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Thread: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    265

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    Get your information in writing from the Canadian side just in case , border guards don't know everything. And watch what knives you take with you lol.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Abbotsford, BC
    Posts
    866

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    I've had such different treatments upon re-entry to Canada. From complete denial at Osoyoos, BC for a deer that they wanted me to get Ag inspected in Surrey, BC to having the officer barely look up when bringing an elk into Coutts, AB. Rule of thumb seems to be though, no intact skulls that aren't boiled or at a
    minimum bored of brain tissue and no spinal column.

    It took hours to bring a bighorn in at Rooseville, BC one time but only because ALL of the agents on both sides wanted to hold it and pose for pictures!


    But as mentioned before, do your homework, have ALL of your rifle and animal export and import paperwork ready and chances are you will know more than the officer attending, as CDN's don't get a lot of game traveling north and they'll wave you through.

    Ask the US side to provide and stamp a Fish & Wildlife export document. This reinforces to the CDN side that the US is aware of the game animal being exported and are OK with it. You will need to know the Latin name for the animal. US official should be able to provide a sheet with the names.


    Do not buy ammo in the US and take it to Canada. This is illegal. You can buy, shoot and possess it in the US but not export it.

    Occasionally the CDN and the US side will want to inspect the serial numbers of your firearms.
    Grand Slam #1810

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    19

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    Heading down to MT on Tuesday. Fully ready on this end. Wish us luck on the hunt and I will report back on any issues or fun along the way.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    19

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    Thanks to everyone for the advice and help

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Williams Lake, BC Canada
    Posts
    11,649

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    Good luck..straight shooting..take lots of photos..
    considering a pronghorn hunt south of border..
    Steven

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    19

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    Back in BC now...here is the story of the trip (and a tag filled)

    Got the ATF forms in pretty quick order when filed via email. Pre trip prep was pretty straight forward once you had a tag and the right forms to bring the rifle across. I included on the forms a number of different firearms and ammunition (60 rounds each) as we are planning a few hunts in the next 12 months.

    USA border (on the way in) - peace arch ... which could have been a mistake
    The border guard in the booth was excited to talk about the hunt and things were going smoothly. Had to go inside in order to have the rifle inspected to match paperwork serial numbers.
    Issue #1: Invitation Letter?
    Once in secondary inspection, the new border guard proceeds to ask for a letter of invitation. She seemed to miss the fact that I held a valid hunting license and had achieved approval from the ATF to bring my rifle across. After much time, and pulling much of my gear out of the truck she told me that in the future I should have a letter of invitation even if it is something I put together in microsoft word. I know, it makes no sense. A letter of invitation that I create trumps a valid hunting license not to mention an ATF approval.

    Issue #2: Why so many firearms listed? Why not 60 rounds?
    So when filling out the ATF forms, it specifically states that you are not required to have all of the items listed or the full volume of ammunition with you to cross the border. This was apparently confusing for the border guard who expected me to have all or none of the firearms and only the full volume of ammunition listed (I only brought two boxes of ammo). It took some explanation to gain a common ground here and I do not think it ever really made sense to her.

    My assessment here is that I had done the right preparation and was ready to cross by the letter of the law but ran into an ill informed border guard. I didn't think there was benefit in attempting to win the argument so just calmly answered questions and we made our way to yes. I think if I had argued or fought loudly I may have been heading home (or to another crossing). Either way she eventually let us get back not he way.

    The Hunt - Ekalaka Montana
    We were out for opening weekend of rifle season. Had permission on a farm with some great terrain. Over the course of the morning we saw a ton of deer. Weather was blowing in and the deer were pretty spooky to start but once the snow started they seemed to settle down. In the middle of what looked like a snow globe through my scope I managed to close the deal on a nice big bodied 5 point from 245 yards. Tagged out around noon!

    My wife had a doe tag (over the counter) and after a couple of stress mistakes on the first two stalks she closed the deal on our second deer of the day about a half hour before sunset. Nice day and a freezer on its way back to full - we were at a meat crisis stage when we left. We stopped at a check station and gave the lymph nodes to Montana Fish and game for CWD testing even though we weren't in a CWD area - we will be able to confirm results in 2-3 weeks online.

    The landscape was amazing, the people really friendly and helpful and even the weather mostly cooperated (except about 2hrs around when I was shooting my buck). All in all it was an awesome hunt in a great place, will be going back for sure.

    Crossing back into Canada
    Returning to Canada we had a pretty full truck
    - Processed deer meat packaged and frozen in the coolers
    - boiled and cleaned skull (from my buck)
    - Some artwork, etc from a charity auction
    - about a case of White Claw (I know...)
    - my rifle

    I had written a list much like above with value on the charity stuff and when we rolled up to the border handed passports and the list to the border guard. She asked about the trip, asked where the rifle was and inspected my PAL. We were stopped for less than 5 minutes and were back on our way to catch a ferry. I had stopped on the Canadian side on the way into the US to double check what I would need. The answer from the guard then was my PAL combined with the tag for the meat (which needed to be available for inspection if desired). Pretty simple all around.

    I think that we just got unlucky with the US side and that it could have been equally as simple on the way down if I had drawn a different border guard. It went just as Rackmaster suggested and I won't hesitate to do this again in the future. Thanks to everyone for the advice and help. I really appreciate the support from this community

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    19

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    oh and we saw tons of antelope out there...that could be an adventure in the future

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    313

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    Is the USFW export doc required when bringing the meat back. I am headed to New Mexico for elk next week. Itís my understanding that the tag and license are all you need?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    276

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    As far as I know BC was checking BC harvested mule deer for CWD in region 4 this fall

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    284

    Re: Montana Deer Hunt - Help Needed

    I would not cross the border without first stopping on the Canadian side and getting the appropriate receipt for re-import. Same for cameras and optical devices or other costly items that are not manufactured in Canada. Get the wrong agent coming back across the border and your trip will become a real event to forget. There are a couple of warehouses in the lower mainland where customs sells such items.

    Montana is a state with CWD and import of antlers from there with attached soft tissues will not be legally allowed. As recently as this week there has been an issue with regards to a set of antlers that got across the border with soft tissues attached. You really do not want to go there. Check with the border folks and FLNRORD before you go as to CURRENT AT THAT TIME requirements to import into Canada and BC.
    Last edited by dracb; 11-07-2019 at 01:12 PM.
    "The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living."

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