Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

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Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby shawdawg02 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:42 pm

Planning a trip to saskatchewan in september and just wondering what size cooler will get the job done. Just planning on enough room for only bringing my birds home. going to be there for 4 days so it needs to be large enough to get my possession limit of canadas and ducks. I am looking at a 100 or 125 qt but not sure how much room I will need. Thanks.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby War Wagon » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:19 am

Thats 16 ducks and 16 geese. Hope you are not going to take any snows home because its 60. You have at keep a wing attached on all of them. Good luck, Bring a chest Freezer, then get ready for the USFW forms too fill out at the boarder. It sucks taking them back.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby lbhatty » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:36 pm

My friend, I've been hunting freelance in Saskatchewan for many years and can tell you bringing them back is not worth the effort.
If you are flying the cost for a cooler is prohibitive. If you are driving expect an experience that can only be described as unpleasant at the border. But ,if you must, make sure you follow the regs. for tranport exactly. More hunters get in trouble at the border than in the blind.You can actually buy a small freezer for what you will pay for a good cooler. Just slide it in the truck and plug it in at the lodge or motel at night. Don't forget an extention cord. Promise you that little game and fish freezer will useful when you get home.The wife is not going to like it when you cram her freezer full of geese and ducks. Good luck.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby shawdawg02 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:33 pm

We are driving so dont have to hassle with the airline. So if you don't bring them home what do you do with them. I don't have a problem donating them or giving them away, but it is an expensive trip not bring home a cooler full of birds for the smoker.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby War Wagon » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:23 pm

You bet it sucks not being able to bring them home. We EAT ducks and geese just about every way possible. We are lucky to be close to a "First Nation" area. They take a bunch. We bring up a jerky maker and a big dehydrator. We make it every day and give it away to the Farmers,they love it. Shawdwg02 is correct its just not worth the hassel the USFW can give you. Only birds we take home now are for mounting. Out of 586 birds in a 12 day period we took 3 home. 2 specks and one very large snow. :sad:
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby F250 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:19 am

We have been hunting in Sask. for over 15 years. We drive 2000 miles - one way - and stay with a farm family. I haul a chest freezer in my cargo trailer. On the way out, it is filled with enough food to feed us and the farm family for two weeks. We spend two nights in motels on the road, and plug the freezer in each night. On the way back home, we pack our possession limits of ducks and geese in the freezer. Wrap each bird in a clear plastic bag, cinched at the wing joint with tape, leaving the feathered wing exposed. Each hunter keeps a record of his limit by species. At the Border, we each fill out the required Game Importation Form. I have never met a Customs Officer who could ID the birds by their wings. We have never had a problem at the Border. Just be organized and have your licenses, guns, passport, US Customs Property Form (for your guns, cameras, etc.), and a copy of the Sask. waterfowl hunting regulations ready for inspection.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby shawdawg02 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:50 am

Thanks 250, thats what i wanted to hear. I can imagine that it will be more work that not bringing them home, but in my mind it will be worth it. Maybe after I go through it I will change my mind, but who know. The chest freezer is a good Idea, we may give that a try. Time to start planning.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby F250 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:22 am

I see you are from Mont. Shawdawg02. My wife and I were in Wolf Creek. Mt. last month riding horses and fishing Rainbows in the Missouri River. Don't be intimidated by the border crossing. More than once I have had a group of Customs Officers standing around my freezer as I presented a short duck ID class. Be polite and organized.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby tenfingergrip » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:16 pm

shawdawg,
Just an updated bit of information for you. Last year Saskatchewan began allowing a 3 day limit possession on waterfowl, so now you can bring a max of 24 each of Canada geese, 60 snows and 24 ducks back with you. In addition, if you hunt upland, you can bring back 24 huns and 6 sharptails (season limits/tagged). We have no trouble transporting our game back thru US customs, but we make it easy for the agents by having separate coolers for each hunter (three of us) and label each package with the id of the game (mallard, gadwall, hun, sharptail, snow, Canada, etc).

If you appear organized, they seem to breeze you through the border more easily. Toughest part is filling out that danged form with the proper info in the proper blank. Also, since the Canadian parliment finally did away with the gun registration for taking firearms into Canada, you may want to get a customs form that shows your proof of ownership of your firearm(s) prior to entering Canada. Could avoid a hassle when re-entering the US.

We stop in Omaha for dry ice for the coolers and our game makes it back to NC still frozen. We haul a 12' trailer for our gear and game. Well worth the effort and highly recommended. This'll be my 28th year up there.

Where are you planning on hunting? Your drive will be short enough that I think a trailer would really benefit you, especially if you are planning to field goose hunt. I have a small motorcycle I load in our trailer and motor it back to our field spread to keep from having to walk so far to and from the hidden truck and trailer. Got a piece of camo to cover it and just lay it down in the field or park it in some brush.

