Tips For Flying With Hunting Gear

From turkey to ducks to deer, fall marks one of the peak times of year that hunters look forward to.  With fall hunting season in full swing, some hunters may want to schedule a fall hunting trip, which may require flying with their hunting gear.  Some hunters may be a little hesitant about booking a hunting trip if they are unsure of what gear they can pack and how to pack it for air travel.  Here are a few tips to make flying with hunting gear a little easier.

Review Your Airline’s Policy

Before packing for your hunting trip you want to contact your airline in advance to ask what the policy is for traveling with hunting gear.  Tell the representative exactly what you intend on packing and take notes on any rules, regulations or advice he or she provides.  In addition, check with TSA guidelines and go to the airline’s website and print off any policy regarding flying with firearms and other hunting gear.  In case you come across an issue at the airport, you have the policy in hand to refer to.

Prepare Your Gear For Flight

Preparation is key when flying with hunting gear.  Depending on the type of gear, most have to be transported in checked baggage but some gear (such as rifle scopes) can be permitted in carry-on luggage.  Each gun must be unloaded and packed in a lockable hard case.  Gun cases must be locked and you should have the code or key to unlock the case with you at all times.   Ammunition also should be packed according to your airline’s policy.  If you are bringing bows and arrows, make sure to pack them safely and securely in your checked luggage.  Ron Spomer, a contributor for sportsafield.com, also advises making sure any sharp objects packed in checked luggage be securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers.

Weigh Your Ammunition

Most airlines have a restriction on how much ammunition you can take with you.  You need to know what this amount is before packing so make sure to weigh your ammunition first.  Also keeping your ammunition in its original containers, like plastic boxes or cardstock, will simplify storage for flight as well.

Be Prepared For Surprises

You may do everything right but that doesn’t mean a TSA agent won’t stop you or you may find your locks were cut off  somewhere between your departure gate and your hunting destination.  It happens and sometimes you have to cough up the money for new locks.

So if you want to book a hunting trip this fall, don’t let air travel stop you.  Just remember the key to traveling with hunting gear is preparation and attention to detail.