For many hunters, traveling with hunting gear is a regular occurrence. Whether for a weekend hunting trip or a longer adventure, packing and transporting hunting gear can be a challenge. From guns and ammunition to camping and cooking equipment, there are many things to consider when preparing for a hunting trip. In this article, we’ll provide some tips for traveling with hunting gear to ensure a successful and stress-free experience, along with expert advice from Kate Hunt, the Duck Huntress who has had a lot of experience traveling with guns.

Credit: The Duck Huntress / Instagram

Check your airline’s policies.

If you’re flying to your hunting destination, you must check your airline’s policies regarding firearms and ammunition. Each airline has its own set of rules and regulations that you must follow to transport your hunting gear. Some airlines require guns and ammunition to be stored separately, while others allow them to be stored together. Check the airline’s website or call their customer service line for the latest policies information. Per most airline’s policies, a key lock has to be in every lock hole on your gun cases (for example: 4 holes, 4 locks). These don’t have to be “TSA Approved Locks” and Kate suggests keeping each key in a separate place so you don’t have to worry about losing them on your trip.

Credit: The Duck Huntress / Instagram

Invest in a durable gun case.

Your gun is one of the most critical pieces of equipment you’ll bring on a hunting trip. Therefore, investing in a durable gun case is essential. A high-quality gun case will protect your gun from damage during transit and keep it secure during your trip. It’s also important to ensure that the gun case meets airline regulations for size and weight. Since airlines require a lockable hard-sided case for firearms, Kate recommends taking the foam out of your gun case and using bulk items as padding. She says this makes it “super convenient when flying and saves way more space in your bag!”

Pro tip: Kate says to toss an Apple Airtag (GPS) into your gun case for tracking. These link directly to your phone and you can get a 4-pack on Amazon for all your luggage, so you can travel with peace of mind.

Pack ammunition properly

When packing ammunition, it’s important to follow airline guidelines carefully. Most airlines require ammunition to be stored separately from the gun in a secure, hard-sided container. Make sure to pack ammunition in its original packaging or a suitable container and label it clearly. This part of traveling doesn’t have to be too complicated; Kate says to just pack this in your checked bag. Also, ensure you do not exceed the maximum amount of ammunition allowed per passenger.

Use a checklist

Before packing for your trip, make a checklist of all the hunting gear you need to bring. This includes clothing, boots, hunting accessories, and camping gear. A checklist can help you stay organized and ensure you don’t forget any essential items. This will also allow you to look critically at any areas you are lacking or doubled up with equipment.

Consider renting gear

If you’re traveling to a hunting destination far from home, renting some of your hunting gear might be more convenient than bringing it with you. This can be particularly helpful if you’re traveling by plane to another nation, avoiding the hassle of transporting your equipment and worrying about additional registration for the duration of the stay. Many Venku hunting outfitters offer rental equipment, including guns, ammunition, and sometimes camping gear. Venku also partners with Big Sky, a company that delivers high quality hunting gear like clothing, optics and other equipment straight to your doorstep.

Pack light

When packing for a hunting trip, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll be carrying your gear for long distances where storage space is minimal. Make your life easier, pack light, and only bring essential items. While we all want to film in HD, opting for a cellphone and a GoPro may be better for your back and wallet. Investing in lightweight and compact gear, such as a lightweight tent and sleeping bag, is also a good idea.

In conclusion, traveling with hunting gear can be a challenge, but with careful planning and preparation, it can be a stress-free experience. By checking airline policies, investing in a durable gun case, packing ammunition properly, using a checklist, considering renting gear, and packing light, you can ensure your hunting trip is successful. Happy hunting!