Requirements for U.S. citizens to Hunt in Canada
Many U.S. hunters are very enthusiastic about hunting in Canada. Some of them are going behind big games like elk or caribou while some other are attracted by the vast, beautiful landscapes of Canada hunting ground.
Whichever the reason, is you are an U.S. Citizen planning to hunt in Canada, there are a few things you need to now before starting your hunting trip.
1. A passport is mandatory
There's no other option, you need a valid U.S. passport to get admitted to Canada. No matter if you are entering Canada territory by land, air or sea, a Canada migration officer will always require a valid passport, thus if you don't have one or if it's expired, it's time to apply online to get a brand new passport or a renovation (in case your old document has expired).
Once admitted, take your passport with you all the time, that's your only valid ID out of U.S. territory and a proof of being legally admitted to Canada. Just in case, keep a couple of colors copies of your passport on your luggage (preferably on two separated places) as a precaution measure in case your passport get lost.
2. Don't forget to fill an U.S. Customs Form 4457
You may find this form on your local Customs office or apply on line, on the second case you will receive a printed copy of you form by regular mail.
On the U.S. Customs Form 4457 you must include all valuable items you are taking with you into Canada. When you re-enter U.S. that's the only proof of being the owner of such items before entering in Canada, otherwise the U.S. Customs officer could assume you bought that stuff during your trip and then fees and duties would apply to get your valuable belongings back home.
Be sure to include all your weapons, optic apparels, electronic devices, cameras, hunting gear and so on, in order to avoid charges when re-entering U.S.
Once back home, keep your Form 4457 with you. Since it does not expire, you may use it on future hunting trips, however you must be aware the items you are carrying on are those include on the form; if not, a new form must be processed.
3. Complete your Canada Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Form 909
This must be done online (doing it at the border might delay your admission and will upset Canadian border officers) and once you are sure all the information is OK, especially serial numbers, print three copies.
Don't sign the form until a Canadian officer ask you to do it after presenting the document with your valid passport.
Avoid including handguns because they are not permitted in Canada, so leave them at home.
4. Pay for your Canadian Hunting Permit.
After presenting your passport and form 909 to Canadian authorities, entering Canada may be accepted or denied. If you are accepted, authorities will ask a fee payment for your Canadian hunting permit.
The cost of such permit is around 25 Canadian dollars, however keep in mind that Canadian Customs don't accept U.S. currency, then the only way to pay the fee is using Canadian dollars or a valid credit card (Visa, Master Carda or Amex).
Once the access is granted and the permit issued you will be ready to start the adventure. Remember to keep with you all your documentation (including permits, customs forms and passport) all the time; in addition keep copies on a safe place just in case the originals get lost.