Contents



Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

B.C. Resident Hunting

Introduction

A British Columbia Resident Hunter Number Card is first required in order to purchase Hunting and Species licences in British Columbia. Definition of B.C. Resident

A British Columbia resident may only have, and use, one (1) Hunter Number.

Completion of a hunter safety training course is the primary requirement in advance of obtaining a hunter number. In B.C., the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) course requires about 21 hours of self study and firearm handling practice based upon the CORE manual. Information on how to obtain the manual and list of certified examiners is available from Service BC Offices, MOE, or the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF) office in Burnaby at 1-888-881-2293.

If you do not own a firearm and your hunting partner lends you a firearm, as long as he or she provides direct and immediate supervision, you may hunt with that firearm. During the hunting season, you must have a hunting licence and a federal firearms licence with you if you are hunting with a firearm, unless you are being supervised. The person supervising will need a federal firearms licence.

To apply for a federal firearms licence, you need to pass the Canadian Firearm Safety Course (CFSC) written and practical exam. If you read the manual, and feel comfortable in challenging the Canadian Firearm Safety Course written and practical exam, you should be able to pass the challenge tests without taking the course. However, if you are uncomfortable with challenging the Canadian Firearm Safety Course tests and/ or you feel the additional firearm training would be a good refresher, take the course. CFSC manuals are available from the BC Wildlife Federation or Crown Publications.

If you have passed the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program, obtained a B.C. Resident Hunter Number Card, and purchased a hunting licence, you can go hunting in accordance with the rules in the Wildlife Act and Regulations.

Note: Owning a WIN or Quebec card does not indicate completion of a hunter safety training course.

Licence Quick Links:

Hunting Licence Fees for British Columbia Residents

(prices subject to change, G.S.T. not included)

Licence Type Fee
Hunting Licence issued to:
a resident to hunt wildlife $32
a resident, who is a Canadian citizen, 65 years of age or older, to hunt wildlife $7
a person to hunt in the Gulf Islands special hunting area $2
an applicant for a youth licence $7
a person to hunt in the Fraser Valley special area $10
initiation licence $19
Species Licence to hunt:
Black Bear $20
Caribou $20
Cougar $30
Mule Deer, including Black-tailed Deer and Fallow Deer $15
Elk $25
Grizzly Bear $80
Moose $25
Mountain Goat $40
Mountain Sheep $60
White-tailed Deer $15
Queen Charlotte Islands Deer $10
Bobcat $8
Bison $70
Lynx $8
Wolverine $8
Limited Entry Hunt $6
Special Mountain Sheep $15
Duplicate copy of:
a resident senior citizen hunting licence $1
a Gulf Islands Special Area hunting licence $1
a youth hunting licence $1
any other licence $10
Declaration for a lost, stolen or destroyed hunter number card is available at any Service BC office $10
A Statement of Loss is required for a lost, stolen or destroyed licence No Charge

B.C. Resident means:

(a) a person who
  1. is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, whose only or primary residence is in British Columbia, AND
    has been physically present in British Columbia for the greater portion of each of 6 calendar months out of the 12 calendar months immediately preceding the date of making an application under this Act or doing another thing relevant to the operation of this Act,
    OR
(b) a person who
  1. is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, but whose only or primary residence is in British Columbia, AND
    has been physically present in British Columbia for the greater portion of each of the 12 calendar months immediately preceding the date of making an application under this Act or doing another thing relevant to the operation of this Act.

Initiation Licence

Effective April 1, 2013, the new Initiation Hunting Licence for first time hunters aged 18 or older will be in effect. The requirements to complete CORE and to hold a Hunter Number Card are waived for this one-time-only licence.

It is anticipated the new licence will be available at Service BC locations and local vendors no later than March 20, 2013.

The initiation hunting licence is a new type of mentoring licence that allows a person 18 years or older who has never previously held a hunting licence in B.C. to try hunting for a one-year period. It is a one-time-only licence.

Government is introducing the new licence at $19.00 ($15.00 licence fee plus $4.00 Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation surcharge).

To be eligible for the initiation hunting licence, a person:

  • must be a B.C. resident,
  • must be 18 years or older,
  • must not have held a B.C. hunting licence in the past, with the exception of a youth (junior) hunting licence, and
  • must be under the close personal supervision of a licensed adult who satisfies the qualifications to be a supervising hunter.

Supervising Hunter for an Initiation Hunter
A person who holds an initiation hunting licence commits an offence if the person hunts unless the person is accompanied by and under the close personal supervision of a supervising hunter who is 18 years of age or older and meets the prescribed qualifications.

