Hunting Methods and Ethics


It is extremely important for hunters and trappers to realize that they use a public resource! With this privilege it is vital to maintain a perception among the public that we hunt and trap in an ethical and humane manner. The majority of British Columbians support hunting and trapping to one degree or another, but there is a prevalent misunderstanding among the general public as to the role that hunters and trappers play in conservation and environmental stewardship. Fuelling that misunderstanding are images and media reports of hunters and trappers who are at least perceived to be acting in a less than upstanding manner, or who disrespect the wildlife they pursue. Every hunter has a personal ethical code which they follow, and many of these ethics are encompassed in the laws regulating hunting. However, the Crown is not able, or willing, to regulate all aspects of hunting and trapping. It is the responsibility of individual outdoorsman to demonstrate respect for wildlife, the environment, land owners, private property, and the public.

It is important for all of us to remember not only the legal obligations, but also the unwritten rules of ethics that keep hunting a great sport.

  • Safety for yourself, your companions, and the public is the most important aspect of hunter training. Hunting accidents continue to be very rare because we all know that there is no room for recklessness at the expense of safety and courtesy.
  • Have respect for the sensitivities of others. Do not display your kill or firearms where it may offend other people. What may impress your friends may not have the same effect on your neighbours.
  • Respect wildlife and the sanctity of the harvested animals' lives. Strive to make every kill a clean one. Prepare your firearm in advance of, and during, the season to ensure accuracy and dependability. Practice your marksmanship at a licensed firing range, and do not shoot unless you have a clear shot of a vital part of the animal. Remember: "you can't pull the bullet back."
  • Prepare the meat properly. Proper handling of meat is easy to learn and to not do so is both illegal and wasteful.
  • Respect the environment by packing out everything you packed in! Nobody wants to arrive at a campsite and clean up the mess left by the previous occupants.
  • Do not consume drugs or alcohol while hunting or trapping.
  • Respect private property. Always seek permission from landowners and thank them for the opportunities given. Unless explicitly stated, permission granted once does not entitle you to access the property on subsequent occasions.
  • Please respect gates, fences and equipment as they are there for a reason. Leave everything the way you found it.
  • Be the eyes and ears for the enforcement agencies and report those who break the law. Remember to visit the RAPP program website or call 1-877-952-7277.
  • Be aware that you are a mentor when youth are observing.
  • Respect your fellow hunters. Work with one another to promote good relationships, safety, knowledge and a fair distribution of opportunity and harvest.
  • Lead by example, you are an ambassador for the public and media image of hunting.

Ethical hunters and trappers are critical to effective and sustainable wildlife management, and to the ethical hunter we offer our sincerest gratitude; opportunities for the sustainable use of wildlife are possible because of you.


For Lower Mainland specifications on hunting methods and specific topics, please view the following documents from the Hunting and Trapping Synopsis: PDF [2.95MB]