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Do I need to bring my own guns, or can I rent firearms from the outfitter?

Estimated reading time: 2 min

One of the great self-satisfaction aspects of any hunt is to take a trophy animal with a firearm that you own. After all, you chose the gun, optics and ammo. You got it shooting just the way you like it. And you practiced with it to make the perfect shot under the toughest conditions. And it may be a gun that’s become as much of your hunting life as your best friend.

If so, then you’d probably never consider using a borrowed or rented gun on a hunt.

On the other hand, if you’ll be traveling some distance to hunt – particularly by airline – the combination of hassles, permits, inspections and expenses might have you wondering if it just wouldn’t be easier to use a firearm provided by your trusted outfitter. And if you cherish your hunting firearms like old friends, you are subjecting them to danger of loss or damage by flying with them. There’s no way around that fact.

To alleviate these worries, some outfitting operations offer the rental of firearms for use by their hunters. Should you consider this option, research the type, condition, reliability and availability of these guns just like you would any other type of camp equipment about which you are concerned. Get the outfitter to put it all in writing, including the costs of rental, security deposits, and ammunition.

One kind of outfitted hunting in which renting guns from the outfitter is very common is high-volume wingshooting for doves, pigeons and waterfowl in places like South America and Africa. You may be able to rent a quality, well-maintained shotgun for $50/day from the outfitter. When you compare that to the baggage fees and permit expenses alone, you may find it’s a break even deal or may even save you a bit of money over flying in your own guns to a foreign country.

Additionally, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time. When bringing personal firearms into a new country, there are bound to be inspections and paperwork at airports and potentially other checkpoints along the way. Law enforcement agents and inspectors tend to put low priority on getting you out into the field quickly no matter how much paperwork you and your outfitter have done ahead of time.
If you’re considering renting or borrowing guns at the hunting location, be sure to check with your outfitter ahead of time regarding the laws related to this. In some countries, a permit is required even to borrow a firearm.

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