Most countries require a Visa for foreign visitors. Some countries require special permits to access the hunting areas such as the required permit for access to GBAO in Tajikistan. This can require time to procure the Visa and possible extra necessary permits so it is best to start this process 2-3 months prior to the trip.
Hunting Preparation Tips
Visa requirements of your destination country
Firearm import/export permits
Due to possible changes in firearm regulations it's best to take care of firearm permits 2-3 months prior to the trip. Your outfitter should help you with this process. In some cases the country or provinces guide/outfitter organization might offer services to help with this.
Wiring of booking deposit and outstanding payment for the hunt
It is best to discuss all possible payment options beforehand with the outfitter. Some banks have problems with international wires since the systems of operation are different. Also the % of money conversion is an important thing to be taken into consideration.
International flights are not a problem at all nowadays but firearms policies vary greatly from airline to airline. For example some airlines require firearm check-in at least 24 hours before the flight. This is an important detail and not known by everyone so always check your airline’s policy. Domestic flights - some flights are not available in the international booking systems. In these cases it's better to provide the outfitter with all information he requires far in advance so he can take care of required domestic flights for you.
Every hunter should visit his doctor at least half a year prior the hunt and talk to him thoroughly: destination, hunting conditions, etc. If a doctor gives any restrictions a hunter has to inform the outfitter about these restrictions. Some destinations require special medications such as DIAMOX for hunting in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan at high altitude or anti malarial medications if hunting in certain areas. Ask your outfitter about required vaccinations, etc.
A hunter should provide the outfitter with the list of food and drinks he prefers or any food allergies he may have. For example if someone doesn't eat pork or doesn't drink milk it is better to coordinate this with the outfitter far in advance before the trip.
Physical conditions, shooting skills and other requirements
Pay special attention to this point. If horse riding skills are necessary, take a couple of riding lessons before the hunt. If hiking in steep mountains is an obligatory part of the hunt, spend the adequate time for physical training. This could not only make the difference between an enjoyable and successful hunt it could save your life.
Shooting skills is one the most important points on the hunt. Get info about the average and max distance of shooting on a certain hunt and make sure you spend adequate time for shooting often at those distances. If this is beyond your normal comfort range or conditions a training course can be a huge help and give you the confidence needed to make the shot of a lifetime.
Trophy care and shipment
Contact your chosen taxidermist prior to your trip and have them send you shipping tags with their shipping address. Attach these shipping tags on your trophies: one for hide, one for skull. Personally advise how you want the trophy to be skinned: shoulder mount, full mount, rug, etc. You can consult your taxidermist if you have any questions prior to your hunt.
If you are going for CITES species, take care of required special documentation far in advance and/or on required dates. For example an Argali CITES import permit application form should be applied for EXACTLY on May 1, not one day earlier or later. All predators require CITES Appendix II, this means that after the hunt your trophy will stay in the animal’s home country until necessary export permits are received.
Gratuities after your successful hunt are not required but are an important point to say thanks to the staff. Please consult outfitter for advisable amount and if he prefers you give the tips to him to hand out at a certain time or if you can hand out the tips yourself on your departure. In some cases it is best to give each of the staff a paper with the amount they are to receive and give the money to the outfitter to hand out.