Just be aware that hunting up in Saskatchewan is ADDICTIVE!
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby manitobawoj » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:02 pm

tenfingergrip wrote:shawdawg,
Just an updated bit of information for you. Last year Saskatchewan began allowing a 3 day limit possession on waterfowl, so now you can bring a max of 24 each of Canada geese, 60 snows and 24 ducks back with you. In addition, if you hunt upland, you can bring back 24 huns and 6 sharptails (season limits/tagged). We have no trouble transporting our game back thru US customs, but we make it easy for the agents by having separate coolers for each hunter (three of us) and label each package with the id of the game (mallard, gadwall, hun, sharptail, snow, Canada, etc).

If you appear organized, they seem to breeze you through the border more easily. Toughest part is filling out that danged form with the proper info in the proper blank. Also, since the Canadian parliment finally did away with the gun registration for taking firearms into Canada, you may want to get a customs form that shows your proof of ownership of your firearm(s) prior to entering Canada. Could avoid a hassle when re-entering the US.

We stop in Omaha for dry ice for the coolers and our game makes it back to NC still frozen. We haul a 12' trailer for our gear and game. Well worth the effort and highly recommended. This'll be my 28th year up there.

Where are you planning on hunting? Your drive will be short enough that I think a trailer would really benefit you, especially if you are planning to field goose hunt. I have a small motorcycle I load in our trailer and motor it back to our field spread to keep from having to walk so far to and from the hidden truck and trailer. Got a piece of camo to cover it and just lay it down in the field or park it in some brush.

Just be aware that hunting up in Saskatchewan is ADDICTIVE!

Great words of advice. It's amazing how many people aren't to lazy to make the long trip, and get up early in the morning and set decoys for an hour. When it comes time to take birds back it is to much work. It's very simple and should be your duty to eat what you kill.
You will still follow the same process to bring guns into Canada. We just don't have to register ours but still need a license to purchase and/or possess firearms.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby tenfingergrip » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:48 am

[quote="manitobawojYou will still follow the same process to bring guns into Canada. We just don't have to register ours but still need a license to purchase and/or possess firearms.[/quote]
manitobawoj,
Are you saying we (Non-Residents entering Canada) will still have to submit form 909 and register our guns upon entering thru Canadian Customs? Do we still pay the $25 fee? I have seen nothing posted on any website for the RCMP firearms section as of yet. Do you have a site where it's been posted to confirm? If that's still the case (form 909), it should be proof enough of ownership of the firearms prior to entering (for our US Customs on re-entering). Thanks for the heads-up in advance.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby Goosecrazy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:43 am

Its not customs you'll have a problem with. Its when USFWS is doing a border check of hunters coming back through. There the ones that will hassle you.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby F250 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:58 am

Americans will still have to pay the fee for the Temporary Firearm Possession Permit when entering Canada. The change in their law only discontinued the registration requirement for nonrestricted firearms for Canadian residents not living in Quebec. Canadian residents still must have a firearm possession permit. US Customs Form #3-177 (Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects) is the form you want to fill out at US Customs before you enter Canada. List your firearms, cameras, optics, etc. on that form. The Officer will sign and give you the only copy. They do not retain a copy. When you return to the US, you will have to fill out USF&W Service form # 4457 declaring any game you are importing into the US.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby Dep6 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:24 am

I paid the 25.00 per gun fee when I crossed into Canada last season. I think your still paying it to get the gun in. I have paid it the last 3 years.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby tenfingergrip » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:12 am

It was actually $25.00 for up to seven (7) guns, up to three listed on the 909 form and up to four on on the 910 (continuation form).

I contacted a friend of mine who is in the RCMP and he informed me that the final procedures have not yet been published, in the process of being revised, but the procedure for non-residents would probably not change. The fee may stay the same or be dropped. Gave me this site to keep check on: Click on the Non-Resident Visitor area on the left and then click on the Visitor bringing Guns line.

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/index-eng.htm
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby REM1100 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Realistically if your going for 4 days you will take a day of scouting and maybe jump some ducks the first day and chances are you would probably get one or two days of good shooting and other days so so due to weather moon phase migration and the competition from good fields taken by the great local guides and other non residents. Ducks will be plenty and snows are going to be tricky and finicky, specks may be scarce and so are some big Canadas depending on location. So figure that the locals look down on non residents just banging and piling up the birds just to be trying to gift out the birds. So try and take back what you shoot, Leave a couple of birds plucked for some good eating and the rest breasted. Every year I go out for 4 days and average about 2 dozen birds and have them cleaned professionally for $7/bird and they fit into a 4x2x2 cooler full of ice. Packed on travel the cooler serves as a space to pack my hunting clothes and under wear which will be put in garbage bags on the return trip. So if you guys are good and successful I would get one cooler per person as it will be easier to check at the border on return and gift out the plucked and cleaned birds to a Food Bank if you have too many to transport back. Don't give the farmer a cleaned or breasted bird, take him out for breakfast or dinner and you will have a friend for next time.
I hope you guys have a memorable hunt in Sask.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby shawdawg02 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:41 pm

