Caribou Gear

New Zealand Trophy Export Info

Buzzy

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Joined
May 30, 2022
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Hoping to get some feedback on bringing home trophies with me from NZ back to the US. I have a hunt lined up on the South Island (flying in and out of Christchurch) in mid March 2024 for stag, goat, and a ram. The hunt will be 4 days and then me and my wife will take another 10 days to tour around the South Island. If I'm successful in taking these animals I will be having a euro mount done on all 3. Talking with my outfitter he is saying the taxidermist he uses would not be able to prep the skulls for me to bring them back on the plane. He's stating he may have enough time to boil the skulls and box them up but even with cutting the stag horns (I'll have them pinned to save crate space) the crating would be on the large side.

I know about having to have the US Fish & Wildlife declaration form filled out as I have brought a whitetail skull back with me from Canada in the past for a euro mount and it was pretty simple. I also know about the non CITES form that the NZ government has available saying these trophies are exportable without any further documentation needed by the NZ government. If I'm able to get someone to prep the skulls and have them boxed to be checked in as luggage is there anything else that needs to be completed to get the trophies on the plane ride home with me and passed thru US customs? Seems like the hardest part will be getting someone to prep the trophies and box them up for the ride back. But if I can find someone who can do this it seems like it would save a lot of money in shipping and brokers fees as compared to having everything shipped later.

Any advice folks can give for bringing the trophies back with me when I leave NZ would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
You’ve got it. Find someone to boil them, package them for luggage, and pre-clear them with US Fish & Wildlife.

@SCliving Outdoors do you have any additional details to share? Last time I brought anything back from NZ was 2019 so not sure if anything changed in the past 4 years.
 
You’ve got it. Find someone to boil them, package them for luggage, and pre-clear them with US Fish & Wildlife.

@SCliving Outdoors do you have any additional details to share? Last time I brought anything back from NZ was 2019 so not sure if anything changed in the past 4 years.
One thing I'm struggling to understand is getting the larger crate home with me. Looks like my airlines (Fiji Airlines) has a max of 109" (L+W+H). Even splitting the stag horns and packaging the horns by themselves I'm not sure it will make the dimensions. So I'm trying to see how the cargo shipping works with Fiji airlines. If I can ship this back as cargo and then pick it up from the airlines when it arrives that would be great but I'm thinking I'll have to clear a lot more hoops on the import of this cargo vs. bringing it back with me on the plane.

Do you think it would be worth bringing the goat and ram skulls back as these will easily make size requirements or if I need to leave the stag behind just leave all 3 behind for 1 shipment to be made by the NZ taxidermist.

Thanks
 
I always travel with a huge duffle that exceeds the L+W+H maximum and have never had to pay for oversized luggage. Is there an option to just pay more for oversized luggage? Or will they not let it on the plane?

I’d bring back everything that you can as luggage. If there are any issues then you are there to immediately address them. An expediter will charge you by the piece if they do it. If you ship it air cargo yourself then it probably doesn’t matter from a cost perspective.

Are you bringing capes back? You’ll need to get them salted ASAP so they’re reasonably dry if you’re bringing them in luggage.
 
Yea you pay for oversize baggage but the airlines website says if it's over 109" then it would need to go as cargo as that's the largest size bag/box they will take as passenger cargo. I will be shooting a gold level stag so the more I dig into this the more I'm thinking it's not going to work to bring the stag back with me due to it's size. I am not bringing any capes back. Just the skull and horns for the 3 animals.
 
What about a compound bow case, I've travelled with that without too much trouble , they just send thru oversize doors but no different than ordinary. Unfortunately I don't live in the south isle anymore as be no trouble to help out
I'm sure something will pop up before your due date.
 
I shot a stag in NZ a couple of years ago. I just split skull cap and brought them back on the plane with me as checked baggage. It was super easy, just needed a few extra permits from the USFWS with me when I hit customs in the US. Way cheaper than having a full euro shipped back across the Pacific.
 

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