MISSOULA, Mont.--More than 400,000 Americans this year will travel out of state to hunt the West, many in pursuit of elk. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation offers the following tips for a smooth trip both in the air and on the highway.
- Make two lists. One for items to pick up at your destination, one for items to bring from home. Commonly forgotten: hunter and bowhunter education certification cards, birth certificate or other ID for young hunters, tags, personal medicines and toiletries.
- Know before you go. Visit the websites of the Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov) and your airline for restrictions and allowances affecting hunters.
- Preempt confused airline employees. Check your carrier’s website for its policy on transporting firearms and ammunition. Take a printout with you to the airport.
- Think about shipping instead. It may be easier to ship guns and gear to your destination but some common carriers will not handle firearms. Policies differ. Online research will help you decide which company to use.
- Check your gear upon arrival. No matter how well you pack, transportation causes equipment to shift, GPS units to switch on and drain batteries, crosshairs to move, broadhead blades to loosen, etc.
- Prepare for antlers and meat. Airline policies vary so do your homework. Some carriers will not handle antlers without substantial fees. Others will not transport perishables packed on ice. Still others limit the amount of dry ice that may be used.