International hunting trips are the most coveted of all and the dream of every avid hunter. New hunting grounds present a myriad of opportunities for adventure. Stalking unfamiliar, exotic prey is thrilling and, above all, rewarding. It is an all-around fantastic experience that only those who have been through it can put into words. However, hunters also know how important it is to prepare for an international hunting trip properly. Knowing the ins and outs of the weapons you’ll use is essential, and familiarizing yourself with rules and regulations is even more so. In short, every detail makes a difference between a successful hunting trip and a bitter disappointment. So, let’s see what you can do to ensure the former and avoid the latter.
Gathering info is necessary to properly prepare for an international hunting trip
“Knowledge is power.” Therefore, it’s crucial to gather as much of it as possible before you start planning your trip. To this end, the internet is your best friend. It offers nearly every bit of relevant info you’ll ever need. It always pays to check out:
Even things such as TV shows can be a true treasure trove of valuable info. Therefore, set aside some time and do the research. Also, it is an excellent idea to take notes on your smartphone. That way, you’ll have easy access to relevant information anytime and anywhere.
Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the country you’re traveling to
Every country has a different set of laws concerning weapon transportation and hunting. Some are looser and allowing. However, others are rigorous in virtually every way. For instance, Saudi Arabia is famous for its hunting game. Incredible resorts and unique wildlife make it a popular destination for hunters from all over the world. However, Saudi Arabia has very strict regulations for weapon transportation, as well as hunting and fishing. Needless to say, breaking any of them can have severe repercussions, such as hefty fines, deportation, and, in extreme cases, even jail time. Therefore, it’s imperative to do in-depth research of rules and regulations so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Draft a responsible plan
A well-devised plan is an excellent step toward a worry-free and enjoyable hunting trip. And that’s exactly what you’re aiming for, so here are some important things to pay attention to.
Start on time
Drafting a good plan takes a while. Furthermore, international trips are demanding and require ample preparation. Therefore, start planning on time, as to avoid problems. Or, at least, to have ample time to remedy them.
Create a traveling checklist
A checklist is a lifesaver. It helps you remain organized and take care of chores without forgetting or missing anything crucial. So, grab your smartphone, download a checklist app, and write down everything even remotely important. That way, you’ll have everything in front of you at all times, which can save an ample amount of your time and energy in the long run.Meta: Do you need to prepare for an international hunting trip, but don’t know where to start? This guide will give you a starting point and help you avoid problems!
Decide on the specifics of your hunting trip
To prepare for an international hunting trip, first, you must know what you’re aiming to get out of it. Do you want a relaxing vacation with occasional hunting? A tense big game hunt with a lot of pressure? Do you want to try something different, like handgun hunting or bowhunting, that demand you get up close and personal with your game? Every decision you make will play a significant role in your trip. Therefore, take the time to think, so you’re confident you made the right ones.
Pack properly and as light as possible
Hauling around tons of useless stuff is a great way to make your hunting trip unbearable. Research the climate and the terrain you’ll be hunting in, and prepare accordingly. That way, even if you’re constantly on the move (and you mostly will be), you’ll always be ready.
Find the right outfitter
Your choice of outfitter can make or break the entire experience. So, finding the right one will be one of your main concerns. That said, it’s always best to go with vetted and reputable professionals. People with ample experience will help you make your hunting trip infinitely more enjoyable.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when searching for an outfitter:
Don’t rush – Never go for the first outfitter you encounter. Instead, shop around a bit. Contact various outfitters and ask for different offers. That way, you’ll make an informed choice that will fit your needs and budget.
Do the research – To avoid problems, you want to work with legal outfitters only. So, conduct a background check on those that catch your eye. Ensure they have necessary permits, as well as ample experience for your particular type of hunt.
Check references – This is the best way to familiarize yourself with an outfitter, and at the same time, further validate their reputability. Contact them directly and ask for references for at least three previous years. Then, follow up on them.
Ask for recommendations – Did some of your fellow hunters recently returned from an international hunting trip? If so, ask them about their outfitter. If they were satisfied with them, chances are you will be too.
Traveling with weapons
Customs services generally do not look with kindness to weapons in your luggage. This is true for the US and every other country in the world. Meaning: you’ll be under intense scrutiny at every checkpoint. Transporting weapons in and out of the country is a tricky business. Fortunately, with the right preparation, you can avoid potential problems when transporting your equipment.
First, you will need to get your documents in order. These include:
· Properly completed permit application form;
· U.S. Customs Form 4457 (Proof of weapon ownership with serial number for rifles, guns, and bows);
· Copy of your passport;
· Printed travel itinerary;
· Letter of invitation (from your outfitter).
These are an absolute must, so be sure to check and triple-check them before embarking on the hunting trip.
Second, you need to properly pack your weapon(s):
Unload and thoroughly clean your weapon before the trip;
Ammo and weapon must be packed separately, in lockable cases;
Most airlines limit ammo quantity by weight. Give them a call beforehand to avoid ammo confiscation;
Use TSA approved locks on both ammo and weapon cases; TSA agents will open them at every checkpoint and, if they can’t do so with ease, they will cut or break locks;
Bear in mind that some airlines are temporarily banning passengers traveling with guns. Be sure to know which ones they are, as to avoid last-minute rescheduling.
Yet, if you don’t want to deal with all this hustle – you don’t have to. As an alternative, you can ask your outfitter to arrange for rental guns. Most of them offer this option and will gladly meet your request.
Prepare for an international hunting trip with care, and you’ll have the time of your life
There’s something so deeply satisfying about hunting. The realization that you’re no longer an ordinary human being but an ultimate and ruthless predator is hard to put into words. It’s primal and exhilarating, demanding, yet rewarding. It brings out the best in you, pushes you to be patient and attentive, all while enduring elements and harsh terrain. To be better in every way imaginable. This feeling is precisely why every avid hunter pushes themself to seek bigger, more dangerous game and hunting grounds. And that often involves visiting distant lands and unknown countries, which is a challenge on its own. But, if you prepare for an international hunting trip conscientiously, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy every minute of it.