Do I or don’t I take my own gun for my hunt? This poses a great question and one that is often asked in this day and age of ever changing airline regulations. In the past, most outfitters kept a spare gun around in case the client’s gun failed. (Of course, I’m not talking about Argentina because they have had fantastic shotguns for clients for many years). Now, we are finding that many lodges around the world are realizing the need to have proper guns with good optics for their clients so that the clients do not need to travel with their guns. Outfitters are working to remove every obstacle that keeps people from hunting around the globe.
That still doesn’t answer the question! If you have a special gun that is equipped for your height or any other physical concerns, it is always best to take your gun with you. In all of our travels, we have yet to have a problem traveling with guns. Now that’s not to say that we haven’t heard the occasional story, but not from our clients. If you feel comfortable using various calibers and optics and the lodge has great reliable guns, consider not bothering with toting your own.
Here is the key! When you arrive at your location, ALWAYS SHOOT YOUR GUN OR THE OUTFITTERS GUN to make sure that it is sighted in. Your guide may say of the loaner gun…”This gun is the most reliable gun I have ever shot, it is always on. There is no need to check it”! NOT TRUE for a variety of reasons. 1. It’s not sighted in until you prove that it is sighted in. 2. it’s your trip. Most lodge policies include a wounded animal policy which states that if you wound it, you pay for it. If the gun is off and you miss, it comes out of your pocket book. 3. You don’t want to take a chance of going home empty handed because you didn’t take 10 minutes to check the rifle. 4. Finally, trigger pulls vary from gun to gun. You want to shoot the rifle, especially a loaner; to see what the trigger pull is like. A quick trigger or a hard trigger can make the difference in a successful shot or a miss.
What’s the answer? It just depends on the trip and your comfort leave. It’s part of our job to communicate with you concerning the reliability of an outfitters loaner gun. Most of the time, if the lodge offers loaner guns, we don’t take our own so that we can test their guns and see if we would recommend them to you. When in doubt, take your own gun that you are comfortable with.