Moving to Germany
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Author:  ScottyB 91 [ Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Moving to Germany

Hi folks, two questions if you don't mind:
1) What does it take to import my shotguns with me when I move to Germany? Should I store them with household goods or check them in as baggage on the airplane with me? One is a 1966 Browning Superposed Pigeon Grade, so I want to make sure it actually gets there the safest way.
2) How's the bird hunting in Bavaria and how do I become a hunter? I'm military so I've heard the hunting license can be received in a shorter period through military channels...

Thanks, Danke schene,

Author:  AC130 [ Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving to Germany

You need to contact the MPs on your new installation to find out what they can do for you. Best case, they'll warehouse your weapons in the armoury. Worse case, you'll spend an enormous amount of time and effort getting a private license while your shotguns are with someone you trust in the US.

When I PCS'd in here I started down the licensing road, grew frustrated and eventually gave up. My shotguns are under my parent's bed in NC. Our hosts will very openly tell you the laws here are designed specifically to make it as difficult as possible for you to import a weapon. You can get a license, either throught the hunter training program (classes are like, six months long. Seriously) or an accredited shooting organization, but it's a long and paperwork-filled process...and no one on earth does more exacting paperwork than the Germans. Also, once you have the permits, and the required locked storage container (with inventory), the Polizei have access to your house 24 hours a day. They can show up unannounced and do a check to make sure your registered weapons match the contents.

Don't mean to be a buzz kill, they do hunt and there are skeet clubs, it's just painfully regulated for foreigners. I'm out in the country, and every farmer in my village seems to own a side-by-side, but if you aren't German or don't own the land you're hunting it's going to be expensive. Like I said, get hold of your sponsor NOW, before you get to the jump off point. Incidentally, when I was doing the same research from the states, I was told point-blank NOT to sneak them in with your household goods. If customs finds them, you lose them permanently. Good hunting, and I hope your luck is better than mine! CMSgt S.

Author:  ScottyB 91 [ Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving to Germany

Thanks Chief, I have talked to my sponsor; he knows a CW4 that is in "all the right local clubs" and knows the German hunters...basically networked in good, so I'll work that avenue. Good to know not to sneak anything in...I will NOT risk losing my 66 Superposed.
I will pay the price and do the paperwork and see what happens. Can't pass up hunting with my German Shorthair in Bavaria!


Author:  KarlJ [ Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving to Germany

There is no hunting as you know it. All land is leased and the lease holder decides when there will be hunting and by whom. Hunting is by a guest you will need a guest hunting license and this will cost about $40 and is good for a 2 week period. Dogs are used for retrieving for the most part...otherwise they hunt close and under the gun. There is very little walk up hunting done that is similar to what you are used to in ND. Unless your dog is VERY well trained and controllable, you will probably be asked to leave your dog home.

Different customs...German hunting is about harvesting game and less about sport.

Author:  LG [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving to Germany


There are two big issues getting your hunting license in Germany--time and money. The hunting course is two nights a week for three months and may not be taught near your duty station. The closest Rod & Gun may offer the course once or twice a year. You have to be able to go with their time schedule. Ask your sponsor to contact the nearest Rod & Gun and find out what is happening in your community

Everything involving hunting is expensive. You pay for the course, you pay for insurance, you pay for the license, you buy a safe, you pay for clothes that at least approximate traditional German hunters' clothing, you pay trophy fees, you pay meat fees, etc. etc.

If you can handle those two issues, you should be able to get a license--at worst--within a year.

I also still have guns under a bed back in the states and am going on ten months in country but lost a lot of time for health reasons and listening to wrong people's advice. Fortunately I had a German hunting license from before, but would have been able to take a course in Stuttgart that is just finishing up with testing in Hohenfels (in Bavaria) next month.

The main thing I would do different is box my guns to go by mail with my address for both from and to. I would verify everything with the local post office and have my relative's mail the guns. It is legal for them to receive them if addressed to me, so I am assuming it is legal for them to ship them. Just in case I would have JAG do a power of attorney giving them that authority. As it is, I am waiting a German weapon's cards to try and have the transportation office ship them. The other way would have probably been easier. I would provide my relatives a German import form (German Custom Form 3, I think it is) to attack to the carton in an envelope.

If you do it, make sure you check out the local DJV, German Hunters Association, in your area. The DJV is based on local clubs organized by each German state. All the clubs normally have a dog group which could help you to get your pooch accepted--unofficially if not through all the German rules and hoops.

Good luck.

Author:  ScottyB 91 [ Mon May 04, 2009 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving to Germany

LG, Karl, thanks for the tips. I will store my guns with family until I get my WPK and safe, FBI background check, etc. Oh yeah, the dreaded hunting license. Whatever it takes, I'll get it eventually. My dog is a well trained GSP, so I hope they will accept her. She is German after all.

I'll be at Hohenfels so I'll check on that testing course.

On a lighter note, I tried out my brand new 1966 Superposed for the first time yesterday at the local Trap range. Realizing I can't take my Fiochi shells with me, I figured I would just shoot what I could and sell the rest.
Forgot one Fiocchis were 12 ga high brass #4 field loads...after the 2d shot of Trap, I realized, "$#&@ (crap), I have 23 more of these cannon shells to shoot." Plus there's no kick pad on the Super. My right shoulder now says "Browning" if you can see it through the bruises. No more hi brass #4s at the trap range...
In a testement to the Superposed though, I hit 21 out of 25, using #4 shot, and it's the first time I ever fired the gun. John Browning was a helluva gun maker.

Author:  LG [ Tue May 05, 2009 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving to Germany

We (Stuttgart) are sending our current hunting class to Hohenfels to test this week--we don't have an Outdoor Recreation US range here or local German proctors for testing. Your sponsor should be able to get info on planned courses from Outdoor Rec there. They have plenty of game, but I don't know about bird hunting--it isn't high priority here.

Process your background check as soon as you get a German civilian address. It has become one of those things that you need to get early and then keep current throughout your assignment. I made the mistake of processing my old hunting license without a current check (the German hunting office did not care), but am now playing catch up for two other actions that also require one, and naturally the Germans can required the original which only goes so far.

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