NEW SITKA Ambient 75

flying with wild game


Active member
Feb 27, 2002
if i get an elk in wyoming i will want to bring the meat home.has anyone every flown with this much excessive weight, how costly is it and what arrangements have to be made in ship my hog home from california cost me almost 200 bucks and that wasnt 50 pounds cooler and all through ups.also this being my first elk hunt how much boned meat can i expect from an average cow elk.
An elk will be tough - that's a lot of meat, even boned out. I know a cow won't be as much meat, but my bull filled a huge Coleman cooler and 2 1/2 regular coolers. I've used the Alaskan collapsible coolers with dry ice before, too. I will usually pack my clothes and a duffle bag in the big cooler, then if I get something, I use the cooler for one piece of luggage, the duffle bag for another and the gun case makes three. It's usually not too expensive that way - but I've never flown with a whole elk...
I plan on having the same problem as you again this year

Call the airline you're flying with to find out what their policy is about luggage size/weight/and meat transportation. Get the biggest cooler or waxed box they will let you take with out paying extra. I also put all my stuff in a duffle and put it in the cooler on the way out. Freeze all meat solid if you plan on shipping in waxed boxes. Most airlines will not alow you to fly with dry ice any longer.

Meat in a big mass will stay frozen for quite a while. I think my flight last year was about 8 hours total plus a couple hours of drive time to and from and what not. I shiped the meat in cardboard boxes and it was still frozen when I got home... Usually one of the stipulations of the airlines is for the meat to be shipped in leak proff containers. ie. coolers, or waxed boxes.

For a cow you should expect to get as little as 150 or up to 250 lbs of meat depending on if you have to break her down or not
Most airlines will only let you take up to 75 lbs per bag/box with out having to pay extra. They all have their own policies on shipping though...

I ship my gear home UPS, for about $20 a box since each extra bag will run you about $75 at the airport. When I come home its going to be with all my meat and my gun case, thats it... The rest of my gear will be there a week later.

Good luck


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 08-13-2003 05:55: Message edited by: Bambistew ]</font>
Good suggestions, Bambistew. I can vouch for the fact that meat will stay frozen for a long time in a sealed cooler. I drove my butchered bull home from New Mexico to California, and that was an all-day trip. Of course, it was snowing in New Mexico when I left and it was winter, so the sun was not beating down on my coolers. But - I spent the night in Arizona and drove the rest of the way, and the meat was still pretty much rock hard when I got home almost 24 hours later. But the coolers were not opened at all, and that makes a big difference! There was no ice or dry ice in those coolers - just rock hard frozen elk.
good ideas guys ill see if i can work it that way. i dont need my clothes home right away but i do need the meat there.
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