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 Transporting In From Out Of State 
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I just got permission to hunt on private property in Florida while I'm already going to be there during the archery season. Bonus points for the property being two miles away from where I'll be staying. Bonus Bonus that there is no recorded CWD in Florida. Bag limit is two deer. Possession limit is four. It looks like at the most I'll be bringing back four. Having done a bit of internet research it looks like the best thing is to get some reusable coolers, pack the meat with sex indicator and tag on top. Write all my info on the cooler (white cooler). Also, it looks like dry ice on the bottom, separate the meat from it with cardboard. I plan on likely having to debone it in Florida for ease of packing. I plan on transporting the meat by flying it back with me as a checked item(s) which I have read up on here https://www.alaskaair.com/content/cargo/ship-wild-game

What do you guys wrap the coolers with to keep them from opening?
What do you wrap the meat in so that you can process it at home?
Are there any particular coolers you recommend? I'm not spending YETI money on a ice chest.
Do you have any tips on transporting the the skull and horns for a euro mount?

Is there anything that I haven't covered that should be addressed?

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Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:08 pm
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Cold flows down, you'll want your ice on top.

You can probably use 5 day coolers from Igloo, Coleman, etc., without going the Yeti route. The Walmart Yeti knockoffs have worked pretty well for me in the past if you want to go that route.

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Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:16 pm
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Oh physics????
Thanks. I’ll likely opt for smaller coolers though. Coolers are treated just like any other checked item. If it’s oversized, it’s overpriced.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:45 pm
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Sounds like a cool opportunity!

How many pounds of meat do you expect to be bringing back with you? Checked baggage is a good option if you don't have that much, but make sure you're allowed to have dry ice in there.

I ship seafood (fresh & frozen) all over the country, 5 days a week. For fresh, we typically use 8-10 frozen gel packs (about 1.5# each) in an insulated box (inflatable pouch inside styrofoam liner) for 20-45# of meat. That keeps it below 40 degrees (but not frozen) for up to 2-3 days depending upon ambient temperature. A box sitting on a hot UPS truck in Phoenix in August may only last 48 hrs vs. a box on a truck in Wyoming in January may last 96 hrs.

For frozen, I'm typically sending small sample shipments (5-10# of meat, but sometimes much more) via UPS Next Day Air with 1-2# of dry ice in a styrofoam box inside a cardboard box. You can buy the styros & cardboard wraps at places like ReddyIce. I tape all the way around the styro where the lid meets the walls of the box to help trap the cold air inside. The more dry ice you use, the longer it will hold, although UPS does have a limit of 5 lbs per box. Even though the dry ice may have evaporated, it can still be well below freezing inside the box. You do have to be sure to insulate the meat from direct contact with the dry ice though. It also depends upon whether you want your meat to freeze or not. If I send 6# of frozen fish in a small box with 2# of dry ice, I sometimes take the risk and ship it 2-day Air to save money, and I know that it'll still be frozen when it gets there. The danger is if it doesn't make it in 2 days. If I want it to ship frozen but arrive semi-frozen, I will either ship it with very little dry ice, or none at all and just use gel packs.

One of the challenges of using dry ice is that it's considered hazmat, so a lot of the UPS Stores will refuse to accept it (same with FedEx). They'll tell you that it has to be dropped off at a distribution hub. I just take it to a mom-and-pop shipping office that doesn't care. They ask how much is in it, add it to the shipment info when they make the label, and then tape signs to 3 sides declaring the dry ice.

You can also ship via air freight using a freight forwarder like CFI. You pack the boxes yourself (dry ice is OK depending upon the airline, you just have to tell them how many lbs you're using), tell them where it's going and when it needs to get there, and then they consolidate it with other freight and you pick it up on the other side. This is a good option if you're shipping a lot of weight and/or several containers, or your cargo is bulky. There is a minimum charge, usually around $100, but if you're shipping 100 lbs or more you wind up spending WAY less than you would if you sent it via UPS or FedEx.


Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:45 pm
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Yes, it's a blessing out of no where. Last year I saw a white tail within a mile of the property, on a tree farm that spans well over 2,000 acres. His property is on the border. I didn't know he owned property there until Sunday when I messaged him to ask if he had any info on who owns the tree farm because I haven't been able to raise anyone at the bank that's listed as the owner. He gave me the scope on who used to own and where the care taker lives. Then he comes with "I own property on the border. You can hunt it. There's always deer when I go to check it because there's lots of acorns." I haven't seen this dude in nearly 18-19 years. Facebook can really be a useful connection at times :)

Thank you for all the insight on shipping meat. I'll have to consider all those freezing points. I'm definitely planning on bringing it back as checked items. I'm really not wanting to let my meat stay in transit longer than I am. I'd feel better about shipping my bow back because I can replace the bow. I can't replace the meat. As far as weight, I don't know. Could be some big whoppers out there! Could be some skinny guys and gals. Whatever I can put down, I'm putting it down.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:27 pm
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Is there a local butcher that can vacuum bag the meat?

My in-laws bring us two boxes of beef when they come out in the fall. It's from their farm and butchered in town (labeled 'not for resale' since it hasn't been inspected)

When I say 'two boxes' I mean it literally, they pack it in two large cardboard boxes lined with newspaper for insulation.

They freeze the two boxes solid in my sister-in-law's chest freezer in Omaha the night before they leave. Even with an hour and a half layover in Denver it's usually still frozen when they get here. Someone will probably correct me, but I don't think that the check baggage area of the plane is heated. No dry ice needed.

To get it really, really frozen you might be able to find a cold storage company that will keep it for you. Before sailing to Hawaii we took two coolers to this place: http://www.victoriacold.com/home.htm They put them on a pallet right in front of the fans blowing 30 below. Everything was packed so we only needed to open a cooler once per day. A week after starting the race we still had frozen food.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:55 pm
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RocketScott wrote:
They freeze the two boxes solid in my sister-in-law's chest freezer in Omaha the night before they leave. Even with an hour and a half layover in Denver it's usually still frozen when they get here. Someone will probably correct me, but I don't think that the check baggage area of the plane is heated. No dry ice needed.

That's correct. If it's frozen solid and there's enough mass (and it's more of a solid "block" than loose portions), then it should stay frozen for the duration of the flight, even without a refrigerant.


Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:30 pm
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In the best case scenario, I’d just freeze the meat, put in a cooler and fly. I am very inclined to plan for the worst case scenario of a delay, an emergency landing, lay over, fly again the next day, and my items being lost for a day or two while they sat in baggage handling in Texas.

Things happen, such as my flight getting cancelled and rebooked for two days later from the same airport I’ll be flying out of. It’s happened before and getting it into a freezer at that point would require convincing a business to accommodate me after hours. Perhaps a higher end hotel that knows me would but, you never know.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:16 pm
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