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Air travel to Smithers BC
I leave September 9th for my goat hunt, first mountain hunt and I have several questions. I have gathered a lot of information from this site and did lots of research on the outfitter, I will be using Clint Larson out of northern BC and the outfit name is BC Guided Hunting. I know the hunt wont be easy but its one I must do, I have been on the treadmill for the last month and have been slowly adding weight. I have numerous equipment questions but first is the travel part. I will be leaving out of Cincinnati, Ohio and I will have 2 lay overs there about 2 hours each. If I'm correct I will check my luggage and rifle direct to Smither's BC but on the way back my first stop in the US is in Chicago where I'm pretty sure I will have to clear customs/recheck bags. If this correct the layover is only 1 hour and 30 minutes and I don't think that will be enough time. Also is everyone bringing back there hide as checked luggage? My guide states that is what everyone else does. I did the Joberg shuffle in 2014 and the return trip had a couple issues. Any clues or suggestions?
What airport do you land in between Smithers and chicago
If memory serves, you will clear customs coming back into the US at the Canadian airport you leave from to enter back into the US. You could always call the airline and ask.
It's probably not as much fun and doesn't have the diversity of answers like an open forum on bowsite but I would ask your outfitter any questions.
My 2 cents is that yes you will clear customs in Canada on your last flight before the flight to the US. And agree on taking the hide, head back as a checked bag but it will have to be inspected and cleared by BC Fish and Wildlife first.
I don't know you from Adam but if you have a DUI on your record, there could be a problem. I know a group that had one of their hunters turned-away at the border on their spring bear hunt this year. Just a heads-up on this issue.
On my moose hunt coming back from Montreal we cleared customs in Montreal (which was a new experience in all my international travels). Not sure what other Canadian airports have this but chances are the big ones are the same, but not sure.
Departing flight will be: CVG (cincinnati) to Toronto--layover 1 hour 50 min///Toronto to Vancouver---layover 2 hours 47 min///Vancouver to Smither's
Return Smithers to Vancouver---layover 2 hours 9 min///Vancouver to Chicago---layover 1 hour 1 min///Chicago to Cincinnati
How long does it take to clear customs in Vancouver, assuming with a rifle it will take longer than 2 hours and 9 minutes. No prior DUI's thankfully, I would be fired for that let alone any criminal history.
I went through US customs in Edmonton last year and it was a breeze! We did it in Calgary this year and it was equally as impressive.
I would bet the Vancouver airport will be the same. Someone should have that answer out there. Or just Google it.
I flew into Chicago this May from Saskatchewan, we cleared customs there.I would imagine that you would clear customs at Toronto going into Canada.
This past September I flew to northern BC through Vancouver and didn't have any troubles clearing customs. I did it in the middle of the night on the way up--it took about 20-30 minutes. On the way back, it was midday and took about an hour. Two hours should be enough to clear customs on normal days. Just don't give any answers to piss customs agents off! :)
The biggest thing with customs is to have all your paperwork in order and ready (Guide Dec. form, tags/license, inspection paper for the goat and of course passport.) It never hurts to have the scientific name of the animals harvested written down before you get to the border for filling out your export form. It makes it look like you know what you're doing. 2 hours should be lots of time. Good luck on your hunt, Clint's a good guy.
Babine, You guys are always a class act.
Bayou, I fly every week, sometimes internationally. I think you are really pushing getting your connection in that time frame from Chicago. It's one of the worst run airports. However, worst that can happen is you miss your flight and get rebooked on a later flight. Or you can see if you can alter your return. That's the only good thing about ORD, there are lots of flights going everywhere since it's a major hub.
Good luck on your goat hunt.
You will clear customs in Vancouver prior to flying back to Chicago. As the others have said make sure all of your paperwork is filled out and ready to go and you should have no problems with any of it. Good Luck!!
Thanks for the answers fellas
I've flown to the US out of Vancouver several times and customs and immigration took anywhere from 45 minutes to 3+ hours. Same for the 8 - 10 trips through Montreal. Time probably averaged about 1.5 hours and the 3+ was on a business trip without having weapons or trophies with me.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best....
Talk to your outfitter as he'll likely know current airline policies regarding trophy transport and/or check the airline's website very carefully as at least two Canadian carriers don't allow hides, horns or meat on my last trip in 2014.