vacationing hunters and airport security

How are traveling hunters and their guns handled by airport security nowadays?

And what about handguns? I don’t hunt, but when I go fishing on out-of-the-way streams, I like to carry a handgun. I once a near-Deliverance experience and was damn thankful to have it. But so far I have not traveled by plane to fish.

This post courtesy of WorldWide Computer God Frankenstein Controls.

Unloaded, properly packaged firearms can be checked as luggage provided you have all the necessary paperwork and stuff.

According to the Transportation Security Agency, the following items may be checked in luggage:

BB guns, compressed air guns, firearms, parts of guns and firearms, pellet guns, replicas, and starter pistols. You may not check flare guns, gun lighters or gun powder. (Cartridge ammunition is OK.)

This stuff is covered in the PDF files linked from this page.

You will need to contact the specific airline to get permission to transport the items and to learn their procedures for handling them.

Okay, you can’t drop that on us without elaborating. What happened?

Okay. I was coming out of a stream in the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri at dusk. It was nearly dark when I reached my car. The only other vehicle there was a pickup truck that turned its lights on me when I stepped out of woods. After a minute the trucked turned and parked and the owner got out. A big fella.

“How’d you do?”

An innocent enough question, but his manner was very menacing. And I’m sure I looked easy to intimidate. An obvious city-boy college kid driving a '76 Beetle. I don’t remember what else was said, but I was very nervous when I got to my car. I had 38 under the seat and immediately started to load it. Before I finished a shotgun went off in the dark near the other fellow’s truck. I shut off the light and huddled down behind my car, gun in hand.

“What the hell are you shooting at?” I hollered, trying to sound at ease.

“I dunno. Heard something in the bushes.”

I hopped in my car and hightailed it out of there without turning on any lights. (It was pitch black at this point and he wouldn’t been able to aim without a light.)

Next day a local told me that he was probably a poacher just trying to scare me away. It worked. But I always have a gun loaded and on my person now, if I’m in a wild locale far from help.

Also, a mountain lion was killed just north of Kansas City this year. Bears occasionally wander into the Ozarks. There’s a lot more wildlife out there nowadays. If needed, I might as well have something with me that’s better than nothing.

Yeh this sounds like a great MPSIMS thread!!!

I don’t imagine that too many people go hunting, via plane.
Checking in firearms may be possible, but checking in a dead 700 pound moose isn’t.

I have traveled with a a hand gun post 9/11 and there was no problem.

Must be in a locked case (traveler is only person with the key) with a tag with the travelers name in the case and another tag on the outside of the locked case. Ten or twenty #'s of ammo per gun, the ammo must be stored in a fiberboard or metal box, the gun must be unloaded and the magazine removed. Of course the gun must be in checked baggage and declared. At check in the people at check in will ask to see the gun and ensure that the rules are followed. They then sign the tags.

It gets packed and shipped back - add 1/3 to the whole trip just for that!!!:eek:

Actually, saw quite a few hunters in the airport on my return trip from South Africa. Point being there are plenty of hunting destinations that one could fly to. They checked their fire arms. They generally will have the taxidermy done at the place of the kill and shipped back to them after the work is complete.

If hunters don’t want the meat, they often donate it to organizations that feed the homeless.

If you live in the lower 48 and want to hunt here (Alaska), one option is flying up here. Flying around the state in commericial aircraft for hunting purposes is common, too. Surprisingly, the internal rules vary from airline to airline. The TSA has overall authority, but each airline company has set their own guidelines for transporting firearms. My advice is to call the airline well ahead of time to check on their restrictions and make sure you get the name of the person that you talk with. And then, on departure day, make sure you show up an hour earlier than you normally would, so you can take care of any problems that may arise. Keep in mind that you may hear different stories from different people about flying with firearms, but that may be due to varying practices set by different companies. Get the facts, follow the rules, and have a little patience - you’ll get to your hunting destination happier and more relaxed. And, once properly processed and packaged, moose and salmon are no problem at all to get on a plane for the long trip back home. You may be surprised at some of the interesting sights I have seen at the Anchorage airport during hunting and fishing seasons.

I’ve heard that you have to label guns with a big, obvious, bright colored tag which says ‘please steal me’ to any shady baggage handlers.

I always carry a gun. On airplanes, I tell them that I will be carrying a gun when I make the reservation. At check in time, I tell them again. Sometime, they make me unlock my suitcase and show them the gun and that it is unloaded. The ammunition should be separate, in a separate suitcase. The ticket agent is supposed to put a red tag “inside” the suitcase stating that there is a gun inside, and not on the outside of the bag. It is federal law that you can transport a firearm “thru” any state. You endpoint state must allow you to have that gun. Check with each state you are in to see if your ccw is honored in that state, and familiarize yourself with the laws in what ever state you are in.

Check this site to start: