Given the choice, most elk hunters prefer to drive to their elk hunting spots rather than fly. But sometimes, flying is the best option. Let’s say you do kill an elk 2,000 miles away from home and need to get that 200 pounds of cut and wrapped free-range, organic meat back home. How are you going to make that happen? Let’s take a look at your options.
The easiest method is to have the processor ship the meat to you. Figure about $300 for basic processing and double that for shipping and you’re in it for $1,000.
Or, for a potentially cheaper option, you could fly home with it.
If you go that route, you might as well bring a cooler with you to ship your elk home in. Here’s a tip. Pack a big duffel and clothes inside the cooler on the way there. Then, you’ll have a bag and a cooler for the return trip.
Once your elk is processed and frozen, you have options. Have your scale and calculator ready.
For most airlines, you can check up to a 50-pound cooler for a typical bag fee, which can range from free to $50, depending on the airline. Go over the 50-pound limit, and you’re looking at anywhere from $50-$200 in extra fees. In addition, you could be charged extra bag fees. To save money, consider shipping home your duffel full of gear instead of checking it with the airline.
Find out your airline’s weight limits and restrictions. Next, weigh the cooler itself to see how much you have to work with.
Determine how much elk you can fit in the cooler and weigh it? It will likely go over that weight limit. You’ll need to do the math. Does the airline have a weight limit? Is it worth the extra weight fees or should you break it into two coolers?
And don’t forget the carry-on option. Nearly every airline will have bag size limits for carry-ons, but not all have weight restrictions, which can work in your favor.
Here are two great carry-on options.
At 7 pounds, the Hopper 30 might be a tad big for some airline carry-on regulations, but it will hold a heck of a lot of hamburger.
The Hopper Backflip 24 cooler weighs just over five pounds, is easy to haul and should be fine for any airline.
Flying home with your elk meat won’t be as easy as driving it home, but it’s not impossible. Besides, elk hunting is hardly ever easy.
Learn More At: YETI Coolers