Originally Posted by firediver
I personally would never send my gear to Canada ahead of me. I've heard horror stories about packages being held up in customs for weeks.....months.
I do taxidermy part-time so my advice to you would be to bring your hide back with you on the plane. As long as you follow these simple steps...your hide should be just fine.....
1. Skin the bear asap and lay the hide in the shade flesh side up so it can cool.
2. Once you get it to a freezer....lay it flat for the first 20-30 minutes to get the entire hide cooled down. DO NOT ROLL THE BEAR HIDE UNTIL YOU FOLLOW STEP #2.
3. When it is time to roll the hide up, fold it over so it is flesh on flesh and then fold it up like a pair of jeans, placing the head on top. (DO NOT ROLL THE HIDE WITH THE HEAD ON THE INSIDE!!!) The head on top will serve two purposes...easy access to the permit if you get checked....and easy access to the ears so ice packs can be placed on them at the taxidermist when it comes time to thaw out the hide. (The ears will that out in 30 minutes but the rest of the head will take a good day+. The ice packs will help prevent hair slip.
Piece of cake....cool it down, roll it up and freeze it. When it comes time to pack for the trip home, just place the frozen hide in a cooler or box...wrapped up with newspaper.
Make arrangements with your local taxidermist before you leave and let him know that you will be bringing him a hide as soon as you return.
Also, if you have an idea on the mount you will choose if successful, ask your taxidermist how he would like it skinned. 99.9% of the guides will cut up the belly and down the legs assuming you are going to get a rug. If you want a lifesize, most taxi's would prefer you cut the bear down the back.
I can go into more detail later if you want.
PS....if you are lucky enough to have an outfitter that salts the hide for you...all the better!!! Just make sure he preps the hide properly before doing so.
Hey buddy, thanks for the reply, you replied as I was typing a response to TLC. Our outfitter skins the bear for us and I will make sure I call the taxidermist locally. Maybe you are right that I should bring it back with me and spare the extra $500 - $700 for shipping. I might as well take my luggage with me on the airplane, I figured if i next day air it via fed-ex that they would get it for sure. I dont want anything held up in customs if I can help it. I will shoot you a PM and maybe get your number so we can talk directly.