Editor Barbara Crown first reported on the free-range hunts arranged by Hunt Austria in February 2008 (see article 1995). DeCleva first connected with Hunt Austria at the Dallas Safari Club Show (where they will be exhibiting again this year) in 2011. His first hunt with them in December 2011 (see Report 8495) produced an Alpine ibex, but he was "weathered out" on his attempt for an Alpine chamois. He returned in early November for the chamois and decided to add on hunts in Croatia and Romania for Balkan and Carpathian chamois respectively. In a follow-up phone call, DeCleva told us this meant "a lot of schlepping through airports with a gun," but it produced three trophies.
Speaking of airports, DeCleva tells us he flew Lufthansa to Vienna via Frankfurt (which he describes as "gun friendly") specifically to avoid transiting London with a gun. He also flew Croatia Airlines and found their service good. "Notify your carriers in advance about transport of firearms. Make sure all of your paperwork is in order for firearms documentation; it's important. You need the US Customs Declaration Form for your rifle. For hunting, take along your Hunter Education Card and your State Hunting License as extra support documentation. Overall Hunt Austria did a thorough job of planning and advance contact, but we were still held up by police in Croatia and Romania. Expect delays."........(continued)