Crossing the Border-Travelling to Canada from the U.S and vice versa is not as complicated as some might have you believe-thousands of people cross the border each and every day for business and personal reasons.Entering Canada overland only requires 1 piece of government issued photo-I.D and 1 supporting document (like a birth certificate) . As of June 1,2009 the US government has enacted new laws affecting U.S citizens returning from Canada.You do not necessarily need a passport if traveling overland,contrary to popular belief-the U.S government as well as several states are issuing other forms of acceptable documents including enhanced driver's licenses- a link to the U.S Customs and Border Protection website is below which outlines the acceptable forms of identification and provides further details.
Bringing Firearms into Canada- When bringing firearms into Canada you must declare them at the border and fill out a customs form(see link below).This form can be printed, filled out and brought with you to save time at the border but DO NOT SIGN the form until you reach the border-it is a legal "declaration" and must be signed in the presence of a customs officer.An administrative fee of 25$ is paid at the border.
Types of firearms -Most "traditional types" of hunting firearms are permitted in Canada. .Some types of firearms that some people hunt with that are based on automatic or semi-automatic military rifles are either "restricted"(limited to possesion by collectors with special licenses) or "prohibited"(self explanatory) basically any (so called) "assault rifles".A link below provides a detailed list of the firearms in these classes.Examples of restricted firearms include most handguns,AR-15 variants etc.Prohibited firearms include AK variants(semi or full auto) and any fully automatic firearms.See the link below to ascertain whether or not your firearms are on the list-any bolt action(other than .50 calibre "sniper" rifles),pump action or break action rifle or shotgun is legal.If you are planning on bringing a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun please check the list.Remington 7400 and similar (model 4-model 742 etc.) are Ok as is the Browning BAR.The Springfield M-14 is legal but note that some variants (Beretta BM-59 series) are not.Do not bring any detactable magazines for semi-automatic center-fire rifles that hold more than 5 rounds-these are considered prohibited weapons.
Other weapons- stun guns,tazers,switchblade or "butterfly" knives,chemical mace ,pepper spray,brass knuckles,certain martial arts weapons- e.g- nunchakus"kung fu sticks" or shurikens "throwing stars" are also prohibited.(this is not a complete list)
Summary: Don't bring restricted or prohibited class firearms,or other "personal defense" weapons-this includes all handguns .Bringing these -or attempting to bring these into Canada without declaring them will result in seizure if discovered and can lead to other complications.
Bringing Liquor (including wine,beer etc.)-Persons entering Canada from the U.S may bring one 40 ounce bottle of liquor OR wine-OR 24 cans of beer (can only be 1 of the 3).Additional alcoholic beverages can be bought in Plaster Rock N.B before the final leg of your trip here. Tobacco- you may bring up to 200 cigarettes AND 50 cigars .
Entering Canada with Hunting Dogs- If you bring a dog from the United States, you must have a certificate to show that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. The certificate has to be dated and signed by a veterinarian, and it must identify the animal by breed, age, sex, coloring, and any distinguishing marks. Animal tags are not acceptable in place of certificates. Note that on your return to the U.S you may be asked to prove by U.S customs that your dog has had 1)a prior rabies vaccination and that 2)that vaccination took place MORE than 30 days prior .
Other notes on returning home- you may wish to stop at US customs on your way here and fill out a Certificate of Registration - CBP Form 4457- this is to list all the valuable items(for example-firearms,cameras,GPS units) you are taking out of the country-so there is no question about the origin of the items at customs when you return home.Alternately, you can bring the receipts from where you bought these items as proof you had them in your posession before you left the U.S. in the event you are asked on the way back.
Note:This list was compiled by the webmaster December,2013 and contains information collected ONLY from government websites including The US departments of Homeland Security,Customs and Border Protection (Travel documents ,returning to U.S)and Agriculture(returning to U.S with dogs),Royal Canadian Mounted Police(importing firearms & restricted/prohibited firearms and weapons lists) and Canada Border Services Agency(entry requirements ,alcohol,tobacco,dogs).All regulations,are naturally,subject to change.The respective agencies should be consulted prior to departure.
Customs declaration forms for firearms; http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/form-formulaire/pdfs/909.pdf
U.S resident travel requirements returning home- http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/index.html
U.S residents entering Canada from the U.S overland"http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5082-eng.html#s2x1
List of restricted and prohibited firearms http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/rp-eng.htm