Hunters Beware: Loose Bullets Don’t Fly!

Loose bullets and airport security don’t mix. In the last 12 months, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) recorded almost 1,000 incidents involving loose bullets in passenger’s carry-on baggage or pockets. Every time screening officers see a bullet at the checkpoint, it leads to additional screening and avoidable delays.


With hunting season already underway in many parts of the country, CATSA is reminding you to make sure your weapon, ammunition and other hunting gear are properly packed before you leave for the airport.

4 simple tips to start your hunting expedition on the right foot:

  • Contact your air carrier
    When transporting firearms and ammunition, contact your air carrier to inquire about specific rules and restrictions. They can provide you with information on everything from packaging to required paperwork.
  • Pack your ammunition properly
    Ammunition and cartridges can only be transported in checked baggage and must be properly packaged and approved by your air carrier. They are not allowed in carry-on baggage and must be separate from your firearm.
  • Know the packing rules for rifles, bows and crossbows
    Firearms can only be transported as checked baggage. They must be unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and declared to your air carrier. Bows, crossbows and arrows can also be transported as checked baggage in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping. Make sure to declare them to the airline agent at check-in.
  • Don’t forget your other gear
    • Knives/sharp tools: Other hunting gear, such as knives, axes and other sharp objects, must go in checked baggage.
    • Flammable liquids: Flammable liquid fuel like cooking-stove gas or small propane tanks is prohibited from flying under any circumstances. Ship it ahead, purchase it at your destination or ensure your outfitter has it on hand.
    • Animal repellents: Bear spray and other animal repellents are prohibited from flying. Similar items, such as mace and pepper spray, are in fact illegal in Canada and if found in your baggage, require us to call the police.
    • Other important items: Important items such as cameras and binoculars, medication, licenses, permits or tags should be transported in your carry-on baggage.

You can check CATSA’s What Can I Bring tool? list for other hunting gear you want to bring.


If you are still unsure whether an item is allowed to fly, you can contact CATSA at 1-888-294-2202, through the website or Twitter.