Packing to hunt? The do's and don'ts of traveling with a firearm

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Hunting season is right around the corner, and General Mitchell is preparing for a big increase in firearms being packed in bags.

What is in that bag? Or her bag? Or his bag? The answer doesn't really matter unless you're traveling with items prohibited by the TSA.

"We're trying to educate the passenger better," said Mark Lendvay, Wisconsin's Federal Security Director.

With holiday travel season around the corner, the TSA is demonstrating how to make your trip an easy one -- kind of a refresher course on what's not allowed.

"No power tools, no drills and no drill bits whatsoever," said TSA Screener, Meighan Flanigan.

And how to properly pack your firearms.

"The weapon needs to be unloaded," said Lendvay.

Since 9/11, TSA has screened more than 5 billion passengers, and detected more than 50 million prohibited items.

"People just carry them out of habit and forget that they are a prohibited item," said Flanigan.

Alex Cohn spends half his time traveling for business --

"I'm just kind of used to it," said Cohn.

Cohn doesn't even mess with liquids, he's found it easier to check them.

"It's enough just to take your belt, shoes, jacket and all that off and computer so I don't want to deal with the liquids or whatever," said Cohn.

When packing a firearm, the TSA says there are 3 simple things to remember.

"Unloaded, a hard sided case and a lockable container," said Lendvay.

You must also declare your firearm before arriving to the airline -- and keep the ammunition in it's original packaging.

"Please look inside your bag before you start packing and arrive in the airport," said Lendvay.

Otherwise TSA will do it for you. If you improperly pack or present a firearm to the security at the airport, it could cost you up to $11,000 in fines, as well as possible criminal charges.

CLICK HERE to view a list of prohibited items. 

TSA has developed conceptual screening processes consistent with this approach that the agency began testing at airports in August 2011. Click below to learn more about each program.