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Buckfever4life 04-01-2008 04:10 AM

Canadian Bear Hunt
 
Well, we are off to Saskatchewan, Canada May 11th with Larson Lake Outfitters for a week long bear hunt. I was wanting some information about traveling through the airport system. I have not flown for many years and things have changed at the airport.

We are thinking of sending out clothing, gear and all up Fed Ex next day to the outfitter. I have all my clothes, binos, gear, everything but rifle in a box ready to ship to the outfitter. We figured this might be better just to have a rifle case going through the airport rather than worrying about luggage. Has anyone ever done this before? I can send my gear up for less than $100. I want to make this trip as smooth as possible. This way I would only need to grab my rifle and would have all my gear waiting for me at camp, not having to worry about lost or delayed luggage.

Do you know about the big sporting goods store in Saskatoon? I spoke to the outfitter and he mentioned a huge store not far from the airport. I figured we could stop and get some last minute gear, scent spray, and forgotten supplies before we make the hour and a half trip to the camp.

I was thinking of having my Bear (if fortunate to harvest one) mounted in canada and shipped back to me here in the states. I have spoke to Orion Taxidermy and they have a top notch business there in Moose Jaw. They told me that a full body mount shipped to WV from Canada would run about $500-$700. I figured this might be better than having it shipped back with me on the airplane and worry about hair slippage due to the cape being rolled up. I have heard horror stories about this, where the flesh hold heat and can cause hair slippage due to being rolled. I dont mind paying the extra money for taxidermy as I know they mount more bears than my local taxidermist does.

Any/all feedback on any tips/hints that I should know while flying into canada would be greatly appreciated.

TLC 04-01-2008 06:58 AM

buckfever, you might want to take the clothes with you and ups the gun. or ship all of it that way. have seen this done a few times and all your stuff always turns up where and WHEN it is supposed to. as far as the outdoor store, can't help. but sure they have somewhere to buy things you forget. as far as the taxidermy thing. again, you can ship it ups or with whoever if you pack it in dry ice and let your taxidermist know it is coming. doing this this spring with anything I may get in idaho. overnight it to the taxidermist. just call and make sure they will be there to accept the package. and to help with the hair slipping, roll it length wise instead of head to toe. freezes faster that way. hope this helps. good luck.

firediver 04-01-2008 07:07 AM

I personally would never send my gear to Canada ahead of me. I've heard horror stories about packages being held up in customs for weeks.....months.

I do taxidermy part-time so my advice to you would be to bring your hide back with you on the plane. As long as you follow these simple steps...your hide should be just fine.....

1. Skin the bear asap and lay the hide in the shade flesh side up so it can cool.

2. Once you get it to a freezer....lay it flat for the first 20-30 minutes to get the entire hide cooled down. DO NOT ROLL THE BEAR HIDE UNTIL YOU FOLLOW STEP #2.

3. When it is time to roll the hide up, fold it over so it is flesh on flesh and then fold it up like a pair of jeans, placing the head on top. (DO NOT ROLL THE HIDE WITH THE HEAD ON THE INSIDE!!!) The head on top will serve two purposes...easy access to the permit if you get checked....and easy access to the ears so ice packs can be placed on them at the taxidermist when it comes time to thaw out the hide. (The ears will that out in 30 minutes but the rest of the head will take a good day+. The ice packs will help prevent hair slip.

Piece of cake....cool it down, roll it up and freeze it. When it comes time to pack for the trip home, just place the frozen hide in a cooler or box...wrapped up with newspaper.

Make arrangements with your local taxidermist before you leave and let him know that you will be bringing him a hide as soon as you return.

Also, if you have an idea on the mount you will choose if successful, ask your taxidermist how he would like it skinned. 99.9% of the guides will cut up the belly and down the legs assuming you are going to get a rug. If you want a lifesize, most taxi's would prefer you cut the bear down the back.

I can go into more detail later if you want.

Scott

PS....if you are lucky enough to have an outfitter that salts the hide for you...all the better!!! Just make sure he preps the hide properly before doing so.

Buckfever4life 04-01-2008 07:08 AM

Quote:

buckfever, you might want to take the clothes with you and ups the gun. or ship all of it that way
I dont know if you can ship your gun to canada without it going to an FFL. Besides, you have to have the declaration form filled out and pay $50 at customs to get your gun through. I heard that it is no big deal really, but I thought it would be less hassle to carry the rifle case by itself reather than to pack luggage anlong with it and stand in unecessary lines at the airport. Plus you can ship items fed-ex that you cannot take along on the airplane.

