Canada bear hunt-getting back into US?

JOHN GRENZ

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Next month son, grandson and I heading to Saskatchewan for a fishing/bear hunting trip. When I last hunted there in the 80’s and 90’s crossing the border easy. No paperwork required. We have the getting into Canada details from our outfitter squared away. Anything I should know about getting back into the US?
 
Are you asking about having the firearms or bringing back fish, meat and/or trophy.

I know to enter back into the US you will need the 4457, but @riflepermits.com would be an excellent source of information.
 
I leave tomorrow for the same trip. Current 4457 is the main concern for gun re-entry. As to bear parts, those can re-enter with you with their license/permit documentation.

You mentioned being set for Canada entry. For those wondering about that, you need the Canadian firearms form 5589 filled out but NOT signed. Do that in front of the Canadian official.
 
Are you asking about having the firearms or bringing back fish, meat and/or trophy.

I know to enter back into the US you will need the 4457, but @riflepermits.com would be an excellent source of information.
I was wondering about firearms paperwork. Should have known we’ed need the 4457. Last time up there bear hunting the Canadien border guard waved us into the office. We went in and he asked the reason for our visit. Told him bear hunting. He asked what kind of gun you use for that. I said 7mm. He said hope it’s big enough. Have fun. He never got out of his chair.
 
Your outfitter should be able to answer all your questions. His clients will primarily, if not exclusively, be Americans so he should be up to date. As to guns, just make sure you have documentation from the outfitter confirming your hunt. I presume you will be driving. Present it at Canadian border and they will issue you a temporary gun possession license. YOU MUST DECLARE ALL GUNS. Don't bring a handgun or any ammo for one. They may give your vehicle the once over inspection and likely will want to see the guns to check serial number and ensure they're not loaded. If they find anything associated with handgun, even an empty casing, expect a very thorough vehicle inspection will follow. And you can't bring AR. Those are now semi-outlawed. No need for locks on gun case if you are driving. When transiting guns must always be unloaded and here in Ontario the gun must be in case after dark. Trigger locks would probably also suffice. When I'm coming out after dark I usually disable the gun (bolt in my pack or shotgun barrel removed).
 
I leave tomorrow for the same trip. Current 4457 is the main concern for gun re-entry. As to bear parts, those can re-enter with you with their license/permit documentation.

You mentioned being set for Canada entry. For those wondering about that, you need the Canadian firearms form 5589 filled out but NOT signed. Do that in front of the Canadian official.
Thanks.
 
I leave tomorrow for the same trip. Current 4457 is the main concern for gun re-entry. As to bear parts, those can re-enter with you with their license/permit documentation.

You mentioned being set for Canada entry. For those wondering about that, you need the Canadian firearms form 5589 filled out but NOT signed. Do that in front of the Canadian official.
It's only a one page document as I recall (I'm a US citizen and Canadian Permanent Resident so document free both directions - just need my PAL license). Easy enough to fill it out when he crosses into Canada. They will almost certainly want to check the guns anyway.
 
Yes, one page on the 5589. Exit and re-entry isn't tricky as long as you are informed. You made great points on the things to know driving in/out. I used to drive the Alcan every year or two.

With Customs officials, sometimes you get attitude but I've found the main thing is to be polite and patient. I also ONLY answer questions asked and don't offer more info than asked.
 
If you have documentation proving ownership of guns (e.g. bill of sale), it might be a good idea to bring copies along. I always do and I'm usually crossing the border with guns at least a couple of times every year. Mostly to answer questions re origins when I return. Canada doesn't care if I acquire a long gun in the US (as long as it's not an AR or grenade launcher), but the govt wants its tax money. Fair enough.
 
On my last trip to Canada it was a mess going in. The agent was sure that I had something hidden in my truck. He didn't like my firearm importation paperwork so he filled it all out in longhand while I waited. 2 hours later I was on my way into the interior.

On my way out I pulled up to the US Customs window and told him what I was bringing back and that I had my firearm. He just asked if it was the one on my 4457 and I said that it was. He didn't even look at it. He asked me to come inside and 15 minutes later after he filled out some forms I was on my way.
 
I’m Canadian so last time I came back, I collected my baggage and went to secondary in Calgary I was asked the reason for my visit so handed him my PAL, he looked at me and said your Canadian get out of here, and how did the hunt go.
 
I have crossed home into Alaska with firearms no problem. Didn’t need a 4457 but it can only help depending on your border officer.
 
For those hunting other species such as deer , moose etc. you may have to remove the brains from the skull to bring it back into the US. This was the case 3 years ago when I brought a moose back from Saskatchewan. USF&W inspected it closely.
 
For those hunting other species such as deer , moose etc. you may have to remove the brains from the skull to bring it back into the US. This was the case 3 years ago when I brought a moose back from Saskatchewan. USF&W inspected it closely.
No maybe about it. Most states you cannot take deer brain or spinal material across the state boundary, let alone internationally. It's about trying to contain chronic wasting disease. As ethical hunters we need to be on board no matter what the inconvenience.
 
I've driven both ways 3 times. Although I always have my 4457 I've never been asked for it. Returning home I've never even gotten out of my car.
Neither side has ever looked at my rifle to verify anything.
Always have anything ready but I've been fortunate with no problems or waiting ever.
My experience only relates to Manitoba and Ontario.
 
Just one comment to add, the comments on driving experiences are generally VERY different from airport experiences. I've driven the Alcan 9x with guns going to Alaska or back. Agreed that the 4457 wasn't asked for but don't make the mistake of thinking that will be the case with airport processes. You need the 4457 to get them back into the US through air travel.
 
I am going up next month too for a black bear and fishing trip in Saskatchewan at the end of June. The only thing I am curious about is whether I can bring back any bear meat or not. I am assuming so since I can bring fish back. If not no worries, need to ask my outfitter but thought since saw this thread might as well drop in my question.
 
Yes you can bring it back frozen in a cooler with your license/tag info as luggage.
 
May need to review the Cites permits, I have heard of people hunting in Ontario needing them, but unsure for what animals.
 
May need to review the Cites permits, I have heard of people hunting in Ontario needing them, but unsure for what animals.
I can't imagine for what. Caribou have been off the menu for years. Lynx? Nope. It's marketable fur bearing species. Possibly wolf but I doubt it. Definitely not black bear. They are not on the CITES list. Except maybe the white ones in BC.
 

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