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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wasn't sure where else to post this. Planning on heading to Vancouver Island for a week of back country exploration and wheeling. I've done some research and it is very clear what declaration forms you need to fill out, what fees you need to pay, etc. And I think carrying something concealed is completely out of the question. But I'm wondering about back woods open carry (for critter defense). I think (but it isn't clear) that I could carry a rifle or shotgun, but I'm not sure I could carry a 357 revolver regardless. Anyone have any experience in this area.
 

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From what I understand, trying to get a handgun into Canada will get you arrested. In addition, critter defense is not recognized as a reason.
 

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Check with the Canadian Customs. I don't believe you can take a hand gun into Canada.
 

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Check with the Canadian Customs. I don't believe you can take a hand gun into Canada.
Apparently, there's a way to take a handgun to Canada, because I know of some people who recently did so for a competition. However, I suspect it takes a lot of paperwork and probably only possible if you're going to a sanctioned event. Still, check with the RCMP - they've got the information on their website.

As for carrying a revolver in Canada - I sort of doubt that's possible, even open carry while hunting.



Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From what I can tell, you can take a handgun into Canada, but you need a reason and personal defense (from folks or critters) doesn't count. Looks like taking a rifle/shotgun is easier--here's a bit from the Canadian government website:

Most ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns. These may be brought temporarily into Canada for sporting or hunting use during hunting season, for use in competition, for in-transit movement through Canada, or for personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada. Anyone wishing to bring hunting rifles into Canada must be at least 18 years old, and the firearm must be properly stored for transport.

However, it doesn't say anything about carrying said long gun out in the woods.
 

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A buddy of mine who has hunted in Canada on a number of occasions, did some extensive research to see if he could take a handgun into Canada on one of those hunting expeditions. His research revealed an emphatic NO. My less-than-perfect independant research supported his findings. Long guns, on the other hand, are doable - I'm just unclear on the requirements.
 

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Handgun will be a no go. But just about any single shot, lever, bolt or pump action rifle/shotgun is fine. I drove to AK from WA and took a pump action 12 gauge. I also had a WA State enhanced drivers license. I had my forms filled out, declared my gun, paid my fee and went on my way. Not once did Canadian Customs even want to see my gun. If you're actually hiking I don't think you'd be hassled in a remote area...just have your paperwork ON YOU. Don't take anything like pistol gripped shotguns. IMO a small .30-30 carbine would be fine...don't think I'd try to take a pistol caliber carbine.
 

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I've traveled all over Vancouver island and hiked in remote areas and the "critters" you will encounter will be very large black bears and cougars. You need to bring a bell or something that makes noise while hiking and a large caliber rifle in case the bell doesn't work to scare the "critters" away.
 

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I've traveled all over Vancouver island and hiked in remote areas and the "critters" you will encounter will be very large black bears and cougars. You need to bring a bell or something that makes noise while hiking and a large caliber rifle in case the bell doesn't work to scare the "critters" away.
The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper. :)
 

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We used to spend he winter in TX at an RV park that had an individual that was from Arkansas but used to spend several months of the summer in Canada. He used to bring Canada legal handguns (>4.1" BBL) in with him because he had a Canadian Possession and Acquisition License (PAL). It takes a lot of time and effort to acquire the license so if you are not going for an extended stay then go the long gun route.

If you are travelling thru Canada to AK then you can ship a handgun to yourself C/O a trusted person in AK and travel thru Canada unarmed. The person that receives the handgun must not open it and you can legally take possession when you arrive there. That is unless Obama has made one of his royal fiats saying you can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replies. That possible trip is wife's choice, 25th wedding anniversary--happy wife happy life. Having done more research the only real way to take a handgun in easily is to apply for a PAL (as stated) which is time consuming and not worth it. Even then, that seems to be a transport and possession license, not really a carry license.

The long gun form has check boxes for why you are bringing long gun with you, and wilderness protection is a reason. I think the standard with long guns is very different than with pistols, but I am uncertain. Will likely just buy a can of bear spray after getting there. I can use it in the states as well, and the cost for the can is only slightly more than the cost for the long gun form, and that way I'm not hassling with this at the border crossing.
 

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We went on an Alaskan Cruise 2 years ago and chatted with 4 guys who rented an RV and went fishing for two weeks I think Vancouver. One guy took a .45 gun as they had concerns with cooking fish and bears. So I would say there are conditions where you can take a gun. May be a factor if you are flying or driving across a border...I don't know.

Visitors to Canada:
Visitors / Non-Residents - Royal Canadian Mounted Police

This should help:
Firearm Users Visiting Canada - Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Here is a link with a phone and email link.
Contact the Canadian Firearms Program - Royal Canadian Mounted Police
 

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The last time I checked for an Ontario hunting trip,about 3 years ago, You had to have all your paperwork filled out and ALREADY sitting at customs BEFORE you arrived at customs. And that was only for a rifle or shotgun. And the serial number for the rifle you were taking had to be the same as the one on the paperwork. And if I remember correct, you was only allowed 1 box of shells. B.C. of course be different.
 

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They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them.


When the Bears hear these bells, they think "Here comes Dinner.":D:D
 

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Something else before you take a gun into Canada go to us customs and get a form showing you owned the gun in the us or you will have trouble getting back into the country
 
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