Thanks for the response

firediver 04-01-2008 07:15 AM

I've flown to Canada four times on hunting trips and I've never had a problem at the airport....packing a bow or a rifle. I just feel more comfortable having everything with me.

Buckfever4life 04-01-2008 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firediver (Post 9599)
I personally would never send my gear to Canada ahead of me. I've heard horror stories about packages being held up in customs for weeks.....months.

I do taxidermy part-time so my advice to you would be to bring your hide back with you on the plane. As long as you follow these simple steps...your hide should be just fine.....

1. Skin the bear asap and lay the hide in the shade flesh side up so it can cool.

2. Once you get it to a freezer....lay it flat for the first 20-30 minutes to get the entire hide cooled down. DO NOT ROLL THE BEAR HIDE UNTIL YOU FOLLOW STEP #2.

3. When it is time to roll the hide up, fold it over so it is flesh on flesh and then fold it up like a pair of jeans, placing the head on top. (DO NOT ROLL THE HIDE WITH THE HEAD ON THE INSIDE!!!) The head on top will serve two purposes...easy access to the permit if you get checked....and easy access to the ears so ice packs can be placed on them at the taxidermist when it comes time to thaw out the hide. (The ears will that out in 30 minutes but the rest of the head will take a good day+. The ice packs will help prevent hair slip.

Piece of cake....cool it down, roll it up and freeze it. When it comes time to pack for the trip home, just place the frozen hide in a cooler or box...wrapped up with newspaper.

Make arrangements with your local taxidermist before you leave and let him know that you will be bringing him a hide as soon as you return.

Also, if you have an idea on the mount you will choose if successful, ask your taxidermist how he would like it skinned. 99.9% of the guides will cut up the belly and down the legs assuming you are going to get a rug. If you want a lifesize, most taxi's would prefer you cut the bear down the back.

I can go into more detail later if you want.

Scott

PS....if you are lucky enough to have an outfitter that salts the hide for you...all the better!!! Just make sure he preps the hide properly before doing so.


Hey buddy, thanks for the reply, you replied as I was typing a response to TLC. Our outfitter skins the bear for us and I will make sure I call the taxidermist locally. Maybe you are right that I should bring it back with me and spare the extra $500 - $700 for shipping. I might as well take my luggage with me on the airplane, I figured if i next day air it via fed-ex that they would get it for sure. I dont want anything held up in customs if I can help it. I will shoot you a PM and maybe get your number so we can talk directly.

Thanks

Buckfever4life 04-01-2008 07:17 AM

Quote:

I've flown to Canada four times on hunting trips and I've never had a problem at the airport....packing a bow or a rifle. I just feel more comfortable having everything with me.
You are probably right, I just need to check now what I can and cannot pack in the luggage like liguid soaps, scent free spray, contact solution and other personal toiletries.

MJewell 04-01-2008 07:31 AM

I won't suggest shipping the guns via Fed ex, as said before they can get held up at the Border. Have bought bow out of the states and seen them held at the boarder for a week and a bit before clearing and other times they blow right through. Have never flown with bow or guns so I can't comment on the rules of the airlines.

Matt

Great White Hunter 04-01-2008 07:55 AM

With work I've been doing quite a bit of shipping to Canada and receiving from Canada. I FED EX is not very good at that but better than UPS. I have 0 success with UPS in that endeavor and 85% with Fed EX but it DOES usually take at least 2-3 weeks because it always gets hung up in Customs even though the package is non-harzardous and the contents are declared properly. DON'T depend on Fed Ex or anyone else. They WILL ruin your hunt of a lifetime. My .02

Buckfever4life 04-01-2008 07:59 AM

Sounds good, I will carry my luggage along with my rifle through the airport. I appreciate everyones advice. I dont have a suitcase, but would a large cargo type bag be acceptable to carry my clothing and personal items in?

I am now trying to decide if I should have a local taxidermist in canada (possibly Orion taxidermy) mount the bear and have it sent to me, or take it back and let a local taxidermist do the mount here in the states. The outfitter said he has several very reputable taxidermists that specialize in bear mounts in canada. Any feedback?


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