Planning to fly out of state to your next hunt? Well how do you transport your firearm?
There is something special about hunting out of state. Different terrain, different animals, and just a different style of hunting in general. It's fun to be able to pack and prepare for the hunt, but how do you get your gun or bow to your destination with the strict security laws of airports when flying?
Every out-of-state hunt I have ever been on I have just driven to. I live in Illinois, but have had the privileges of hunting in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. But in a few short weeks, I will get to head to Kansas and hunt Rio Grande turkeys at one of the finest outfitters in the country, the Hooray Ranch on behalf of a few great companies known as Scent Crusher and Cherokee Sports. This time, I'm flying in instead of driving.
Which then it dawned on me, how do I get either my bow or gun there? Usually, I've just thrown all my gear in the truck and hit the road. But since 9-11, and other other acts of violence, airport security can be a pain to get through.
Well if you are doing this for the first time like me, don't worry, it is really quite simple. And if you have done it before, you already know that. But first thing is first...decide whether you are taking a gun or bow.
Then be sure to contact whichever airline you will be flying with, and make sure you know their policies. In most cases, each airline is similar on policies but for peace of mind and no surprises upon arrival I encourage you to call and double check. Usually they require you to approach check-in with the gun or bow unloaded and fully cased. The carrying case in which your firearms is in must be able to lock. Either with a padlock or a lock system with a key. Pictured below is some examples of that.
I encourage you to invest in a good case for bows and guns so your scope and pins don't get adjusted in flight.
Above is the only gun case I have that that is capable of being locked, therefore this is the example I have to show. The foam padding allows for the gun to be secure, and the rings on the ends of the case are there for where a padlock can fit and lock. Obviously there are much more high end cases you can invest in that would be worthy of your money if you plan to travel and hunt a lot.
This bow case above is a better design for traveling. It's very secure and durable, and foam inserts that tightly hold your bow in place. The locking system requires a key, and you can only get in the case with the key once the case is locked.
Declare your firearm of choice to the check in desk where you check in baggage and they will simply handle it from there once you have filled out the proper paperwork. Ammunition must be stored separately in its own packaging. Packaged to where it will not freely move around in any luggage and it should be made known to the airport employee as well. Just sure to follow instructions and ask questions if you have any concern.
So... are you flying your gun or bow to your next dream hunt and stressing over how on earth you are going to get it on the plane without being ransacked and body slammed before being thrown into quarantine? Don't stress, it is simpler than it seems.
Close it up, lock it tight, and throw everything else in that Scent Crusher bag and enjoy your hunt.