now, let's switch sides of the table. Let's look at the local's views. You must take into consideration their way of life, trophy hunting is not an accepted practice in their culture. To them, you hunt for food, not a nice rack to put on your wall. The right and the wrong of either side is not in question here. I have read over the years that if you are going to hunt out of Kotzebue don't even think about offering your meat in town, and other mis-conceptions. I have listened to elders in town ask why the hunters don't just donate their meat to the town to be used by the elders that can no longer hunt for themselves, you see where this is going? I explained to them that they need to log into this forum series and read what is being said around the country about them. We sat down to discuss options. Here is what we came up with: First, if you come to Kotzebue and have more meat than you can take out of Kotz, call the local radio station, KOTZ radio. Let them know that you have fresh caribou free for the taking, please don't offer nasty meat. I can assure you that you will not have any problem getting rid of it. Secondly, the city is looking into setting up a meat processing facility to aid hunters with meat, but they need to know that you would like to see something like this set up. Again, the radio station is the best place to voice your opinions. If more hunters connect with the city and let them know that you don't intend to waste meat but you would be more than happy to donate it to the local community you will see that in a short period of time mind sets will change. Non-local hunters won't be seen as wasters of meat due to actions of years past, and the local native population will not be viewed as non-local haters. Here is the number to the radio station, this is the best place to start: 907-442-3434, Suzie Erlick is the station manager and has stated that if anyone calls her with meat she will work to get it placed. I hope my long post helps end the mis quotes and builds a better relationship for both sides. Please spread the word, for everyones sake.
    This is great info to know, and a good resource for hunters going to Kotz. Thanks for posting.

  11. #11

    Default Thanks!!!

    What a tremendous example of why this is the best resource on hunting in AK.

    Thank you guys for exactly the info I needed.

  12. #12
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default second MDHunter

    Great post , I'd like to second mdhunter.

  13. #13

    Default

    Thanks Mariner, I'm planning a 2009 hunt now and it would be great to know that meat will not go wasted. I would love to see a processer in Kotzebue by next year. It would keep the hunters in town longer and staying at hotels and B & B's and spending money in stores and restaurants. Do you have a chamber of commerce that can organize something like this?

  14. #14

    Default

    Secondly, the city is looking into setting up a meat processing facility to aid hunters with meat, but they need to know that you would like to see something like this set up.

    You may want to tell Tahnee Smith about these plans as she just e-mailed me and said "meat has to be flown out if you want it processed". I think she works for the City. Maybe she can ask if we want to be put on a list to be called (or e-mailed) if they do in fact open up a meat processing facility.

    Thanks,

    BBR500

  15. #15

    Default

    I also wanted to say that Tahnee only listed (3) transporters as valid operators in Kotz. Is there a more complete list than that?

    Artic Air Guides
    Hageland Aviation
    Mavrik Aire

  16. #16

    Default What we did last year about meat.

    We were in Kotz last (2007) September and with Walts help(the guy knows everybody in town) we put all our meat,antlers and hides on 2 pallets and wrapped them in tarps and ropes. Put our names and Indian Valley meats on them and had Alaska air ship them to Anchorage. It was real cheap. I don't remember the price exactly but I do remember commenting on how cheap I thought it was. We flew to anchorage on the red eye and took a hotel. The next day we went to the airport expecting to have to pick up the meat and haul it to Indian Valley as we did not prearange with them and the meat had already been picked up by them. I guess Alaska Air called them and away it went. We drove down to Indian Valley to tell them how we wanted it processed(and sampled the best **** liver sausage I have ever eaten). They normally ship to you via fedex but this is very expensive so since we have a delta air cargo terminal in Milwaukee we had them ship it that way. It took a couple days extra but was a LOT cheaper and the meat all got home still frozen. The only catch here is that you need to have someone that can take off work to pick up the meat wen it gets there as they DO NOT have a freezer to keep it in. That is what I will do if I am fortunate enough to be able to visit Walt again.
    Bruce

  17. #17
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    Default Kotz processing center

    There is a plan to set up a processing center in Kotzebue. Currently they are looking at cost, locations and equipment issues. I will tell you that the more folks that voice a desire and need for it the faster it will happen. For now, if you have meat that you would like to donate, Suzie at KOTZ radio, she is the station manager, will be the easiest and best single point of contact. She is deeply involved with the Native Village of Kotzebue and it's elders as well as the City of Kotzebue. I will pass on more info as it becomes available.

  18. #18
    Member Omulan67's Avatar
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    Default Kotz meat care

    Now I'm going to Kotz because that's where the Caribou are. Big Horns would be nice but my main focus is the meat. I'm booked for the second week in Sept. will any local (kotz) processor be up and running by then? I only need to get the meat back to Anchorage where I live. My buddy and I are looking at having 4 'bou back to Kotz. The transporter I'm booked with (Jim Kincaid) will provide a place to bone the meat. He adviced us to send wax boxes ahead to put the meat in. What's the best way to get the meat back to Anch. I was planning to use AK Air cargo.

  19. #19
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Where's walt when you need him?????????? WWWWWAAAAAAALLLLLLLTTTTTT helpppppppp!!!!!!!!
    For those of you that are still looking at a WACH hunt but haven't booked a transporter and date, I'd suggest checking out the services out of Bettles, Ak. Less people, direct flights to Fbks. Fairbanks has meat processors.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  20. #20
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    Default

    Good to see you, Martentrapper.
    Ah, for the good old days of Illiamna! And Northern Cargo.
    Mariner, sounds like Kotz is headed in the right direction. You have a great resource there. The village could really benefit if done properly.

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