Please review my plan for a DIY Mule Deer Hunt

Dougfirtree

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Jul 27, 2016
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Adirondacks
I generally fly Southwest airlines. An extra checked bag is only 75 bucks. So, for a single deer, you could get all the meat home for that much, plus, you'd need to do another for the antlers. I've had good luck doing this. You pick the meat up, frozen, that morning. Grab some dry ice (I think you're allowed 6 pounds on the plane). Don't seal the cooler until you get to the baggage desk as they'll want to look in. Then you duct tape the heck out of it and you're good to go for at least 24 hours. Last time, I used the cooler as one of my checked bags on the way out. I just stuck a folded duffel inside it. On the way back, the duffel became the extra bag.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
Any tips on flying with rifles? I've read airline policy but I've also read TSA is notoriously inconsistent in terms of rules.
Don't lose any sleep over it, the process is pretty straight forward. Give yourself a bit more time at small airports, those TSA folks tend to be way overzealous, (at least an extra 45 min at Ketchikan... those guys... woof) at big airports they get enough firearms they don't really bat an eye. A bunch of HTer's went up to SEAK last year and several of us had problems with our rifles getting lost while transferring through SEATAC either on the way in or out (mine was on the way out). I believe all problems were resolved within 24hrs. I think it's prudent not book yourself on the last flight of the day into an airport and then immediately leave that city just in case (doesn't sound like that will be an issue for you on this hunt). For instance when I flew into Adak I purposely arrived in anchorage the mid-day the day before my Adak leg of the trip to make sure all my baggage made it through....that's more of a luggage thing then rifle specific.

Honestly, I think if your hunting CXP2 game over say 16 hours drive from your house then flying is the way to go, logistics with luggage are actually pretty easy and cheap provided you have under ~100lbs of meat per person.
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
That's funny. Did you get any funny looks when you had to open your rifle case at the airport?
It actually was pretty funny. The TSA in Ketchikan went through everybody's rifle case, sent everything through their scanners. The guys in front of me just had the normal foam that they squeezed every inch of then sent through the machines. Mine was all packed with my dirty hunting clothes that the TSA took out and sorted through. They seemed to expedite the search of my case..
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
It actually was pretty funny. The TSA in Ketchikan went through everybody's rifle case, sent everything through their scanners. The guys in front of me just had the normal foam that they squeezed every inch of then sent through the machines. Mine was all packed with my dirty hunting clothes that the TSA took out and sorted through. They seemed to expedite the search of my case..
Right... lol... in Denver TSA took maybe 30 seconds. I had everything in my gun case it Ketchikan and the process took 15min, they took everything out, removed all the foam, squeezed every inch of it, put the foam through, the case through and then every item in my gun case through separately in individual bins... not an expert but I would imagine your inreach, binos, camera, knives, and tripod could probably go in the machine together.... 🤦‍♂️
 
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1eyedshooter

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Jan 11, 2020
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Michigan
As everyone knows we do not have mule deer here in Michigan but I love reading about them and the hunts you guys go on !!!!
 
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