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lamrith

Shipping Taxi when Travelling to hunt.

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I am curious how some of you out of state Coues addicts handle getting your cape / racks back home to be taxidermied when you are flying in for a hunt?  I have an AZ Coues hunt in Nov and am hoping to get a good handle on logistics before I might need them.  I am flying to/from on SW, but it would be nice to get general info that may help people with other airlines.

I know there are a number of very good taxidermists in AZ, but I would much prefer to have my "trophy" with me, local to me when it is being worked on.  There are just too many horror stories when it comes to taxidermy I am not comfortable having it being worked on 1000mi+ away.  Not only will I have a better relationship with my taxidermist from using them for local game, but also if there is a problem I am close and can deal with it in person.

What needs to be done, do you freeze and overnight it via common carrier, do the same and check baggage?  

I recall there was a big uproar after the whole trophy lion in Africa debacle a few years ago and I think some airlines and shipping Co no longer will handle game?

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I shipped my whitetail rack home from MT and froze the cape and took it on the plane with me. he cape was my carryon and did get some looks at airport from TSA but it was MT so it was understood.

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When I hunted Canada last year I froze my Bear hide and packed it in my carry on bag.  The meat was frozen and stored in my normal luggage.  The meat was still frozen when I arrived home.  The most important part will be to ensure your meat and hide is frozen before traveling on a plane or shipping it.  You may need to find someone willing to store it in a freezer and ship it for you if you can't get it frozen during your hunt.

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Sounds straight forward and the same as my last hunt.  I froze the meat solid and had a small cooler that went in checked baggage for the flight home.

What about the antlers/rack?  I cannot see them letting those as carry on due to size restrictions, I could also see them treat the "pointy" antlers as a possible weapon?

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I use dry ice in cheap foam coolers when I'm traveling. Should freeze solid in a day or two for transport without having to find cooling units. I then place in a carry on surrounded by my sleeping bag and parka to keep it cold. 

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Once it is frozen put it in a collapsible cooler and take it as carry on. This way it won't end up being lost luggage. It will stay frozen up to 10 hours. FYI airlines will not let you use ice.

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27 minutes ago, bonecollector said:

... have a reputable AZ taxidermist do the work as they are familiar with coues deer characteristics.

This^

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3 hours ago, bonecollector said:

If it was me I would have a reputable AZ taxidermist do the work as they are familiar with coues deer characteristics.

All taxidermist that sponsor this forum are trustworthy.  

Plenty of good AZ taxidermist but shipping mount home will get $$$$$ i would freeze it wrap in cheap Home Depot pink insulation put it box with a pound of dry ice and three day ship it to your taxidermist.  

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18 hours ago, davehc130 said:

...but shipping mount home will get $$$$$.....

TOTALLY worth the cost.

Nothing is worse than a bad mount done by someone not very familiar with delicate coues deer characteristics.

Don't ask me how I know.  I've had one redone, it cost me more money in the long run than shipping would in this circumstance.

It sounds like this is a one time shot for you hunting coues. (?)  Not worth blemishing the experience with a bad mount.

Have I said how much I hate bad taxidermy?

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I would not be so quick to believe only AZ taxidermist can mount coues deer and do a great job.  If he has a great taxidermist then he needs to know the best method to ship cape to him.  That is not to say he should Not get it mounted in AZ. PLENTY of shoddy work in AZ as well.  There are some great taxidermist here too.  By the way any taxidermist can buy great coues deer forms.  Trufitt supply house has some of the best coues forms. 

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I greatly appreciate the input and I can see and agree with both sides of Chef and Davehc130's points.  Thank you both.

This is not a one time only hunt by any means, this will be my second in 3 yrs and I plan to continue to hunt them as much as possible.  I have a family member in AZ and he draws almost every year, I just don't have the opportunity to get the time off for it that often.  I am not hoping for a monster or a booner, just trying to get options and plans laid out ahead of time rather than scrambling once I have something down.  What I want/do will largely depend on what I get down.  A Spike, not sure if I will do anything at all.  If it is a middle of the road Coues, I may just do a Euro, if it is a big one then I will probably go for a full mount.  Chances are that if it is more than a spike I will go ahead and cape it out and get it on ice then iron out the final plan.

I have a good Taxi up here in WA, he does mounts from all over the world and just does incredible work.  I was in his shop last year and very impressed with his work.  I also have a very good guy up here to do Euro's, he did my bear last year and it come out incredible.  My real drive for doing it up here is quite simply having a more personal touch and relationship with the taxi.  I have been to these guys shops, and seen their work.    There are bad Taxi's everywhere, and even good taxi's have problems once in a while.  With my local guys if there is an issue I can drive over and address it face to face.  It is just not something that can be done when my mount is 1000's if miles away.

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