Last year there was a discussion about this on Taxidermy.Net and it looked like there might be some changes in the works. I have not been watching the issue, but my advice would be to discuss it with a local taxidermist first. They would know, because they deal with this all the time. I do know that raw skins have been shipped from Alaska to the Lower 48 for many years, but if a change is happening, I would want to know straight from the source.
As late as this past fall, green hides can be shipped though there are stipulations on how they are shipped. Also, if the trophy requires sealing it will have to be sealed in state before shipping. Any taxidermist or expeditor can answer your questions and probably arrange shipping for you.
You can legally ship green hides to the lower 48, as long as they're legally taken, and all Fish & Game rules are met, but the big question is whether or not it's a good idea. If one can ship a green hide frozen so it arrives at it's destination frozen or close to it, then shouldn't be a problem. But if it thaws and doesn't arrive for awhile, then one can lose it due to hair slippage. It's best to flesh it well, salt it and semi dry it so it can be folded for shipping. A method I recommend is to leave it at an Alaskan tannery to be tanned and then have it shipped to wherever you want...that way shipping is less due to weight and it's a lot less hassel.
The only safe way to ship green hides (either capes or fur skins) is to first lay them on an inclined sheet of plywood and salt them well with fine salt for a couple of days, then shake off the salt, resalt them, let them sit for a couple of more days, shake off salt, reapply a light coat of salt, fold them skin to skin and ship them off to the tannery. It's a huge risk to send green frozen skins, and I doubt if a tannery would except them.
Make sure the salt gets completely out to the edges of the skin, turn the ears, and split the lips and nose and be generous with the salt.
If the hide has been properly fleshed, salted and dried, it can be shipped. Many taxidermists do this with their stuff.
In terms of the legal requirements, many of those are spelled out on page 20 of the Alaska hunting regs. There are specific requirements pertaining to transporting to or through Canada, namely that you complete a Declaration of Importation or Exportation of Fish and Wildlife form. International shipments may require a CITES permit as well. Call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and ADFG for specifics. The Anchorage USFWS # is 1 (907) 271-6198.
Recently some folks got into a pack of trouble with U.S. Customs because they receieved some really bad advice over the Internet from someone who should have known better. They were trying to sell and ship raw skins from Iraq / Afghanistan. A word to the wise: do your homework on this rather than take advice over the Internet (including mine). This is a great venue for many things, but legal advice is not one of them!
if you want to ship unprocessed hides you need either a big game export tag or a furbearer export tag.....most taxidermists that ship their hides to the lower 48 to be tanned have these and are willing to part with a couple to help you out......some large tanneries only accept hides from taxidermists..but i think alot of the tanneries that specialize in furs dont' require that.....the best way to prepare a skin for shipping is salt dryed and folded...make sure the hair is dry too.....careful when you fold then as they aren't too dry, they will crack and the skin will break...also any bear that is killed in the state needs to be sealed if it is leaving the state...even if it was shot in an area that doesn't require sealing
In the past I have brought hides to the lower 48 with my meat as checked baggage on the commercial airlines. Be sure and get a "Declaration of Importation or Exportation of Fish and Wildlife (Form #3-177)" available online at WWW.le.fws.gov/pdffiles/3-177-1.pdf . See page 20 of the regulations.
I always flesh out the cape and salt it well and put it on a slope to drain. It is well worth learning to cape an animal if you are much of a serious hunter. Practice on as many animals as you can just for the experience, even if you don't plan on mounting them. It is a valuable skill and I believe few hunters are very good at it. Just ask any taxidermist about the condition of capes hunters bring to them. Be sure to turn the ears, nose, and lips using plenty of salt in those areas.
If you don't get your trophy until the last day or two of your hunt you can freeze it (most motels have a freezer they'll let you put it in over night). I put the cape in a clean cloth bag and put it in with my meat. I've wrapped clothes around the frozen bag before for insulation. By the time I got home 16 hours later it was just as frozen as when I left AK. Keep it frozen if you put it in a plastic bag! Occasionally when a cape is rolled up the center doesn't freeze all the way unless it's in the freezer for a couple days. That hair is good insulation!
That form is just for shipping out of the country. I've asked for wildlife shipping tags at the airport counter before and they gave me some. I also read somewhere you can clearly mark the box "wildlife parts", but as I recall you must provide some more information so that you are in compliance with the Lacy Act if you are shipping out of state. I'll look up the info if I can find it I'll post again.
dont salt it if your going to freeze it...thats why salt gets put on ice...to thaw it...salted hides dont' freeze well...also salted hides make alot of juice so if you've only salted it for the first time make sure it doesnt' leak airlines really dont' like that and shippers will toss it out no questions asked
was doing some research on sending out some beaver hides and I was told that there are a couple of tanneries that won't take salted hides. Something about the salt messing up the PH of their solutions and ruining whole batches. They would rather receive them trapper dried. This might just be for garment critters though. Not real sure on the details