The prescribed qualifications to be a supervising hunter are

  • the person must be a “resident” of B.C. and hold a resident hunting licence other than an initiation hunting licence (or be exempted from holding a licence),
  • the person must have held a hunting licence in B.C. (other than an initiation hunting licence) or a licence to hunt elsewhere in not fewer than 3 of any of the licence years preceding the current licence year (or be exempted from holding a licence),
  • if the person is an Indian residing in B.C., paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply and the person must have received training in hunting and previously hunted lawfully without supervision, and
  • the person must not be prohibited from carrying a firearm.

The supervising hunter may accompany no more than two initiation hunters at one time (or no more than two youth hunting licence holders, or one youth and one initiation licence holder).

If the holder of an initiation hunting licence is hunting with a licensed guide, the prescribed qualification in item (b) does not apply to the supervising hunter.

Bag Limits
Individual species licences may not be purchased under the initiation hunting licence; the holder of this licence does not have an individual bag limit for game. The supervising hunter must hold the appropriate uncancelled species licence for any species that is hunted. Any game killed by an initiation hunter must be accounted for and is part of the bag limit of the supervising hunter.

The holder of an initiation hunting licence may not participate in a Limited Entry Hunt (LEH).

See Question and Answers for more information.

Youth Licence

Effective April 1, 2013, an expanded age range for the Youth Hunting Licence will be in effect, making it available for youth ages 10 to 17 years, inclusive. Previously, the age range of the youth (‘junior’) hunting licence was 10 to 13 years.

It is anticipated the new licence will be available at Service BC locations and local vendors no later than March 20, 2013.

Expanding the age range of the youth hunting licence aims to ensure that hunting remains affordable for youth and their families. It also makes it easier for youth ages 14 to 17 (inclusive) to give hunting a try and to have more mentorship opportunities as they are no longer required to first complete the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) course. A youth who is a B.C. resident and has completed CORE may purchase an adult hunting licence; however, a Hunter Number Card is first required.

As previously required, a parent or guardian must purchase, as well as hold, the youth hunting licence on behalf of the youth. To purchase the youth hunting licence, the parent or the guardian must sign an “Acknowledgement of Responsibility” form, confirming that the parent or guardian will be fully responsible for the actions of his or her child or ward while the child or ward is hunting or carrying a firearm. Youth (ages 10 to 17, inclusive) who participate in hunting in B.C. must be accompanied by, and under the close personal supervision of, an adult 18 years or age or older, who holds a hunting licence (unless exempted) and meets the qualifications as a supervising hunter.

Supervising Hunter For Youth
A supervising hunter must be 18 years of age or older, hold a hunting licence (other than an initiation hunting licence) or be exempted from holding a hunting licence, and meet the prescribed qualifications.

The prescribed qualifications are:

  • if the person is a resident, the person must hold a resident hunter number card (unless exempted);
  • if the person is a non-resident or non-resident alien, the person must have  passed a hunter safety training course anywhere in Canada or the USA;
  • the person must have held a hunting licence, other than an initiation hunting licence, in B.C. (unless exempted), or a licence to hunt elsewhere, in not fewer than 3 of any of the licence years preceding the current licence year;
  • if the person is an Indian residing in B.C., paragraphs (a) to (c) do not apply and the person must have received training in hunting and previously hunted lawfully without supervision, and
  • the person must not be prohibited from carrying or possessing a firearm.

The supervising hunter may accompany no more than two youths at one time (or no more than two initiation licence holders, or one youth and one initiation licence holder).

Bag Limits
Individual species licences may not be purchased under the youth hunting licence; youth under this licence do not have an individual bag limit for game. The supervising hunter must hold the appropriate uncancelled species licence for any species that is hunted. Any game killed by a youth must be accounted for and is part of the bag limit of the supervising hunter.

A B.C. resident youth who holds a valid expanded youth hunting licence may hunt in a Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) if accompanied by and under the close supervision of an adult who holds a valid species licence and a valid LEH authorization. The supervising hunter must cancel the species licence when an animal is taken and it is part of their bag limit.

If the youth, on whose behalf a youth hunting licence has been issued, is hunting with a licensed guide, the prescribed qualifications in item (a) to (c) do not apply to the supervising hunter and the youth is allowed their own bag limits for small game only.

See Question and Answers for more information.

Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE)

The Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program is designed for individuals wishing to obtain their first B.C. resident hunting licence. It is offered through a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Environment and the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF).

The program is useful for anyone interested in outdoor recreation, wildlife and firearms safety. The successful completion of the program is required for B.C. residents at age 18 or over who wish to obtain a B.C. resident hunter number card, and a first B.C. resident hunting licence.

The BCWF is responsible for CORE program administration, the keeping of graduate records and the public availability of the CORE examinations through a provincial network of certified CORE examiners.

For more information and to obtain the CORE manual, visit the BCWF's Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program website.

