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Thread: Missing Luggage on Hunts?

  1. #1
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Missing Luggage on Hunts?

    As I sat in Dutch Harbor on business without my luggage the last couple days, as did several other passengers that came out here, it got me thinking about folks that fly to rural Alaska for hunts. My main thought are those individuals that fly out to meet a guide on a specific date. Obviously the guide is under strict time constraints, especially if they have other clients to take out after your hunt is done. So my question is - what do you folks do to ensure that your guns and gear arrive on time? Ship ahead by mail or other parcel service? Or do you rely on the airline company to get your stuff there with you? Any stories of mishaps where things went south because your stuff did not arrive?


    Thoughts?


    Sincerely,
    Bagless in Dutch
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have had a few friends come up to hunt with me and we have had to wait on their bags. The first time we were to leave to next morning after he arrived. We had to wait 2 days for his bags to catch up. I have to say Alaska Airlines has gotten much better with baggage lately, but I still have them come in a day or two early. Just easier to have a extra day if at all possible. When I go to King Salmon I try to give myself as much time as possible, that place gets over run during the season and waits for seats and bags are normal.

    Steve
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  3. #3
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    My only issue ever was shipping ahead by usps.

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    +1 on waiting for bags in King Salmon. The main airline is notorious for bumping bags for freight or mail. We ship some stuff early and hope the guns fly on the same flight we do.

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    When shipping my hunting gear to Alaska, I am 2 for 4. Sent gear to Alaska four times from "outside". The gear was with expected to be with me on the airplane. two times it arrived a day late.

  6. #6
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibex View Post
    When shipping my hunting gear to Alaska, I am 2 for 4. Sent gear to Alaska four times from "outside". The gear was with expected to be with me on the airplane. two times it arrived a day late.
    Yep, the excess bags usually come in on the late night flights that aren't as full. I have picked up bags the following morning many times. So much so that I just plan on leaving a day after my friends arrive. Gives us time to pickup all the last minute items and tags.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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  7. #7

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    If you can at all help it don't fly from Anchorage to King Salmon (I don't know about Dillingham) on Penair, get a flight on AK Air if they are flying there at the time of the year you are going. Baggage on Penair seems to take second place to freight. I can't tell you how many times either my bags or other people who I know haven't had there bags arrive on Penair.

  8. #8
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    On a moose hunt out of dillingham .I get my bags and head over to the air taxi then notice the duffle bag is not tight on the end, the lock and cord is still on it but the sleeping bag I used as a bumper on the top of the duffle was gone .Someone pulled it out though the 2" hole.The transporter loaned me 2 very thin square bags that saved the trip.It was a good north face bag.The airlines blow me off when I called them.I will ship everything ups.for now on and just carry civilian clothes on the plane.
    Three trip I spent an unexpected night in St. paul and on another hunt a night in Seattle and Pittsburgh.
    I like to fly but the airlines always screw up my hunts.

  9. #9
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    I have had good luck so far. A friend of mine went to Africa a couple years ago and never did get his bags while in Africa. About a month later they finely showed up back home. The guy was able to borrow a bow to save his hunt but his wife was out of luck. Nobody had a bow small enough. I'm sure it was very frustrating for everyone.

  10. #10

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    Losing luggage/gear was a big concern of mine when I went to Nunivak Is. to hunt Musk-Ox. I mailed all my cold weather gear and other basics to Mekoryuk, several weeks in advance. Carried my rifle and a few personal items with me as checked baggage. You do not want "excess baggage" on the "village run" out of Bethel. If it gets bumped due to weight, you may never see it again... After the hunt, now thats a different story. Much safer to roll the dice....

  11. #11
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    That is awfully important advice, especially for those of us coming from long distances. Years ago, we had less traffic and far better, caring service from the airlines, but today you can't count on anything. Thank you, Alfred Kahn. Tell me again, why did we deregulate the airlines? (I was involved with the late, great old Wien Air Alaska, Jim Flood, Sig Wien and Ray Peterson.)

    If I ever get to do my Kodiak, KS or AP hunt, planned for 25+ years, I will send the bags ahead. <g>

    Norm
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I have had a few friends come up to hunt with me and we have had to wait on their bags. The first time we were to leave to next morning after he arrived. We had to wait 2 days for his bags to catch up. I have to say Alaska Airlines has gotten much better with baggage lately, but I still have them come in a day or two early. Just easier to have a extra day if at all possible. When I go to King Salmon I try to give myself as much time as possible, that place gets over run during the season and waits for seats and bags are normal.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    I have been lucky for the most part but have had a couple of issues. On my last trip switching from Delta to alaskan in seattle. My bags showed up the next day. The other time was flying Penn from anchorage to Dillingham where things showed up the next day as well. Steve stated it well and I always plan to arrive a day prior for everything to allow for screw ups. I will also say that one thing I have ended up doing is renting storage space in anchorage for all of my hunting gear. Ended up being cheaper in the long run and safer having everything there already. One year I was going to mail stuff up prior to but was told that it could take a month if it wasn't priority mail but I have mail thing back in military sea bags to allow me to bring meat back as checked baggage
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  13. #13
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    I have gotten into the habit of shipping in smaller boxes. On one hunt I shipped USPS and although the tracking says it got there, no one seemed to be able to find one box. By spreading things out, it was inconvenient but not a show stopper. Shipping with delivery confirmation seems to help, except in this case. When shipping I now usually use one of the cargo outfits.
    On one deployment to the desert between wars, I had four bags, two which contained equipment and chem suits, etc. Two of the four bags failed to get there, lost on the civilian flight to the port. Fortunately I had spread things out but you can guess which bag made it with no problem, the one with all the chem suits in it.

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