Editor’s Note: Chad Schearer of Great Falls, Montana, host of “Shoot Straight with Chad Schearer” on the Sportsman Channel, has traveled all over the world hunting with muzzleloader. This week, Schearer will give us tips to show us how to have a great muzzleloading hunt while out side of the U.S..
Question: Chad, how do you protect your riflescope, binoculars and range finder on those long airline trips out of the country, like when you’ve flown to Australia and Africa?
Schearer: I store all my optics in my gun case. A quality gun case not only can protect your gun but also your optics. I’ve got a well-padded gun case that I can lock.
Question: What other type of equipment should we take on an out-of-country hunting trip?
Schearer: Carrying supplies for cleaning your gun can be a hassle, if you don’t plan ahead. Make sure the cleaning supplies you plan to take can be carried in your luggage. Because of the new airport regulations on carry-on items, certain supplies, like flammable solvents or aerosol cans, will create a problem at the airport. Typically, I carry CVA cleaning patches that are presoaked, because they create the least amount of problems in any airport.
Question: Are there any other hassles we can avoid when we’re planning for an out-of-country hunt?
Schearer: Each country has some type of forms that have to be filled out before you enter or leave the country with firearms. So, I go to the Internet and download those firearm forms ahead of time. For instance, when I’m going to Canada, I always have those forms downloaded and filled-out before I enter customs. However, not all countries have their forms available online. To solve these types of problems and many other problems associated with traveling out of the country, especially to Africa, use a travel agency. A travel agency will work with you to get all the paperwork you need for the country in which you’ll be hunting. For our trip to Africa, we used Gracy Travel International, Inc. out of San Antonio, Texas. This was the best investment we made in our Africa hunt. Gracy had all the permits waiting for us when we got into the country, which expedited entry into Africa and made many of the hassles normally associated with going into a foreign country much easier. Gracy arranged for someone to meet us at the airport when we arrived in Africa and to help us with our gun permit. They helped us go through customs and reach the motel and/or the outfitter to go to where we were staying.
When you go to a Spanish-speaking country like Argentina, and you don’t speak Spanish, having someone who speaks Spanish meet you at the airport, like the outfitter or the travel agent, can be a tremendous help. If you’ll be hunting with black powder, having a travel agent, a host or an outfitter who can meet you, help you go through customs and get you to where you’re going will be a really-big help. I advise anyone to invest the money and the time required to make sure you have someone helpful meet you when you arrive in a foreign country for a blackpowder hunt and also when you prepare to leave.
To contact Gracy Travel International, Inc., call 800-299-8558, or visit their website at www.gracytravel.com.