Thanks for the advise rem1100. We were planning on being there for 6 days and hunting 5, however 2 guys out of our group just bailed on us so we are trying to figure out what to do. Probably won't go if we can't fill the truck with people. We were planning on bringing one cooler each and donating birds that didn't fit. Guess we shall see. I hope I make it up this year. :no: :no:
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby REM1100 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:00 pm

The biggest expense is gas at $1.25/liter and motel rooms any wheres from $55-$75 for a dble, Breakfast can run at $4.50-$7 and dinner at $7.50-$13.
For 2-3 guys only take a truck, guns ammo (bring 200 shells) and buy your own lunch meat and buns bread water etc. at the local grocery store and don't eat out saves time and money get one room with an extra cot for $10. bring only the essential decoys 3-4 dz canada silos or shells and 100-150 silosocks 3 fold up blinds each person pack cloths in a cooler and each bring a cooler all that would fit into truck. Leave the trailer and full bodies, they are not needed. Do your homework pick a good area with activity get some RM landownership maps, a Sask Tel phone book, stay at a smaller town with a bar & hotel or motel with cheaper rooms or stay at boarding rooms with a common kitchen at $30/person. You don't have to live like a king and having more guys is only makes sense for gas money that's all. There are a lot of good spots a hundred miles across the border.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby shawdawg02 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:06 pm

Thats what we are planning on doing, we are all about going as cheap as possible and roughing it if need be. but with only 3 guys instead of 5-6 our gas and motel bill just doubled. Hopefully we can get a guy or two and salvage the trip.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby REM1100 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:10 pm

5 guys are a crowd for motels as they have an accommodation rule of 3 due to fire regulations ( I think). So gas is only the problem, You are probably looking at gas for 1000 miles one way and 3 tankfulls for scouting. Last year I traveled 1250 miles round trip and it costs me about $300 in the Isuzu 4x4 this year it will be cheaper in the new Jeep Compass 4x4 4 banger by 35%. I think 3 guys would make it work budget wise and also in the fields. I have been going solo for many years but my son comes along and I always hook up for one hunt from a friend all the way from Fort Collins for a smashing good hunt.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby shawdawg02 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:41 am

We are going to try to round up one more guy and leave the trailer home. We should be able to get everything in my truck. That should save us enough money to meet our budgets. I apparently need to get some new friends. Who would think it would be so hard to convince someone to go hunting for a week.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby REM1100 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:49 pm

One way to get someone interest would be to run an ad for some hunting equipment like blinds decoy calls and when they come over to look tell them you changed your mind and am going to use them in Saskatchewan and start a conversation.
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby Mndukhntr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:16 am

We (4-12 of us) go every year, and have for the last 15+ years, some years 2x. To the OP, we just use regular coolers. On the way up, the coolers have food and beverages, on the way back, the coolers hold our birds. We freeze all birds before we leave. It is a 900 mile trip for us, and when we get back the birds are still frozen. We print the Form 909 (for guns) and complete it before we leave. Makes things go more smoothly when crossing into Canada. Every year on our way back from Sask, when we go in to put our game sheet in the basket on the US side, we pick up the sheet for next year.

Enjoy your trip!
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby dukman1215 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:01 pm

What I have found is that everyone is going until it is time to put down a deposit or pay for the trip... It usually has to do with finances or wives or some other reason for not going. Personally I think all that free lancing and finding a place to stay and a place to eat and carrying all the gear and the like simply isn't worth the amount of money saved by freelancing. Unless you have already done your time you spend countless hours scouting for birds and permission freelancing is costly for fuel and cuts into hunting time. Time spent driving for a few adys up and then a few days back is also time wasted. I understand flights cost money but time is more valuable then saving a few extra bucks which with the price of gasoline or diesel isn't much of a savings overall.

There is nothing better then having the birds cleaned as you will spend countless hours cleaning them too....Over all time is money and time goes by fast as we all know once we are there.... No issues through customs with guns or anything like that ever before either ging through the airports for us.

I am just an average guy not rich not poor and have figured out a way to do it cheaper and easier too...

Good advice here from many guys have fun and be safe too!!!
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Re: Cooler Recommendation for Sask Trip

Postby tenfingergrip » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:34 am

duckman,
Think you got a problem with going a weeK? Try going for a month! Been doing it for the last 28 years and just had our most recent partner, 7 years running, just back out on us. We've always made the trip with 3, which is the perfect number as far as sharing in expenses/room/space in the van and still leave enough room for coolers, guns, dogs etc., and trying to find someone who can take off for a month and would be compatible is a tough job. Lots of folks want to go, fly up and meet us, but it takes a rare person whose situation allows them to pack up and leave for a month. That 3rd person really cuts back on the expenses. Might just cost us 50% more this year if we are unsuccessful. My next problem is my other buddy, his 51st straight year, is 90 years old this year and has slowed down a bunch. He doesn't drive anymore, so I'll be doing all the driving, so fanny fatigue will be a problem. Oh well, such is life and I won't miss out on my Canada trip!
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