Every avid hunter has imagined what it would be like to hunt on international soil. Some dream of Africa on a safari, while others might visualize themselves in Asia targeting wild boar or ibex. Whether it’s your first trip or you’re a pro, here are a few tips to help you plan your international hunting expedition.
Research Your Destination
If you don’t have a specific place in mind, start by researching top hunting regions or choose your location depending on the type of game you wish to hunt. Make sure to study local hunting laws since stricter protocol in certain countries might also influence your decision. No matter what destination you choose, be aware of protected or endangered animals that are illegal to hunt, and avoid any tour guides who offer illegal hunting.
Find a Guide
It’s recommended to book a guide for your desired hunting trip before heading to that country. Look online to compare different company prices, accommodations, gear provided and, most importantly, customer reviews. Only book with established companies that provide excellent experience and opportunities. Ask your guide to provide you with as much information as possible, like details on local hunting laws, permits needed, what to bring and how to stay safe during your trip. Try to get familiar with the operator and ask about other guests who will be joining your excursion; after all, you will be spending an extended period of time with these individuals. Hunting can be a controversial sport, especially in other countries, so check with conservation organizations about hunting certain animals and locations to prevent getting involved in heated debates.
Rent a Gun but Bring Your Accessories
To avoid dealing with complicated international gun laws or travel restrictions, rent your gun from the country you’ll be hunting in. In the long run, this will be a much cheaper option since you won’t have to deal with paying to transport the gun or any potential citations while on vacation. To make the rental feel more like the one you typically use, bring gun accessories with you, like a scope, stock, light or even trigger to make the gun comfortable and tailor it to your needs.
Get Travel Insurance
For the average traveler, travel insurance might not be necessary, but it’s highly encouraged for individuals who will be hunting overseas. Since you’ll be putting yourself at a higher risk of accidents, ranging from misfires to animal attacks, investing in insurance is a great idea to cover potential medical bills, evacuation costs, loss of baggage or belongings and even trip cancellations. First contact your normal insurance provider and inquire about travel insurance that covers hunting-related incidents. If they do not offer the insurance you’re looking for, shop around for third-party providers.
Don’t Forget the Usual Pre-Travel Checklist
Like any international trip, it’s important to start the planning process with the usual steps:
- Check your passport’s expiration date.
- Square away any visas you may need for your destination.
- Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if any vaccinations or medications are suggested when visiting certain locations.
- Call your bank and inform them about your travel plans to avoid any card issues.
- Check with both the U.S. government and the respective embassy of the country you’ll be visiting for any travel warnings or advisories you should be aware of.
Register your trip with the U.S. embassy by providing your itinerary and emergency contact information.