Please direct your CORE questions to the BC Wildlife Federation:

E-mail: Wildlife@BCWF.bc.ca
Phone: 1-888-881-2293

Mail to:
BC Wildlife Federation
Unit 101 - 3060 Norland Avenue
Burnaby, B.C.  V5B 3A6

Hunter Numbers

Hunter Number Quick Links


Hunter Number Card

Hunter Number Card
A Hunter Number Card may be issued free of charge to a resident of British Columbia who has successfully completed the Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) safety training examination (or provides proof of previous hunter safety training). You may obtain your Hunter Number card in person at any Service BC Office in your area.  You will need photo identification.   You may wish to contact service BC to ensure you meet the residency requirement for a BC resident hunter number.

Immediate service for people wishing to apply for a hunter number card or trying to replace a lost, destroyed or damaged hunter number card is no longer available at the Fish and Wildlife Branch office in Victoria, however, they may use the drop box service available at the Commissionaire's desk or mail in the Hunter Number application into the Victoria address provided below.  All necessary forms are also available at the Commissionaire's desk.  Be sure to have a photocopy of your driver’s licence or your BC Care Card to include with your application.  Applications for new hunter numbers and replacement hunter number cards will be processed within 5 business days.  You may also mail your application to the address below for processing within 5 business days.  If applying by mail, you must include photocopies of photo identification.

Under no circumstances may a person have more than one hunter number, as this violates the Wildlife Act regulations.

by mail:
Fish and Wildlife Branch
PO Box 9374, STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, B.C.  V8W 9M4

in person:
Service BC Office

Confirming Hunter Numbers

You can confirm your hunter number by contacting the Fish and Wildlife Branch in Victoria (address above), or a Service BC Office.


Replacement of Lost Hunter Number Card and/or Hunting Licence

To replace a Hunter Number Card, if lost stolen or destroyed, you may visit a Service BC Office and fill out/sign a statutory declaration form stating what happened to your Hunter Number Card. There is a fee of $10.50 (including GST) for the declaration form, and no fee for issuance of the duplicate card.

The same process must be followed for a lost hunting licence, and there is an additional fee of $10.50 Iincluding GST) for the basic licence and each tag that is lost.

If you have lost a Limited Entry Hunting authorization, a duplicate can be issued to you at a Service BC Office, or the Fish and Wildlife Branch in Victoria by appointment only, free of charge.

Replacement of Tattered Hunter Number Card

If your Hunter Number Card is old and tattered, it can be replaced free of charge by taking the old card to a Service BC Office, and requesting a replacement in person.

Change of Address Notification

It is important that the Fish and Wildlife Branch maintain accurate records of hunter addresses and hunter numbers particularly as they relate to Limited Entry Hunting, wildlife harvest and hunter effort data requested from hunters through reporting, inspection and survey.

If the holder of a hunter number card changes his or her residential address or ceases to be a resident, he or she must notify the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Branch of the address change.

If the holder of the hunter number card ceases to be a B.C. resident, the hunter number card is suspended as long as the person is not a resident.

Please forward a Change of Address notification to us WITHIN 30 DAYS OF name change. The Change of Address notification form is also found in the Hunting & Trapping Synopsis on Page 40.

Change of Name Notification

If the holder of a hunter number card changes his or her legal name, he or she must notify the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Branch.

Please forward a Change of Name notification to us WITHIN 30 DAYS OF the name change.The Change of Address notification form is also found in the Hunting & Trapping Synopsis on Page 40.

Suspension of Hunter Numbers

A Hunter Number may be deemed “suspended” for different reasons, including:

  • failure to pay a fine,
  • suspension by the Director for an “automatic suspension”,
  • Director's decision infraction against the Wildlife Act, or
  • failure to complete CORE as ordered by the Director.

Firearms Regulations

As a resident of the province, you need a Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) or the new federal firearms licence (PAL or POL) in order to legally possess firearms in B.C.
The only exception to this is if you are being supervised (see below).

Firearms fall under the Criminal Code of Canada and are therefore regulated by the Federal Government, NOT the Government of British Columbia. All inquiries related to Canadian firearms regulations should be directed to the Canadian Firearms Centre.

As of January 1, 2001, the Wildlife Act will now accept a FAC, Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession-Only Licence (POL) for the purposes of carrying a gun in the bush. If you borrow a firearm you need a valid FAC or the new federal firearm licence (PAL, or POL) unless you are being immediately supervised by someone who is legally allowed to have that firearm.

Note that in addition to the FAC or federal firearms licence, in order to hunt, you also need a hunting licence issued by the province.

If you are just carrying a rifle or shotgun in the bush, you must have a valid federal firearms licence.

Youth (ages 10 to 18 inclusive) who participate in hunting in B.C. must be accompanied by an adult (18 years or older) who holds a valid hunting licence and be accompanied by and under the close personal supervision of that person. Accompanied under the Wildlife Act means to remain in the company of the other person, able to see the other person without the aid of any device other than ordinary corrective lenses and able to communicate by un-amplified voice with that person.